Meet Sua Ha | The Dreamer of SUAPRISM & Artist for 10 Corso Como Seoul
"We create our tomorrows by what we dream today." SUAPRISM is a brand that flows freely as the spirit of Sua Ha, the creative behind the name. After much self-discovery, exploration, and experience working with Milan's global retail arthouse 10 Corso Como, Sua now strives to make dreams come true with quality art pieces, ceramics, and garments to be shared with all. We had the pleasure getting to know Sua and her journey into becoming the talented designer she is today.
How did you discover that you wanted to be a designer and when did you realize that you wanted to pursue it as a career?
Honestly, I’ve never dreamed of becoming a designer. I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina or a painter ever since childhood. At the age of 7, ballet came into my life and although it was hard and I knew I did not have the potential, I enjoyed learning the beautiful physical expression. Somehow I also began focusing on painting, although I am not able to recall how and why. Since then, I began falling in love with my art.
My big decision to become a designer was made after failing to enter a traditional Fine Arts program. I made a silly mistake during the final interview; one of the professors asked what I wanted to become after the course, and I answered that I wanted to be a “total designer." I could not believe what I had just said. "Total designer” was a weird answer, but they were the only words that could express my passion. He seemed very unhappy and kicked me out of the ongoing interview. I was deeply disappointed as I did my best, only to ruin my chance with those two words. After, I decided to stop painting - I was mad at myself and was exhausted from living overseas alone. I then applied to a fashion school, made a portfolio overnight, and got accepted.
How and when did you start working for 10 Corso Como?
I had a three-month internship at a buying office for 10 Corso Como Seoul and the office offered me to be part of their team afterward. I was so grateful for the offer but funnily enough, it worried me at the same time. I realized that I was only happy in the creative moments of my imagination. So, I quit and went back to art life. Carla Sozzani, the founder of 10 Corso Como, and Kris Ruhs, art director of 10 Corso Como, visit Korea several times a year and once, Kris was in search of someone who could assist with his artwork so I started helping him. One day, I got a phone call from the Seoul office saying that Carla Sozzani wrote them that she and Kris wanted me to come over to Milano for their new project, the 10CC Avenuel Seoul. That’s how it all started. I’ve learned - and still learn - so much about spacial design, painting, installation, ceramic, etc. 10CC itself is like a huge canvas to me. I feel blessed to work with them. Especially since Carla Sozzani inspires all of the 10CC members to step forward and be creative.
Most of your collection evokes a very dreamy and laid-back feeling, what inspired you to create it?
Is it surprising that I never realized what feelings my collection evokes before this question? Now, I recognize it and know why. My inspiration mostly comes from the hope that amplifies itself further in times of trouble and hopelessness. The collection is the visualization of hope for our dreams.
What is the most challenging part about owning your own fashion brand?
I still find it hard to discover sound manufacturers who are willing and able to meet standards for the best possible quality of products, of which I personally consider each an art piece. However, the satisfaction of a well-made outcome is worth the wait.
"...the legacy of the arts is important for making this world more abundant and beautiful... I believe that art has power."
How do you balance your time/workload as an artist at 10 Corso Como and SUAPRISM?
Generally, the workload at 10 Corso Como is quite affordable as I work project by project in Seoul at the moment. I take on a small part of the work at 10CC Seoul, like painting and installation. Whereas the amazing Kris and ceramist Caterina in Milan do the rest, therefore I do have the time for both.
How did you come up with the name “SUAPRISM?”
My mother was sitting next to me and suggested "SUAPRISM." It sounded strange at first but then she explained, “You be Sua who possess colorful lights of a prism and brighten heart of people and the world.” I liked it ever since then.
How would you describe SUAPRISM’s style?
Our style is timeless and I myself cannot describe it within existing style categories. SUAPRISM will always be a soulful brand.
What's next for SUAPRISM?
Doing more art experiments and we are looking for the opportunity to expand into the international market.
Who are some influential artists that currently inspire you and it what ways?
Gaudí and Míro. I took a month-long trip to Spain last year that inspired me to the bottom of my soul.Casa Milá, Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell of Gaudí displayed pure passion and extraordinary talent in art. It seemed Gaudí never needed anything but art. The bold expression of Míro enlightened me with confidence in painting. The next artist is Matisse whose facial drawings inspired me in my style of work. These artists made me think of how the legacy of the arts is important for making this world more abundant and beautiful. It will influence generation after generation like it already did with me. I believe that art has power.
Where are the three hidden gems in Seoul for you?
Seoul N Tower at night, Leeum Museum, and both 10 Corso Como locations (one in Cheongdam, and one in Myeongdong).
What does MISSBISH mean to you
To me, MISSBISH is knowing who you really are and loving yourself no matter what.
Who is your MISSBISH and why?
I would say my MISSBISH is Coco Chanel. I was handed over packs of old, crispy secret notes from her at her very first store in Paris in a dream I had about 15 years ago. I became her fan even though I was not one before. I cannot tell you what the notes were about but the dream was so vivid and unforgettable; something special. I remember her sparkling eyes, the wrinkles on her face, and the cigarette between her fingers; she was wearing a tweed suit.
Photography by: Christina Choi