Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Chul Heo

Associate Professor

School of Art, Design and Media
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Phone: (+65)6513 8048
Office: ART 3-11

  • PhD The University of Iowa 2004
  • MFA The City University of New York 1996
  • MS The City University of New York 1994
  • BA Korea University 1990
  • BS in Agriculture Korea University 1989
Chul Heo is a filmmaker and media scholar. By tackling the fate of individual human beings within a larger societal context, his creative works and theoretical writings debunk the hidden logic of contemporary society. Chul's interests symbiotically complement each other, as a theorist and artist, by combining theory and praxis, academia and industry, and fiction with nonfiction to improve our media culture. As a teacher, it is his goal to inspire the next generation of filmmakers and media scholars who can voice their creative visions in the mainstream as well as independent operatives.

Chul has directed three feature films which have been distributed in theaters nationwide in South Korea. The most recent fiction, “The Return” (2017), won the Golden Zenith Award, winner in the First Fiction World Competition at the 41st Montreal World Film Festival. His two nonfictional feature films, “Ari Ari the Korean Cinema” (2012) and “Mira Story” (2015), which made a national controversy in South Korea by raising the critical views on the role of the government and capitalistic power in filmmaking and local community respectively, and have been screened in international film festivals in Paris, Bhutan, Busan, and Irvine.

He has been very active in advocating marginalized voices in society by making more than fifteen short films both in Korea and America. Tackling Asian American identity issues, his film "Between Two Worlds" (1996/1998, 30 min.) triggered a national conversation about Asianness in the United States and received awards in Rochester International Film Festival, Asian Cinevision Video Showcase and Sinking Creek Film Festival. Dealing with the national tragedy of Sewol Ferry accident in Korea, "Grief over the Sewol Ferry Disaster" (2015, 14 min.) was shown in the opening event for the candle-light protest in Seoul against the corrupted Korean government. His various other short films received international recognitions and screenings in Paris, Riyadh, Taipei, Milano, Istanbul, New York City, Chicago, Williamstown, Davis, Rochester, Nashville, and San Francisco. Also, Chul participated in television documentaries and talk shows for PBS in New York City and MBC network in Korea as a director, producer, and host.

Prior to joining ADM at NTU, Chul taught various film and television courses in theory and practice at Korea University as Associate Professor (2007-2012) and San Francisco State University as Assistant Professor (2000-2007), and supervised more than 90 graduate students' theses, dissertations, and creative projects for their degrees in master and doctoral level. He received his Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Iowa and M.F.A. from Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY).
Research Interests
Chul's scholarly interests focus on the study of production culture and aesthetics of film and television with a critical cultural studies approach. In particular, he is interested in critical and aesthetic implications of the look and sound of film and television, e.g. production design and sound design. To understand production culture of film and television, he pays attention to people who make creative decisions to deal with production conventions, creative rights, constraints and possibility in their institutional contexts, and the imagined audience in production process.

Research areas
- Aesthetics and Culture of Film and Television Production - Production Style and Code; Audience-making in Production; History of Presentation Techniques in Film and Television
- Cultural Politics of Sound Design and Production Design - Sound and the Public Sphere; Occupational history of production designers
- Digital technology and Filmmaking - The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Production
- Asian Cinema and Television - Production Culture of South East Asian Cinema and Korean Cinema & Television
- Documentary - History, Theory, and Aesthetics; Asian and Asian American Documentary Films

Current Projects
- "One day": a fictional feature film. An adopted Korean American girl, who is rebellious, meets an elderly musician who lives in a town that will disappear soon in the name of redevelopment in Seoul.
- "The Road to Bhutan": a fictional feature film. A Singaporean TV producer is assigned to go to the Kingdom of Bhutan for a documentary program. She meets two Koreans joining her trip together leading to unpack their personal stories.
- "Production Culture in Southeast Asian Cinema": This book project examines the cultural practices and belief systems of production workers in the Southeast Asian film industry.
- "Technical 'know-how's in the production of emotion: critical readings of film and television production manuals from 1950s to the present": a journal article on production convention.

Selected Creative Works
- The Return (2017, 96 min., 4K HD), Director/Writer. Narrative feature. (in Korean w/English-French subtitles)
- Mira Story (2014/2015, 84 min., HD), Director/Writer/Producer. Documentary feature. (in Korean w/English subtitles)
- Ari Ari the Korean Cinema (2011/2012, 83 min., HDV), Director/Writer/Producer. Documentary feature. (in Korean w/English subtitles)
- Grief Over the Sewol Ferry Disaster (2015, 14 min., HD). Producer/Director/Editor. (in Korean w/English subtitles)
- The Secret of Hanji Craft (2014/2015, 10 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/English-French subtitles)
- Kismet (2013, 30 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/Turkish subtitles)
- Constancy and Change in Korean Craft Arts (2013, 60 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/English subtitles)
- The Job (2006, SD). Producer. thirteen 30-min. episodes for TVK-24, Comcast cable in Southern California. (In English)
- Between Two Worlds (1996/1998, 30 min., SD), Director/Writer/Producer. (In English)

Selected Journal Articles
- Kim, E., & Heo, C. (2014). The study on the aesthetic possibility of history documentary and thick text-focusing on the analysis of "Cheonggyecheon Medley." History Studies, 27, 257-286. (in Korean)
- Han, W., & Heo, C. (2012). Constitution and disruption of identities: Between feminist and idol since the early 2000s. Culture & Society, 12, 105-145. (in Korean)
- Oh, W. H. & Heo, C. (2010). An aesthetic analysis on the rising television style of video journalists. Journal of Media Economics & Culture, 8(4), 103-143. (in Korean)
- Heo, C., & Kim, J. S. (2010). On sound research: The role of ambient sound in the poetics of film and television. Communication Theory, 6(1), 191-228. (in Korean)
- Heo, C. & Kim, J. (2010). Can you hear documentary? - A critical approach on the production convention of documentary sound in Korea. Media & Society, 18(2), 82-128. (in Korean)

« Back to Research Directory