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Jiun Qi - Concept Art 2024
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Jiun Qi - Concept Art 2024

Tan Jiun Qi
by jiunqi on 1 Jun 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

Hello! My name is Jiun Qi and I am a fresh graduate from The One Academy. Growing up in Malaysia, I’ve been exposed to many different cultural settings, reflecting on my love for all kinds of art styles. On this page, I’ll showcase a collection of my projects from 2022-2024 done in college, enjoy!

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“In a dying universe, an aloof master comes across a religious child who has been revered as a goddess by her people.”

“The master serves the universe, to ensure that it can die smoothly, whereas the child, who has become his pupil, is filled with boundless hope of restoring the world to its original state. Could the two characters, from drastically different backgrounds, coexist, or even more so, learn from each other?”

Pupillary is the IP project I had the liberty to create during my last semester in The One Academy. For this project, I was deeply moved and inspired by Rose-Lynn Fisher's microscopic photography series - "The Topography of Tears", which explored the beautiful crystalised structures of tears under the microscope. I thought to myself, "What if there were a universe within our tears?" after seeing the microscopic images, which resembled the branches that formed the cosmic web all around us. Hence, the world of Pupillary was born.

The art direction of Pupillary takes inspiration from the visuals of microscopic photos of tears, creating branching spirals and mesmerising shapes is a must in every design. The idea of small to big is also there, imagine things that we don't usually see with our naked eye, becoming huge motifs and environments.

Her Dying Wish

The Pupil isn't ready for change. All her life, she always had what she needed within reach. Who knew, that one day, it would all come to an abrupt end? She was ready to be sacrificed as the chosen goddess as per tradition to alleviate the Herald of Plight, to stop the end of the universe, but that is not what the universe wants.

Saved by a masked man in rags, she now has to start a new life and get accustomed to the vast lands she will traverse on her journey, with her "master", she sulks, to learn the truth of the universe and accept its death. 

The Master & The Pupil

The Master's design was inspired by a Chinese fisherman, he wields an oar and dons a long cape with a straw-like circle hat. The reason behind the inspiration was the need to convey his age and experience, his shape language is a puckered star, a shape that is molded by the pressures of the world. He's part of the Lipidary Division that directly serves the universe through emotional and spiritual connection.

The Pupil's design was inspired by a Kumari, a living child goddess in Nepal. Her shape language is square and rigid to represent her unbending faith towards her culture and traditions. The symmetry of her design is meant to highlight the strictness of her values and behaviour, while the two little snail antennas that pop out of her headdress represent her hidden naivety that contrasts from what she represents.

Tearduct Viewport

Tearduct Viewport (tear + viaduct) is a city that The Pupil calls home, situated on the planet of Lapillipi. It is a city that takes culture and tradition very seriously.

Port De Lacrima

Inspired by the shape of a teardrop in contact with dissipation, the port is a gate to another realm, nested in a valley of alienesque landforms, it serves as the key method of transport in this eccentric city. Port De Lacrima is a city of innovation and technology, situated on a distant planet from Lapillipi, the Pupil's home planet.

The Herald of Plight is the first early concept piece I painted to discover this world, a glimpse into the stylistic expressions of fragmentation, centered around the concept of divergence and convergence of the end of the universe.

“Shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experiences, like one drop of an ocean.”
 - Rose Lynn Fisher

“In a city of black and white, a rebellious young con artist, Ebon Gearlock, finds home in the alleyways, where the illegal trading of colour is unregulated and sprawling.”

The city of Nocshire is ruled by a tyrannous monarch, Lady Monochrome. The walls of the city have risen from centuries past, rendering no escape for the citizens within, but it was only until the Lady's reign that the concept of colour was abolished. 

Nocshire is a group concept design project that I was proud to be a part of. Working with my teammates, Chong Shan Ze, Lee Ann Shannon, Chew Kok Seng & Siew Hong Liang to flesh out the worldbuilding of Nocshire was truly a memorable experience. Through pages full of thought processes and sharing, I'll share my part of Nocshire with great joy.

Before Nocshire came to life, it was just a simple comedic story involving a sentient chess piece that wanted to break free from its player's grasp, as they kept making blunders during a chess game. Who knew, that we would soon develop the idea into an entire city with corruption and culture?

