Eunkyoung Son captures the mesmerising qualities of glassware

Moving away from her focus on films and towards observations from her day-to-day life, the Seoul-based illustrator shows the unexpected beauty in everyday objects.

30 August 2022


With its ability to seemingly morph and change depending on its surroundings, glass has often left artists scratching their heads. But for illustrator Eunkyoung Son, the material’s mercurial nature is precisely what appeals. “Glass has its own shape,” she says, “but it’s very interesting to me that it can be a new object depending on the background or the appearance or colour of other objects around it.” Her pieces depicting glassware – from tumblers to pint glasses – and the way she captures the iridescent light that falls on their surfaces, are a marvellous example of how ordinary objects have the potential to become extraordinary.

Since we last caught up with Eunkyoung in 2019, there has been one major change in her practice: instead of focusing on fictional scenes in films, she has been turning her attention to observing the surroundings of her daily life. Always on the lookout, she often finds herself drawn to “beautiful combinations” of glasses at her home, in cafes or restaurants – made even more interesting by a background that highlights the material’s unique characteristics. She photographs the scene and works from the photo, relishing the process of combining and choosing colours to be in “harmony”.


Eunkyoung Son (Copyright © Eunkyoung Son, 2022)

Many of her illustrations end up being imbued with memories. One such image is her piece showing a number of glasses and an empty tonic bottle sitting empty on top of a pub table. Unlike many of her pieces, this one takes a wider viewpoint, recreating the perspective of someone making one last glance back to check they’ve not left anything behind. Taken on a trip to Paris, the image gained a new resonance for Eunkyoung during the pandemic, when she says she missed the freedom the picture represents. “During the pandemic, I often recalled the days when we were able to travel freely, painting while thinking about the happiness of that day,” Eunkyoung says.

Much like the way she experiences her work, Eunkyoung doesn’t expect people to find any hidden intentions or messages beneath her works; she simply wants viewers to experience the same feelings of beauty and nostalgia she associates with these moments in time. Now, she’s looking to take her glassware works from paper and onto a big canvas, with hopes of exhibiting at some point. There’s nothing we would love to see more than one of Eunkyoung’s mesmerising glasses on a large scale.

GalleryEunkyoung Son (Copyright © Eunkyoung Son, 2022)

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Eunkyoung Son (Copyright © Eunkyoung Son, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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