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[b]racket October 2014

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Editor’s Letter The art we make is not something we can take sole credit for. Everything we’ve ever experienced has had a hand in making us who we are, as well as what we create. Every friend we’ve made, every book we’ve read or song we’ve heard – they’ve all played a role in shaping our tastes and how we express ourselves. Perhaps one of the biggest influences on any form of self-expression is the environment in which we live. In Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical novel My Struggle, the writer admits that he has always desired to move from his home in Norway to Japan for the sole purpose of surrounding himself with the “foreignness” of the country. He wants to observe how the complete change of environment and way of life might influence his writing. It got me thinking about how many [b]racket artists are expats whose art has undoubtedly been influenced by simply being in Korea. I consider myself lucky to be able to witness work by these talented artists who have brought themselves to a foreign country and allowed the environment to permeate their artistic style, intentionally or otherwise. Korean born artists who fill the pages of [b]racket also bring with them a style that has been shaped in part by their homeland. No matter how much we want to believe that we are steadfast in our respective identities, they are probably more malleable than we’d like to admit. That’s why the [b]racket team thought the theme of Circumstantial Identity would be fitting for our second annual [b] list exhibition (which wraps up on October 2nd at Keimyung’s Daemyeong-dong campus). While the theme could mean something different from one person to the next, to me it most strongly represents the idea of how we express ourselves based on where we live. Location is circumstantial, and can change with frequency. As an artist I think that’s exciting – that a change in your surroundings can lead to experiences that will enhance and develop your creativity. Seeing these affectations manifest themselves in an artists’ work has interesting results, from Van Gogh’s insertion of African masks to Weiwei’s comments on western influence. If you’re an artist working in Korea, allow where you live to influence what you create. Absorb and internalize what you glean from being in a different place. You’ll never have the chance to make what you do here in any other place in the world. Lisa Highfill Digital Editor

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LEE YOON KYEONG *cover image

12

JESSICA MONTGOMERY

PRETTYLINEZ

LEE JAE HO

20

24

28

GOO HYUN SUNG

OTAKI

9 16

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Issue 22 October 2014

[b]racket Jess Hinshaw [editor in chief] Christopher Cote [design editor] Sybille Cavasin [words editor] Lisa Highfill [digital editor]

Chung Se Yong [advocacy director] Jacob Morris [digital developer] Lee Ryoon Kyeong [advertising manager]

artists Kim Nam Jin ~ nklingkk@gmail.com Whit Altizer ~ wpaltizer@gmail.com Seo Hee Joo, PhD ~ artnphil@hanmail.net John Shrader ~ ioannes.shrader@gmail.com Evgeniia Karmanova ~ evgeniia@naver.com

contact Support for [b]racket magazine is provided by B Communication

staff Lee Jae Ho ~ behance.net/monstart Yoon Kyeong Lee ~ ameamanda.com Otaki ~ arihureta@gmail.com Jessica Montgomery ~ jmontgomeryart. carbonmade.com/ PRETTYLINEZ ~ prettylinez@naver.com Goo Hyun Sung ~ ghs999@naver.com

writers bracketmagazinekorea.com bracket.magazine@gmail.com facebook.com/bracketMagazine

support  7


Jeng iy Since 1994

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N Bangwoldang

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Banwoldang Banwoldang Station

대구 중구 동성로3가 8-8 010.8594.5011 010.8594.5011 facebook.com/Jeng-iy facebook.com/Jeng-iy (동성로 쟁이)


OTAKI

T

he subjects of Otaki’s work haven’t lived easy lives. They have labored, struggled, loved and lost. Yet their struggles aren’t overt and their faces don’t ooze with emotion -- it’s their stoicism that makes them authentic. Otaki lets their bodies, wrinkles and eyes tell a story. He lets his art and his subjects speak for themselves. Working with pencil, most of Otaki’s art is black and white. The cover of his graphic novel, BULSUNMUL, has black printing on black stock. This color scheme (or lack thereof) almost makes the pieces feel dark by default. The subjects don’t necessarily lighten the mood either. Their faces, realistic and stoic, betray what the subject is feeling. They are people who seem to have been photographed when they were at their most emotionally hungry and tired. They are desperate and dark with nothing to hide the fear and hardships in their lives. It may take time for viewers to feel the emotions being expressed in Otaki’s illustrations. Seeing his work is similar to hearing an album for the first time; listen once and you miss its depth. Listen again and a bigger picture comes into focus. The beat and rhythm stand out at first, but further exploration leads to more understanding of what the artist is actually saying. This is especially apt because Otaki draws a lot of his artistic inspiration from music. His hand drawn images can be traced back to the rhythms, beats and lyrics of hip hop and jazz which are his primary musical passions. In BULSUNMUL (where some of these

