KB Kookmin Bank, M. Chat collaborate in Seoul art performance


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M. Chat — the grinning yellow cartoon cat created by renowned French graffiti artist Thoma Vuille — has arrived in South Korea via a collaborative partnership with KB Koomin Bank, one of the country’s major commercial banks.

KB Kookmin Bank on Thursday hosted a live performance featuring Vuille painting his signature M. Chat and KB’s flagship characters “Liiv” at the facilities of the KB Rockstar Youth Lounge, an arts and culture space run by the bank in Hongdae, Seoul.

The collaborative performance also featured local singer Kim Do-yeon, who was a member of disbanded K-pop girl group I.O.I., joining the artist in completing a series of KB x M. Chat paintings. 

Thoma Vuille (left) and K-pop singer Doyeon work on a collaborative M. Chat painting at the KB Rockstar Youth Lounge in Hongdae, northwestern Seoul, Thursday. (KB Kookmin Bank)

“The yellow cat represents the energy embodied in sunlight seen in many baroque-style paintings,” Vuille said during the event. “While in Seoul, I hope to show the locals as many of my works as possible,” he said.

M. Chat, short for Monsieur Chat, is Vuille’s signature character. The cartoon with a Cheshire Cat grin began to appear in France in the 1990s and was introduced in December 2004 at France’s Centre Pompidou, paving the way for acceptance of the graffiti as formal art.

Thoma Vuille (left) and K-pop singer Doyeon work on a collaborative M. Chat painting at the KB Rockstar Youth Lounge in Hongdae, northwestern Seoul, Thursday. (KB Kookmin Bank)

The graffiti artist has brought M. Chat and its message of peace and  happiness to several places around the world, from Vietnam, Kosovo and Sarajevo. The cat is also the subject of famed filmmaker Chris Marker’s 2004 documentary “Chats perches.”

In the weeks ahead, M. Chat artwork will be exhibited at various KB Kookmin Bank branches around the nation, with aims to bring the famed artwork to more audiences, the bank said.

Meanwhile, a separate M. Chat art exhibition is taking place at the Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center from March 16 to May 13. Individual adult tickets are priced at 15,000 won ($13.50).

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)

Source : koreaherald


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