Hand illustrated, letterpressed and screen printed childhood dreams on the covers of hand bound notebooks.
As a different path of exploration within my thesis project, I collected the idea of “childhood dream” from people around me, and a short explanation of why they wanted those when they were young, as a contrast to what they ended up pursuing when they grew up. Many childhood value eventually had been given in for the reality because of the change of one’s value perspective.
I illustrated those childhood dreams, screen printed the illustration, and designed Chinese typefaces for the texts that go along with the illustrations, and letterpressed the texts. I made these prints the cover of hand bound notebooks to give people who share those dreams. The carefully crafted notebooks are intended to become one’s cherished objects, which also become the metaphor of one’s cherished, and their the purist, childhood values.
What to Pursue in Universities is a project based on the research on Chinese college students and their value views. It also became the starting point of my MFA thesis project. The posters intend to story-tell what many Chinese college students wants in their college lives.
The current two posters illustrate the two most pervasive value perspectives, which are things many students are fight hard for in college. One is the possible short cut to graduate school (without taking entrance exam) and the other is the access to gain political power.
The Storybook of My Family History started with an interview to a Chinese student who had thought-provoking family stories, which were about individual’s identity within a bigger cultural and social environment — and how social, political, cultural and family happenings shape an individual’s life. The interview was transcribed and carefully studied. Commentary and emotional contents were removed, only objective happenings and factual data were kept and then visualized (so it’s a “fact-book”), in the hope that the objective facts can arouse different emotional, subjective, and empathic feedbacks from readers, depending on their own life experiences.
This project explores design and cultural pattern in contemporary Chinese society, and the power of visual narratives on communicating information. By only presenting the factual happenings, the book removed emotional expressions in text form, and re-arranged the information as two threads — a paternal one (the gray thread) and a maternal one (the orange thread), represented by two colors in two accordion-bound blocks of pages. Through the layouts, the chosen textures, patterns, and the special hand-crafted structure, the book left the audience to empathize and immerse themselves in the stories. This project has been featured on For Print Only.
The Core of Learning is a branding system for a social campaign that intended to encourage college students in China to rethink about the purpose of learning, to empower them to utilize what they learned to solve real-world problems, rather than just focusing on credentials and purely materialistic goals after graduation.
The visual language of the designed identity draws inspirations from the concept of going deeper than the surface, digging into the origin/core, and critically rethink about an indoctrinated idea (such as study for credentials). It aims to foster students’ social responsibility and problem-solving skills.
The website concept for the Core of Learning campaign aims to create a platform to introduce the campaign, inform target audience, and call for action. The series of web interface design therefore include an entrance page to select language, a page to introduce the campaign, a page to explain how to participate, a page for uploading participants projects, and a gallery page of curated projects.
The idea is to encourage students to go outside their textbooks, classrooms, and campuses, and to find problems, conduct research, and make attempts to solve them. They can then upload their projects and research, including pictures, notes, ideas and processes onto the site, so they can share, inspire each other, and find possible collaborations.