Mythical Sea Monsters

An illustration poster project researching various sea monsters and reinterpreting it into a new form by 
two types of illustration, one brush pen illustration and the other aquatint-print. It consists of images and texts 
about 17 mythical sea monsters from different countries with unique characteristics and backgrounds.  

Artist's note
In ancient times, before science and geography have risen upon human mind, the sea was a pitch–black mystery. It was the sailor’s imagination, terror, fear, superstition that filled the ocean’s black mystery. Unexplained phenomenons such as the whirlpools, storms, terrific waves were understood as the act of malicious sea demon and monsters. These manmade imaginary terrors became myths and folklores, a lasting legacy. Although we no longer believe in the stories of sea monsters, these imaginary creatures give a glimpse of our ancestors’ awareness of the ocean.
The chapter is divided into five categories: 

Water-sprites of the sea
Deity of the sea
Animal-monsters of the sea
Natural Phenomenons of the sea

Wish this project gives a glance of the vast imagination and terrors that once were arisen by the ocean.










Water-sprites of the sea
In early days of mankind, the existence of sea dwellers living underwater was believed to be true. These creatures were told to have attributes, varied features resembling land animals and human as well. 

From the beautiful mermaids to the ugly kappas, the appearance and traits of water-sprites vary. However they were all considered as the link between godlike deities and ordinary creatures of the sea.

Qalupalik / Ningyo / Vodyanoy / Ahuizotl / Melusine




Qalupalik (Inuit Mythology)















Ningyo (Japanese Folklore)















Vodyanoy (Slavic Mythology)















Melusine (European Folklore)















Ahuizotl (Aztec Mythology)

















Deities, gods of the sea
In antiquity, the universe and its elements, the land, sky, forest, etc were believed to be ruled by a superior existence. The sea as well was told to have divine forces that occupied and controlled the waves. 

Traces of these attachments are still found in maritime language and age–old traditions. As numerous immortals are related to the sea, the word 'deity' will be accurate than the word 'god'.

Iku-Turso / Yacumama / The Rainbow Fish / Horned Serpent / Bahamut / Taniwha





Iku-Turso (Finnish Mythology)















Yacumama ( South American Mythology)















The Rainbow Fish (Hinduism)















Horned Serpent (Native American Mythology)















Bahamut (Arabian Mythology)















Taniwha (New Zealand Mythology)

















Animal-Monsters of the sea
In the past, huge whales, sea lions, sharks and other sea creatures with unusual features were rare to watch. And even if they were seen, the circumstances made it hard to observe the creatures accurately. The minority who were able to witness these stunning creatures made notes and stories of them, however in a redefining way. The creatures were turned into a hybrid of land animals and fishes familiar to mankind. 

These newly formed sea monsters were believed to be true and appear in various old maps and publications.

Aspidochelone / Sea Monk / Prister





Aspidochelone (Medieval Bestiary)















Sea Monk (Denmark Discovery)















Prister (Scandinavian Map)

















Natural Phenomenons of the sea
The threatening storms, loud thunders, ambiguous fogs, devouring whirlpools were phenomenons unexplainable to early human. As human's fear and imagination began to fill the gap of the nature's mystic, powerful and massive monsters became the raiser of such disasters. 

These monsters had the ability to cause supernatural forces that seemed truely impossible and appear in various myths and folklores.

Bakunawa / Charybdis / Shen





Bakunawa (Philippine Mythology)















Charybdis (Greek Mythology)















Shen (Chinese Mythology)


















Sketches









Photographs of 'Mythical Sea Monsters' displayed in the graduation exhibition











2016 graduation project