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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part XXIV: Huang Gai and Dennis Hwang - the Official Google Doodle Artist


Dennis Hwang (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 황정목/黃正穆/Hwang Jeong-mok; born circa 1978) is a graphic artist who designs the festive logos for Google on special days. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - he moved to Korea when he was about five years old. His hometown was Gwacheon in Gyeonggi Province where he "had a very normal childhood". He went through public schools, spending six years at Gwacheon Elementary School and two years at Munwon Middle School, before returning to Knoxville and graduating from Bearden High School.

His doodles during these years were frowned upon, but are now his source of income and pleasure. On a return visit to Knoxville in 2003, Hwang was awarded an Appalachian Arts Fellow Award at World's Fair Park by then-mayor Victor Ashe. Ashe proclaimed, "Mr. Hwang's work is impressioned hundreds of millions of times each week, and reaches all corners of the globe. He is arguably Knoxville's most persistent artist." He received a degree from Stanford University in arts and computer science.

During Burning Man Festival of 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin designed the first doodle in order to notify users of their absence. Subsequently Dennis Hwang was assigned to create Google logos. Hwang's first logo design for Google was in honor of Bastille Day, July 14, 2000, at the request of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and has been designing the specialty logos ever since. He creates about 50 Google logos each year. Other logos have been designed commemorating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other events such as Piet Mondrian's birthday. Hwang also designed the iconic Gmail logo, just the night before its release. His actual position was Google's international webmaster, which made him responsible for all of their international content.