Online Intervention Project
The image above is a comic strip that I created that was requested by the Korean army as an educational purpose for soldiers serving inside the DMZ, the de-militarized zone that separates South Korea and North Korea. As an art student who had experience serving inside such deserted area, I was recommended by lieutenants and colonels to create a two-page cartoon strip about the policies inside the DMZ.
I was requested through text messaging by a friend who decided to serve longer in the Korean army, and the colonel of the squad wanted to publish a short comic strip for educational purposes. I received an email from the colonel with attached documents that contain all the information about the policies and cautions inside the de-militarized zone.
The military provided some instructions with the comic strip in terms of style. They wanted the characters to look simplistic without any details such as shadows and tone. The simplistic style of the cartoon will be more accessible for soldiers and makes sense in terms of limited amount of time I have for finishing the comic. However, despite of the content being slightly confidential and mainly about the military and war, the simplistic design of the cartoon ironically matches with the content because it helps young soldiers to easily assimilate complex and difficult information and becomes highly accessible for all readers in the army.
The contents in the documents I received are indeed confidential, as they contain information aimed only for soldiers serving inside the de-militarized zone. Not only I cannot upload images of such documents on this website, I had to censor majority of the content before I sketch and draw the comic strip. However, due to the restrictions I had, I was able to create a highly accessible comic strip with some humorous elements. The purpose of an educational comic is to simplify complex information similar to a handbook of emergency situations.
Due to this project, not only I was able to recall my life in the army few years ago, I had the chance to recycle and apply my knowledge about the DMZ into a form of art, which I expected to not think of anymore after finishing my military service. It was surprising that I can still make contact with the army, which is located at the opposite side of Earth, and support their projects using my experiences and artistic skills I garnered both from school and the Korean military.
The cartoon is later going to be officially published on the online Korean army website, which cannot be accessed by civilians but only by soldiers currently serving in Korea.
The images below is the same cartoon, but without translations.
After finishing the comic strip, I sent the files to the captain of the squad and received his reply the day after. (See below)