Artist Luke Chueh is working with the toy designer company Munky King to produce animated shorts based on his work. Munky King has already worked with Chueh to create toys based on his art for a decade now. Development company Tiny Giants is a part of the project that is bringing his art to life, including his well-known bear character, in animated shorts like “Grief Encounters”. A Kickstarter campaign has started where backers can support the full series of shorts in the works where the short “Grief Encounters” can be viewed. The campaign ends on August 20th.
The press release from Munky King follows.
— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 9th August 2017
Munky King developing Luke Chueh animated shorts with Tiny Giants.
Celebrating ten years since the launch of Luke Chueh’s signature designer toy, Possessed, Munky King is producing Grief Encounters, an animation series based on Luke’s work with Stu Gamble of Tiny Giants.
The Los Angeles designer toy brand, Munky King, who have output numerous Luke Chueh originals over the last ten years, including Bitch, Target and most recently Prisoner are working with European IP development agency Tiny Giants to bring twenty of Chuehs iconic paintings to the screen.
Munky King’s partnership with Luke started in 2007 after MK founder, Patrick Lam and Chueh had struck up a friendship a few years prior. Chueh had displayed a number of his painting in Munky King’s Chinatown store. At the height of the designer toy scene they launched Possessed and moved operations to Melrose Avenue. It was here the collaborators first encountered Stu Gamble of Tiny Giants. An experienced director with a vast back catalogue of animation production the trio were excited to find a way to work together. Now, from Munky King’s new creative space on Pico, they have developed the outline for Grief Encounters, a series of twenty short films inspired by Luke’s most cherished artworks, and intended for released in 2018.
Operating independently, in order to retain creative control and ensure Chueh’s signature themes and motifs remain uncompromised, the creatives have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter running until August 19th.
Find out more www.munkyking.com/griefencounters and see teaser trailer here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/munkyking/grief-encounters
Grief Encounters is a series of animated shorts that brings to life the art of renowned pop-surrealist, Luke Chueh. Signature to his paintings are the evocative narratives contained within the still images and their titles. But what happened before the bloodied bear was hijacked by the devil in Possessed? Or after the chicken is served a plate of eggs sunny-side up in I Asked For Scrambled? Grief Encounters aims to solve these burning questions by animating the most iconic paintings from Luke’s vast portfolio by reimagining the world within them with gritty backdrops for his tragically cute characters and by weaving narratives that stay true to Luke’s unique blend of comedy and tragedy.
In 2007, Patrick Lam of Munky King first collaborated with Luke Chueh and brought the world his first vinyl toy “Possessed”, serial number MK001.
Luke Chueh had first meandered into Munky Kings little shop in Chinatown in 2004. Under the suspicious gaze of the proprietor, Patrick, he proceeded to probe all the blind boxes, ruining them in search of the elusive chase figure. And so began a friendship that has spanned over a decade and a partnership that produced award-winning, sold-out art toys.
They were back at Comic Con for the tenth year running launching an expansion of Luke’s work into a new medium, animation.
Inspired by Bill Plympton’s Plymptoons, Patrick and Luke developed Grief Encounters, a series of animated shorts that are literal translations of Luke’s paintings. A test based on Spontaneous Combustion debuted at San Diego Comic Con a few years back. Since then they have built a collaboration with Stu Gamble of Tiny Giants and this year they will screen Target a taste of what’s to come.
But then one day, director extraordinaire Stu Gamble stumbled into MK Melrose in search of art in LA’s cultural wasteland. His impressive body of work, unique vision, and infectious enthusiasm led to this unholy alliance. On Grief Encounters, Stu smashed our preconceptions for the series, liberating it from a literal interpretation of Luke’s work and sending it on a far more ambitious and inspired trajectory.
So the stars have finally aligned to bring Luke’s art to a new medium and reach a broader audience. But his subject matter has always been a bit off-brand for traditional studios and their corporate cash. And most importantly, they aim to stay as true to his art with animation as they do with our toys.
The team have supported other Kickstarter projects in the past and were inspired by its sense of community. Luke Chueh is an extremely talented artist. His work inspires people and especially resonates with those that have experienced great pain. He has fans all over the world and we wanted to involve them in our filmmaking process. Crowdfunding allows us to do that.
Using cute animal characters to express deeply emotional and often pained experiences, Luke Chueh’s art fuses the light and the dark, wherein his characters deal with the harsh realities of life. By combining 2D animated characters and live action backgrounds we believe we can embrace this concept and round out the stories behind his paintings. Working with this more somber material, we are eager to retain control of the creative process and feel that this can be best done by connecting and financing the project through Luke’s fans.
Stu Gamble spoke about his approach “The visual style of the show is a hybrid of 2D animation and live action backgrounds. The artistic intention is so the animation does not ‘blend’ into the environment. The effect being that it hits the mark emotionally, it stands out, much like Luke himself and reflects how he feels in regards to ‘fitting into the world’.”
As this is a particular style of work not traditionally financed we need funding to ensure the quality of the project.
Twitter: @lukechueh #art to #animation #GriefEncounters w/ @munkykingtoys + @stugamble Check out @kickstarter launch @SDCC #kickstarter #sdcc2017
Instagram: @lukechueh #art to #animation #GriefEncounters w/ @munkykingtoys x @stu_gamble – Launched @Comic_Con Check out @kickstarter #kickstarter #sdcc2017 #booth4851 #MunkyKing #TinyGiants
We have a dedicated page too www.munkyking.com/griefencounters