drawings are borrowed from) the main character is constantly picking through his extensive collection of LP’s. An array of jazz and hip hop album sleeves are found in his hands as he sifts through his existence. These styles of music evoke chaos and darkness, complexities and history. They were created to express the emotional and difficult history of African Americans for the world to know, and Otaki’s artwork echoes such themes. Otaki’s restraint in style actually makes his subject’s emotions more palpable. Their eyes, faces and postures convey what they can’t or wouldn’t say. In one piece, titled “Hip Hop Portrait” (page 11), a man looks out toward the horizon. His mouth is neutral. His beard is neatly trimmed. His eyes, half-open, look tired. Though exhausted, he doesn’t look defeated. There is still strength and pride in his gaze. In glaring contrast, Otaki also strips human relationships bare. In another piece, “Underground” (page 10) there are two men sitting in a cluttered room. At first glance it looks like an unorganized radio station. Then you notice a DJ glaring back at you, with a cigarette between his lips and an automatic weapon slung over his shoulder. Posters and art clutter the floors and walls of the room. Above him prayer flags hang from the ceiling, and a poster reading “Where there is love there is life.” These are reminders that we all seek love and take pleasure in art, but violence still somehow permeates our best intentions and separates us in spite of our similarities. Looking at Otaki’s subjects is like meeting a  9


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stranger for the first time. There is a wall between you and their thoughts. But if you look harder, at the lines on their faces, the tiredness in their eyes and the environment they are in, you can begin to see a story. It is to our detriment that we usually fail to take time to learn more about other

people and truly look them in the eye. But Otakiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work can remind us of the stories worth seeking, and that art helps aid us in understanding each other. [b] Whit Altizer

October 2014 [b]racketâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; 11


LEE YOON KYEONG

A

mutual friend introduced me to Lee Yoon Kyeong earlier this year as a possible assistant for [b]racket magazine. I had no idea what an integral part of the magazine she would become. Her tireless help with translation and her dedication to finding support for us is a big part of why we are where we are. Possibly her greatest talent though is her work with the camera. Yoon-Kyeong, who also goes by Amanda, recently chatted with me about her work and thoughts on the photographic medium. Jess Hinshaw What was your first camera? Lee Yoon Kyeong My first camera was a Nikon film camera, which was my father’s. He bought it

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when he went on a business trip in Japan. Later when I was a high school student I used my homeroom teacher’s camera. I finally bought a DSLR Canon D500 and a 18-55mm lens when I was a freshman. For this body of work I used a Canon D500 and a 24-70mm lens I rented from a friend. JH You weren’t always going down the path of art. What were you originally studying? LYK I started to take photos when I was a high school student but at that time I wasn’t thinking about my future. My homeroom teacher gave me a chance to take some photos. He suggested that I take the photos for the class photo album. I didn’t have my own digital camera so he lent me his. For the

project, I took photos of classmates and other school events. When I began university I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to do photography, so I entered Keimyung University as a general major. In my second semester as a freshman I took darkroom and color photo classes. By the time I decided to choose Photography as my major it was too late. I wasn’t sure what photos I wanted to take and I had other problems because of the Korean system of entering an art program. When I was a sophomore, I had to decide on my major but I could only choose from the social and science areas. I figured Journalism was the most closely related to Photography so I chose that. Even though I was a Journalism student I kept taking Photography classes, finally gradu-


ating with a double major. JH What is it about photography that intrigues you? LYK The moment I release the shutter, time stops... to me that is very attractive. The picture, which in that instant in time is also deep inside of me, is what attracts me about photography. What I keep to myself and the things I want to hide are reflected in my pictures. I want to show myself through my photos, and by doing this I expect others will understand my thoughts. JH So you see the camera as a way to get an idea of an

individual’s “true self.” I guess still life photography can’t do that. LYK I thought I loved still life photos. But when I started photographing people last year, I fell in love with portraiture. In the future I want to focus more on people’s dreams and nude photography. JH Tell me about the Overlap body of work. How did you start overlapping images, and using duplicates? LYK I actually got the idea from a Maroon5 album image and I wanted to take a photo like it. I was thinking about how to take the photo and I was looking for nude photo books and trying photoshop. I’d like to


