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Professor-turned-artist Pioneers New Art Genre with Samsung’s Galaxy Note

The whimsical images you see below aren’t created with paint on canvas, but with a device you might be using to read this post right now.

Ahn Seung-jun, a professor of natural science at Hanyang University, is finally living his dream to become an artist with the help of a phablet. Specifically, he uses a stylus to create eye-catching original artwork on the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Ahn’s artwork evolved with the help of social media. Courtesy of gallery NoW.

Ahn calls this new genre of art “Digi Fun Art” because it combines technology, creativity and the pleasure of expressing oneself. A unique aspect of Ahn’s pictures is that he likes to first take fresh photos of people, buildings and activities around Seoul. Then, using his Galaxy Note, he paints different colors and designs on top of the photos to create a new image. I thought the Galaxy Note was great for watching HD movies, but Ahn has a much cooler use for its brilliant screen.

On a side note, Ahn started his artistic journey using the original Galaxy Note, but he now also  has the Galaxy Note 2 and draws with it. The Galaxy Note 2 has a larger 5.5-inch screen and an HD Super AMOLED display, which makes for a bigger “canvas” to work on!

Ever modest, Ahn says that he doesn’t consider himself an artist, but he hopes that more people will experience the same joy that he’s found through art. “I think that art is the act of re-discovering the beauty of the passing things around us every day,” he says. “I hope that ordinary people like me can use smartphones to become closer to art, which may feel like something distant.”

Ahn Seung-jun poses with his artwork at gallery NoW. Photo Credit:

Ahn, 57, didn’t discover this new artistic outlet until he retired from his 30-year career at Samsung Electronics in 2011. First, he took a photography class and found that he enjoyed it. Then, one of his former colleagues at Samsung gave him the Galaxy Note as a gift. What started as simply taking photos of his face and drawing silly moustaches slowly turned into more imaginative and daring images.

When he began sharing his pictures with students on the SNS service Kakao Story, people were delighted and encouraged him to continue drawing. Ahn, by now working as a professor, was having so much fun that it was no longer simply doodling, but a full-blown passion. He would draw all day and even at night without realizing that time had passed.

Ahn’s pictures eventually got the attention of a professional photographer, who helped him put on his first exhibition at an art gallery in the Gwanhoong-dong area in Seoul. The exhibition, called “Homo Ludens,” ran from January 2-15 at gallery NoW. Judging by the great turnout and media attention he’s been getting, I bet it’s not the last we’ve heard of Ahn and “Digi Fun Art.”

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About the author by Anna Sohn

I’m a New Jersey girl with a lifelong fascination with Korea, my motherland. In 2011, I moved to Seoul and I’ve enjoyed living in this wired and fast-paced city ever since. I’m excited to share the latest tech and design developments I encounter in Korea and hope you enjoy the AT&D blog as much I enjoy writing for it!

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  • JoseAnt.EstevTejeda.

    The best of both worlds, technology and art :)

    • Advanced Technology Korea

      Right on.