Tag Archives: artist

Worlds Within

Heads wrapped in yarn with only one eye peeking out, faces replaced with clocks, or necks transformed into springs and mouths made into beaks: with all these strangely deformed faces, what do these images represent? And why are they like this?

Zou Liangping, who hails from Hubei province, is currently doing an MFA in watercolor at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. These illustrations are part of her “dream series.” “Dreams are a bridge connecting the real world to a virtual world,” she says. “Painting, as a way of portraying the self’s position between dreams and reality, has a very direct relationship to the awakening and establishment of a person’s self-consciousness. These works are a subjective representation of the self in dreams and reality, from a physical state to a mental state.”



At first glance, each of the figures in the scenes has a large head, and the scenes playing out inside each one, or their metaphoric significance, are all different.

“Every story is the visual manifestation of individual and social experience, mental and emotional experience, creative experience, and meditates on a specific theme. It represents a moment’s mood and gives insight into my life,” says Zou.

Each figure in these images has an indifferent outer appearance and a rich inner world, and that may be the truest depiction of the current generation. Not yet thirty, Zou is an only child, like most people her age in China. Having no siblings and growing up amid the increasing alienation of a rapidly urbanizing society, Chinese artists of this generation often make silence and reflection a dominant theme of their work.


“每个故事的原型都是由个人社会体验、内心情感体验、创作体验以及围绕着某种主题线索的一种思考而呈现出的画面效果,它代表一个时间段里我的情绪和对生活的感悟。” 邹良平说。

其实,画面中每一个人都具有淡漠的外表和丰富的内心世界,也是这一代人最真实的写照。身为 90 后的邹良平,也是独生子女中的一员。在从小没有兄弟姐妹陪伴的情况下,这一代年轻人常常形单影只,并且随着城市化到来人与人之间的感情变得更加疏离,旋即而来的是沉默和思考,成为盘踞大脑的主旋律。

And so, to present these themes, Zou has placed all sorts of objects within the heads and faces of her characters. All of these elements carry symbolic meaning and are used to reveal each character’s emotions, personality, contemplations, and behavior. Zou says this approach is her way of conveying the idea that how a person perceives the external world is directly related to their own thoughts.

于是,画的背景不再是白布一张,而成了人的头脑和脸庞。邹良平说,因为 这样可以更好的诠释‘相由心生’这一道理。因此在我作品中通过每一个人的不同的面部符号语言,来揭示不同的心情、个性、心思与作为。”

Her paintings appear to use an irrational artistic form to reflect the fantastical. A closer look, however, shows that the irrational actually has its reason. “All I’m doing is recreating reality with my meandering artistic method,” she explains. Zou’s “fantastical” approach to painting lets her make free use of imagination to present her vision of reality as surreal, dream-like portraits.

再细细一瞧,她的画看似采用非理性的艺术形式反映了荒诞的内容,实则非理性之中隐含着理性。这种 荒诞” 的绘画方式,可以让邹良平自由自在地发挥想象,“以曲折的艺术手法再度创造现实”,以梦,为马。

Website: ~/邹良平


Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: ~/邹良平


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Gentle Giants

Like a modern reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, Tran Nguyen‘s works show gigantic young women and wild beasts towering above tiny houses, set against seas of fog and distant mountains. Born in Vietnam and raised in the U.S., Nguyen creates works that seem less like paintings than scenes from a fantasy film.

无限放大的少女和野生动物,在迷雾之中秉烛夜游;同比缩小的城堡与远山,让人疑惑这是否如当代版的梦游仙境——这些画面,出自生于越南、长于美国的艺术家 Tran Nguyen 之手。与其说是绘画,不如说这样的作品更肖似童话电影的布景。

Growing up between contrasting Vietnamese and American cultures, Nguyen has long been fascinated with dichotomies. How can two concepts be both parallel and perpendicular at the same time? It’s all dependent on perspective — ideas that initially seem incompatible with one another may actually be complementary once you examine the relationship between them. This understanding carries over into her art, which are masterful balancing acts that makes use of a multitude of contrasts. “Though I’m naturally drawn to melancholic narratives, I added the animal companions to make the painting feel less solemn,” she notes as an example. “The scale of the characters is also meant to contrast against the ordinary environments that each scene is set in, adding a sense of majesty and surrealism.”

越南与美国两个国度不同的文化冲突,让 Tran 一直以来对分化对立很感兴趣。两个不同的概念如何平行又垂直相交呈现?这完全取决于观点——一旦你审视他们之间的关系,最初似乎彼此不相容的想法,实际上可能是相互补充的。她的艺术作品也正利用这种矛盾创造了巧妙的平衡。“我很自然地被忧郁的故事所吸引,但我加入了动物伙伴,让这幅画不那么严肃。” Tran 说,“而人物放大缩小的比例,给了画面中角色以一种威严和超现实主义的感觉。”

“Ultimately, I want my viewers to reflect and feel a sense of well-being from my art,” she says. “However they perceive my work, I hope it somehow puts them at ease, especially if they feel down on their luck.”