LYK Life turns into non-stop creation. JH What do you think a camera can do that other art mediums can’t? LYK I think a photo is the best tool to remember a moment. Photos are able to archive memories. JH Doesn’t video do that too? LYK Video is good too, but it doesn’t capture a specific moment the way a photo does. JH Though your other photographic work has both men and women, the Overlap work focuses on the female form. Why is that? LYK I always want to try something new, and I’d never done nude photography. When I started the Overlap series I was taking a portrait seminar class. I decided to try it out after looking through some photography books. In university there weren’t that many students that were willing to try nude photos. JH So the female in the pictures is you? LYK Yes, they are nude self portraits. It was difficult to do. At that time I didn’t have much experience with the technical aspects of such a project. But it turned out to be fun! JH What do you do when you aren’t feeling creative? How do you start your process? LYK I usually draw something or note something that I’ve done creatively. I try to think about how my work can be interesting to the viewer. I want them to look at my work and wonder how I did it.

try various way to express the body. JH Did you know the album cover was done by an amateur photographer (Rosie Hardy)? The band just found her work on Flickr.

JH You seem to value the emotive side of photography as well as the technical. LYK I think the emotive side is much more important. The technical side is important too though. The technical side helps or gives the photographer a chance to make creative things, but to me the emotive can bring my inner feelings out. [b] Jess Hinshaw

LYK No, I didn’t know that. At the time I started this body of work I didn’t know about sites like Flickr. JH There is so much to know about and see as far as art goes. I think it’s a lot more work than it used to be to get your stuff out there. What is the hardest thing about being an artist?

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GOO HYUN SUNG

W

ith contemporary styles and influences emerging from every corner of the world, comics have become a more compelling, influential and respected form of art. They are not solely for entertainment value, but also powerful implements for broadcasting social problems in a very artistic but readable manner. Comic book artist Goo Hyung Sung reveals a modern style of illustration which he uses as a tool to draw attention to societal issues around the world. Goo has been interested in manhwa (a Korean term for comics and cartoons), and Japanese style comics since he was a child. His practice has also been greatly influenced by Umezu Kazuo, an artist whose work is famous for the sense of horror it evokes. Kazuo is known for experimenting with different styles and techniques, creating pulp images that are haunting and provocative. Goo’s affinity for Kazau’s imagery has forced him to challenge himself and push the boundaries of his own work. He explores different approaches, color palettes and materials to make work that can reach and hold on to audiences at first glance. 16 

This drive to illustrate can only lead to one path. Instead of dedicating his time to a mundane desk job, Goo has chosen to devote his life to drawing. He started creating manhwa illustrations one year ago, and from that time comics and illustrations have become his chief focus and enjoyment. His professionalism has led to him being picked up by Quang, a Korean comic publishing house. He spends most of his time making art or contemplating new approaches for his next piece. Like most artists, Goo draws for enjoyment, but also as a way to communicate his own personal experiences and ideas of the world. A spectator’s first impression of Goo’s work might be that it is a bit gloomy, but his work strives to serve as a sort of springboard for discussion. One of his pieces titled “Personality God” (page 18) can come off as negative, maybe even demonic, upon first glance. However, the tentacles peeling out of the eye sockets are in actuality social commentary. There are many different ideas of God and worship, making religion a heated topic and something many people are happy to avoid. Religion may lead some to peace, while taking others to war. Goo’s approach with this work was to


