Museum of Monstrology

Miriam Hillawi Abraham & Heejoon June Yoon

Cyanotype / 2023
Backwater, Pocoapoco, Oaxaca, Mexico


“I want to stay with the trouble, and the only way I know to do that is in generative joy, terror, and collective thinking.”

- Donna Haraway, Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene

The Museum of Monstrology (est 2023) is a research-based artist collective between multidisciplinary designers Miriam Hillawi Abraham and Heejoon June Yoon.
As the archivists of the Museum of Monsterology, our mission is to create a digital bestiary of what we deem “necessary monsters”, from the primeval to the inconceivable future. Necessary monsters spawn in distinct geographies and timelines, appearing and disappearing in lore as omens, warnings of the unknown or what will come to be. 
How do these monsters or mutating bodies force us to reconsider ideas of territory and belonging?

Mixed media / 2023
Anatomies of our Monsters, Pocoapoco, Oaxaca, Mexico

“The words ‘monster’, ‘monstrosity’ and ‘monstrousness’ all have their etymological root in the Latin monstrare, meaning both to show and also to warn or advise.” -  Alexa Wright, Monstrosity: The Human Monster in Visual Culture

We collect these beings in an evolving bestiary, luring them out from shadow and poaching them to build our collections like historians of a bygone era. Ours is a process of transmutation (imaginatively interpreting dreams and lore through visual media) and classification (manufacturing fictional evidence and retroactive myths to situate them in our present). As our shared concepts of normative realities alter based on the needs and desires of society’s present day conditions, monsters of yore are banished, forgotten, disappeared or debunked in place of new fearful creatures that lurk just outside our understanding. The monster also represents The Other, a transgressive figure beyond the frame of the understanding or empathy of the Colonial figure. Unfamiliar and exotic, the monster often emerges as a negative reflection, or inversion of what is considered the normal body, sometimes a corrosive distinction between citizen and foreigner, colonizer and subaltern.

How do we see ourselves in the image of the monster?



Selected Works

Publications & Talks


Miriam Hillawi Abraham is a multi-disciplinary designer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a background in Architecture, she works with digital media and spatial design to interrogate themes of equitable futurism and intersectionality. She holds an MFA in Interaction Design from the California College of the Arts and a BArch in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art. She has worked as a game-code instructor at Bay Area Video Coalition’s youth program for over three years and is now a Mellon researcher for the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Digital Now multidisciplinary project. Abraham's work has been featured in the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia as part of the Special Project “Guests from the Future”,  as well the "/imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual" exhibition at the MAK Museum of Applied Arts, the 2nd Sharjah Architecture Triennial and the 14th Shanghai Biennale, “Cosmos Cinema.”