“我希望观众能够从其中反映出一种幸福感。希望能这些画让他们感到轻松,尤其当他们感到时运不济的时候。” Tran 如是说。

Website: www.mynameistran.com
: @mynameistran
Behance: ~/trannguyen

Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: www.mynameistran.com
: @mynameistran
Behance: ~/trannguyen

供稿人: Chen Yuan

A World of Monsters & Plants

In one illustration, a slime-covered shark with jet engines on its fins swims through a tangle of video game cables and old brick cell phones. In another, flowers with fanged petals wrap their stems around a pair of faded blue jeans. One more features floating ketchup and mustard bottles, Chuck Norris as a merman with hair dryers in both hands, plus an array of other surreal elements, all of which are sandwiched between two giant hamburger buns.

在一幅插画中,一只涂满粘液、鳍上装着喷气发动机的鲨鱼正游走于一堆视频游戏电缆和旧式的砖手机中;在另一幅插画里,褪色的蓝色牛仔裤上,画着露出尖牙的花朵;还有一幅,番茄酱和芥末酱的瓶子成为了主角,动作片演员查克·诺里斯(Chuck Norris)变成一条手拿吹风机的人鱼,和其它超现实元素一起,夹在两块巨大的汉堡面包之间,变成了一个巨型汉堡包。

These are the imaginings of Singaporean artist Adeline Tan. Her work—a mixture of illustration, commissioned murals, and personal painting—take on various roles and purposes. “Art is comforting, it helps me manage negative emotions,” she explains. “As a Singaporean child growing up in the ‘80s, there was a lot of pressure to perform academically. Children find ways to cope, and for me, it was drawing. My parents quickly discouraged me, of course.”

这些插画来自于新加坡艺术家 Adeline Tan 的想象世界。她的作品包括插画、委托创作的涂鸦作品和个人绘画作品等等,类型和用途都十分丰富。“艺术有抚慰人心的作用,它可以帮我控制一些负面的情绪。”她解释道,“作为一个生活在 80 年代新加坡的小孩,在学业上常常要承受很大的压力。每个小孩都有自己的排压方法,对我而言,画画就是我排压的方式。当然,我的父母很快泼我冷水了。”

What began as a creative outlet quickly grew to become her passion. She worked for years as a graphic designer, during which she struggled to find time for creating personal works. 2013, when Tan gave birth to her little boy, was a pivotal year for her. “I quit my day job to become a mother and focused more on painting and drawing as it had more flexibility than the long hours of a designer,” she says. “From there, I created a lot more personal work and self-initiated projects.”

这种最初用来排解压力的爱好很快变成为了她的热情。在担任平面设计师的多年期间,她总是想办法抽出时间创作个人作品。2013年,Adeline 生下儿子,对她来说,这是关键的一年。她说:“我辞去了全职工作,成为全职妈妈,也因此可以更专注于画画,比起当全职设计师那种长时间工作,现在我在时间上可以更加灵活。从那时起,我就创作了越来越多的个人作品和项目。”

While Tan’s output is diverse, having a child definitely had an impact on the subject matters she works with. “After my son was born, I began exploring themes like an imagined future of our natural environment, family history, and nightmares,” things that her family deals with and that her son may have to as an adult. “I’ve also taken up more children- and education-related projects. One collaborator I especially love is EYEYAH Magazine.” An example of the work she does with them is her piece on mutant E-waste, and how toxic products end up in the ocean and other places.

虽然 Adeline 的作品类型多样,但是小孩的出生肯定会对她的作品主题有所影响。“儿子出生后,我开始探索一些新的主题,譬如是构想自然环境的未来、家族历史和梦魇等等。”大多是以她的家人以及她的儿子将来成年后不得不面对的问题为主题。“我还开始创作更多与儿童和教育有关的项目。我特别喜欢和 EYEYAH Magazine 杂志合作。”他们曾合作一个关于突变电子废物,以及有毒产品污染海洋和其它地方的项目。

While she does lots of digital work, her favorite medium is painting. Often, that includes watercolors of plants with copious stems entangled in her trademark style. Tan also does a lot of mural work, something the artist began exploring a couple years ago. “I find that the difficulty faced when trying out a new format or medium or size is also exciting in the sense that I get to learn something new,” she says. “You are forced to look at the work in a different way, forced to use different brushes or tools from those you are comfortable with.”