October 2014 [b]racketâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; 17


represent all of the conflicting emotions that are a result of so many different spiritual views. Another work titled “Hell Raiser” (page 16) portrays a robot designed to harmonize hostile countries. We are taught by the actions of our governments that the only chance to preserve peace among mighty nations is for each one to own powerful weapons of mass destruction. While this subject matter might not be new to comic books, it begs to become a catalyst for discussion on a very relevant topic: the ironic and terrifying idea that deadly weapons make people safe, and nuclear weapons will make them even safer. It isn’t all doom and despair though. Aesthetically contrasting his other works, “In Space Tonight” projects a more positive vibe to Goo’s audience. He employs bright, saturated colors that feel more at home in a coloring book than in reality. This light

hearted image of extra terrestrial musicians takes us to a different place. It serves as a welcome distraction from reality and is an example of Goo’s work that is more in line with the traditional playfulness that is often associated with comic art. Goo Hyun Sung uses his work to observe the problems that exist in modern society (and sometimes give us relief from that reality). He illustrates his views on current events and social mores in a playful yet intentional manner. On the surface they are comics, plain and simple, but there is more there if one wants to take a closer look. This affords the viewer the option of engaging with the issue at hand, or sidestepping it altogether. In the world of comics what’s more important, the idea or the execution? [b] Evgeniia Karmanova

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T

he first thing Jessica Montgomery’s work brings to mind is water – or the memory of water. Not a trickle, not a drop, but the very teaming, churning depths of it. The oeuvre of this Michigan native celebrates the majesty and power of our oceans and also warns us of our impact on a seemingly unassailable entity. Montgomery creates ink and oil washes over mylar to achieve different water-like effects. She says she loves “drawing on mylar because of its smooth texture and the beating it can take with multiple materials.” The aqueous nature of applying fluid mediums to plastic lends itself to the subject matter. The layers of her work add an extra visual depth, hinting to viewers that there is great power deep under the surface of each piece. Spectators are greeted by the raw primeval force of the ocean in Montgomery’s emerald piece “Sea Cosmos III” (page 22). The title reminds us that bodies of water are whole worlds in and of themselves, exotic and mysterious to those of us who have adapted to land. The powerful representation of the ocean and its depths is offset by the artists’ green hues, which could be a reference to the greenery we see on land. The duality of the roles of the ocean, both mother and provider, come to light in “Sea Cosmos III” . While terrifying in her anger, the ocean gives us whatever bounty we need. The artist also tackles issues of greed in her work. The wet aesthetic of “Roe” (page 23) seems to suggest water, but instead of brimming with life looks something more akin to the Martian landscape -- a barren land with mere memories of water. Viewers of this piece take on the roll of planetary

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JESSICA MONTGOMERY

October 2014 [b]racket  21


The wet aesthetic... seems to suggest water, but instead of brimming with life looks something more akin to the Martian landscape... explorers, tracing desiccated ocean beds. Montgomery shows us that although we are destructive, somewhere life will lie in wait to spring up again without us, adapted to new conditions. Here the landscape is void of its previous vegetation, but brimming with the beginnings of new life. “Pier Crab” (page 20-21) on the other hand feels much more ominous. “Pier Crab” shares the tonality and palette of “Roe” but with one addition: a charcoal drawn crustacean. Through a pessimistic lens, this crab represents a distant memory of our future ancient seas. Like the caves of Lascaux, one of our descendants will want to keep alive a memory of the sea that was important to her. Through earthtones and seafoam, Montgomery paints a beautiful disaster. As waves crash and waters vanish, sea-life is threatened. Many wonder what will happen if the human race continues down this path of disregard towards our oceans. Our responsibility to it is to respect its power and fear its absence. This is the poignant message that Montgomery wants us to leave with. [b] John Shrader

October 2014 [b]racket  23


PRETTYLINEZ

터뷰를 요청 한 메일을 보내고 얼마 지나지 않아서

부끄러움도 떨쳐내게 하는 커다란 무기가 되기 때문이다. 만약 열

한통의 메일이 왔다. 그리고 글을 읽어내려가는 내

정이 운명과 만난다면 그 시너지는 엄청나게 커질 것이다. 지금

머리속에는 ‘열정’이라는 단어가 떠나지 않았다. 자

하는 이 이야기는 친구의 친구이야기가 아니라 박정현 작가의 이

신의 작업을 사랑하고 새로운것을 좋아하고 열심히 보고 듣고 느

야기라고 보면 되겠다.

