Where does the inspiration for your style derive from?
Vanyard: My inspirations are simple things like listening to music, smoking a cigarette, but it all starts from words. Words that swirl around my head.
I brainstorm these words, create a concept and a world that fits. Usually these worlds has a cyberpunk vibe to it which leads to a single universe what I named ‘Sinkcity’ to synergize these inspirations. This single universe collecting various concepts and ideas synergized altogether leads me to another artpiece that I satisfies my inspiration.
Where is your hometown? Also, is your hometown a place that you find inspiration within?
I was born in Busan, I lived in Seoul for a year and I currently live in Incheon. I don’t feel good or bad, satisfied or dissatisfied where I’m living. I just live because i live, I don’t care how good I live. I just go with the flow.
Your art is recognized within many different artistic communities (internet, IRL, cyberpunk, etc). How does this cultural prominence affect your art?
I don’t think I have that kind of cultural prominence. Thank you for your compliments. I have heard of the communities’ recognition but I don’t really feel it. Though I do think people are thinking it’s unique. I don’t think it’s affecting the scene nor the fame affecting my work. The important thing is to simply create what you want to do. I feel if the fame affect an artpiece, the artist cannot work freely. But fame can do good opening lot’s of exhibition and artistic activities.
You’re a music artist as well! How do you approach the production of your music, versus the creation of your visual art? (is one more difficult for you)?
I’ve started to do art since elementary school so I’d say visual art is more easier for me. I think I started to do music when I was 19 years old. I don’t recall exactly when I started, but its about right. I had no idea how composition work I just wanted to make music so I used FL studio and try out this and that ever since. It is actually hard and frustrating for me to make music. I tried weird composition and sound design techniques to feel comfortable doing so. I had no intention to earn money out of it I just thought music can express my feelings as well. Sometimes I think music can express my universe better than visual art. These two elements combined adds new flavor to the atmosphere so I think It was a good choice to teach myself music.
What is your motivation to continue making art each day? What drives you?
I’ve always wanted to do art. It was like breathing air, something that pains so much and drives you crazy if you stop doing so. I had a mindset like ‘I wanna be more famous than Baek Nam Jun! I’ve come this far, just do it!’ but I don’t know what exactly motivates me. I’ve lost passion and not really working on something these days. I’ve stopped making music as well. I was considering to look for a job 2 years ago and still going on. I wish to seek a motivation any time soon. I miss 2 years ago when I had to skip meals every 3days. I was happy when I was starving.
Cyberpunk seems to be a continuous theme throughout your work. What about cyberpunk keeps bringing you back to this theme?
I really like science fictions. Cyberpunk is the best of all. It is exciting when I take part of the world I imagine creating how I like it. I cannot give up cyberpunk imagining how the universe I created potentially can happen in real world. I think the knowlege of present time and predicting how the future can be is a blessing, a chance current time artist should take advantage of.
When did you first become interested in the concept of Vanyard? (When did you find your style?)
Thinking of the concept Vanyard was came to me when I had my first interview. Basically, I wanted to depict myself as a nerd. I looked up Healthgoth’s images and saw a pose holding a katana. I set my mind as a cyborg healthgoth ninja time traveled from the 27th century!…Something so bad its good. It fits me working like a conveyor belt worker. That is how I imagine myself as Vanyard.
The mental issues I have fit me well as I think of myself as a machine. I like the impersonation, but I think I’m getting a bit too old for it.
Cyberpunk also has a political nature to its concept. Do politics in particular motivate or inspire your art in any way? Is there hope for the world? What will it take for
I try to rule out political issues out of cyberpunk. I hate the idea and will not apply political matter on my work. I only predict and present what happens in ‘sinkcity’ in my work and what is understoodd in that universe. Cyberpunk is not just about politics and companies.
Have you had a long exposure to internet connectivity in your life? South Korea seems to be a lot more interconnected within the web than other nations.
No. I’d like to. Vanyard isn’t really famous in the interwebs and my art style isn’t really meant for Korea. Therefore, my work won’t be famous on the internet. With 4chan, I think USA’s internet is better. I never thought Korean internet was good.
What future plans do you have for your music and arts career?
I am in a slump since 2 years ago, so I can’t assure you but I want to open exhibition combined with parties. My first exhibition at the venue was refreshing because the DJ’s and VJ’s forming a huge atmosphere which resembles an artpiece in it’s own. I want to try various ways to present not only how the artwork is done but how the whole exhibition feels. There is a lot of thought planned but unfortunately I have no funds, no sponsors to support my work, no space to present my work, so I’m afraid I can’t promise what will be done next. But if things get better, I would like to do exhibitions in Korea or abroad and acknowledge myself. My goal is to open a small arts festival under the name Vanyard, and at the end of my career, I would like to leave a mark in art history exceeding Baek Nam Jun.