The most recent mural she worked on was a collaboration with 32 other artists. Organized by artist Skl0, their work was printed on a replica of the HBD government subsidized housing blocks that the majority of Singaporeans live in. Tan’s work included a three-story unit consisting of a monster floral pattern on the outside wall, with a yeti-like couple dancing inside the windows. She also worked with artist Tiffany Lovage to create a life-sized mural of a tiger in X-ray view, leaping among tiger lilies, with the stripes on its body formed by a pattern of mutant tiger orchids.

最近,她与其他32位艺术家合作创作一个壁画项目。这个项目由艺术家 Skl0 策划,他们在大多数新加坡人所居住的组屋(HDB,政府补贴的住宅区)的复制品上创作壁画。Adeline 的作品包括一个三层楼的单元,她在外墙上画了一个怪物花卉图案,又画了一对像大脚野人(Yeti)一样的情侣在窗户里跳舞的情景;她还与艺术家 Tiffany Lovage 画了一只X射线图的老虎。这只与原物一样大小小的老虎正从虎百合花丛中一跃而出,身上的条纹也突变成老虎兰花。

Her characteristically dense and comical works, with multiple objects thickly entangled with one another, lend themselves to a variety of outlets. But no matter how her work is presented—whether it be a stamp collection, an animated GIF, the painted fabric of a pair of pants and sneakers, or a children’s illustration—Tan’s style always feels like a perfect fit. 

密集而有趣的画面,繁复的物体彼此纠缠在一起,这是她作品的标志性风格,这样的插画适合制作成各种各样的创意作品。无论是邮票、视频投影 GIF、裤子和运动鞋上的彩绘,还是儿童插画,Adeline 的作品总会让人有一种亲切感。

Website: www.mightyellow.com
Instagram: @yell0w


Contributor: Mike Steyels

网站: www.mightyellow.com
Instagram: @yell0w


供稿人: Mike Steyels

Water and Ink

For the artist known as Lost Mountain Man, just a few strokes is all it takes to evoke meandering brooks, learned scholars, or gatherings of old friends.

The artist’s light, elemental brushwork—the antithesis of overwrought illustration and design—combines traditional ink painting with modern sensibilities. Traditional Chinese ink paintings usually leave empty space on the scroll, and Lost Mountain Main, fascinated by eastern aesthetics, uses a understated, gentle, pleasantly flowing technique to add a touch of the mystical.



In most of his works, the artist conveys a certain feeling, one that arises from the dialogue between humans and nature and appears at both the individual and the monumental scale. Watercolor and ink compose and rearrange these subtle relationships, creating an intriguing effect. “Ink and watercolor both involve a play between pigment and water. With practice on the page, with long-term perseverance, you can achieve harmony, coordination, and control. All that remains is the emotion you want to give voice to.”

The landscapes in these works are a reflection of the artist’s own idiosyncrasies. “I’ve always felt I lived in a state of utter loneliness,” he says. “I often reflect on the impermanence of the world and the insignificance of human life. Time passes and stillness persists in the boundless universe above me. And in the contrast between the minuscule and the vast, I find an outlook that teaches humility, that teaches reverence.”



Instagram: @lostmountainman

Contributor: Chen Yuan

Instagram: @lostmountainman

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Idiot Comics

Prior to meeting her, all I knew about the creator of Idiot Comics was that she was Chinese and went by the nickname Tou Yeye. Her illustrations have a goofy, off-the-wall humor, but in our conversation, she admits to depressive tendencies. “I’m often depressed and sometimes very goofy,” she says. “I like the writing of Yukio Mishima and Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, along with films of Roman Polanski.” These tastes are mirrored in her comics: cheerful but shot through with black and white lines, melancholy but saturated with color, never entirely choosing one side.

一个画漫画的女生叫头爷爷,这个名字大概是在采访之前我对《笨蛋漫画》作家唯一的了解。请她说说自己是个什么样的人,她回答“经常比较抑郁,有时候又很幽默。喜欢三岛由纪夫、涩泽龙彦的文字,也喜欢波兰斯基的电影。” 描述跟她的漫画不谋而合,快乐里保留黑白的线条,抑郁里永远有明亮的色彩,从不坚决地选任何一边。

"The philosophy of death."
"I want to kill someone."

When I was a freshman in college, I was extremely introverted and didn’t have many friends,” she recalls. “I read a lot of books by Osamu Dazai, who romanticized the idea of running away from home. Thinking it was a cool idea, I used all of my New Year’s red envelope money to travel to Tibet.”

Tou Yeye’s foray into creating comics began with the conclusion of this trip. She wanted a way to document her travels, as seen through her wild imagination. Her inaugural comic, Yi Chang, chronicles the entirety of her journey through Sichuan.

