Color! It makes our life beautiful and interesting. Do you remember chanting the seven colors of a rainbow when you were children? Do you know that there is a nice job concerned with color?
Colors are widely using in various fields, such as art, architecture, interior design, fashion and so on. And the color industry creates high added value with a small capital investment. So many foreign countries are already aware of the importance of color and are investing in the industry.
The Post met Baek Jung-ki, senior designer of I.R.I Design Institute (www.iridesign.co.kr), who is a 26-year-old young colorist. Let's visit the colorist's world. Are you ready?.....Ed.
Post : What is a colorist?
Baek: Selecting a proper color maximizes the sale of a product. Colorists help companies and people choose the most suitable color. We research and analyze information related with color. For example, we survey what color people prefer and then turn it into standardized and numerical data. Through those methods, we can offer more trustworthy analyses.
Post : Why did you become a colorist?
Baek : I had been interested in art since I was a child. Now, I'm very happy and satisfied with my job. My goal is to help people deal easily with color. I majored in physics at Daejin Univ. and researched color optics at the Daejin Graduate School. Frankly, I thought that physics had nothing to do with the art industry before I studied color optics. However, I realized color is also science and physical knowledge could apply to the analysis of color.
Post : What is needed to become a colorist?
Baek : A scientific approach to color is more important than a natural gift. Of course, the person who has a special knowledge or who majors in art has an advantage, but it is not vital. In fact, one co-worker majored in economics and another majored in psychology. There is not specific qualification to be a colorist yet. However, there are some special institutions offering educational programs that can help you become a colorist. Those are: KIDP (Korea Institute of Industrial Design Promotion), KCRI (Korea Color Research Industry) and Ewha Color & Design Research Institute. They are sponsored by the government and offer educational courses once or twice a year. If you complete one of those courses, you receive a diploma.
Post : What salary do you get?
Baek : A standing salary is about 10 million won a year. It seems quiet small. However, it doesn't matter because I love my job and believe that colorist will be in the limelight in the near future.
Post : Compare the status of colorists in Korea to those in foreign countries...?
Baek : Some countries including Japan and Sweden have implemented a system of qualification, and in many countries color is already researched actively. There has not been much research in Korea, therefore, we learned most of our knowledge from Japan, America and Europe. Recently, however, there have been new research results which are worthy of close attention. I think some Korean research is superior that in foreign countries. I understand that the Ministry of Labor is expected to make a colorist certification in 2001.
The editor's postscript : While interviewing Baek Jung-ki, she seemed to be very proud of her work, and made this funny observation: The color industry is almost a venture business.?It may mean that many Koreans have little understanding of color industry. "In my opinion, Korean's sense of color is ten years behind that of advanced countries. Therefore, it is hard to improve people's understanding about the importance of color in a short time. However, I feel a lump in my throat because I'm exploring forgotten land, the color industry," she said. In that respect, there is no doubt that being a colorist is an attractive job.
Kim Dong-ho firstname.lastname@example.org
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