Book Review: ZERO: ART OF ZERO

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ZERO: ART OF ZERO is a collaboration concept artbook between four artists, namely Ehoto, Rainman, Lee Young Hoon and Kim Jin Hoon. They are all concept artists from South Korean. I've only heard of Rainman because I featured his first artbook.

I've to thank AWBOOKS who mailed me this review copy. I won't have known that it existed otherwise.

This is a 224-page paperback artbook that took the artists 14 months to complete. You get to see each artist contribute to character and environment designs.

The premise or story for the concept art is based on some plague that happens, and there's this special material called ZERO with the power to turn everything into nothing. The story is not particularly strong, and it doesn't help that the English translation provided sort of made it a bit more confusing and difficult to understand. Anyway, the story is only mentioned in the introduction, the rest of the artbook has only art.

The environment is set in what looks to me like medieval era with castles and enchanted forests. Much of the landscape art are drawn based on these castles on mountains, by cliffs and towering over the town houses beneath. There are also some strange structures floating in the middle of vast landscape and snow capped mountains. Character designs have some Asian influence with motifs. Some of them even look like the Na'vi from the Avatar film. There aren't a lot of character designs. I wished that the characters were doing something instead of just posing as that would have provided more clues to what's happening in the world.

Overall, the concept art looks quite sketchy, very much in the development stage and there aren't too many pieces brought to completion. I feel that pieces from Rainman have a more finished look. This is after all a personal experiment project of the four artists so it's not unexpected for the ideas to be a bit sketchy. To come up with this volume of work is still an impressive feat.

Right at the back of the book are some tutorials talking about selected pieces of work. There's also a gallery featuring artworks from some guest artists.

ISBN of the book is 9791187328001. Official retail price is USD $28. You can order the book through email.

I'm not sure about shipping cost so you can contact the publisher to find out.

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