她的漫画创作始于自己的一段心路经历,“大一的时候曾经离家出走过一段时间,当时我很自闭,身边没什么朋友。天天看太宰治的书,觉得离家出走很酷,就拿着压岁钱独自去了四川藏区。” 之后她想把这次出走画成一个漫画,旅程中所有的细节加上天马行空的想象,就变成了头爷爷的第一个作品《一场》。

  • 左右滑动查看更多
    Swipe to read select works from Idiot Comics Vol. 1

Several characters make frequent appearances throughout Tou Yeye’s comics. The short-haired girl by the name of Weiwei represents the artist herself, the snarky bird is one of her real-life friends, and the rabbit and the dinosaur are friends she dreamed up. Throughout Idiot Comics, these characters can be seen cursing each other out, throwing poop at each other, or falling prey to spilled milk teas.

In a separate series, Nightmare Shop, Weiwei travels to a monochrome world. As she wanders through this colorless realm musing on the meaning of existence, the bird and rabbit can be randomly spotted embedded within the surreal landscapes.



After graduating from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in printmaking, Tou Yeye left China to study for two years in France. During her time abroad, she became friends with a lot of comics artists, whose bohemian lives seemed ideal. Back in China, she found a very different creative environment. She wants to keep doing what she loves but has to spend most of her time every day on French translations to make ends meet. “I know so many other comics artists who are really impressive, but they all have other jobs, or they’re still in school,” she sighs. “Still I’ve seen that the overall creative atmosphere in China is getting better and better.”

Tou Yeye says she may soon quit freelancing and find a steady job drawing things she might not really love. But Idiot Comics will go on no matter what. It’s a project that gives her and others a few minutes to escape from reality, a moment to enjoy a simple happiness.



"Love is shit."

A limited number of Idiot Comics Vol. 1 is now available in the Neocha Shop.

《笨蛋漫画》Vol. 1 现于Neocha商店限量发售。

To pay via PayPal or international credit card, please check out through our Shopify. To pay with AliPay or WeChat, please visit our Weidian.


头爷爷的《笨蛋漫画》Vol. 1



"Thank you for checking out Idiot Comics. I hope you all turn into idiots! Volume two of Idiot Comics will be out soon. Follow my official WeChat account to learn more. I hate you all!"

Douban: ~/tianxiezuo


Contributor: Shou Xing

微博: @头爷爷


供稿人: Shou Xing

Our Digital Selves

Currently based in New York, John Yuyi is a Taiwanese artist who was launched into the spotlight following the success of her FACE POST project. FACE POST was a photo series in which she affixed temporary transfer tattoos of old photos on the faces and bodies of herself and her friends. The idea of using temporary tattoos in this project would become the springboard for Yuyi’s now-signature aesthetic. And today – having completed multiple collaborations with luxury fashion brands and a successful solo exhibition in New York – Yuyi has proven herself a force to be reckoned with in the international art scene.

John Yuyi(江宥仪)是来自台湾、现在在纽约生活的艺术家。在早先的《FACE POST》系列里,她将自己上传过的照片做成纹身贴纸,转印在脸和身体上,这样有趣又前所未见的作品形式让她开始受到广大的关注。艺术生涯还很年轻,但 John Yuyi 已经在纽约办过个人展览、收过来自国际品牌的合作邀约。面对一步一步逐渐堆叠的名气,她始终维持自己稳定前进的步调,在创作路上不改依然故我的态度。

Throughout Yuyi’s works, the internet is one of the most prevalent topics explored. In this age of interconnectivity, our computers and phones have become invaluable devices that connect us with the world at large, and social media is a large part of the internet ecosystem. However, social media has proven itself to be a double-edged blade for many artists: Social media can be beneficial in bringing attention to the works of up-and-coming artists, but the quest for bigger followings and more “likes” can easily lead to self-imposed creative stagnation.

Today, rather than simply being spaces to share and communicate ideas with others, social media has come to define our identity. People meticulously curate posts to project a flawless digital persona, “likes” on social media have become metrics to measure our value as individuals, and many, like Yuyi, can find that differentiating between our real self and digital self has become increasingly difficult. Cognizant of these issues, much of Yuyi’s works – which is often jam-packed with symbols from Twitter, Instagram, and other notable platforms – serve as a reminder, or perhaps a warning, of this over-reliance on social media.


在 John Yuyi 的创作中,Instagram 和 Twitter 是频繁出现的符码。社交网络不单单作为她发佈作品的平台,甚至是创作的素材、灵感的发源地。有些时候,社交网络完全定义了我们,我们依靠一张张照片和一则则发言来拼凑别人眼中的自己,久而久之越来越脱离不了。社交网络确实操控了我们的生活,某种程度上我们都像是为了网络上自己的分身而活。John Yuyi 的作品作为一个提醒,让我们开始反思这样荒唐的现况。

As someone who recognizes her own dependence on social media, Yuyi confesses that the line between an influencer and an artist can seem blurred at times. It’s something that she herself often struggles to differentiate. The goals for an online influencer and an artist do admittedly have certain overlaps. While they’re both seeking recognition to some extent, their motivations are drastically different. For an online influencer, they’re marketing themselves as the intended product, but for an artist, their creations are the intended product. “In the past, I’d think about how many ‘likes’ I can get on my uploads,” she shares of her former insecurities. “But now, I don’t think about it like that. My content isn’t catered for Instagram. I create for myself.”