Environment & Key Arts

Skytram Station

Above the endless levels of the skyscrapers, the rich, followers of Lady Monochrome gather on the stations' platforms during the golden hour to mingle about the parties they will attend by midnight. Meanwhile the poor and the rebels dwell in the slum-like alleys down below the lowest levels of the city.

The Fall

On the sound of a ringing whistle, a colourful owl-like creature arrives at the nick of time to cushion Lady Monochrome’s fall, as the crumbling palace can be seen in the background, countless fragments of falling debris rain down an abyss of dust. Lady Monochrome has been triumphed over.

A New Dawn

After the crumbling had settled, and billows of dust dissipated into the air, the citizens within the city stared into the distance at the wonderous colours of the outside world in awe, for it was their first time seeing such an extensive prism of colours.

Ripplefort Skytrees

Beyond the walls of Nocshire, nature and its radiant colours roam wild and free across the land. Above the distant clouds, a floating fortress lies among the forest of Ripplefort Skytrees, but to whom does it belong? The Ripplefort Skytrees are the pillars of the sky, holding up the clouds that would otherwise fall and bring forth an age of mist and haze. This uncharted territory is beyond the story of Nocshire, as of now, we shall celebrate the newfound freedom of the citizens of Nocshire!

In 1940, we enter a remote town in France, where war ravages the lands and famine plagues the people. 

Two nuns are trapped within the crypt of a church, completely deprived of food, and one of them has to make an important decision.

The story centers around the two nuns, the older one, Isabeau, is very protective of the young nun, Amelie. I had the privilege of working with extremely talented 2D and 3D artists in my final year collaborative short film project in The One Academy. Here's the collection of concept art I've done as the environment lead of "Matriphagy", which is currently under production!

Statue of The Virgin Mother Mary

There are many important decisions to make when designing assets for production, such as planning the level of detail with budget and time constraints. However, for Mother Mary, I was able to go all out on the details because the statue was the most important prop in the interior of the crypt. Being placed on the altar, she solemnly gazes down upon the actions of Isabeau and Amelie as the story unfolds.

Usually, statues of Mother Mary include a feature where her foot is stepping on a serpent which symbolizes her triumph over evil. So for our variation, we have her feet broken to foreshadow the eventual doom of our story.

The Battlefield

This is a matte painting I did for the opening sequence of the film, I extended it multiple times so it could be composited properly to the intense camera movements of the shot. Although this shot only lasts a few seconds, I believe it's important to use that limited time to capture the audience's attention, which is why I tried to make the matte painting a statement piece along with the dramatic depiction of the sky, as it will help to set the mood and tone of our film.

Key Art

This is one of the significant shots of our short film, Michelangelo's Pieta inspires the pose, we wanted to convey the composition of this shot as though it was a classical painting.

Early Look Development

Early explorations on how the overall colour and mood of the film could look (left); early unused concept art for Amelie when she was slightly older (right).

“When the news of the princess's disappearance came about, Dimitra sought to find the truth and reunite with her beloved friend.”

Ascend is a concept art project for an AAA game set in ancient Greece, more specifically, the end of the Minoan Crete era and the start of the Mycenaean Greek era. The turning point of the story comes when Princess Eleni of Knossos, was transformed into a Harpy by Zeus and flees to mainland Greece. Dimitra, her best friend and her loyal warrior must find her and save her. Nothing comes easy, however, for the gods and goddesses will cross her path, and depending on the choices she makes, she might receive guidance, or she might die a miserable death.

But the clock ticks for Eleni, for every second she stays as a Harpy, she loses her humanity bit by bit, and she will succumb to a ravenous monster, a true Harpy, a true hound of Zeus.

Another goddess, however, has a similar goal to Dimitra, and her name is... Gaia. Imprisoned in the depths of Tartarus from a previous unknown offense, Gaia will strike a deal with Dimitra, but will she accept it?

For this project, I wanted to use gold as a theme across the designs and incorporate the intertwining patterns of branches and strangling figs as symbolism of the goddess of earth, Gaia. The way strangling figs wrap around a tree and how vines suspend from it, I feel that it's a great way to draw parallels between the designs and Gaia's manipulative role in the story.

The Hanging Citadel

The Hanging Citadel atop Mount Olympus, Court of Zeus. This is where Dimitra battles the final boss, Zeus, as guided by Gaia. The citadel itself is a puzzle for Dimitra to solve, to ascend the mischievous moving platforms and reach the Court of Zeus.

