Enter a fantastical space village imagined by Korean illustrator Lookandraw. Illustrations of astronauts, cats, and a cheesecake-dwelling narwhal populate Korean artist Lookandraw’s space-faring Instagram account. Each drawing feels like a small puzzle piece of a vibrant community that happens to be freefloating in space.
Ha Gyung Lee (aka NAKI) is a Korean born illustrator who graduated from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in illustration. She specializes in both traditional and digital mediums, creating complex – but elegant – line based artwork.
Her pieces combine themes of mysticism inspired by anime and Japanese culture with an air of solemnity, arranged into striking compositions often accentuated with plants from the memories of her grandmother’s garden.
Brooklyn based artist Mi Ju received her BFA in painting and drawing at Yeungnam University and the San Francisco Art Institute. Later Mi went on to earn her MFA in painting and drawing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Her work is an improvisation in liminality: between dream and concretized, ancient and contemporary, Korea and the West, ephemeral and eternal, the uncensored and codified. Each character, pattern and energy reflects states of consciousness that are revealed in the creative act, a form of both improvisation and organization wherein the uncensored is working in concert with momentary, yet specific compositional organizations. It is Ju’s intention that the work will be a place of meeting between memory, dream and fantasy, and concretized into meaningful visual terms.
Las Vegas based artist Amy Sol spent her childhood years in Korea. Though the style of her work is greatly influenced by a combination of manga, folk-art, vintage illustration and modern design, she remains a self taught artist.
She has dedicated many years of her life mixing pigments and mediums to achieve a unique color palette of subtly muted tones. The artist works intuitively from the beginning to end of each piece, with the intent that each painting’s theme or message can be interpreted subjectively. Sol’s works are characterized by young maidens in dream-like nature settings with oversized or sometimes fanciful creatures.
Smooth and weird characters created by Jun Seo Hahm. Hahm is an animation director, graphic designer and media artist based in Seoul, Korea. His current work is focused on digital expression of biology inspired life-forms in editable time and space. After studying art theory in Korea and experimental animation at Cal Arts USA, he worked at Bent Image Lab in Portland as a designer and director for 5 years, and then Cheil Worldwide in Seoul as a planner for 2 years. Check out Jun’s animations.
Daehyun Kim was born in 1980 in Seoul. After graduating from university, he started to draw his characteristic drawings, called “Moonassi series”. Daehyun also worked as a graphic designer, marketing manager, and art director at various companies for several years. Since he started working with The New York Times as an illustrator, he sometimes collaborates also with other artists and brands.
“I’ve been making a series of drawing, called ‘Moonassi’ since 2008. Moonassi is my artist name, which means similar to the Buddhist term “Anatta”. From the beginning, I wanted to draw something I really know and something I really can speak about. It was my inner feelings and my intimate relations that give me various emotions. My drawings are all about me and others. What I like to create is a drawing as an empty space between me and viewer, so that people can talk and find their own story from my drawings. I only use black colour because it’s simple and enough to depict. I draw on a small paper because it’s convenient.” – Daehyun Kim
Korean Artist, Jin Young Yu, shows you what it’s like to behold “invisible people.” These life size human and animal sculptures exacerbate the humanity involved in being transparent individuals and families. Yu captures the essence of man’s defense mechanisms- playing roles of happiness by wearing their metaphorical and quite literal masks. Though the individuals and families present themselves to be “happy” or “smiling” when greeting a guest (even the dog has a mask), the true state of transparency is the silence, melancholy and fear that lie within.
Yu’s sculptures are an investment of time and artistic expression. The artist carefully sculpts a clay human form and makes a plaster cast out of it. She then layers the mold with PVC (the glass like substance that is truly transparent and doesn’t warp or disfigure objects behind it), adding heat to the PVC sheets in order to fit the plaster mold. This is a painstaking process that Yu is lovingly dedicated to.
To know one’s self is to be able to observe one’s self. It is to know that the external world is a mere mirror of one’s internal world and that all is connected as one in this vast, yet narrow space we call life.
A relentless explorer of the inner self is Korean artist, Seungyea Park, otherwise known as Spunky Zoe.
Park uses pen and acrylic to artistically express the journey of fear that permeates in the inner self, which she calls, “Monstrousness.” She analyzes the archaic systems in place that use fear and horror to maintain imbalances of justice in the world; fear being the dominant construct that is used to control and subdue people. After all, it is in our primitive nature to orient towards danger, to be prepared for fight, flight, freeze and in the case of the consciousness of the masses, hypnotic paralysis that shuts us down and leaves us comfortably numb to everything around us.
Park’s intriguing art work captivates my attention as I gaze into the juxtaposition of her dark side with the beauty and skill she produces as an act of love. The template of her work is drawn from observing and documenting the contradictions of the “I” inside of herself with the “I” outside of herself. Her knowledge and heightened awareness, combined with mesmerizing artistic skill, will leave my “I” coming back for more.
Mi-Kyung Choi, who goes by the name, ENSEE, is a Korean digital artist and illustrator. Her illustrations reverberate profound beauty in stillness as if capturing moments of the organizational and curious thoughts that stream through her life. The kind of art that takes stillness into a familiar place of love and beauty. A place we often forget within our own selves.
Some of the images appear to be self-portraits that conceal, and yet reveal, her essence and unique talent.