网红与网络艺术家,同样都是在吸引网民的目光,本质上却不太一样——前着借的是自己,后者借的是创作。John Yuyi 承认自己曾经非常依赖网络媒体,在两者模煳不清的分界之间,花上了一段时间来确立自己的定位。“以前的我会常常去猜想 po 这张照片能获得多少喜欢,但现在的我尽量不这么做,不为了 Instagram 去设计内容,而是以 ‘自己’ 为出发点去创作。”

Aside from her internet-inspired works, Yuyi’s approach of using temporary tattoos and human bodies as canvases continues in her other projects. Often times, ideas simply come from her day-to-day life, whether it be a sentence from a book she’s reading or lyrics from a song she just heard. Yuyi’s success as an artist comes from her talents of recognizing these hidden stories – her works present these overlooked stories as they are, but her visual approach adds the context required for her audience to fully appreciate these observations. “I find a lot of inspiration in my daily life,” she tells us. “I think of creating art like writing a journal. It’s simply a summary of all that I see and experience.”

之后 John Yuyi 持续蒐集符号和标誌,有时是书里读到的一段情节、或一段喜欢的歌词,灵感的足迹遍佈生活各处的小细节。“我的灵感都来自我的生活,创作对我来说像在写日记一样,我只是把我看到的、我想到的、我所在的世界记录下来。” 她用既已存在的故事来说故事,来自一双比常人更细腻、更专注的眼睛,这些事物早就存在在那,只是你我从未发现而已。在她的小世界里,没有什么是不合时宜。

Humbly, Yuyi says the successful conclusion of her debut solo exhibition in New York was the best birthday present she could’ve received this year. The next stop for her will be Los Angeles where she’ll host her second-ever solo exhibition, My (Temporary) Self. The exhibition will debut at Make Room on March 24th, 2018 and run until April 22nd, 2018.

John Yuyi 向我们开心的说今年的生日礼物,是顺利在纽约举行的第一场个人展览。而下一站她要前往洛杉矶,带着第二场个展《MY (TEMPORARY) SELF》于 2018 年 3 月 24 日至 4 月 22 日期间,在 Make Room 跟大家见面。

Opening: Saturday, March 24, 2018, 6 ~ 9 pm
Exhibition Dates: March 24, 2018 ~ April 22, 2018


Make Room
1035 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States of America


Website: www.johnyuyi.com
Instagram: @johnyuyi


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

开幕时间: 星期六,2018年3月24日,下午6点至9点
展览日期: 2018年3月24日—2018年4月22日


加州 洛杉矶
1035 N Broadway
Make Room


网站: www.johnyuyi.com


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Visual Metaphors w/ Wenting Li

Travellers: For the Parallel show at Light Grey Art Lab. / "旅行者":为《Parallel》在 Light Grey 艺术实验室的展览而创作的插画。

Wenting Li is a Chinese Canadian illustrator based out of Toronto. Her work is preoccupied with color and movement, the relationship between shapes, and the subtleties of complementing stories with imagery. As a young artist, she’s already established an impressive list of clients including The Globe and Mail, TED, Reader’s Digest, and The New York Times.

Wenting Li 是来自加拿大的华裔插画师,目前居住多伦多。她的作品专注于色彩与动态、形状之间的关系以及用图片补充故事的微妙之处。虽然还是个年轻的艺术家,但 Wenting 已经建立了一系列大客户群,比如《环球邮报》、TED、《读者文摘》和《纽约时报》。

Diving into Memory: As we remember things, we also alter the integrity of a memory. An illustration for Quebec Science. / “潜入回忆”:当我们记住事情的时候,我们也改变了一段记忆的完整性。为《Quebec Science》创作的插画。
Head Full of Memories: What we've come to know about the inner workings of memory. An illustration for Quebec Science. / “充满回忆的头脑”:我们已经知道了记忆的内在运作。为《Quebec Science》创作的插画。

Describing her personal work, Li tells us: “[It’s] especially focused on aesthetics but also on things I can’t think of words for and nebulous things like feelings.”

In contrast, her client work is more structured and goal-oriented. Li says, “Client work for me is about trying to map a prompt, such as an article, a story, or a concept, against the mess of visual connections unique to my head. I’m interested in visual metaphors, quiet moments, momentum, mystery, and how a drawing can open into parallel dimensions where things gesture at what they look like ordinarily, but their outlines are malleable.”

