The Memorial Silent Art Auction for Simon Chung took place on the second floor of the Animation Guild building. I arrived at the very beginning with a decent but manageable crowd, which served me well, as I was able to view most of the pieces with relative ease before the inevitable madhouse that ensued. Indeed, the gallery was packed that night as family members, friends, and colleagues of Simon gathered to celebrate his life, and bid for artwork to help pay for his medical bills and debt.
The walls were practically covered from top to bottom with artwork by familiar names from the animation industry, most notably the director of the Academy Award-winning “Adam and Dog,” Minkyu Lee, whose pencil drawings of Anna and Kristoff from “Frozen” hung from almost every corner of the room.
A stage at the far right end from the entrance provided gallery-goers with an intimate glimpse into the sketchbooks of their dearly departed friend. As I pored through the pages of those sketchbooks, rife with quotes from the Holy Bible, and human figures in a style that reminded me of Ekaterina Khozatskaya, I could not shake off feelings of guilt, as if I were somehow invading Simon’s privacy. So strong were these feelings that, out of respect, I refrained from taking any pictures of the insides of those books.
In the end, most of the pieces were auctioned off, and $34,000 was raised. The best part was that my former roommate Kalia Cheng made a bid for my piece and won! Meaning, I’ll be able to see it whenever I visit her apartment. Looks like I won’t be missing my piece too much after all.