끼고 표현하는 모습에 ‘열정’이라는 단어 짝꿍같은 표현 일지도

음악을 좋아해 소리를 시각화 하기도 하고 공상적인 장면들

모른다. 사람을 좋아하고 호기심이 많고 음악을 사랑하는 박정

을 머릿 속으로 그려왔던 버릇들이 고스란히 상상력이 되어 작업

현작가는 ‘즐거운 경향, 노선’ 이라는 의미를 담은 “PRETTYLI-

에 반영되어졌다. 이런 상상력은 고스란히 작업 방법에도 들어난

NEZ” (프리티라인즈)라는 이름으로 활동을 하고 있고 사람들과

다. 순수미술을 전공한 작가이지만 그래픽 디자인에도 관심을 많

의 소통을 항상 생각하고 있다. 사람과 사람 그리고 그 안에서 느

이 가지게 되고 회화적인 느낌과 그래픽적 요소를 혼합하려는 시

껴지는 또 다른 에너지들은 작가에게 영감을 주고 상상력을 일으

도를 지금도 계속 하고 있는 작업중에 하나다. 작가의 작업은 크

킨다. 그리고 그 상상력을 ‘미술’이라는 즐거움으로 표현된다. 그

게 그래픽 콜라주, 페인팅, 영상 작업으로 나누어 진다. 요즘은 주

림을 그리는 친구들을 만나면 흔히들 듣는 이야기가 있다. 어릴때

로 그래픽 콜라주 작업들이 많이 보여지고 있다. 그래픽 꼴라주는

부터 그림을 그리면 항상 칭찬을 받고 그림이 당연시 느껴지고 어

과거의 사진을 현재의 이미지와 접목시켜 오묘하고 센스있는 모

느 순간부터 운명으로 받아들여 그림을 그리는 사람으로 살아가

습으로 나타난다. 컬러풀한 원색포인트들과 실제적 이미지들을

는 친구들에 대한 이야기를 말이다. 하지만 이 흔한 이야기는 미

콜라주 함으로써 비현실적이며 꿈같은 이미지들이 탄생한다. 과

술을 사랑하는 사람에게는 굉장히 특별한 이야기가 된다. 운명으

거에 실존했던 1900년대 인물들의 사진들을 실존하는 현실의 현

로 받아들인 시점부터 ‘미술’이란것은 젊은 청춘들에게 두려움도

상들을 투사하여 가공된 현상과 환영의 상황들로 재구성함으로써

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26â&#x20AC;&#x201A; [b]racket October 2014


사람과의 소통, 관계의 시작, 삶에대한 물음 그리고 시간 조각의

끼게 된다. 그리고 보는이들에게도 작가와 같은 기쁨이 전달되기

재배열을 볼 수 있다. 가볍고 유희적인 상황들이 과거에 존재 했

를 바라며 여전히 다양한 꿈과 즐거운 상상의 세계를 존재한다는

었고 존재의 증거인 사진들의 조각들은 현재의 컬러플한 이미지

보여주기위해 노력하고 고민하고 있다. 작가에게 미술은 현실의

들과 접목되면서 작가에게서 지금은 사라진 과거의 사람들이 한

고단한 일상을 치유해 줄 수 있는 시각적 즐거움이 크게 차지하고

편으로는 새 삶을 부여하는 것 같은 느낌을 주기도 한다. 무채색

있다. 한편의 즐거운 판타지영화를 본듯한 느낌이 아마 작가가 추

의 과거와 컬러플한 현재는 어쩌면 흘러가는 우리의 시간에 대한

구하는 ‘미술’이라는 장르가 아닐까 한다. 호기심 많고 항상 열정

작가의 이야기가 아닐까. 지금도 흘러가는 시간은 계속해서 과거

이 넘치는 작가는 지금도 새로운 도전을 멈추고 있지 않다. 작가

를 낳고 현재는 지나가고 있다. 다가오는 미래는 컬러플해 보이지

의 20대 초반의 무거움이 지금은 즐거운 상상들로 승화되었듯이

만 잡을 수 없는 미로같은 존재다. 그래서 일까 박정현작가의 그

작가의 작업은 보는 많은 사람들이 유쾌해지고 작업 안에서 위안

림은 과거의 사람들이 잡지 못한 미래의 신기루와 함께 하고 있는

받기를 작가는 바라고 있다. 유쾌한 상상의 이미지로 함께 가 보

모습처럼 보여서 기하학적으로 보이기도 하지만 한편으로 꿈처럼

도록 하자 내가 느껴던 열정을 여러분들도 충분히 느낄 수 있을꺼

자유로워 보이기도한다.