Reaching the peak of Mount Olympus is just the beginning, the real threat rises along with the atmosphere. The saturated blue glow is a symbol of Zeus’ thunderous fury. Will Dimitra, a mere human, be able to banish Zeus and avenge Eleni?

“A samurai was ordered to eradicate all monsters in the empire, but hesitated when he saw himself in the monstrous crane, then an unlikely bond is formed.”

The story was inspired by the Japanese folktale "Tsuru no Ongaeshi", The Crane Wife, but I twisted the narrative and thought... What if I rewrote the true story behind the legend, what if the crane didn't have to marry the farmer to return the favour of saving its life? I tied the story to my narrative by thinking from the perspective of how tales and legends are passed down, many details are lost along the process. Hence, those who speak of the legend of The Crane Wife must have misunderstood the relationship between the man and the crane. That's how I came up with the lighthearted story of Tsuru, featuring the bond of two characters with contrasting personalities.

Kamimori

As Daiki and Tsuru bonded over their indifferences, an abandoned palanquin was thrown down on them from the cliffside. When they opened their eyes, the two and the palanquin entered the spirits' realm, Kamimori, in a crash landing. Disturbing the peace of its inhabitants, the environment art is the calm before the havoc. Beds of red spider lilies, a symbol of death, welcome them in full bloom.

Miscellaneous Projects

Here are some smaller projects that I have also done in The One Academy as part of foundational training! In no chronological order.

“In a dystopian city, a little boy stumbles upon a storefront displaying a robot who bears the face of his father.”

Window Shopping is an art test I've done for school in conjunction with pitching a story to be developed into a short film, I wanted to explore the boundless wonder of a child in a city where no one has the time to stop and care. Natto, of course, is captivated by the robot that resembles his father, having not seen him for quite a while. He desperately tries to get the robot's attention but to no avail. Soon enough, he will find out that the robot isn't his father in the harshest way...

The Guardian Astray

This is Papa’s home, a former war combat robot. Papa is a pacifist who’s taken on the role of a caretaker of children who lost their parents to war. Due to his Al, he doesn’t have an eye for aesthetic quality, but he knows basic human needs and has a curiosity for life and to learn. He’s still recovering from traumatic flashbacks during the war and can become dangerous and defensive when triggered by shooting and explosive sounds. When the war combat robots were manufactured, Papa was the only robot who refused to fight. With his creators believing that there was an error in the Al, he was trashed inside a bunker. After the long nuclear war, he returned to the surface only to find everything in ruins. He was the last of his kind.

To The Moon & Back

The race takes place in space, where the racers suit up and control spaceship mechas to compete, this race is broadcast to the entirety of Earth, it’s a large-scale monthly event that brings the whole Earth together. Ironically, most of the earth suffers from poverty, and with the lack of basic necessities, most areas have become wastelands, while the rich cities become more and more developed.

The Colour Red

With nearly the entire earth frozen and almost all of humanity wiped out in the northern hemisphere, only small communities that are accustomed to extreme cold remain as they migrate to warmer areas for a better chance of survival. Not many make it to the equator, the earth had never been this cold.

Ana Agnidessa starts off as a hopeful person, every night she stargazes, wondering what kind of life lies beyond the Himalayas. After the traumatic sight of her tribe in shambles, she lives with survivor’s guilt, nightmares haunt her every night, and every shade of red calls to her in agony. In her adventures, she will learn to overcome her trauma and find hope once again in the fire that keeps her warm.

Personal Work

Here are some personal works I have done outside of my projects, I enjoy painting with a painterly style where you can clearly see the brushstrokes!

Last but not least...

Here's a fan art illustration of Ranni The Witch from Elden Ring! Accompanied by Glintstone Dragon Adula, Ranni wields her Moonlight Greatsword, charging forward.

The character Ranni The Witch is owned by FromSoftware.

Thank you for visiting and taking an interest in my entry!!

I want to thank my lecturers at The One Academy for the guidance, inspiration, and support you have provided throughout my journey. I am proud to have been a student at The One Academy, and I carry forward the lessons and experiences from my course with great pride and appreciation.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, offering constructive feedback, and challenging me to push the boundaries of my creativity. Your commitment to excellence has been the key to kindling my passion for art.

I also want to thank my family and friends for the unwavering support you provided throughout my journey in The One Academy!

Connect with me ~

Artstation: artstation.com/jiunqi

Instagram: @jiunqi

LinkedIn: Jiun Qi Tan


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