Matthias Jung's surreal homes – in pictures

German graphic designer Matthias Jung first constructed “surreal homes” as a boy, using scissors and glue in his father’s photo lab. In January, he resurrected this childhood project and created a series of dreamlike and structurally impossible collages with Photoshop. “Working with this program is a bit like overcoming reality,” he says. “If something goes wrong I just click the back button. This is what’s different now.” Taking photographs from his travels, Jung creates incongruous images that are intended to challenge perceptions of space and architecture. “Collages are like dreams,” he says, “or maybe dreams are like collages.”

The West: “This was the beginning of my ‘surreal houses’. I constructed it as an answer to two giant new shopping centres in Stuttgart.”

Zonenrandgebiet: “‘Zonenrandgebiet’ means ‘area adjacent to the Soviet zone’. I worked on this image for a very long time, and it all looked too artificial, too constructed. Then I had the idea to destroy the building a little bit, and that changed everything.”

On the way to Kamtchatka: “As a child, I made a collage that looked quite similar. I love sheep. Having sheep on the roof symbolises reconciliation with nature.”

Ostheim: “The buildings in the Ostheim quarter of Stuttgart are very homogeneous. The antennae here are pointing to something outside of the image.”

Land of evening: “The ‘balloon’ in this image is from a photograph of a Gothic church I took in the small French city of Wissembourg. The landscape is a swamp area near the border with Poland.”

Malakoff: “‘Malakoff’ is the name for the mining towers in the Ruhr area. I combined it with the gothic cathedral of Greifswald, a small town in the northeast of Germany. I love using elements that cause many different associations to collide with one another.”

Haniel: “‘Haniel’ means ‘heap of coal’, and this is an image about transience. I found the sculpture in a graveyard in Stuttgart. The construction in the background is a spooky part of a steel mill in Bochum.”

Expedition to the East Pole: “I struggled a little bit with this image. Nothing worked, then I had the idea to let it all fly. The construction beneath the building is my grandma’s old tea warmer.”

Emigration Office: “The buildings are part of a health centre in the small German town of Bad Buchau, while the landscape is a large moor called Federseemoor. It’s like a wild island in densely populated surroundings.”

An Sgùrr: “I studied graphic design at Schwäbisch Hall, where these old houses are from. I arranged them against a view from the mountain An Sgùrr on the Scottish island of Eigg.”

Maternity unit: “This image is about transcendence. I had originally planned a very complex construction, but this simple form was the best way to say what I wanted to say in the end.”

Originally published by The Observer / The Guardian. Images above courtesy of Matthias Jung.

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