Art Corner – The Portraits of Jooho Yi

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On this edition we profile an artist and illustrator whose work seeks to challenge the notions of hierarchy within society. With a strong visual style that is cartoonish yet striking, meet the wonderful Jooho Yi.

M: Can you tell us about your background?

JY: I was born in Pohang and grew up in Incheon. They are both beautiful cities adjacent to the sea. If I went out a little, I could see the sea and it made my life abundant mentally. I graduated from Sangmyeong Design College and majored in visual design.

M: Why did you become an artist?

JY: There was no special chance. I have always drawn pictures and it was very natural. To recollect, I was a friend who drew a picture among friends since I was young.

M: Tells us about The Portrait Series?

JY: The portrait series starts under the assumption that the portrait I made really exists in the digital. There are diverse occupation groups and persons in the digital portrait and those existences come together and form a kind of community. I am also dealing with social structural problem with a small theme of bug.

M: What is your art style and do you have a message with your art?

JY: I put famous persons and plain people on the same stage in T.P.S. There is no grade of rank among them and all of them have the same value. Street Cleaners, revolutionists, and even the homeless have the same value. I wanted to make a more reasonable society than actual world. In the digital world, although I reproduce the original unlike the reality, there is no grade of rank between them. The disappearance of grade of rank is a possibility of digital media and a keyword of equality.

M: Have you done any international shows?

JY: I attended the exhibition of lomography. It was a work to design the camera by one’s own style and many artists participated. The work was exhibited across the world.

M: What does art mean to you?

JY: To quote what Yoshitomo Nara said, the art is my job and a manner of life.

M: What is 5unday?

JY: 5unday is a design group consisting of 5 members. We are acting under the catch phrase of ‘Have a positive impact on the society’. We are making a design containing a good message and also conducting a donation project.

M: What is your next project?

JY: It is ‘The landscape series’. While T.P.S. was a work to make a digital existence, T.L.S. is a work to make a space where digital existence lives. The first work will be the one of ‘River of electricity’. The river of electricity is a place where the existence I made is born and a place where the world starts.

Taking people of high status and placing their image next to those of ordinary people such as a street cleaner Jooho Yi examines the roles of society. Although these characters are revered, they become ordinary themselves. Their status is removed but however there is still an allure to them.

To find out more about his work check out his website:

Bug Series- Fired Worker


Bug series-The first bug(media)




Sejong the great

Street Cleaner

Vincent van gogh

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