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Work / Illustration

Illustrator Ram Han’s Alice in Wonderland dreamscape

Ram Han’s candy-coloured illustrations depict a dreamscape straight out of Alice’s Wonderland, where nothing is quite what it seems. Sexual fantasies are interrupted by super-sized voyeurs; a texting girl is shadowed by a partner whose face has been replaced by a swirling galaxy; a table serves up a Furby which seems to have been skinned and taken apart piece by piece. “The surreal-ness always comes from the real stimulation,” the Seoul-based illustrator explains. “It could be based on emotions, or abstract ideas, but it has to come from my very personal experience. However the most important goal is to create something that leaves an impression, rather than something to be analysed.”

“My work is about nostalgia: lost memories and brief reminiscence of feelings and sensations," Ram surmises of her work. "I enjoy thinking about how I would rebuild the old memories of old pop culture I grew up with. It may not show directly in my work, but finding that ‘just about enough’ point is important to me. Also, obviously, I like the act of drawing itself.”

The illustrator studied animation in school, “but right now I’m focused on capturing only the moments of moving images.” Finding inspiration in the past – “old journals and scrapbooks” – and the present – “new music on YouTube and animal videos", Ram tells us that her work is influenced by real-life moments. “I like watching old movies, or talking to my boyfriend and close friends. Everything I do influences my work. But I don’t turn to these because I run out of ideas. It just happens spontaneously.”

Recently, Ram has produced work for K-pop girl group Red Velvet – “I did the cover art for their concert” and the Korean movie criticism magazine Prism OF, for The Handmaiden by Park Chanwook. She has also drawn covers for Don’t Panic Magazine, “and a few other album covers for various artists.”

As for the future, Ram comments: “I will keep on drawing, of course. If time allows I’d prefer to explore with various medium. I’m planning to release a book that encapsulates the past year’s work, and returning to work on the comics that I started earlier this year.”

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