Gwangju Blog

Where Reality and Animation Meet

Raqib Hasan Apu was once a young boy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, reading his favorite comic books about Spider-Man, Batman, and everyone else in the Marvel/D.C. worlds. He would recreate the illustrations in his free time, and soon began to mimic the style of other textbooks lying around the house. It wasn’t a conscious decision to be an artist, it just resonated with him as a way to communicate what was in his heart and mind. Fast forward to 2017, and Raqib’s passion for art has evolved into a career as a professional animator who uses his experience in this world to create his own.

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Raqib Hasan Apu

Although Raqib had no formal training in art throughout his adolescence, he poured himself into it as a hobby while he was growing up. When it came time to select a field at university, he chose to pursue a fine arts degree with a major in sculpture. During this time, he was not only able to enhance his skills, but also studied the depths of art history from around the world. This refined level of skill and knowledge landed him several career opportunities as an animator and production designer in Bangladesh.

In 2012, he furthered his studies by enrolling at Korea National University of the Arts where he focused on film and multimedia in addition to his concentration on animation. The program is known as one of the best in Asia, and helped to land Raqib at Chung-Ang animation studio here in Gwangju where he has been happily creating animated TV series such as Galaxy Kids over the last two years.

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Self Portrait from Synergy Exhibition

But the creativity doesn’t stop when Raqib leaves work, he is constantly brainstorming and creating during his free time for his independent projects. There is no separating the man from his art. He explains, “Art is like your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. It helps to see, smell, listen, and speak. Without those senses, we can be alive, but we are more like a still life.” Just as Raqib appreciates the creations of artists from around the world, he puts no limit on where his imagination will take him.

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Another Self Portrait from the Synergy Exhibition

 

 

 

There are often themes of adventurous heroism, world politics, sexuality, and snippets of his day to day life, but he embraces every experience without reservations. “To me, creativity can challenge someones beliefs, morality, and society’s rules, and also simultaneously influence a new way to think of life. In my life journey, I’ve always tried to understand the beauty of nature, the diversity of humans, and their relationship. Through my art work, I try to reflect my experiences and my expressions.”

 

 

 

His first short, Day Dream of a Cowboy, was created before Raqib began his studies in Korea, and he has continued to challenge himself and find inspiration.  Currently he is working on an animated short, A Naked Night. The story involves an affair and the vulnerability behind sexual repression. Raqib creates all aspects of his own animations with the exception of the music, so it is safe to say that his creative output is still full steam ahead. While a definite release date has not yet been announced for this short, you can be certain that Raqib’s art will be popping up all around Gwangju and beyond.