Aeon flux, North/South Korea.....questions?

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So I recently moved to sunny south korea for a job and I'm loving here....naturally, I asked myself "hey, who is my favorite south korean animator?"

Hey Peter....did the situation between North and South Korea serve as influence for Aeon Flux in anyway?
There are quite alot of similarities now that I'm here and reading more about the history of those two countries.
Did your korean upbringing has any influence on the show?

Any particular places worth seeing in this country like animation studios with tours?

Also, I know South Korea has along history of doing the busy work of animation as a place for that still true today?
One odd thing I noticed is a lack of South korean made animation...On television it's all Japanese or American cartoons...S.koreans usually produce
nearly everything domestically, but not cartoons for kids....which I thought was odd.

Ryuker16, Wednesday, 28 January 2009 14:57 (fifteen years ago) link

As it happens, I'm also in Seoul working on the animated version of Firebreather for Cartoon Network. I guess you meant "sunny" as in "freakin freezing cold".

I'll keep this post brief, as this is a subject that I've made a conscious decision to avoid discussing so far.
The reason being that once viewers get into their heads that certain details of personal history may have been the source of influence on an artist's work, they often get stuck thinking of that as the only correct angle of interpretation of the work. The last thing I want is for anyone to think they need to know anything about my life experiences in order to understand AF.

With that out of the way, since you raise the question, I will answer yes.
I've stated in interviews and on the DVD commentary that the rival states of Bregna and Monica were inspired by my observation of the conflict between North and South Korea.
I was born in Seoul on April 19, 1961. 4-19 is the anniversary of the popular revolution that overthrew pres. Syngman Rhee.

Both my parents are originally from North Korea. They escaped to the South during the Korean War.

My father was a commodore in the Korean Navy, then worked in the Korean diplomatic service under pres. Park Chung Hee, eventually becoming ambassador. My father had a good relationship with pres. Park, who is the real-life personification of the benevolent dictator. He was a strict authoritarian. He also raised the living conditions for the country leading to the prosperity and openness enjoyed by Koreans today. Park was assassinated in 1979 by the head of the KCIA.

The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone "No Man's Land") between North and South Korea is the most heavily armed and mined border in the world.
The conflict between North and South is a man-made absurdity, a cause of suffering and wasted lives derived from adherence to ideology. The border is arbitrary. The people of North and South Korea are the same people. They have the same names, speak the same language, possess the same temperament, the same physical traits.

The atmosphere of Korea during the 60s and 70s is very different from what you see here today. Nationalist propaganda was the pervasive cultural form of expression, including grade school art and music projects. The threat of North Korean infiltration was palpable and real. Parents warned their children against contact with strangers because they might be agents from the North. Spy incidents were always in the news. I remember the marching, the uniforms, the nationalist songs, the school lunch inspections, air raid drills, curfews, the ubiquitous portrait of Park Chung Hee.

Peter Chung, Saturday, 31 January 2009 19:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks for your post, Peter.

Matt Rebholz, Sunday, 1 February 2009 17:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow! I would have never have guessed....Did you Dad ever discuss what made the director of the KCIA kill park himself? I read the summaries and I suspect there was something more going on than devout patriotism....You'll be happy to know they shitcanned the ultra patriotic stuff in the public schools....Haven't seen any of in the public school I work at.

I find Korean history really interesting....any other interesting tibits? Hopefully Kim Jong Il will conviently be removed from power and the regime will collaspe....Touring Post collaspe N. Korea would be very interesting experience.

Lastly, one strange question.... Korean perception of art and graffetti....Graffetti done via spray paint is fairly rare here(I've seen some decent tags though)....however wall graffeti using pens and markers are VERY common....I noticed writing on desks was very common and in any place where koreans were stuck next to a white wall eventually ended up covered in random messages and small works of marker art. I once asked my conservative co-teacher about the students writing on the desk and she mentioned that it was allowed!

Any idea why?

Thanks again, very informative post.

Ryuker16, Friday, 6 February 2009 11:38 (fifteen years ago) link

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