OLIVER CHEN LEADS DE ANZA’S JOURNEY of ART
De Anza art students welcomed Oliver Chin, a Bay Area comic artist, who came as a guest of the visiting artist series sponsored by the Creative Arts Division last Wednesday.
Oliver Chin graduated from Harvard University in social study major, but he developed his love for comic by working for Mass Media and school newspaper during his schooldays as a cartoonist. After graduation, he moved to Bay Area and started teaching the kid in local library as well as working as a comic artist of the San Jose Mercury News. His diverse range of work includes “The Tao of Yao: Insights from Basketball’s Brightest Big Man,” “The Tales of the Chinese Zodiac series;” especially “9 of 1: A Window to the World” which received a 2003 Honorable Mention for the Gustavus Myers Award. As the founder of Immedium publishing company based in San Francisco, he worked with many illustrators such as Joe Chiodo, and Heath McPherson and produced a lot of books that reflected the diversity of contemporary America.
In this visit, he brought De Anza art students to a journey of art where they can find how art became an ideal of his life.
Oliver Chin defined art as extension, reflection, opinion, education, collaboration, redefinition, evolution, exploration, and impression and these understanding of art were the key for his success.
When sharing with De Anza art students about his experiences in working on comic books and illustration, Oliver Chin said that he usually drew the pictures before writing the content; but according to him, in the graphic novel “9 of 1: A Window to the World,” he worked in the other way. “I found that is difficult to do things in a different way from what we are used to doing, but somehow, it helps you grow up,” Oliver Chen said.
This was the first activity in the visiting artist series of the Creative Arts Division but attracted a lot of De Anza art students from different majors and nationalities who wants to get more information about art careers.
“I come here for extra credit, but mostly because of my curiosity about everything relates to art,” Jim Sauer, who is in architect major and taking figure drawing class in De Anza College, said.
After his lecture in room ADM 119, De Anza art students were invited to an unofficial exhibition of Oliver Chin and some other artist’s artworks which have been displayed in Euphrat Museum of Art. The official art exhibition “Graphic Storytelling as Activism” will open to public from Feb. 11 to April 17, 2008.
In this exhibition, art students had a chance to see Oliver Chin’s original drawings from his graphic novel “9 of 1: A Window to the World.” According to the officers in Euphrat Museum of Art, through creative use of drawings and text, Oliver Chin combined history, geography, personal perspectives of interviewer and interviewee, emotion and experience, and ways to learn from the past.
Joohee Choi, who is in liberal art major and taking beginning drawing class in De Anza College, said that she was interested in the colorful cover of Oliver Chin’s books in this exhibition.
During this visit, Oliver Chin shared a lot of his experiences and also his memories when living and working with art as a part of his life. Oliver Chin’s website is www.immedium.com and he always welcomes any ideas from freelancers, especially who have fun in working with art.