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Work / Animation

Hyunmin Lee’s hypnotic animation asks us to change direction and the paths we follow

The inspiration for Korean designer Hyunmin Lee’s animation titled Diversion, came from observing people: “I realised that people just walk straight until they reach their destination. They rarely look up from the path they’re taking,” explains Hyunmin. With society constantly rushing through the city and ignoring its surroundings, Hyunmin was keen to present an alternative and help people “be liberated from the obsession of unidirectional movement and speed”.

The animation is part of an installation that shifts when a person stands or walks in front of it by using a camera with a sensor that detects movement and changes the perspective and direction of the animation.

“The animation has a flat layout, lacking space perception. The movement of people is the variable and so the film portrays different spaces revolving on their axis,” Hunmin says. Outside of the intended installation view, the animation is still just as impactful as we shift perspective with the film as though we’re moving through multiple levels of a surreal computer game.

For the backdrop of the animation, Hyunmin has created slick renders of fictional worlds that feel like fly-through visualisations seen in architecture proposals. The city-based environments become hypnotic and peculiar as they’re inhabited by inverse merpeople moving in unison, that offer another direction change into the film. "I wanted it to feel odd and mysterious, and get people to rethink there one-way moving.”

Diversion was created as part of Hyunmin’s graduation project at Hongik University, School of design in Seoul and it took about four months to realise and complete. With such an intense amount of time spent on one project, it gave the designer room to explore. “I try to focus on the message of the work rather than the media. If it’s suitable for the message, I’m ready to explore how it can be conveyed,” says Hyunmin. “In this project, it was my first time processing work in this way and using sound design for instance. For a while I was stressed about finding my style, but then I decided to not limit myself in my work.”

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Hyunmin Lee: Diversion (still)

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Hyunmin Lee: Diversion (still)

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Hyunmin Lee: Diversion (still)

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Hyunmin Lee: Diversion (still)