portrait 09
chuan ming ong

Chuan Ming Ong studied fine arts in America and took Asian and Japanese studies in Leiden and Japan. His illustrations have appeared in Dutch and international publications such as De Volkskrant, Trouw, NRC, Nikkei Asia and The Los Angeles Times, among others, and his work has been featured in American Illustration and 3×3 Magazine. Besides illustrating for newspapers and magazines, he collaborates on animation projects.

plea for the unknown
pleidooi voor het onbekende

“drawing is my future”

starring artist:

chuan ming ong

text notes:

the creator of the adventures of tintin (in dutch: kuifje) is the belgian cartoonist hergé, pseudonym of georges prosper remi remi (1907 – 1983). tintin is a young journalist who has adventures all over the world. characteristic of this world famous comic series is the humanistic character and the clear drawing style, the so-called clear line.

asterix and obelix)*
the series ‘the adventures of asterix (and obelix)’ first appeared in the franco-belgiancomic magazine ‘pilote’ in 1959. it was written by rené goscinny (1926 – 1977) and illustrated by albert uderzo (1927 – 2020). uderzo then took over the writing until 2009. in 2013, a new team consisting of jean-yves ferry (script) and idler conrad (artwork) took

introduction stories: the year is 50 bc. gaul is entirely occupied by the romans. well, not entirely… one small village of indomitable gauls still holds out against the invaders. and life is not easy for the roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of totorum, aquarium, laudanum and compendium ……………

the acronym ‘l.a.’ stands for the city of los angeles, a sprawling big city (founded in 1781) on the west coast of the united states in the state of california. ‘l.a.’ is also known because of ‘hollywood’ and its film industry.

venice is a neighborhood of the city of los angeles on the west side along the atlantic ocean. it is known for its canals inspired by the italian venice.

laguna college of art and design*)
the laguna college of art and design is located in laguna beach, california. the fine arts department offers a bachelor / master of fine arts in drawing and painting, in addition to an emphasis in illustration, and an emphasis in sculpture. a striking element in the program is the presence of a game art department.

an illustration is a decoration, interpretation, or visual explanation of a text, concept, or process, designed for integration in print and / or digitally published media.

animation is the method by which still images are manipulated to create moving images. in tradition animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. today, many animations are computer animations made with computer-generated imagery (cgi). stop motion animation has continued to exist alongside these other forms.

japanese studies leiden*)
the dutch leiden university has one of the oldest and most established centers for japanese studies in the western world – building on the long and intimate relations between the netherlands and japan.

syllabic notation*)
in japanese and in general syllabic notation is a type of writing that consists of a collection of written characters that represent the syllables that form words.

character notation*)
in japanese character notation is based on the chinese characters.

japanese kana symbols*)
each kana character (syllabogram) corresponds to one sound or whole syllable.

japanese kanji symbols*)
kanji symbols correspond to a meaning, more or less similar to a pictogram.

the new yorker*)
the new yorker is an american weekly magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry. the new yorker is founded as a weekly in 1925.

new york times*)
the daily newspaper the new york times is founded in 1851 as the new-york daily times. special weekly sections on various topics are published, supplementing the regular news, editorials, sports, and features.

yuko shimizu*)
yuko shimizu (1965) is a japanese illustrator based in new york city. her work combines japanese heritage with contemporary reference points.

joost swarte*)
the dutch cartoonist and graphic designer joost swarte (1947) coined the term ‘clear line’ to describe the drawing style of the belgian comic strip master hergé. swarte is best known for his countless drawings, stamps, posters, postcards, lp and cd covers and for his designs for magazine covers such as ‘vrij nederland’, the belgian weekly ‘humo’ and the italian architecture magazine ‘abitare’.

hisko hulsing*)
hisko hulsing (1971) is a dutch animator, director, painter and storyboard artist. from 2018, hulsing works as a director on the animated series ‘undone’ for amazon prime.

aimée de jongh*)
aimée de jongh (1988) is a comic author and animator from the netherlands. she made her name with ‘de terugkeer van de wespendief’ (‘the return of the honey buzzard’) which was rewarded with ‘prix st michel 2014’ for the best dutch comic book and was adapted to a live-action film. aimee’s most well known graphic novel is the award winning ‘dagen van zand’ (‘days of sand’ / ‘jours de sable’) about the american dust bowl. she created storyboards for amazon prime’s ‘undone’.

‘undone’ is an american adult-animated psychological comedy-drama television series which premiered 2019 on amazon prime video. for the first time the technique of rotoscoping is used. it is an animation technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic action.

