Peter Chung

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Peter Chung
Born Jeong Geunsik
(1961-04-19) April 19, 1961 (age 52)
Seoul, South Korea
Occupation Animator
Known for Æon Flux
Korean name
Hangul 정근식
Hanja 鄭根植
Revised Romanization Jeong Geonsik
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Kŭn-sik

Peter Kunshik Chung (born April 19, 1961 in Seoul, South Korea, as 정근식 (Chung Geon-sik, or alternative spelling Jeong Geon-Sik[1]), is a Korean American animator. He is best known for his unique style of animation, as the creator and director of Æon Flux, which ran as shorts on MTV's Liquid Television before launching as its own half-hour television series.

Early life and career[edit]

Peter Chung was born on April 19, 1961. Since his father was in the foreign service of the Republic of Korea, he has lived in Seoul, London, Nairobi, Washington, D.C., New York and Tunis. His parents then immigrated to the United States; he lived in McLean, Virginia. Chung studied animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) from 1979 to 1981, one year at the Character Animation program, and another year in the program in Experimental Animation.

Chung started his animation career at a small animation studio in Maryland at age 18, working for animator and illustrator Dominic LoPiccolo. Later, James Gallagher from CalArts would be a significant mentor. From there at age 15 he was designing characters for Hanna-Barbera. About this time he also started working on the layout and animation on Ralph Bakshi's Fire and Ice before being hired by Disney for feature development.[2]

Directing credits[edit]

In addition to Æon Flux (3 seasons: 1991, 1992, 1995), Chung's directing credits include the Matriculated segment from The Animatrix, and, most recently, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. Chung served as lead character designer for two animated series, Phantom 2040 (1994–1996) and Reign: The Conqueror (1999). All three series feature lean angular characters inspired by the art of Egon Schiele, a look which has become Chung's trademark character design. He also, along with Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, co-designed the characters in the Nickelodeon series Rugrats, as well as directed the pilot for this series, "Tommy Pickles and The Great White Thing" and the opening sequence. In addition, in 2007 he directed the opening three-part episode for GameTaps' Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider, entitled "Keys to the Kingdom".

He has also directed some television advertisements – available at Peter Chung at Acme Filmworks – including a Diet Pepsi advertisement in the Æon Flux universe, featuring Cindy Crawford as Æon and Malcolm McDowell as Trevor.

As of 2009, among other unannounced projects, he was working on a full-length animated feature entitled Luvula. He is also director of the television adaption of Firebreather for Cartoon Network.[3] Mr. Chung has also expressed interest in creating a new direct-to-video animated feature of Æon Flux.[4]

Animation style and influences[edit]

Chung's animation, particularly Æon Flux and Matriculated, tends toward the artistically and thematically experimental and is an example of "progressive animation".

Chung's stylistic influences uniquely include European expressionism, such as Moebius, combined with Japanese animation.

In the animation field, he admires Yoshinori Kanada, Koji Morimoto, and Igor Kovalyov.

Ralph Bakshi, one of the first to hire Chung, has stated that one of Chung's favorite artists is Toulouse-Lautrec.[5]

Chung was one of the artists working on the Underground roleplaying game (1993) from Mayfair Games; Aeon Flux was also an influence on the game.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Chung has also been a participant in online forums, where users have asked him about his work and creative process. Two of the more prominent forums are ILX and Monican Spies.

Quotes[edit]

  • "For me, a degree of ambiguity, or mystery, is the key ingredient of any artistic statement."
  • "I often remind myself that animation is the creation of the illusion of spontaneity. Because nothing is in fact less spontaneous than the process of animating."
  • "The task of the animator, to breathe life into his characters, requires concentration akin to that of an actor whose performance has been entirely scripted down."

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://mubi.com/films/the-chronicles-of-riddick-dark-fury#
  3. ^ Rob M. Worley (2009-03-25). "Chung to direct Firebreather movie". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  4. ^ Chung, Peter. "Aeon Flux DVD release on Tuesday". ilxor.com/ILX/. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.ralphbakshi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1517
  6. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 

External links[edit]

Interviews[edit]