They say that all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, not long after finishing the October issue of the European Go Journal, my work for the magazine abruptly came to a close after nine successful editions. If it were up to me, my designing and proofreading work for the Journal would have continued on for a long time, but it is what it is.
The last three covers I created can be viewed above, and in more detail below, for which I used artworks of three different artists: Alizée Chabin (France), Aleksandra Khokhlova (Russia), and Gonca Mine Çelik (Turkey).
Alizée Chabin (Kalyptane) made two illustrations especially for the occasion, adorning the Journal's front and back. In the Art & Photography chapter of the August edition, she writes:
"The painting that I made for the front cover is titled “Feeling Cosmic”. We see a go board, standing on top of the cliffs of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne. The position on the board shows the final game of the Transatlantic Professional Go League between Ilya Shikshin 4p and Ryan Li 3p, reviewed in this issue. In the distance, the historic warship “L'Hermione” from the 17th century, whose home port is Rochefort, sails off. I took some liberties in the drawing: the landscape is missing the wooden fishing platforms on the seashore and the plants in the foreground don't actually bloom that way. The painting for the back cover is titled “Le Phare du Bout du Monde”, which translates to “The Lighthouse at the End of the World”. It shows the lighthouse off the coast of La Rochelle, which is a replica of the one in Patagonia (Argentina)."
The September cover was special in the sense that it is the only one to date that has a front and back that blend into each other, since they are part of one and the same artwork. I stumbled upon this drawing on Aleksandra Khokhlova's Instagram, and she was kind enough to let the Journal use it. In the magazine, Aleksandra explains where the inspiration for this artwork came from:
"This illustration depicts my impressions of a go tournament. Before making it, I took part in
the championship of Siberia that brought together around 50 go players with all kinds of
personalities: loud and silent, brave and careful, self-confident and modest. I wanted to capture
all of this, and so in the breaks between my games I drew sketches in my notebook. After the
tournament I colored them at home, and a new artwork was born.
To engage with this artwork, you can self-reflect with the question of “What kind of go player
am I?” Are you a brooding kangaroo, a happy ferret, a cocky bird, a doubting monkey, a beast
that watches, or a hare that sits with its back towards everyone?"
For the front cover of October, I used a drawing by professional illustrator Gonca Mine Çelik that I'd first spotted in a Turkish go magazine called Taslı Yol ("Stony Road") a few years ago. In the Journal, Gonca describes her artwork, titled "Emotions of Go":
"I struggle a lot during a game of go, and this drawing illustrates how much of a struggle the
game can be. Go is a real challenge to one’s character. It provides so many ups-and-downs,
and pushes you to your limits. One moment you can feel very happy, then very sad the next. To
handle that, you need to be strong mentally. I think every go player will recognize this sentiment
and might even be able to identify with my illustration."
For the November edition, I had already asked Ofer Zivony (Israel) to create a portrait of Stanislaw Frejlak 1p, the freshly promoted professional go player of the EGF. I also contacted Zoé Constans (France) for the December edition, and I had plans to use a wonderful illustration by Clémence Bécaud (France), sent in by her husband Hugo Maussion (who created the cover of the July edition). My hope is that you'll be able to see their artworks on the covers of future editions.
My art lives on inside the Journal for just a little longer. In the November edition, all subscribers that receive a physical copy will also receive a Christmas card with it, designed by yours truly. There are six variations of the card, making each one a limited edition collector's item (see below).
So long, EGJ, and thanks for all the fish!
The cover of the 2020-2021 Dutch Go Yearbook is the sixth consecutive one in a series I have made for the Nederlandse Go Bond. The covers feature animals, go positions and paper marbling.
The toucan artwork is a creation from 2019. The organization of the Latin American Go Congress commissioned me to make a drawing for its edition that year, and to print 1000 postcards for the event that took place in the Nihon Ki-in da América do Sul in São Paulo, Brazil.
The toucan is a bird species indigenous to large parts of South America, and is taking the place of legendary go player Honinbo Shusaku in this design. The go match in the artwork is one of the most famous ones ever played, known as "The Ear Reddening Game". The match is at its most vital stage and the toucan is about to play a move that went down in history. Reportedly, when Shusaku played move 127, it mentally shook his opponent, Gennan Inseki, so much so that his ears turned red. If you look carefully at the cacti in the drawing, you can see that their fruit are starting to blush.