‘amazon’ is the parent company of the film and television studio ‘amazon studios’ and streaming service ‘prime video’.

multi-media company ‘submarine’, founded in 2000 by bruno felix and corine meijers, is based in amsterdam and specialized in feature films, documentaries, games and animation.

look development designer*)
‘look development designer’ means broadly involvement in visually exploring the possible look a film can have before the film actually goes into production. like how the characters are going to look, how light and shadow behave, how the environment is displayed, etcetera. look development therefore encompasses the design phase prior to film production in which it is determined what the artistic direction and style of the film in question will be.

apollo 10 1/2*)
‘apollo 10 1⁄2 – a space age childhood’ is an american animated coming of age drama film set during the events preceding the apollo 11 moon landing, loosely based on the childhood of writer, director, and producer richard linklater. the animation film is released by netflix in 2022.

the dutch newspaper ‘nrc’ first appeared on october 1, 1970, after a merger of the algemeen handelsblad’ (founded 1828 amsterdam) and the ‘nieuwe rotterdamsche courant’ (founded 1843 rotterdam).

dutch newspaper ‘trouw’ (‘fidelity’) is founded during the second world war in 1943 as a resistance newspaper. in 2012 ‘trouw’ was named ‘european newspaper of the year’.

de volkskrant*)
‘de volkskrant’ was published from 2 october 1919 as a weekly newspaper of the catholic labor movement and since 1921 as a daily newspaper. during the second world war, ‘de volkskrant’ did not appear from 1941 – 1945.

the ‘vpro guide’ is the television magazine of the television broadcaster of the same name, which is part of the so called public order / facility in broadcasting netherlands.

nikkei asia*)
the ‘nikkei asia’ is known as the ‘nikkei asian review’, founded in 2013. it is a major japan-based english-language weekly news magazine focused on the asian continent. ‘nikkei asia’ calls itself the “voice of the asian century”.

the japan times*)
‘the japan times’ was launched by motosada zumoto on 22 march 1897, with the goal of giving japanese people an opportunity to read and discuss news and current events in english to help japan to participate in the international community.

l.a. times*)
the newspaper ‘los angeles times’ or ‘l.a.times’, founded in 1881, is the second largest urban newspaper in the united states – the largest being the new york times. the ‘los angeles times’ has won the so called pulitzer prize more than 40 times.

politico europe*)
the weekly newspaper ‘politico europe’ reports on european politics from brussels. the predecessor of this newspaper is ‘european voice’, whose history dates back to the founding of ‘the economist’, a political, commercial, agricultural, and free-trade journal by james wilson in 1843.

a hermit is someone who lives in complete isolation. the first people to be called hermits were the desert fathers: christian monks who isolated themselves in the desert of egypt in the 2nd century.

credits illustrations / animations
shown by chuan ming ong

nrc daily – 2023

trouw daily – 2023
brandhaard (hearth of fire)

nrc daily – 2021

nrc daily – 2022

nrc daily – 2023

nrc daily – 2021
investment fraud

nrc daily – 2021

nrc daily – 2022
ukrainian flag

amazone – prime video – 2019 / 2022
title: undone
written by: kate purdy and raphael bob-waxberg a.o.
direction: hisko hulsing

apollo 10 1/2 – netflix – 2022
title: 10 1/2
writer: richard linklater
direction: richard linklater

volkskrant daily – 2023
iffr – international film festival rotterdam

nrc daily – 2022
justice and injustice

trouw daily – 2022
green growth – climate

vpro guide – 2021
the east (cover)

verzets – resistence museum amsterdam – 2022
anton de kom – anticolonial surinam writer

trouw daily – 2023
quatar – post world championship football

trouw daily – 2023
philosophical team

trouw daily – 2022

yale law school usa – 2021
covid – 19
social and human costs of the pandemic response

vpro guide 2022
kijken (watching)
actor bas hoeflaak and his favorite movie and tv series

yale law school usa – 2021
covid – 19
an african reading of the covid-19 pandemic and the stakes of decolonization

vpro guide 2022
lucid dreams

portrait 09 chuan ming ong

portrait 09
chuan ming ong

camera and video editing: tom pijnenburg
research, editorial, text titles: jan doms

graphic design: jan doms
opening sequence: pieter reijnen & tom pijnenburg
sound: aspa petrov – prefuse 73 dvořák
ernst bonis – composition taksim

music end credits:
‘like fall’ – jeroen van vliet, frans van der hoeven dré pallemaerts

portrait 09
chuan ming ong

is made possible by:
lef urban dynamics 

production and distribution:
internationals art channel foundation 
tilburg – heart of brabant
the netherlands

portrait 09
chuan ming ong

art © channel


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