Korean doll artist Kim Sujung and her husband Yi Sung Yoon are the force behind CocoRiang. The first dolls by the company were anthro dolls Peppi and Ruppe. Now new tiny human dolls, Reh-Reh and Sumi have been released.
Q: Would you be able to give me some background on yourself and your doll company?
A: Yi Sung Yoon – I just have been running the company. CocoRiang is the story of the artisan of CocoRiang my wife Kim Sujung.
Kim Sujung – 3 years ago, I was totally unfamiliar with the ball jointed doll. I was a game illustrator.
But thanks to some collector friends, I learned about the charm of these jointed dolls. I began to collect some of the dolls. While planning to buy an Alice from Volks, I decided I wanted to have a rabbit doll to re-create ‘Alice in Wonderland’ perfectly.
For a while I looked around a number of BJD sites, but I couldn’t find a rabbit doll that I wanted. “So,” I thought, “how about self-creating a BJD?”
My first try took a lot of time and money, so my husband helped me a lot. I left the game company, and eight months later, I finished work on Peppi.
Q: When did you open your company? When was Peppi released?
A: CocoRiang opened April 29th, 2014. Peppi was released on May 16th, 2014.
Q: Are there any other people running Cocoriang or is it just the two of you?
A: Yi Sung Yoon – Me, my wife, and my brother. He joined later. He has worked with us since January 2015.
Q: Sujung, did you have any earlier experience sculpting?
A: Before Peppi I produced wings for USD dolls. I just began to make what I wanted without any previous experience sculpting.
Q: Can you tell me more about your second doll Ruppe? Was there any special reason for making a cat?
A: The reason is simple. For 11 years I lived with four cats! After making the first doll, I had a dream of creating a small village, like a storybook picture.
Q: Can you tell me more about the “small village”?
A: The village caretakers are Reh-Reh and Sumi, and on warm afternoons all of them can go to together on a picnic. It’s a very peaceful village! People and animals live in fun and are happy.
Q: Now, finally I would like to know more about your new little girl dolls Rei-Rei and Sumi. What was the inspiration for them?
A: Sumi and Reh-Reh were inspired by the children of the neighborhood who came to play with my kittens.
Q: Do they have different personalities?
A: When I created them, I thought of two different concepts. The little girl Sumi wants to get love from others. The other little girl Reh-Reh wants to give love to others. In my mind, completely different doll personalities were made. Although Sumi and Reh-Reh have different personalities, they are good friends and have a very good relationship with each other. Peppi and Ruppe are also friends.
Q: Are you working on any more dolls? If so, can you tell me a little about them?
A: Like the Cocoriang illustration, I have been planning several new dolls including Big White Bear and Bird.
Q: Will you make more dolls in different sizes, or do you prefer the little size that your dolls are now?
A: I always wanted a doll that I can catch up in my hand. Yep, right! I prefer a small doll, but I want to try variety of sizes, for of course, big white bear will be big!
Q: Is there anything else I forgot to ask you that should be added?
A: Finally, it sounds childish, but I want to be share my small dream to many people, and continue to create my peaceful small village!
And CocoRiang always will make dolls like dolls of CocoRiang.
Photos above from top: Peppi in carrying bag, limited edition Ruppe and Peppi, CocoRiang Illustration.
(A special thanks to Yi Sung Yoon who translated his wife’s replies.)