对于个人创作理念,Wenting 和我们说:“(我的作品)主要关注美学,以及我无法用语言描绘的事情,譬如像感觉这样含糊不清的事物。”


A Seat at the Table: Encouraging North American companies to become more diverse workplaces. An illustration for Corporate Knights. / "桌前一座":鼓励北美的公司工作场所变得更加多元化。为《Corporate Knights》创作的插画。
Winnipeg Beach: For a grown son's personal essay remembering his father. An illustration for The Globe and Mail. / “温尼伯海滩”:一个已长大的儿子写个人散文以回忆他的父亲。为《环球邮报》创作的插画。
Daughter: An unpublished piece on the burden of responsibility in elder care for The Walrus. / “女儿”:给《The Walrus》创作的还未发表的作品,关于养老责任重担的问题。

Wenting shares with us a story behind Constants, one of her recent illustrations for PLANADVISER, a trade magazine that, surprisingly, has established a reputation among artists as a platform for wildly conceptual illustration despite its technical content. Wenting says, “When I get the chance to work with PLANADVISER, I always try to let my subconscious go rampant. Some of the other sketches for this assignment included motifs like a kitchen full of animals, a home on the back of a giant fish, a vertical city – the concept I was given to work with was ‘stability of steady flow of income.’ Usually, I send in three or four of my favorite sketches, a distillation of maybe six or seven ideas, and many more thumbnails. The concept we went with is a tea drinker ensconced in front of her fireplace, with an endless supply of firewood for boiling water for tea, which comes from an enormous tree growing through her window and into the house itself. It’s something that was fun to draw. I knew I wanted to color the illustration as a night scene with dark blues and purples and lighter pinks and greens as contrast, with a sort of interior “glowiness,” and that’s what carried through to the final.”

Wenting跟我们分享了创作《Constants》(《常量》)背后的故事。这是她为商业杂志《PLANADVISER》创作的插图之一,神奇的是,这本商业杂志在艺术家之间颇有声誉,不仅仅囊括技术性的内容,还被视为是概念插图的一个重要平台。Wenting解释:“当我知道可以和(《PLANADVISER》)合作时,我就会让自己的潜意识尽情发挥。 这次合作的其它主题还包括一个充满各种动物的厨房,一条巨型大鱼背上的房子,以及一个垂直城市,我拟下的主题是‘稳定收入带来稳定’。通常我会发三到四幅我最喜欢的草稿,六七个比较好的想法,以及更多缩略图。我们采用的概念是一个在躲在壁炉前喝茶的女人,不断添柴煮茶。烧柴的木材则来自一棵穿过她房子窗户、径直伸入房子内的擎天大树。这样的题材很有趣,也比较大胆。我想用夜景的深蓝和紫色来给插图上色,加上浅粉色和绿色作为对比,突显出一些内部的光芒感,这主题和方法贯穿始终。”

Capture the Future: Poster illustration for the RBC Amplify 2018 program. / "捕获未来":为 RBC Amplify 2018 计划的海报插图。
Constants: Maintaining a constant flow in income and a constant supply of firewood for tea. An illustration for Planadviser. / "常量":保持收入不变,为煮茶提供不间断的柴火。 给《Planadviser》的插图。

Although Wenting was born in China, she left the country at the age of four. She cites her parents as her primary ties to Chinese culture. “[My parents] are in some ways very Chinese in terms of food, values, language, and so on, but in other ways are quite ambivalent – we don’t really mark the major Lunar New Year’s holiday for example. Sometimes the culture I come from can feel like more of a series of quirks, and other times it is definitely like looking at the world from a very different angle.”

While her cultural background doesn’t directly influence her work, Wenting is always hungry to discover new perspectives about the world around her as a means of fueling her creativity. She shares some of her recent sources of inspiration: “I’ve been listening to The Paris Review podcast and there’s something really nice about listening to people read you stories and poems and talk about their output. I’m also still reading Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life & Others – I’m stuck on a particular story about automatons in a Victorian-esque setting that is crawling up my skin.”

虽然 Wenting 在中国出生,但她四岁时就离开了这个国家,在她看来,父母是她与中国文化之间最主要的纽带。“(我的父母) 在食物、价值观、语言等等方面都很中国化,但在其它方面又相当矛盾。譬如,像中国农历新年这样的重要节日我们也不会怎么过。有时候,我感觉自己所来自的文化更像是一系列奇怪的事物,有时,又像是换了一个非常不同的角度来看世界。”

但她的文化背景并没有直接影响到她的艺术创作,Wenting 一直渴望发掘出看待周遭世界的全新角度,以作为她艺术的养分。她分享了她最近的一些文学灵感来源:“我一直都有听《巴黎评论》(The Paris Review)播客,听听别人给你讲故事、读诗歌,谈论他们的想法,挺有意思的。我还在读姜峯楠(Ted Chiang)的《Stories of Your Life & Others》(《你及他人一生的故事》),我尤其喜欢其中一个维多利亚时代背景关于机器人的故事。这个故事看得我毛骨悚然。”

