Like many probably glancing at their screens right now illustrator Ji Hyun Yu, as a glasses wearer, often finds herself asking “where on earth have my glasses got to?”. An age-old question for the bespectacled, Ji has decided to draw her “personal, endless experience” into a new series, aptly titled Where Are My Glasses which acts as a kind of Where’s Wally? but instead of looking for a beanie hat-wearing man with stripes, you’re trying to aid Ji in finding her specs.
Definitely not alone in consistently hunting around for her pair of glasses, Ji often finds them, “right where they’re easily found”. Baffled by her repeated forgetfulness, Ji started wondering “why it’s so hard to find them!” Chatting with others, the illustrator quickly realised she’s not the only one and begun to theorise that “it is like looking for happiness, harmony or whatever we are so badly looking for to have in our lives,” she tells It’s Nice That. “The more eagerly we look for it, the harder it is to find. I wanted to make a series of it.”
The result is a collection of seven drawings, each illustrating Ji’s character on the hunt for her glasses at home, climbing trees, swimming, and everything in between. Purposefully illustrating varying scenes to link back to this idea of never being able to quite find what you’re looking for, Ji hopes to illustrate that it’s often “right there, but we just don’t see it”. “I mean, who forgets their glasses in the labyrinth? But that’s the point. We keep looking for them as if they are in such a difficult place. In other words, I tried to show the irony, in an ironic way.”
In terms of illustrating each scene, which have a Cynthia Kittler-like line work to them, Ji explains each drawing came quite easily, developing with a natural flow. “There are no rules, but there’s a kind of order. It starts with a realistic scene, but then the next one is unrealistic, which repeats with hoping that the viewers don’t get bored,” she explains.
But, overall, despite the series’ deeper element, Ji hopes it allows viewers to see the paradox she’s illustrating but also just makes them laugh. At the very least, it should help you remember where your glasses are.
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