라고 나 또한 믿고 있다.

열아홉 어린나이부터 타지생활을 시작한 작가는 사람과의 관 계에 관심이 많아지게 된다. 현실에 대한 무거움은 반대편의 상상

[b] Kim Nam Jin

의 세계를 더 크게 만들었고 그 세계를 시각화 하면서 기쁨을 느

  27


LEE JAE HO

실몽실한 몸통, 강아지 같기도 하고 쥐 같기도 한 얼

을 괴물이라는 단어로 지칭한다. 경우에 따라서는 인간 존재 자체

굴, 부엉이 얼굴에 동물의 몸을 한 기괴한 생명체, 우

가 이 지구상에서 괴물이기도 하다. 무분별한 자연개발, 전쟁, 폭

리가 알고 있는 어떤 동물의 형상과도 유사하지만 그

력, 제3세계 미성년자 노동력 착취 등 현대인들 스스로가 괴물이

렇다고 특정 동물과 닮았다고 할 수 없는 형상을 한 생명체가 화

되고 있을지 모른다. 어쨌든 우리의 일상에서 만나게 되는 괴물들

면 가득 자신의 존재를 드러낸다. 이 특이한 형상들의 창조자인

은 이야기 속에서보다 신문이나 방송에서 더 많이 접하게 되는 것

이재호 작가는 이것들을 몬스터(monster)라고 소개한다. 몬스터

같다. 인간이 만든 상상의 존재는 시대에 흐름에 따라 은유적 표

는 우리 말로 표현하자면 괴물이나 괴수이다. 이 괴물이나 괴수는

현의 대상이 되면서 이야기 속에 존재하는 공포의 대상이 아니라

동서양에서 유사한 의미로 사용된다. 물론 그 형상은 각기 다르지

현실에도 존재하는 공포의 대상이 된 것이다.

