Secret Illustrations Could Someday Brighten Seoul's Monsoon Season

Nothin' like a pop of color on a gray day.

The storm doesn’t always have to pass before we see a rainbow. In fact, this group of artists would like passersby to witness a burst of color during a storm.


Students and recent graduates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have created a concept design for sidewalk illustrations that are revealed only when wet. The members of the design team, who are all South Korean, envisioned the project as a way to provide relief during Seoul's severe monsoon season.

“Seoul, South Korea, is a vibrant and colorful city,” the group wrote on its portfolio page. “But during the annual three-week monsoon season, Seoul's energy and color disappear under the dark cloud.”


Using this weather as inspiration, the SAIC team developed Project Monsoon for a contest with Design and Art Direction -- a British group that promotes education in design and advertising. The Chicago team submitted their project for the Pantone Challenge, which asks contestants to “reimagine [their] hometown through the language of color,” as written on the D&AD website.

"When [the challenge] asked us to reimagine our hometown, it was natural for us to try to reimagine Seoul," James Lee, one of the designers, told The Huffington Post in a Facebook message.

Project Monsoon won a D&AD New Blood Black Pencil, which is the highest possible accolade to be awarded for young creatives.


The designs, which are currently only concept renderings and have yet to actually be installed, are “inspired by South Korea’s culture of emphasizing the importance of the flow of rivers,” as well as the country’s topography, and feature illustrations of marine life moving downstream. The group hopes to someday obtain the resources to implement Project Monsoon in Seoul.

"It looks like people are noticing the work and maybe we might be able get connected with someone who could bring this idea to life," Lee said.

Now, that is a great idea that goes against the current.

To learn more about Project Monsoon, click here.

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