Illustration works on media such as books and posters often express topics written in text using images. The texts are prepared first and illustrations interpret them. In ‘Picture Speech’, we change the order so that the viewer faces the pictures which had been prepared first and the texts that interpreted them. Through this, we want to experiment with the interaction between images and texts. Illustrators from numerous countries present pictures that were created based on various issues in the contemporary era—ranging from human rights, gender issues, the New Normal, a pandemic and real estate. The pictures consist of five different sizes that contain consecutive or related narratives. Pen Union (Hana Kim & Sunwoo Hwang), a duo who have written and talked about many different ways of life and stories, add writings to these pictures. This chapter is a conversation between pictures and texts about issues that we can all relate to these days. In addition, we hope this chapter will provide an opportunity to reverse the stereotype that texts are clear and rational while pictures are an ambiguous and emotional way of expression.
Pen Union (Hana Kim, Sunwoo Hwang)
Hana Kim is a writer, and moderator. She has worked as a copywriter at Cheil Worldwide Inc. and TBWA KOREA. She is the co-author of Two Women Live Together, and the author of Talking about Talking, The Art of Relaxing, My Favorite Jokes, 15 Degrees, Your and My Ideas. She has hosted a podcast series for an online bookstore, Yes 24, for many years. Sunwoo Hwang is a writer and interviewer. She has worked on magazines and interviewed people for 20 years. Of all her jobs, the longest-term job was for the fashion magazine W Korea. She is the co-author of the book Two Women Live Together, and the author of an interview book called Every Girl is an Older Sister If They Are Cool. She runs a YouTube channel titled Pen Union TV with Hana Kim.
- Seoul, South Korea
Posts in a Distance
An illustration refers to a picture that is inserted between texts to help readers understand the text or to form a sentiment. In this explanation, there is a sense of implicit and customary hierarchy that text is central and the illustration is additional. The definition also reflects the order of text coming first and then illustration interpreting it.
The planning team for Typojanchi 2021 asked us to us reverse the relationship between text and illustration. When six illustrators first worked on illustrations, we interpreted them, imagined and wrote about them, reconstructed reality, built bridges between reality and imagination or added notes. In the process, we deliberately twisted the clear intentions sent by an illustrator, and tried to expand the scope of the work by considering a fairly irrelevant topic like building a post in the distance and then connecting part of the illustration with it. This work of “inserting texts” by amplifying unheard voices of pictorial elements, which had never taken the center stage, was quite different from the existing writing method, so we felt a sense of liberation and anxiety at the same time. Writing is the most interesting when that happens.