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Peter Kunshik Chung (born April 19, 1961 in Seoul, South Korea, as 정근식 (Chung Geun-sik, or alternative spelling Jeong Geun-Sik)[1])is a Korean American animator. He is best known 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.

Biography

Early life and career

He studied animation at CalArts from 1979–81, 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 19, which he got through his mentor at CalArts by the name of Jules Engel. From there at age 20 he was doing character design for Hanna-Barbera. It was around 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.

Directing credits

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 (1994–96) 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 ad in the Æon Flux universe, featuring Cindy Crawford as Æon and Malcolm McDowell as Trevor.

Currently, among other unannounced projects, he is working on new direct-to-video episodes of Æon Flux and a full-length animated feature entitled Luvula.

Animation style and influences

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.[1]

Personal life

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.

Peter Chung was married in 2005.

Quotes

  • "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

References

External links

Interviews

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