Since we last spoke to Seoul-based graphic designer Jieun Yang, she has continued to refine her practice; stepping out of her comfort zone in exploring different formats and mediums, and giving a greater consideration to expression and approaches to the digital space. This experimentation was what kept Jieun’s creativity motivated across the Covid-19 pandemic, explaining that “this year I focused more on how to translate my ideation phase into various styles and textures,” noting that “I could regain my motivation through my fellow graphic designers’ ongoing activities, and by practicing new and unfamiliar tools,” despite the loss of several projects and the postponement of even more.
A fascinating recent project of Jieun’s saw her creating the identity for Art Sonje Center’s exhibition Night Turns to Day, showcasing five female artist’s work discussing the change, or lack thereof, appertaining to contemporary female narratives. The striking branding was applied digitally and physically, taking inspiration from the evening twilight, utilising the gradual changing of colour and the vivid compositions that arise. Dynamically flaunted in the exhibition catalogue, Jieun recalls the process of the identity’s creation, explaining that “I set up a background, by reproducing colours of twilight into gradients, and put information on the colours where the sun nears.” In turn creating a system of gradual gradients revealing more as you turn each page, the end result is an enticing book that sits perfectly between function and artistry.
Currently infatuated with 3D and 2D mobile games such as Kart Rider, Jieun has been finding inspiration in the surface texture and costume design of characters, as well as “the transitions and various animation effects,” of the interactive format. With an intrigue for the simultaneous 3D renderings of characters modelling with 2D animated textures, it’s no surprise where Jieun found her inspiration for the music video Magic Pocket, by the pop band LEENALCHI.
A collaboration with Oreo Studio, PRESS ROOM and studioTDL, the music video tells the tale of a rabbit escaping the danger of an eagle (following its escape from a dragon’s palace after being tricked by a turtle in a previous music video...). “We made its stage and characters with 3D graphic animation,” Jieun explains, crafting a plot based on the song’s narrative. Dealing with the comprehensive details of the project, Jieun wore many different hats; from character design and video production to 3D production and plotting movement; 3D production by Handi Kim. The final music video is a tour-de-force of the weird and wonderful, unapologetically thriving within the space that lies between maximalism and madness. Through 3D characters, 2D illustrations, pared-back typography with stock photography and video, alongside a catchy tune to match, Jieun’s video will leave you with a sense of bewilderment but also a massive smile.
What has remained the case for Jieun’s work, whether it’s a refined exhibition catalogue or a bemusing and bizarre music video, is a sense of authorship and the demonstration that considered work doesn’t delineate dull, minimalist outcomes. No matter what the project, Jieun injects her intuitive sensibilities of personality, questioning, refinement and candour – arising in work that is confident not just in its precision and consideration, but importantly in its oddity.
GalleryJieun Yang (Copyright © Jieun Yang, 2020)
Jieun Yang: Night Turns to Day (Copyright © Jieun Yang, 2020)
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. He nows works as a freelance writer and designer, and is one half of Studio Ground Floor.