Meet the artist behind the whimsical illustrations in Gentle Bones’ & Myrne’s video for “JU1Y”

<p>What&#39;s one thing that <strong>Gentle Bones</strong> and <strong>Myrne</strong> have in common? They were both signed to huge record labels just two years ago. The former is the first Singaporean under <a href="… target="_blank"><strong>Universal Music</strong></a>, with a &quot;360-degree deal&quot; that includes recording and publishing rights, merchandise, endorsements and events; while the latter is now represented as an indie-electronic producer on <a href="… target="_blank"><strong>Diplo&#39;s record label</strong></a>, Mad Decent.</p>
<p>Their latest collaborative release, &ldquo;<strong>JU1Y</strong>&rdquo;, is a fun track born out of mutual admiration for each other&rsquo;s work. It&#39;s a really fun and fresh track that dabbles with bits of house and electronic funk that neither one has attempted in their respective records before. &ldquo;We were bored with the music that was coming out of our respective circles,&rdquo; Myrne said.</p>
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<p>The track has been out for just over a month now, but they recently dropped the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>video</strong></a> a few days back, and we liked what we saw. While it showcases the duo in real life situations&mdash;preparing for a shoot, interviews with the media and a &quot;live performance&quot; (Gentle Bones goes into an awkward but endearing dance)&mdash;the winner of the video has to be the super whimsical and kitsch illustrations, courtesy of one art student who&rsquo;s relatively new (but no less talented) in the industry.</p>
<p>Say hello to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Howie Kim</strong></a>, a digital visual artist and student at Lasalle College of the Arts. This 27-year-old who proudly owns the fact that he is part of the digital generation is &ldquo;obsessed with pop culture, celebrities, social media and kitsch aesthetics&rdquo; and looks to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Mark Ryden</strong></a>, an American pop painter who&#39;s part of the Lowbrow (or pop surrealist) art movement, as his inspiration. Here, he tells us more.</p>
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<p><strong>When and how did your interest in art begin?</strong></p>
<p>As a child I&#39;ve always loved drawing. But I never really thought that I could do anything with it till I was much, much older.</p>
<p><strong>What are some of the challenges of dabbling in digital media?</strong></p>
<p>The digital medium is very different from my paintings in terms of process, techniques and visual outcomes. But as different as they are, they often inform the way I work with each other. I guess the main challenge faced is the technicality of the programs I use to create my digital works. But with that said, it&rsquo;s something I enjoy a lot, and it&rsquo;s very exciting to see where it leads my future works.</p>
<p><strong>Just three months ago, you held your very first solo exhibition at the Artistry. Can you tell us more about that?</strong></p>
<p>I am currently at a point where my creative direction is in transition. A lot of my past works are very personal and deal with loss; they work almost as a form of escapism for me. I&rsquo;ve been trying to move out of that, but not completely putting it away. As of late, I&rsquo;ve been interested in the idea of millennials; its stereotypes, the implications of the label as well as exploring what it actually means to be one.</p>
<p>There&#39;s a sort of negative, entitled, self-absorbed narcissistic image portrayed by the media that I am interested in as it all sounded too familiar and relatable. I think it&#39;s crucial for my works to reflect myself and vice versa. Titled <em>The Millennial Funfair</em>, the exhibition featured previous and new works of both themes. However, despite the two vastly different themes, I think they all kind of go together in a show as I think my works often have a certain &ldquo;funfair&rdquo; whimsicality about them.</p>
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<p><strong>What was the big idea behind the moving illustrations in the video for &quot;JU1Y&quot;?</strong></p>
<p>Joel (Gentle Bones) and his team approached me with the idea. In the music video, he wanted my part to be a break away from the real world where he escapes into a kind of fantasy-animated world. My idea of this fantasy was a psychedelic trip that takes them high up into space and later to the deep dark reccesses of the sea, and eventually coming back to reality.&nbsp;It was great working with them, and Joel gave me a lot of creative space to explore the track and materialize my part both conceptually and visually.</p>
<p><strong>Could you briefly run through your creative process with us?</strong></p>
<p>My creative process usually begins with a theme or topic I want to express or talk about. From there, I put that message into a visual sketch or digital collage, and then eventually work towards the final outcome. I have an obsession with chaos, and adding a lot of elements to my works. Sometimes I just keep working/adding on until I&#39;m satisfied.&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong>What do you think Singapore&#39;s art scene is lacking?</strong></p>
<p>Personally, I think that there is not enough of a push for artistic appreciation here, or at least that was how I felt while growing up. Before enrolling into an art school, I never really thought I could do anything with it.</p>
<p><strong>What do you hope to achieve with your art?</strong></p>
<p>To be honest, I&rsquo;m more interested in what my audiences take away from my works rather than what I&rsquo;m actually trying to communicate. People often interpret my works differently and that is great for me. What&rsquo;s important to me is that my works satisfy me and make me happy.</p>
<p><strong>In less than 10 words, describe your style of art.</strong></p>
<p>Gothic Britney on a unicorn, colliding into trucks of toys.</p>
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<p><strong>Howie still has some works from <em>The Millennial Funfair</em>&nbsp;that are currently on sale <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. Follow him on <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</strong></p>