What is a diorama? Be inspired to create your own miniature worlds
A diorama is a three-dimensional miniature model, usually representing a scene that includes characters interacting, a landscape, and architectural elements. The models are typically found in museum exhibitions. However, many different types of creatives have focused on this craft in cinema, television, graphic design, advertising, and other art fields.
While museums’ dioramas are usually highly realistic historical representations, contemporary creators tend to recreate scenes with a satirical message and social commentary. These artists create all their work in miniature, showing impressive technical ability.
Meet some of these creators and their artwork, accurately capturing their love for miniature sculpture in their photographs.
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber
An architect and a sculptor make up this duo. Their work is inspired by classic disaster movies and post-apocalyptic literature. Their experimental scenes depict a dangerous world, ridden from human beings, all with a touch of humor. Their advice to young artists is to remember that all good projects require time for development.
This artist's photographs, depicting scenes critical of modern life, are made using only a cell phone and a lamp. Derrick Lin's creations capture the contrast between the minute size of the characters and their huge surroundings—created using mundane objects—and reflecting our deepest emotions or aspirations. He considers himself as 'an observer of little moments,' whose goal is to capture modern life with a peculiar sense of humor.
This Japanese writer and photographer publishes his photographs of miniature characters interacting with food and mundane objects daily. He explains that, due to his office job demands, he could not go outdoors to take photos and started to photograph his little characters with what he had at hand.
Julieta is an Argentinian producer, art director, and sculptor specializing in models, miniatures, characters, and all types of objects. Her creations can be found in several animations and art, cinema, and advertising projects. She works with agencies, publishers, studios, and photographers. She teaches the Domestika course Techniques to Create Scale Models, in which you can learn to create a miniature world, from building the general structure to adding the smallest detail.
A London-based artist whose work consists of creating small scenes and characters left out in the street to be found by passers-by. He believes his art to be a mix of sculpture, installation work, photography, street art, and a reflection of the loneliness engulfing city life. He aims to instill empathy into the modern world.
Despite having an office job, this Japanese artist based in Okinawa dedicates time to photographing his miniatures using a tilt-shift technique. Among his favorite themes are nostalgia and our relationship with food. He took part in various collective shows and was nominated for the Japan Influencer Award in 2017.
Pui Wan Lim
Self-taught with a background in mechanical engineering, this artist's main passion is miniature worlds. Her art name, PicoWorm, comes from the word "pico," one of the small decimal metric units. She is drawn to realism as a source to evoke memories at the click of your finger, literally.
This Syrian-American artist and architect's work reflects the pain and consequences of political conflict in the Middle East. He uses objects left behind by those affected by the struggles to create miniature dioramas depicting war violence and devastation in the cities. He includes elements of sculpture and poetry in his artwork, as well as messages from his Islamic heritage.