I'm grateful to the NGoB; this series of yearbooks is becoming quite something and I hope future Dutch go players will enjoy my covers as much as I do. The 2020-2021 edition will be printed and distributed among the members of the Dutch Go Association in early 2022.
I've added a new category to my website: ORIGINALS (FOR SALE) under PORTFOLIO. Have a look by clicking here.
On this page I plan to regularly add the originals of my artwork, which are for sale. You will be able to purchase them by clicking on them, which will redirect you to my shop on Etsy.
Yesterday I scanned and uploaded 6 of my drawings. I have over a hundred drawings made between 2006 and 2021 that I still need to scan, take proper photos of and put online. It's a big project, and it will take some time.
If you are interested in buying an original from me rather than a print, keep an eye on my social media (Instagram and Facebook) and my Etsy shop: I will slowly start selling art that I've never shown to the world wide web.
Yesterday I published Murugandi Newsletter #2. You can view it here, and subscribe if you are interested. If you do subscribe, expect to receive a newsletter in your inbox once a month or so.
What's in it the latest newsletter?
- A new drawing I made on vacation in Menorca, titled "Roots in Music" (see above). It is done with ink on watercolor paper, size 18.2 x 25.2 cm, and is for sale for €25!
Inspired by my sister Philo Ouweleen, I plan to do Weekly Drawings, which will be small in size and will be sold for €25 each. The money I gain from the sales will be spent to buy art from others in order to support the cultural sector.
- Background info about the September issue of the European Go Journal.
- A tattoo of my artwork "The Tortoise Shell".
- The rare Meijin screen-prints by German artist Harald Germer, for sale in my Etsy shop.
- Update on the logo competition of the Latinamerican Go Congress.
- News about my participation in the Dutch Foosball Championship (NK Tafelvoetbal 2021).
I have created a new go-related artwork! The occasion is a logo competition for the 2021 edition of the Congreso Latinoamericano de Go, a go tournament for Latin American players that will take place online in October this year. Requirements for the logo competition were to include a visual reference to the game of go and a representation of Latin American culture. I immediately thought of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs and Mixtecs, and started looking into their art. Particularly some of the Mixtec drawings resonated with me, and I used them as inspiration. In the logo we see a richly dressed figure with eagle headgear similar to that of Aztec eagle warriors, placing a stone on the go board. The color palette is also taken from old iconography, with the skin being red, and the clothing and jewelry being white, turquoise and golden. The figure is seated on a stool covered with a jaguar hide; both the eagle and the jaguar were symbols of power and divinity in ancient Mesoamerica.
For logos and trademarks I often first draw a rough sketch with pen on paper. I scan that line-drawing, then trace it on the computer and refine it. In this case, after I finished the color version on the computer, I still had inspiration left and came back to my original line-art on paper. You can see the final result of the black and white original above, after I added detail to it. Lately I make most of my design work in Photoshop, but when I draw by hand on paper I feel more free and creative. Drawing by hand can be almost meditative for me: I lose myself in the flow of creation and the details of the artwork.
The deadline for the logo competition was 5th of September, and its winner will be announced on the 8th. Fingers crossed! (EDIT on 20th of September 2021: Unfortunately I did not win, but my design did get an honorable mention)
This is not the first time that I made artwork for the Latin American Go Congress. In 2019 the organizers of the congress commissioned me to make a drawing, and to print 1000 postcards for the event that took place in the Nihon Ki-in da América do Sul in São Paulo, Brazil. I drew a toucan (see images above), a bird species indigenous to large parts of South America, taking the place of legendary go player Honinbo Shusaku. The go match in the artwork is one of the most famous ones ever played, known as "The Ear Reddening Game". The match is at its critical stage and the toucan is about to play a move that went down in history. Reportedly, when Shusaku played move 127, it mentally shook his opponent, Gennan Inseki, so much so that his ears turned red. If you look carefully at the cacti in the drawing, you can see that their fruit are starting to blush.
