I think this was from March 2013. I discovered Gi Seok Cho through “Style Log”, he was such a fanboy of Lee Soo Hyuk, that I had to check out his work which I find quite hypnotizing. And while I was going through the interviews on Cuvism mag, I noticed this one. I decided to translate this for ktothemoon@tumblr.
Please introduce yourself.
Hello. I’m 21 year-old Cho Gi Seok, designer and editor of Eloquence magazine.
When I look at your artwork, I think you either draw eyes or you mostly hide behind full body painting or objects. Is there any specific reason for that?
The common subject of my work is human pretence, I’m expressing aspects like human hypocrisy. I think about these things and I start working. In the case of using eyes, the message is to look straight at things. While being confronted to things like people pretending to be who they’re not, their hypocrisy, I want to live with honesty. If you take the example of the photoshoots with body painting or hiding faces or when the face is painted, it’s to show the veil of pretence people wear. When it comes to body painting, it’s to show a strong image like a strong-looking warrior. I sometimes make self-portraits.
You’re talking about self-portraits, are things like pretence and hypocrisy the reason you want to look strong?
When I was a kid, I was an outcast. After being in this situation, I told myself I should become stronger. While living a life sometimes bad, sometimes fun, I got into college. Inside of the college world, I felt that my image was also fake. I was confused about who I was. It seems like my identity was born from this.
When I look at your drawings, it seems like your work is also related to fashion sometimes.
Yes, I’m really interested in fashion. This is something I want to try to do later on. I have artworks where I dye things or follow a pattern or use a graphic design. There are already t-shirts made [illegaly] with my drawings in Dongdaemun. (laugh)
Looks like you’re not happy about it.
Well, it was the first time, so I just got over it. I’m always curious to know where my art can be found. Even if I were to take legal actions, I was told there was nothing much I could do anyway. It’s the irony of the situation.
Most of you work seem to be related to darkness.
At first, I used colors a lot, but as I started running out of time, I think I started to make essentially black and white artwork because I drew on my notebook. And I think that darkness is better to express the stories I want to tell about pretence and hypocrisy.
Except for your drawings, you also did a lot of photoshoots. Especially you used many artworks with recycled materials for photoshoots. Where did you get this idea?
I was passing by when I discovered tempered glass by coincidence. I use a glue gun to stick the pieces together one by one. Aside from that, I used to use various materials like sand, paper, styrofoam. I think you can think of my intention as a beautiful rebirth of things surrounding us.
What is the artwork that left you the most vivid memory?
My most vivid memory is the photoshoot with my first paper recycled work. All the staff spent 4 to 5 hours in the studio, everybody was exhausted and I didn’t even go to school the next day. All the staff had a hard time, but I was satisfied with the result. Afterwards, I had the desire to create things I’d enjoy even more than this, so this is my most vivid memory.
Is there an artist you like or who inspires you?
I like writer 백치스킨 [t/n: I have no idea of who that is]. He always tries new things. And I also like Lady Gaga. I like 백치스킨 more than Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is a bit too hardcore for me. (laugh) I also like designer Walter Van Beirendonck’s work. I think his brand is amazing and gives off this avant-garde and artistic vibe
Where does your inspiration mostly come from?
I mostly go to a lot of face painting exhibitions of other artists. Aside from that, I look at Native people or warrior images. I also enjoy looking at pictures from 1990.
What is your goal as an artist?
I want to do well. More than the guy who draws a graph, I want to become the guy people pay attention to for a long time because he keeps improving his skills.
What do you do aside from your work?
I think I just keep working. When I have time, I see my friends sometimes, but my work is my leisure time. I’m feeling lonely these days, so I’m thinking about having a girlfriend.
Do you have your own “IT Place”?
Coffee Smith at Jamsil. I can order and drink coffee and work on my drawing. It’s a quiet place where I feel comfortable.
What are your hobbies?
I like recycling apparels products. I’ve always enjoyed creating objects and it turned into a habit, so now I recycle every product I can.
You seem to love hats.
Because it’s troublesome to fix my hair sometimes, so that’s why I love hat. And also because I don’t really put lotion on my face sometimes.
What is your ultimate dream?
There are still many things I want to do. Starting with graduating, this is something I must do and for the rest, I’ll spend the rest of the year doing interesting things. I want to live this fancy life called fashion.
Please say something to the Cuvism readers.
Thank you. I thank you for reading this and I hope to receive a lot of love from you in the future.