Hye Jin Chung: Collectors (detail)

Work / Illustration

Illustration: Succulents, planets and embalming in Hye Jin Chung’s world

If you’ve yet to step into a world where succulents and cacti spring from the ground at every step and where minerals take the form of planets suspended around a yellow room, then welcome to the one fabricated by Hye Jin Chung. An illustrator, she spins fantasy landscapes such as these while the rest of us bumble around our own, real-life ones, and it’s no difficult task to decide which one I prefer.

In her Collectors series, she documents the worlds of three women who collect plants, water and minerals respectively, using collage and cut-out techniques to create the illusion of tactility. Similarly strange, in a pair of images commissioned by Oh Comely magazine, Hye Jin illustrates the slightly bizarre tourists’ code of conduct for visiting the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin; a list of requirements which includes “no hats, no talking, no smoking, no cameras and no hands in pockets.” Charming and sinister in equal parts, Hye Jin is an illustrator we could get quite attached to.


Hye Jin Chung: Embalmed Dictators for Oh Comely


Hye Jin Chung: Embalmed Dictators for Oh Comely


Hye Jin Chung: Collectors


Hye Jin Chung: Collectors


Hye Jin Chung: Collectors


Hye Jin Chung: Oprah