Work / Illustration

Jee-ook Choi’s impossible worlds of deep gradated hues and atmospheric ennui

South Korean illustrator Jee-ook Choi specialises in creating cryptic and whimsical illustrations that toy with the everyday, throwing small details and idiosyncrasies into her scenes that belie their immediate, perceived normality.

Her work for Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival’s poster series makes use of four colour segments of soft geometry. Twists in perspective create an Escher-like impossibility, as ladders bridge swimming pools and diving figures hang as if in suspended animation.

Jee-ook often employs block colours in her work, carrying only subtle graduations in the tones to subtly stir even the stillest of scenes. “I intend to add poetic expressions on flat paintings to get a polished illustration,” she explains.

Sparing in her palette, shades and lines the minimalism heightens the surreal quirks in her work. Deep shades of dark blue, which fade only momentarily into light tones give her Aquarium illustrations a melancholy underwater atmosphere. Her characters stare listlessly, transfixed on a fish which pops from the scene in dark orange.

“I often find surreal moments when making ‘ordinary works’. I think this is a glamorous way to get finished work,” she says.


Jee-ook Choi: 2016 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival poster


Jee-ook Choi: Zero Gravity


Jee-ook Choi: 수족관 (Aquarium)


Jee-ook Choi: 수족관 (Aquarium)


Jee-ook Choi


Jee-ook Choi


Jee-ook Choi: Palm Shop 나쁜손카드를 위한 작업


Jee-ook Choi: Taste of Tea, for Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival