Using the simplicity of finely-traced lines and solid colour palettes, South Korean artist and art director Jo In Hyuk explores a range of emotional states with striking portrait illustrations that are as beautiful as they are thoughtful.
Jo’s digital work revolves around the values of youth, sexuality and vulnerability – complex themes that he approaches with awe-inspiring ease, as he represents suffering and grief with a quiet, heavy and almost disturbing dramatic feel. The level of the emotion within Jo’s work is made all the more mesmerising by the deep and enigmatic expressions of the subjects he paints, that one cannot help but feel connected to and struck by.
Although his pastel-coloured illustrations immerse the viewer within dream-like narratives, they are also convincing takes on the raw and real emotions, secrets and states of mind that we hide away from the world – characteristics which ultimately lend his work a particularly magical appeal.
With their fragility and finesse, Jo’s illustrations are subtle echoes of sadness, nostalgia and pain and appear incredibly discreet; yet, beneath their soft appearance, they also contain powerful messages that each of us could identify with and that won’t fail to stun the unsuspecting viewer. Jo speaks with clarity and confidence through his illustrations which, even if developed around more mature themes, always remain innocent and deeply touching.