Friday, October 25, 2013

Let me introduce my favorite artist!

           I believe that the happiest life for an artist is based on how well he is expressing his opinion of what he loves and believes. Today, I want to introduce one artist who is doing what he wants and put what he enjoys in his art. The name of the artist is Gyung-Gyu Cho. He is Korean graphic designer and currently drawing web comic strips in Daum, one of Korea’s major web portals. When you look at his work, the structure of his line work is quite simple which is composed of a combination of bold outer line and thin inner line for little bit of details. However, the way how he puts this simplicity together creates a miraculous harmony with a powerful color.

           Gyung-Gyu Cho studied graphic design in PRATT Institute in New York. After he graduated, he started working as an illustrator, graphic artist, and comic artist in Korea. His recent works are Chinese Bong Bong Club and Panda Dance series, and he is currently drawing a comic strip titled Omurice Jam Jam about which a relationship between foods and his family.
Cho usually uses a line without pressure and vivid primary colors. Strong sense of color and a use of simple flat lines like old posters in 80s could be acknowledged as a bit tacky. However, unlike modern art’s hidden message veiled with numerous detailed textures and filters, Cho’s art world intensively and bluntly delivers his raw idea to audiences.

For example, in this illustration he drew for a cartoon magazine Poptoon, although Cho used modern-technology(Photoshop) to draw, rough touch of a pen, shading composed only with fine lines, and color choice of vividness recalls reminiscence of former cartoon styles and covers. Additionally, even the character’s expressions such as wide opened eyes and crying with amusement are overly exaggerated like how actors did in old films. Gyung-Gyu Cho stated about his vintage style that, “There was the day when these kind of styles were stylish. Even when I was young, robots like Mazinger were popular, and they weren't that sophisticated but full of ostentatious color. As with printouts, they were also with primary colors and considered as splendid instead of being kitsch. For me, I am still intrigued by those”(link). Now his taste of art soaked in memories is one of the minor styles, he still builds his own unique art with passion. Emerged with his love and confidence toward the style, I am always fascinated by his illustrations and start to meditate upon my good old days.

       The second but the biggest reason why I love his art is from storytelling skill. He starts with a matter that seems totally unrelated with his topic, and flawlessly connects to what he wants to show. For example, there was one episode about a tomato in his cartoon Omurice Jam Jam. At first, he talks about how his daughter loves to act as Disney princesses, and his son always supports her by taking roles of both prince and dwarf. Then, Cho points out a similarity between his son and a tomato that both of their roles are interchangeable –fruit and vegetable for tomato, and prince and dwarf for the son-, and he starts to explain a history of the tomato. As seen this episode, He harmonize incongruities with tiny dots of common between them. Uniting with his stream of consciousness, the audiences cross a river of his mind with a raft bound with ropes of the story.
           Because Gyung-Gyu Cho currently presents himself to the web only with his cartoons and portfolios, everybody who found him through the web doesn't know how he lives and what he does now. However, while the mystery of him, we are still able to know him because his artwork widely opens a window that connects to him. Surely the parts that were not shown on the art won't reveal their reality hiding in the dark, but strong aura of his arts connects the missing link between fragments of our perception towards his life.

         From an illustrator to comic artist, artist Gyung-Gyu Cho’s transformation is indeed dynamic. Because he takes majority of fame in the world of internet, Cho is known better from his sideline than his regular trade. Additionally, since he has such a distinctive and strong personality, his arts are usually not accepted to everyone. However, he doesn't care about other's eyes, but he describes himself by doing what he wants to do. Certainly his vintage-influenced art style and talented storytelling are also the reasons why I appreciate his art; however, his confidence and dignity as an artist always impresses me and makes me to look back my walk of life as an artist.

His portfolio page:
His collage art website:
His webtoon collection:

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