Cherry Beach: Catching the Perseids shower in Toronto. / “繁星海滩”:在多伦多的海滩撞见了英仙座流星雨。

Despite her natural talents and reputation as an up-and-coming illustrator, Wenting still faces her fair share of creative struggles. She tells us, “Coming up with ideas is frustrating but really fun. Sometimes I lie down on the couch and despair of ever having a good idea again. Kind of like running through pain, I just keep drawing through it. It’s also helpful to switch your brain to a different track for a while, like go for a walk or clean all the sinks in your basement. I also struggle with living a life apart from my creative life – but waiting for a less busy time to live your life is an endless wait.”


The Garden of Memory: An illustrator for the "Roots" issue of Amator. / “记忆花园”:为《Amator》“Roots”期刊创作的插画。
Small: The not-good-enough plague that comes with living in the social media age. An illustration for Canadian Living. / “小”:生活在社交媒体时代所带来的“不够好”状态的瘟疫。为《Canadian Living》创作的插画。
Into the Fire: Prumsodun Ok and the formation of Cambodia's first all-male, gay-identified Khmer dance company. An illustration for TED. / “入火”:Prumsodun OK 和柬埔寨第一个全男性、定义为同性恋属性的高棉舞蹈公司。为 TED 创作的插画。
Rowing: Opposing ideological agendas stalling the Democratic Party. An illustration for The New York Times. / “划船”:民主党内部的反对声音,拖延了民主党的议程。为《纽约时报》创作的插画。
Adding Value: Growing a shared set of values while growing a team. An illustration for Intercom. / "增值":在发展团队的同时,也要发展一套共同的价值观。为 Intercom 所创作的插图。

Website: wentingli.com
Instagram: @wentingthings


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

网站: wentingli.com
Instagram: @wentingthings


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

My Language Proficiency

Okui Lala, real name Chew Win Chen, is a fourth-generation Chinese Malaysian. Living in a country well known for its multicultural makeup, Chew is a multimedia artist who explores issues of language, migration, and identity through photography, video, and performance art. Today, we meet up with her in Penang’s Komtar Tower, a once iconic landmark in George Town that the state’s tourism board does not want to give up on despite dwindling public interest.

Okui Lala 原名 Chew Win Chen,是第四代的马来西亚华裔。 在这样一个以多元文化著称的国家里成长,Chew作为一名多媒体艺术家,喜欢通过摄影、影片和表演 艺术来探讨语言翻译、移民和身份认知等问题。今天,我们和 Chew 约好到槟城的光大大厦(Komtar)见面。这幢大厦曾经是槟城首府乔治市的标志性地标,尽管近年来这幢建筑对公众的吸引力已不断式微,但当地旅游局仍然不想放弃它。

Inside the shopping mall, 80s brutalist architecture adds to the grimness of the unoccupied storefronts. It’s here where many of the city’s migrant workers set up their grocery stores, restaurants, and hair salons. It’s also here where many of the city’s Filipino workers send parcels and remittance back home to the families they left behind. Young Burmese men gather in the poorly lit eateries sprinkled throughout the mall, chatting over cigarettes and tea on their only day off.

在这幢购物中心里,80 年代的野兽派建筑让空置的店面显得更加萧条。在这里,许多移民工人开起了杂货店、餐馆和美发沙龙。也正是在这里,许多菲律宾工人往他们家乡里的亲人寄送包裹和汇款。年轻的缅甸男人在他们唯一的休息日里,聚集在商场内各个灯光昏暗的就餐角落,一边抽烟、喝茶,一边闲聊。

In 2015, Chew started working with Burmese migrants on a piece called Let’s Drink and Eat Tea! One of the standout tutorials of the series was a live performance of making lahpet thoke, a simple Burmese appetizer. In the tutorial, Chew learned how to prepare the dish via translated instructions. The normally quick-to-prepare dish took thrice the time to cook as Burmese was translated into Malay, and then Malay translated into English. The video aims to demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using translation as a tool for understanding.

2015年,Chew 开始以缅甸移民为对象,进行名为《Let’s Drink and Eat Tea!》的系列项目。其中她还试过现场制作茶叶沙拉(Lahpet Thoke)的表演。茶叶沙拉是一道制作简单的缅甸特色开胃菜,但 Chew 要通过翻译后的说明来学习如何准备这道菜。因为多了先将缅甸语翻译成马来语,再把马来语翻译成英语这个步骤,最后 Chew 完成这道原本很简单的菜式花费了比平时多三倍的时间,以此说明,翻译作为交流理解的工具的可能性和局限性。

Let’s Drink and Eat Tea! kickstarted Chew’s thought process on her latest project – My Language Proficiency, a short film in which she holds a panel discussion with herself in Malay, Mandarin, English, and Hokkien. Confronted with an art scene that’s often segregated by language barriers, Chew wanted to explore what intellectual discourse would sound like in a multicultural society if everyone could have a seat at the table and speak in the language that they are most comfortable with. The project also examines the deep influence that history, education policy, migration, and upbringing have on a person’s choice of language.

