Park Chan-wook's Decision to Leave is exclusively showing on MUBI in many countries starting December 9, 2022 in the series Luminaries.
With the release of Park Chan-wook’s latest masterpiece—the dizzying, obsessive Decision to Leave—I thought it would be a good time to dive into the posters for his entire body of work. But I’ve already written about John Calvert’s gorgeous posters for The Handmaiden (2016) and I’m sure I’ve featured these exquisite Korean posters below, for Lady Vengeance (2005), somewhere before.
MUBI’s own poster by Nicolas Ortega for Decision to Leave is one of the year’s best, and the original Cannes release poster from Empire Design was one of the graphic highlights of that festival. Empire also produced a terrific illustrated UK poster for Park's Stoker in 2013. But a lot of the theatrical posters for the director's less well-known films are more run-of-the-mill and so I didn’t have many left to show that hadn’t already been seen. Yet, as I was searching for his posters, I started to come across a wealth of fan art out there for Park’s films. Fan art, for those that don’t know, is an amorphous term for self-generated artwork often made for the artist’s enjoyment, in tribute to a favorite film or director, as opposed to the commercial release poster put out by the distributor. Companies like Mondo fall somewhere in the middle, commissioning high-end artists to create posters for sale, (usually) long after the original release.
I’ve come up with my 20 favorite pieces of Park Chan-wook fan art from all over the internet. The Handmaiden and Oldboy (2003) seem to have inspired more posters than any of the other films—so many, in fact, that it was hard to choose five or six favorites—but there is a fair amount of great work for Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Lady Vengeance as well, and even for the less well-known I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006). I cheated slightly with one of my favorite pieces, the Ghanaian video poster for Oldboy, since that could be considered a commercial release poster of sorts, but since it is a hand-painted one-off I think its inclusion is justified. And it is glorious.
The pieces below are presented in alphabetical order by film. I’ve credited the artists and linked to the sources but if anyone objects to having their work on here please let us know in the comments. And feel free to alert us to any other great fan art for the films of Park Chan-wook.