만 전 세계의 고대 전설이나 신화에서 괴물은 영웅과 대립적인 존

그렇다면 이재호의 작품에 등장하는 괴물은 무엇을 의미하는

재로 등장하고 있는데 이 괴물들은 인간 내부의 폭력성과 동물의

것일까? 괴물이 작품에 등장한다고 이야기하면 다수의 사람들은

형태가 기묘하게 결합되어 나타난다. 시대가 변화면서 신화시대

부정적인 의미를 가진 대상을 상징하는 무엇을 그렸었을 것이라

의 괴물들과 현대의 괴물들은 다른 형식으로 등장한다. 전설과 신

고 생각한다. 그러나 그의 작품에서 괴물은 우리가 일반적으로 떠

화의 괴물들이 동물과 인간의 결합을 통해서 인간이 갖고 있는 동

올리는 괴물처럼 보이지 않는다. 애니메이션을 즐기는 사람이라

물성을 이미지화되었다면 현대의 괴물들은 인간이다. 현대 사회

면 일본 만화 ‘이웃집 토토르’의 순수한 마음을 가지지 않으면 만

에서는 일반적으로 잔악 무도한 인간이나 천륜을 어긴 사람들 등

날 수 없는 숲의 정령(토토르)을 떠올리게 된다. 코믹 애니매이션

28 


을 즐긴다면 디즈니 애니메이션 ‘몬스터 주식회사’에 등장하는 설

이것은 그가 예술가로 성장하게 된 원동력이 되었고 지금은 이

리라는 몬스터가 머리 속에 그려질 것이다. 이재호의 작품에 등장

몬스터를 통해서 자신의 존재 확인을 넘어서 사회적 관계망에서

하는 괴물들은 이런 캐릭터와 상당히 유사하다. 그래서 인지 그는

개인의 존재에 대한 확장된 개념으로 작용하고 있다. 어린 시절의

자신이 창조한 생명체들을 괴물이나 괴수라는 우리말로 지칭하지

만화적 이미지가 자신의 성장과 함께 예술적 주제로서 성장한 셈

않고 몬스터라는 영어를 사용한다. 그 이유는 괴물이나 괴수는 우

이다. 다시 말하자면, 그는 그림을 통해서 어릴 시절 자신의 상처

리의 정서나 언어적 표현에서 위협적이고 두려운 대상으로 느껴

를 스스로 치유하고 극복하면서 그림도 같이 성장한 것이다. 그러

지지만 몬스터는 여러 애니메이션에서 사람들을 괴롭히지만 겁이

나 그의 몬스터는 여전히 소극적인 이미지가 잠재되어 있다. 그

많거나 미워할 수 없는 대상으로 그려져 왔기 때문이다. 따라서

것은 성인이 되어서도 우리는 학교나 또래 집단보다 더 크고 힘

그가 자신이 창조한 것들을 몬스터라고 표현하는 이유는 아마도

든 사회적 관계 안에서 살아가고 있기 때문이다. 이재호의 몬스터

우리가 가지고 있는 언어적 표현의 느낌 때문이라고 생각된다.

에는 그런 현대인의 모습이 보인다. 그림의 배경에서 살짝 얼굴을

이재호의 그림에 등장하는 몬스터들은 어릴 적 자신이자 오늘

내밀고 자신의 존재를 드러내기 힘들어하는 몬스터, 전면에 얼굴

의 자신이다. 그리고 우리 자신이 될 수도 있다. 그의 몬스터가 창

을 들이 내밀고 위협적임을 과시하는 몬스터, 순수하고 사랑스럽

조된 것은 어릴 적 시절로 거슬러 올라 간다. 그는 내성적이라 친

게 보이는 몬스터 등 현대인의 다양한 모습을 담아내고 있다. 그

구들과 어울려 노는 것이 힘들었다고 한다. 우리가 쉽게 상상할

의 그림에 등장하는 몬스터에 시선을 빼앗겼다가 우리는 그림에

수 있듯이 이런 성격의 소유자들은 학교나 또래 집단에서 외톨이

서 또 다른 모습을 발견하게 된다. 그것은 바로 몬스터를 창조한

거나 따돌림 받기 쉬운 아이가 된다. 그리고 혼자 놀 수 있는 자신

작가이다. 캔버스에서 대형 벽화까지 자신의 열정을 쏟아내는 그

만의 놀이 방법을 찾게 마련이다. 이재호의 경우, 그것은 그림이

의 작업은 그려진 몬스터의 존재보다 강하게 드러나기도 한다. 자

었다. 처음에는 장난감, 만화영화, 만화책이 친구가 되었고 조금씩

유로운 표현 방식과 다양한 색채 표현은 감상자를 압도하기에 충

이 이미지를 그리게 되었던 것이다. 친구의 부재 대신 그는 흥미

분하다. 그래서 우리는 그의 강한 내적인 힘을 작품에서 느끼게

진진한 이미지가 가득한 친구를 발견한 것이다. 그런데 그가 만화

된다. 그의 몬스터들은 현대인의 다양한 내적 모습에 대한 은유적

책 등에서 본 몬스터 캐릭터는 일반적으로 작가 자신과는 완전히

표현이라면 그의 자유롭고 과감한 드로잉과 색채는 내적인 힘의

반대의 성향을 가지고 있다. 만화책에 등장하는 몬스터들은 공포

발산을 드러낸다. 그의 작품이 가지고 있는 이러한 내용과 형식이

의 대상이거나 사람을 괴롭히는 짓궂은 존재이다. 그가 자신만의

우리를 사로잡는 매력으로 작용하는 것 같다.

몬스터를 창조한 것도 이러한 이유일 것이다. 소극적이고 늘 혼자 였던 자신과는 반대의 이미지를 가진 몬스터의 존재는 어린 이재 호의 관심을 충분히 끌었을 것이다. 그렇게 몬스터 그리기는 놀이 이자 외톨이인 자신의 존재감을 확인하고 위안받을 수 있는 행위 가 되었던 것이다.

[b] Seo Hee Joo, PhD


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October 2014  
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Otaki, Lee Yoon Kyeong, Goo Hyun Sung, Jessica Montgomery, Prettylines, Lee Jae Ho

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