Peter Chung: Wikis


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Peter Chung
Born Jeong Geunsik
April 19, 1961 (1961-04-19) (age 48)
Seoul, South Korea
Occupation Animator
Known for Æon Flux
Korean name
Hangul 정근식
Hanja ???
Revised Romanization Jeong Geunsik
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Kŭn-sik

Peter Kunshik Chung (born April 19, 1961 in Seoul, South Korea, as 정근식 (Chung Geun-sik, or alternative spelling Jeong Geun-Sik)[1])is a Korean American animator. He is best known as the creator and director of Æon Flux, which ran as shorts on MTV's Liquid Television before launching as its own half-hour television series.



Early life and career

He studied animation at CalArts from 1979-81, one year at the Character Animation program, and another year in the program in Experimental Animation.

Chung started his animation career at a small animation studio in Maryland at age 19, which he got through his mentor at CalArts by the name of Jules Engel. From there at age 20 he was doing character design for Hanna-Barbera. It was around this time he also started working on the layout and animation on Ralph Bakshi’s Fire and Ice before being hired by Disney for feature development.

Directing credits

Chung's directing credits include the Matriculated segment from The Animatrix, and, most recently, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. Chung served as lead character designer for two animated series, Phantom 2040 and Reign: The Conqueror. Both series feature lean angular characters inspired by the art of Egon Schiele, a look which has become Chung's trademark character design. He also, along with Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, co-designed the characters in the Nickelodeon series Rugrats, as well as directed the pilot for this series, "Tommy Pickles And The Great White Thing" and the opening sequence.

Currently, among other unannounced projects, he is working on new direct-to-video episodes of Æon Flux and a full-length animated feature entitled Luvula. In addition, it is announced that he will be directing a three-part episode for GameTaps' Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider.

Animation style and influences

Chung's animation, particularly Æon Flux and Matriculated, tends toward the artistically and thematically experimental and is an example of progressive animation. Chung's stylistic influences uniquely include European expressionism such as Moebius combined with Japanese animation.

In the animation field, he admires Yoshinori Kanada, Koji Morimoto, and Igor Kovalyov.

Ralph Bakshi, one of the first to hire Chung, has stated that one of Chung's favorite artists is Toulouse-Lautrec.

Personal life

Chung has also been a participant in online forums, where users have asked him about his work and creative process. Two of the more prominent forums are ILX and Monican Spies.

Peter Chung was married in 2005.


  • "For me, a degree of ambiguity, or mystery, is the key ingredient of any artistic statement."
  • "I often remind myself that animation is the creation of the illusion of spontaneity. Because nothing is in fact less spontaneous than the process of animating."
  • "The task of the animator, to breathe life into his characters, requires concentration akin to that of an actor whose performance has been entirely scripted down."


  • Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider Animated Series (2007) (first episodes in 3 parts) - Story and Designer
  • Æon Flux (film) (2005) (film) - Characters (from TV series)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004) (OVA) - Director, Character designer
  • Matriculated (2003) (short) (segment of The Animatrix) - Director, Script, Design
  • Party 7 (2000) (film) - Animator: credit sequence
  • The Rugrats Movie (1998) (film) - Storyboards
  • Alexander Senki (1997) aka Alexander (International) and Reign: The Conqueror (USA) (film) (OVA) - Character designer
  • Last Man Standing (1996/II) (film), Production assistant: second unit
  • Æon Flux (1995) (TV series) - Director, Producer, Scripts, Character design
  • Phantom 2040 (1994) (TV series) - Character design
  • Rugrats (1991) (TV series) - Animator: main title animation, pilot, character design
  • C.O.P.S. (animated TV series) (1988) - Character design, Opening title direction, Overseas animation supervision
  • Ring Raiders (1989)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) (TV Series) - Art direction, Opening title design
  • Transformers: The Movie (1986) (film) - Storyboard artist
  • Transformers (1984) (TV Series) - Storyboard artist
  • Fire and Ice (1983) (film) - Animator, Layout artist

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Peter Chung (born 19 April 1961 in Seoul, South Korea) is a Korean American animator. He is best known as the creator and director of Æon Flux, which ran as shorts on MTV's Liquid Television before launching as its own half-hour television series.



The State of Visual Narrative In Film And Comics

  • People often repeat the fallacy that "film is a passive medium". The statement is usually elaborated like this: "When I read a story in a book, I have to use my imagination to conjure up what the characters look like, the sound of their voices, the appearance of their surroundings, the house, the landscape. When I see a movie, those things are all nailed down for me, so I don't feel as involved." What the person is describing are the most obvious aspects of a given story, that is, its physical properties. They are, in fact, the least interesting and least important components of a story. I do not read books in order to imagine the physical appearance of things.
  • A good film is one that requires the viewer to create, through an orchestration of impressions, the meaning of its events. It is, in the end, our ability to create meaning out of the raw experience of life that makes us human. It is the exercise of our faculty to discover meaning which is the purpose of art. The didactic imparting of moral or political messages is emphatically not the purpose of art -- that is what we call propaganda.

Response on LUSENET

  • Regarding the doll in the Purge, since it's one of my favorite moments in the series: The Custodians are the physical embodiment of a very vaporous notion -- human conscience. Does conscience really exist, or is it just a way of convincing ourselves that a center for moral judgment resides within us, thus lending our judgments a natural authority? As always, Trevor prefers to provide a tangible solution. He can't tolerate uncertainty. Whether it is real or not, Trevor understands the usefulness of the belief in conscience as a tool for practical ends, the improvement of society. In the end, the doll which emerges from the Custodian reveals to us that Trevor's artificial conscience, like the classical notion, is no more than a flimsy gimmick, a parlor trick, a plaything of the mind powered by a circular process. (Advocating the existence of conscience usually involves an appeal to our conscience). Notice that Trevor himself winds up the toy while in the train earlier in the episode.

Re: Utopia or Deuteranopia?

  • For a viewer to think the custodian was trying to break free is the exact opposite of what the scene was supposed to convey. There is nothing gained from that kind of ambiguity. Ambiguity is not desirable or meaningful if it confuses an issue that is meant to be clear. This is the challenge of making a film that communicates but doesn't talk down: a lot of viewers and studio execs (and directors) hold that ANY ambiguity is the result of the filmmaker's failure. I disagree, but I also hold that, in order for ambiguity to be effective, certain things NEED to be unambiguous. For example, if it wasn't clear that Judy on the stage is the same character as Judy who'd invited Aeon to the Hostess' lair, then that's just bad execution. If the episode had been finished and seen in a version say, where we don't see her face drawn correctly, and viewers weren't sure it was the same character, they may wonder about things irrelevant to the story's themes, such as "do the custodians alter the appearance of their hosts", or "Trevor is masquerading a different person who is playing the role of Judy on the stage", etc, all of which does not help the story. Thinking that the custodian had a will of its own and wanted to break free is the same type of undesired speculation.

Sexuality Desexualized

  • It's a universal tendency in films to be more about sex and violence than the real world is, but I would pose the opposite question: Why are so many characters that you see on TV so desexualized? A lot of them seem to be completely asexual — especially animated characters — and it implies that those characters are normal. The characters in Aeon Flux are normal people who have normal sex lives and appetites.

External links

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