Kim Jung Gi, an acclaimed illustrator and comic book artist, died Monday after suffering a heart attack in Paris. He was 47.
The Daniel Maghen art gallery announced the South Korean native’s death on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to a statement on his Instagram page, Kim had just completed his final engagement in Europe at the art gallery and was about to board a plane to New York when he experienced chest pains. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died, according to the social media post.
“After having done so much for us, you can now put down your brushes,” Kim’s collaborator, Hyun Jin Kim, wrote on Instagram.
Kim got his start drawing in “Young Jump,” a South Korean comics publication, CNN reported.
He later created his own manhwa, a brand of South Korean comics, called “Tiger the Long Tail,” also known as “TLT,” according to the news organization.
Kim, who also contributed artwork to graphic novels, Marvel and DC comics, once held the Guinness World Record for longest drawing by an individual, the Times reported.
“His sudden disappearance contrasts with the immense happiness he brought us,” the Maghen gallery said in a statement. “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. All our thoughts are turned to his family, his wife and his two children, his friends, his collaborators Kim Hyun Jin, Boin Lee, Jean-Christophe Caurette -- and his fans, for whom his disappearance will leave a great void.”
According to a biography on his website, Kim was born in 1975 in the South Korean town of Goyang-si. He began sketching at an early age before studying art and design at Dong-Eui University in Busan.
Kim also taught at universities and emphasized the ability to “visualize the moment,” CNN reported.
“It’s miserable when you can’t draw what you have in your head,” Kim said in a June interview.
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