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Creative leaders tell how their designs changed the world

The third session of iDEA Herald Design Forum 2011, “Culture and Design,” kicked off with a keynote speech by Chung Joon-mo, curator and general director of the Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2011.

He discussed the roles of curators and critics, and the role of art museums, galleries and exhibitions with panelists before opening the discussion.

Three famous South Korean speakers ― Myung Films CEO Shim Jae-myung, animation character designer Choi Sang-hyun and pop artist Mari Kim ― continued the discussion under the theme “Design, How it Changed the World.”

CEO Shim, who produced over 30 films including “The Contact,” “Happy End” and “Joint Security Area,” recently met her best lady luck: the record-breaking animation flick “Leafie, a Hen into the Wild.” In the third session, which took place after two sessions with different topics, she talked about the artistic designs of the film.

“It is different from Hollywood animations ― it does not have a typical American happy ending but the main character sacrifices herself and dies. After pondering on the fitting art concept, we came up with the idea of oriental paintings. The animation therefore contains the four seasons and familiar animals of Korea,” said Shim.

The film wrote a new chapter in the history of Korean animation by attracting more than 2 million viewers. It was favorably commented upon by critics as well. Shim was recently selected as one of the “10 Producers to Watch” by U.S. magazine Variety. 
Curator Chung Joon-mo speaks at Session III. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
Curator Chung Joon-mo speaks at Session III. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)

Choi, the creator of the mega hit animation “Pororo the Little Penguin” shared the secrets of making such a successful animation character, saying he had no idea that the character would become so popular when he first created it.”

“I was a total newbie. But I did think at the time, that if I complete the project successfully, my life might change,” said Choi.

He added that he is always colorless, ready to take orders from his commissioners, and that he hopes to continue his beloved job for a long time.

Pop artist Mari Kim, known for the funky female characters in her “Eyedoll” series, recently attracted media attention after designing popular K-pop group 2NE1’s new album jacket and music video. She created animated characters of the group’s members by making different versions of her popular character.

During the session, Kim shared the stories behind her works and discussed the future of such collaborations here. Many pop artists have worked with musicians worldwide, such as Murakami Takashi’s collaboration with Kanye West or Andy Warhol’s with the Rolling Stones, but her case is the first in Korea.

By Park Min-young (claire@heraldcorp.com)
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