Korean artist Lee Ji-hee is known for her meticulously built scale models of food, household furnishings and industrial subjects for her commercial clients. She has now turned her talents to an icon of the printing industry – the Heidelberg Letterpress.
She studied the original German model closely before creating her 1500 x 1800 x 1600 mm masterpiece from paper and corrugated cardboard. The near-exact replica is complete with an array of mechanisms and branded details, including its trademark windmill feed and plates inscribed with the company logo and manufacturing information. The machine, which took three months to complete, celebrates the long history of the printing industry on Chungmuri and Euljiro streets in Seoul, the mecca of the printing industry in Korea.
The original Heidelberg Letterpress is often referred to as the Heidelberg Windmill after the shape and movement of its paper feed system. It was first introduced to the world in 1914 and was manufactured between 1923 and 1985. Although no longer in production, the machine is still in wide use for commercial and enthusiast letterpress printing.
Lee Ji-hee’s portfolio also includes other cardboard creations such as an eight-metre train, a miniature model of Incheon International Airport and a series of vintage cameras, each dramatically lit as if on the set of a noir film.