Music by VICE

'Lost in Translation' Feels Aplenty in Tourist's "Illuminate" Music Video

Get lost in a visual tale of unrequited love and illustrated 2D graphics.

by Sophia Callahan
May 29 2016, 11:40am

GIFs via

Tourist, Illuminate — Official Music Video (2014) from Nicolas Ménard on Vimeo.

Exploring the isolating feeling of disconnectedness that can happen in relationships, Tourist’s music video for "Illuminate" takes the viewer on a trip through bespoke 2D graphics. Inspired by artist Yuichi Yokoyama, Retro Games X, and 3D World Runner, the project is director and illustrator Nicolas Ménard's first music video. 

The video's project description reads, “In 1992, a man receives love letters in Korean. Since Google Translate doesn't exist yet, he's left confused. What could this mean?” The video follows the protagonist as he falls into various love letters written with Korean characters. The frame focuses tightly on the papers and the protagonist’s hands as they walk through endless hallways and anonymous empty rooms trying to decode the writings.

Matched with the vocals of Olly Alexander of Years & Years, translated to the visual beat of frame-by-frame animations, Ménard’s contemporary comic book-style of opaque geometric shapes, noise textures, and line drawings are perfect complements. Unlike many of Ménard’s previous works, which feature more fluid animations and playful color palates, Illuminate is strictly two-tone business; either in black-and-white, or reds, blues, greens, or purples. Explains Ménard, “It’s been really fun to play with the idea of translating a poem from Korean; a little metaphor for miscommunication in a relationship. I’m looking forward to seeing whether people dig out those cryptic messages!"

Check out a ton of awesome GIFs from the music video below.

Discover more in Nicolas Ménard’s work by clicking here

This article was originally published on December 5, 2014. 


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