She became an announcer after graduating from the Department of Painting. It may sound odd, but she is indeed working as an announcer for MBN. She is not only an announcer, but an artist that goes through her busy day carrying her diary. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met announcer and artist Choi Jiyin (CHOI), and talked about her life, especially about her two occupations and future plans.
SMT You graduated from Seoul Arts High School and majored in Department of Painting at SMU. Also, you graduated with top honors. Knowing these facts, it seems you have great talent in the field of art, so why did you choose to become an announcer?
CHOI I wanted to learn art professionally since my teenage years. I also wanted to become an announcer who explains pictures easily. Being an announcer was my childhood dream, but I really decided to become an announcer while I lectured for Admissions at the Academy of Arts. I knew that talent was made by investing time and passion. I felt a distance between myself and the profession of announcer while majoring in art, but I eagerly prepared for the job for one year. I started late, so I had a hard time, but I don’t regret my decision. I saw students with little talent but much determination passing the exam. Looking at them, I felt I could also take up the challenge and become an announcer thought I, too, did not have much talent in the field.
SMT How was campus life at SMU?
CHOI I was at school so long that professors would watch me very carefully. Even when I got a cold, my professor would notice. I almost lived at school. Preparing my graduation exhibition in fourth year, home became only a place to sleep because I spent most of my time at school. I spent all my time working at school. I loved SMU, so I practically lived there. I’m a bit embarrassed to say publically, but as a result of my effort, I graduated with honors in oriental painting and received the SMU performance award.
SMT Except being an announcer and artist, what other activities do you do or have you done?
CHOI I care about and participated in Kind Jiyin, which is a charity program that donates or helps poorer neighbours living in poverty. The program raises money by selling notebooks, scarves, mugs, and mobile phone cases designed by Art Products. In addition, I'm writing a book that includes pictures of me and the happenings surrounding my drawings to answer the question I am often asked, “What are artists’ thinking when they draw?” It is a book of stories behind my drawings and life events. Also, I'm writing a paper entitled, Break the Wall of the Art Museum. I hope it will make art easier to comprehend and enable art to reach a wider array of people.
SMT You challenge many various fields like participating as an oriental painting artist in drama 'Ki-whang-hoo*’ and holding private exhibitions. What activities are in the plans for the future?
CHOI The New Flowers and Bird painting series that appeared on the SBS drama I can hear your voice is seen as a re-interpretation of contemporary oriental paintings. I aspire to be an expert in reinterpreting oriental painting. I hope to assist the population with my Doll Series of Wing that I am currently planning to undertake. The series will feature the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac**. I think collaboration with SMU will also prove beneficial, so I’m planning to collaborate with the Marron art printing company from December.
SMT The Korean Art Award Exhibition was your first open art display. How did you get such an opportunity to display your work?
CHOI SMU’s College of Fine Arts professor Gwon Heeyeon suggested me to participate mentoring program as a mentor. After graduation, I had a chance to contact professor Gwon again. I feel comfortable visiting the professor’s office because she is an SMU graduate and cared for me when I was there like a sister. In professor Gwon’s office, I was introduced to a person connected with the exhibition, and that’s basically how the opportunity came about. I also met Korea Art Center Director Lee Youngill. I am grateful for the opportunity I had and will continue tirelessly to have a long career as a painter.
SMT Is there any work you wish to introduce to Sookmyungians or that has special meaning to you?
CHOI Roly Poly doll (the doll at the left side of the pictures) was created while I prepared for the announcer audition test. I didn’t expect to pass the admission test because of the number of applicants. To finally become an announcer, I had to take the test seven times before passing. However, each time I failed, I got right back on board just like a Roly Poly doll. This is how I got the inspiration of my Roly Poly character. I hope people will come to love my Roly Poly character and think about the meaning of it.
SMT Finally, what does SMU mean to you?
CHOI SMU is like a mother. Even while attending SMU, I loved my school, so I didn’t mind spending long hours there. Upper year classmates really cared for me throughout my days at school and all my professors felt like mothers and sisters. It was like a family. When I meet an alumnus coincidentally in society, I feel joyful and a natural bond forms. Please watch for me and my activities in the future. If you meet me, please say hello happily. I’m proud of Sookmyung Women's University with its great people!
* Ki-whang-hoo is a MBC drama and CHOI participated as an oriental painting artist.
** The twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac : Each animal god represents a point on the compass, and each god is known to protect the land. The mouse, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, chicken, dog, and pig are the twelve gods and they each have different weapons.
• Graduated from the Department of Painting ’98
• Student of the Graduate School of Education at SMU ’02
• 3rd MBN Open Anchor Recruitment Recipient and Painter
• Receiver of the 2013 Korea Art Awards