Cartoonist Kim Jung Gi dies of ‘sudden’ heart attack in Paris aged 47
Kim Jung Gi, the South Korean cartoonist who holds the Guinness World Record for “the longest drawing by an individual”, has died of a heart attack.
The 47-year-old died “suddenly” on Monday, October 3, while in Paris, his collaborator Hyun Jin Kim announced today.
Mr Jung Gi, having completed his last program in Europe, was heading to New York when he experienced “chest pains” at the airport.
He was taken to hospital for surgery but “unfortunately passed away”.
Mr. Jung Gi leaves behind a wife and two children.
The designer’s latest exhibition, hosted at the Daniel Maghen gallery, will remain on display until Saturday at the request of his family.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the sudden passing of Kim Jung Gi,’ Mr Jin Kim told The Independent, detailing how the entertainer suffered a heart attack at the airport.
“Jung Gi went to the airport to fly to New York, where he experienced chest pains and was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery, but sadly passed away.”
He concludes: “After having done so much for us, you can now put down your brushes. Thank you Jung Gi.’
The Daniel Maghen gallery also paid tribute to the late artist in a heartfelt Instagram post: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Kim Jung Gi on Monday evening in Paris”.
“His sudden disappearance contrasts with the immense happiness he brought us. We are speechless.
“Daniel Maghen, the entire gallery team, and particularly Olivier Souillé, who had accompanied him for ten years, are terribly affected by his loss.”
The gallery extended its condolences to Mr. Jung Gi’s wife, children and loved ones, as well as his collaborators and fans “for whom his passing will leave a great void.”
Mr. Jung Gi, born in Goyang-Si, South Korea, showed interest in the arts from an early age and enrolled in a fine arts school at the age of 19. He then obtained a master’s degree in art and design in Dong-Eui. Busan University, according to his online biography.
The artist also served two years in the South Korean military as a member of the special forces unit where he was able to memorize the range of different weapons and vehicles.
Mr. Jung Gi previously said that his most notable asset in his career was his memory, which he had developed over the years.
“His ability to render extremely complicated scenes almost perfectly from memory, without the aid of references, pushed the boundaries of what many artists believed possible,” states his artist biography.
He collaborated with several other comic artists throughout his career, created artwork for political residencies, and illustrated novels and album covers. He published six sketchbooks in his lifetime and also holds the record for the “longest drawing by an individual in the Guinness World Records book”.