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.
Want to receive updates on my newest art? Click below to subscribe to my newsletter.
You can view my previous newsletters here.