The Thinker , 2023

Waiting for Another 19 Years to Meet With You

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creatorId = 225
Irene Chung
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The Thinker

Waiting for Another 19 Years to Meet With You

This captivating illustration draws inspiration from the poignant and imaginative short fictional story, 'The Thinker,' written by the esteemed author Cixin Liu. The narrative revolves around two scientists who reunite every decade, synchronizing their meetings with the cyclical patterns of comets and stars. The story's evocative imagery resonated deeply with me, particularly its concluding scene, where the eastern sky brightens, stars fade, and the silhouette of Siyun Mountain emerges. Perched atop the mountain's highest peak, within the vine-clad remnants of the Observatory, two individuals, approaching their sixties, eagerly await the emergence of a radiant brain cell above the horizon.

Whether the protagonists share a bond of friendship or a deeper connection, the passage of time stands as a testament to their profound affection for one another. Personally, I found a personal resonance with this story, drawing parallels to my own experiences. My earnest desire is for this illustration to evoke a sense of relatability within the viewers, allowing them to discover their own reflections and emotions intertwined within its visual narrative. As they gaze upon the artwork, may it evoke a connection, and may they, too, find themselves immersed in its evocative allure.

Irene Chung


Art – Illustration

Graduation Year



United States


Irene Chung is an Illustrator based between Taipei and Providence. Coming from a background of health science and journalism, Irene couldn’t deny her passion for art and therefore decided to hone her artistic skills at RISD. She is drawn to illustrating scenes that celebrate the love and joy. In her free time, she is watching romantic movies, reading at a coffee shop, or traveling to find inspiration.

Go to Irene Chung's page

Measurements (Width X Height X Depth)

23.2 X 14 in

58.93 X 35.56 Cm


3 lb

1.36 Kg


illustration on Fine Art Paper in Frame

The process of crafting this world was a challenge, driven by my intention to steer clear of clichés in depicting the love story. To achieve this, I explored various color palettes until I discovered a subdued tone that resonated with the essence of the image. In my studio, I delved into the realm of digital programs, coordinating colors and effects to achieve a harmonious blend.

A particular artistic technique that captivated me was the paper-cut effect, which I sought to replicate using actual paper in my studio. By infusing this tactile element into my creative process, I aimed to add depth and texture to the artwork. Through a meticulous fusion of traditional and digital approaches, I ultimately arrived at a composition that exuded the desired aesthetic.

This arduous yet rewarding process allowed me to push the boundaries of visual storytelling and explore new creative styles.
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