Each month we invite a creative to curate the Behance social feed for one week. We spoke with April’s Guest Curators, Minjin Kang and Mijoo Kim of Mue Studio to find out more about their history of creative partnership and their approach to creating serene 3D scenes.
The creative collaboration between the two artists began over a decade ago, while they were both students at the Art Institute of Chicago studying photography. They often critiqued each other’s work, providing honest feedback and lending a helping hand in times of need. Years later, when they both moved to New York, they decided to collaborate again — this time, professionally.
Mue Studio’s work is characterized by minimalist compositions and pastel color palettes that transports the viewer into another world.
“We are interested in exploring blurring the boundary between fantasy and reality. We invite viewers into dreamlike space. Our usual approach is ‘less is more’, because it is the most effective way to present a comfortable vibe (i.e., virtual vacation). It becomes difficult to promote comfort when the image gets cluttered.”
Given that Minjin and Mijoo both have a background in photography, it’s no surprise that Mue Studio’s work pays acute attention to the use of light. Their preferred light is soft and directional, like what you’d see during the early hours of sunrise or sunset.
“The sky at the time of sunrise and sunset has a full spectrum of colors with many details — it makes your pictures look more interesting to your viewers,” they explain. Beyond visual intrigue, sunrise and sunset add conceptual meaning to Mue Studio’s work: “In the larger context of psychology, [the full spectrum of colors] represent the cycle of nature, including that of humans and other livings. This is why we like to utilize sunrise and sunset to provoke feelings, through colors, tones, and compositions.”
In addition to light, color plays a significant role in the work of Mue Studio. They cite choosing an appropriate color palette as an integral part of their artistic process. “As we use the uniform color palette, it enables us to convey the moods, feelings we want to generate. Colors bring a sense of peace, clarity, and even protection, and we believe it is the strongest device to describe subtle emotion.”
Sharing their work to Behance has helped Mue Studio reach a new global audience and to connect to a creative community: “We really appreciate a lot of comments such as ‘These images are calm,’ ‘I would like to be present in that space,’ ‘This image is like a visual ASMR.’ These words fuel us as an artist.”
This year, one of Mue Studio’s creative goals is to extend beyond their usual medium. “We decided to define our identity as a multidisciplinary artist, constantly pushing our creative boundaries. Even though the message has been the same, constant changes in our mediums including photography, 3D art, video, and more, allowed us to expand our work.”
When curating their Behance moodboard, Mue Studio also looked beyond the scope of 3D for inspiration. “I was always interested in other mediums, and had a longing for other artists who use different mediums. These artists tend to inspire me, especially from painting, sculpture, and music,” shares Mijoo.
One of the projects that caught Minjin and Mijoo’s eye was a series by Tim Tadder that combines photography with colorful textures. Tim created the series “with the hope that it encourages empathy, unity, and a non-binary view of race,” and that sentiment certainly came across to the viewers. “We appreciate how his art creates a sense of mixed feelings, including anxiety, vulnerability, and the value of unity,” says Mue Studio.
They were also struck by this photography series by Álvaro Peñalta and Josep Prat Sorolla. The goal of the project was to visualize Pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon where a specific (often meaningful image) is perceived in a random or ambiguous visual patterns. “It was truly brilliant to visualize Pareidolia. The interactions between photography and colorful graphic patterns caught our eyes for a long time,” says Mue Studio of the project.
One 3D project Mue Studio chose to include in their moodboard is a collaboration between Karan Gujar and Shrikant Jakkula. Like the 3D scenes from Mue Studio’s own portfolio, Dream Factory presents a fantastical land for imaginative escapes. “It is exciting to navigate the world constructed with the delicate architectural forms and contrast of vivid colors,” says Mue Studio of these colorful renders.