25 May 2012

My Presence at the London 2012 Olympic Games

I'm going to the London 2012 Olympic Games . . .

Me, in WTF Taekwon-Do attire. 
No, that is not completely true; however, a digital rendition of me will be there.

I had the strange privilege to be part of an art project that will be a permanent part of the Olympic Games History Museum. The visual-kinetic artist Jung Yeondoo creates 360-degree photographic images using high-definition, high-speed cameras, combined with green screen chromatic backdrops and CGI special effects. This latest project of his will depict the five martial arts that are part of the Olympic Games: Boxing, Judo, Fencing, Wrestling, and Taekwondo. The models for the photographs are actual athletes training as part of the Korean Olympic team. The problem, however, is that the photos should give a representative reflection of the multi-cultural quality of the Olympic Games, so using only Korean athletes would not be ideal. Jung Yeondoo and his team had initially considered normal fashion models, but found that while the models could copy the postures of the athletes, they could not show the actual competitive intensity that an actual athlete, an actual martial artist displays. This is where myself and some other foreign martial artists residing in Korea came in.

My co-model, the Taekwondo
athlete Park Chang-Joon.
I modelled with a Korean Taekwondo athlete, Park Chang-Joon, who is on the Korean national training team. Undoubtedly in much better shape than myself and I for not a moment question his athletic ability, Park Chang-Joon was nonetheless very respectful and cordial towards me. I'm guessing that I am about ten years older than him, which in Taekwondo Olympic terms mean that I'm ancient. Olympic Taekwondo athletes are typically young adults in their early twenties. It is not unusual for a Taekwon-Do player to retire under 25.

What I lack in youth, I however made up for in intensity. Jung Yeondoo complimented me on the aggressive energy I projected during the shoot, which is hopefully effectively captured on camera.  After all, this is why they wanted actual martial artists rather than normal models.

Park Chang-Joon and myself testing a
pose for the 360-degree photo shoot.
It was a very nice experience, and while I will not get a copy of the final product (it is copyrighted by the Olympic History Museum), I will receive a DVD of the raw footage captured.

I never imagined that I'll have any part in anything related to the Olympic Games. I'm not by nature a very competitive person. I am an artist at heart, so what better way for me to be involved than as part of a permanent art exhibit! And one day, when I visit London, I look forward to visit myself in a museum!

1 comment:

Garnet said...

What a fantastic honour. I look forward to seeing you in London...