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Since February 2021 I've been working together with Artem Kachanovskyi 2p to create the European Go Journal, a monthly magazine about the game of go. The magazine includes news from recent European go events, notable news from the Asian continent where pro tournaments are more frequent, game commentaries, interviews, and recurring chapters like "Art & Photography", "World of Tesuji" by Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p and "Thirty-Six Stratagems" by Dai Junfu 8d.
My tasks for the journal are varied. I am the lead proofreader/editor, I adjust details of the layouting to improve looks, and I design the cover of each edition.
The creation of the covers is a lot of fun. I try to use different go-related artwork from as many different people as possible to showcase the diversity of the go community. This blog post looks back on the covers that I've made so far and gives a sneak peek into covers that are yet to come.
Covers so far: February - July 2021
So far six editions have been published, with artworks by the following people:
Covers yet to come
Below a sneak peek of what is yet to come.
Currently Alizée Chabin (from France), who is also known online as Kalyptane, is working on a custom cover with a nautical theme - front and back - for the August 2021 edition.
For the September and October issues, I found candidates in two amazing artists from Russia and Turkey. September will most likely have a cover made by Aleksandra Khokhlova, whose art I spotted on her Instagram account. The October issue will suitingly be adorned with autumn colors - I saw this illustration of a girl fighting off her mental demons in a Turkish go magazine called Tasli Yol (translates as "Stony Road"). That was a few years ago, and it was printed as a small picture. It is made by professional illustrator Gonca Mine Çelik and deserves to be in the spotlight.
Recently Harmen, a foosball buddy of mine, was in the hospital for surgery. My friend Bart had the great idea to send him one of my cards with a "get better soon" from us. Then I thought: why not make art specifically for him? Recently Harmen's dog and best friend Jillian passed away, and after posing the idea to some people close to Harmen and getting the green signal, I decided to go for it. I had just one photo from Whatsapp to work with and I took me two days to finish the artwork. This was the result.
A few days after we posted the card to the hospital we got a message from Harmen. He loved it!
Peter Brouwer and I have been working on a go-book this year which will be published in a couple of months by the Kiseido Publishing Company. The book will be called Weird and Wonderful - Vol. 1. Extraordinary Moves by Professional Players. This will be the first volume in a series of three, with the second volume focusing on unusual joseki and techniques, and the third volume being a collection of spectacular go problems.
I've been thinking about the cover for volume 1 and recently came up with the concept that you see above. What are we looking at? An eccentric man, without a doubt. But not just any man. It is Cho Chikun 9-dan, legendary go player of the Nihon Ki-in, who came to Japan from South Korea as a young boy and grew to become one of the best and most exciting players of the country. Cho is well-known for his cheekiness and sharp play on the go board, and especially for his ability to make life in confined spaces. The go position above him refers to one of the chapters of the book titled "Double Ladder Breakers that Calmed the Gods". A double ladder breaker cancels out two ladders of the opponent simultaneously and rarely occurs. It is known in Japanese as 鎮神頭 (Chinshinto), stemming from the Chinese 镇神头 (Zhèn shén tóu). Its Korean name is translated from Japanese to 진신두 (Jin shin-doo). Three professional games that include this rare move are analyzed in the chapter, of which one was played by Cho Chikun 9-dan against Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan for the 20th Kisei title match in January 1996.
It is not yet clear if this design will make the cover, but I am happy with the new artwork. I am contemplating doing more go-portraits in this style. Is there a player that you'd like me to portray? Let me know.
My mind is blown. I never thought that someday my art would be tattooed on someone's body. But it happened. Jamie Coulthard from the United Kingdom had one of my go-related artworks tattooed on his arm. It's a surreal and humbling feeling. Thank you, Jamie, you're rocking it.
This go shape - the black stones - is called "kame no kou" in Japanese (亀の甲), translating to "the tortoise shell". Its Chinese and Korean names mean the same (龟甲 and 거북등 respectively). My drawing is a pun, showing "the tortoise shell" on the shell of a tortoise.
I made the original black and white drawing with pen on paper in 2014. It is owned by Dutch go-collector Theo van Ees.
Welcome to my website! My name is Kim Ouweleen, my artist pseudonym is Murugandi. I am an illustrator, graphic designer, author and go teacher from Amsterdam.
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