Foreign comic artists take part in residence program
By Chung Ah-young
Four foreign comic artists are taking part in a residence program organized by the Korea Manwha Contents Agency (KOMACON) to share their creative ideas with Korean artists. The program is the first of its kind as part of cultural exchanges between Korea and other countries in the genre.
Tsolmonbayar Batbaatar from Mongolia, Liu Zhiwei and Yang Xiaoru from China and Stella So from Hong Kong are participating in the first residence program, which began on Nov. 26 and continue through Jan. 25.
The four were recommended and selected by both Korean and overseas comic artist groups and agencies to raise the standards of Korean comics to an international level through cultural exchanges.
Born in Mongolia in 1987, Batbaatar is a first-generation cartoonist in Mongolia where the genre is underappreciated. He released “Modun Shanyu” in 2005 and his works were regularly published in Kiss magazine from 2002 to 2006. His comic strips appeared in Mining Journal in 2010.
Zhiwei was born in Beijing in 1965 and is known for his versatility in various fields such as comics, animation and multimedia. He made his debut in 1996 in Chinese Comics. He took part in the production of multimedia work “WAWAYAYA” in 2000 and more than has had 100 educational and other related comic strips published.
So was born in Hong Kong in 1976. She made her debut with “Lonely Moon Tram” in 2006 which comprises of comic strips of how trams are operated in Hong Kong, accompanied on video by a fictional narrative of the spirits of the city’s old shops. Her illustrations were published in Milk magazine from 2004 to 2006. She published comic book “City of Power” in 2009.
Xiaoru is an aspiring young author with a unique and delicate drawing style. Born in Guangzhou in 1985, she began her comic career in 2003 and published comic book “Summer in Vale” in 2009 and “Poem Collection about The Forest and the Four Seasons” in 2010.
During their stay in Korea, they will participate in cultural exchange programs such as meeting Korean cartoonists and experts and experience Korean cuisine, attend K-pop concerts and visit Korean artists from other fields.
Prominent comic artist Kim Dong-hwa, renowned for “Fairy Pink” (1984), “The Color of Earth” (1995) and “Red Bicycle” (2003), is also participating in the project as chief author to organize workshops and joint productions and consultations between foreign and Korean writers. Kim made his debut with “My Sky,” serialized in the Hankook Ilbo in 1975.
His comic trilogy “The Color of Earth,” “The Color of Water,” and “The Color of Heaven” were among his first works to be translated into English and published in the United States.
“We are expecting the first residence program for foreign authors to pave the way for boosting cooperation of each other’s comic art world,” KOMACON official Oh Jar-rok said.
The agency plans to continuously support the residence program to help artists from various countries share their experiences with Korean artists and further expand the platform of the comic industry here.
The participating artists will release new works based on their experience of the residence program next year.