With headphones on and hair immaculately styled, Joel Kong (b. 1988) is ready to begin. His focus is only interrupted by his smile, which spreads through the room like his enthusiastic, musically precise drumming during studio dance sessions.
Kong works like a jeweler setting gemstones. His luminous, anime-influenced portraits are astonishingly vibrant, often sporting hair that defies gravity and natural coloring. He is a master of the qualities and potential of markers. In Kong’s hands this humble medium’s opacity and translucency are balanced, controlled, and used to dazzling effect over a range of subjects, from traditional courtesans to sci-fi inspired figures.
When the headphones come off, Kong joyfully chats with his studio-mates, explains the details of his work, and punctuates his conversation with drum taps and that radiant smile, which has been casting its spell on Creativity Explored since 2010.