《Let’s Drink and Eat Tea!》这个项目启发 Chew 开始思考自己的最新作品《My Language Proficiency》(我的语言能力)。她分别拍摄下自己说着四种不同语言的四部短片,用马来语、普通话、英语和闽南语与自己进行一场小组讨论。面对一个经常被语言障碍所隔离的艺术场景,Chew 想探究在多元文化社会中,如果每个人都可以坐在一起,用他们最熟悉的语言来交流,这样的“知性对话会是怎么样的”。此外,这个项目还会探讨历史、教育政策、移民和家庭教育对一个人语言选择的深刻影响。

An excerpt from My Language Proficiency / 一段来自《My Language Proficiency》的影片



As we wander around Komtar, Chew notes how the two waves of Malaysia’s migrants intersect – the “official faces” of Malaysia’s multiculturalism (Malays, Chinese, Indians), and the second influx of foreign workers from Myanmar and the Philippines. “There is xenophobia among our rakyat,” Chew says, using the Malay word for citizens, a word that is usually associated with patriotism and unity on a national front.

In light of recent news of Malaysia’s racial segregation, the country was slapped with a temporary ban from the Indonesian government, stopping the intake of Indonesian workers as a reaction to cases of abuse and the death of an Indonesian maid. Penang itself, with its cosmopolitan past as a trading port, enforced a ban last year on foreign cooks in efforts to protect the authenticity of its famed hawker fares. But Penang’s food, a tourist draw on its own, is a byproduct of Chinese and Indian Muslim traders assimilating with the local culture. The irony was lost on a majority of Malaysians who voted in favor of the ban.

“We’re in George Town, and we have a lot of fixed ideas about what George Town’s heritage is,” says Chew, reflecting on the almost aggressive ownership Penang’s heritage center holds on what it deems as authentic. She says that the new wave of migrant workers is viewed by many locals as “the ‘others’ who will come and take over our jobs”.

“目前马来西亚人(rakyat)中存在一种仇外心理,” Chew 说道。“rakyat”一词是马来语中“公民”的意思,这个词往往还意味着爱国主义和团结。


Chew 说:“我们生活在乔治市,关于这座城市的文化遗产,我们有很多根深蒂固的想法。”她认为,乔治市作为槟城的文化中心,当地人对维持所谓地道文化的态度几乎可以说是“咄咄逼人”。她说,在许多当地人眼中,新的外来务工人员只是“一些来抢工作的外人”。

“We haven’t really overcome xenophobia on a social level. How are we going to handle these issues [related to migration policies]?” she questions when asked if she feels pressure to take a social justice angle to her work with migrant workers. Chew’s work urges one to turn inwards with self-reflection to better understand and receive others, to see that their cultural influences are equally important contributions to the make-up of a Malaysian identity.

“Myanmar migrants are new migrants but can the culture that they bring with them be considered heritage? I like this old and new contradiction,” she muses. The constant stream of languages that appear in Chew’s work, be it familiar or foreign, holds a lens to the complex identities of old and new migrants that have chosen Malaysia as home. And perhaps importantly, in an age of Brexit and Trump, Chew’s work implores for acceptance of self and of neighbor.

Chew 的作品试图从社会正义的角度出发,探讨移民工人的现状和问题。被问及 Chew 是否对此也会感到不少压力时,她说:“我们的社会还没有真正克服仇外心理的问题。我们到底应该要如何处理(与移民政策相关的) 问题呢?” Chew 的作品敦促人们自我反省,去更好地理解和接受所谓的“外人”,也去明白他们的文化影响对马来西亚人身份的有着同样重要的贡献。

“缅甸移民是新移民,但他们带来的文化是否可以被视为(本土)文化遗产?我喜欢这种新与旧的矛盾。”她沉思着说道。Chew 的作品中充斥着源源不断的语言元素,无论是当地人熟悉的母语或是外语,其实都为我们提供了一种视角,以探讨那些马来西亚新老移民复杂的身份问题。重要的是,在这个对移民不够友善的整体环境下,Chew 的作品更是在呼吁人们要去包容和接纳自身的移民文化,而非抵触。

Website: cargocollective.com/okuilala


Contributor & Photographer: Adeline Chua
Video Courtesy of Okui Lala

网站: cargocollective.com/okuilala


供稿人与摄影师: Adeline Chua
视频由 Okui Lala 提供

Confronting the Uncomfortable

Lkhagvadorj Enkhbat is a contemporary Mongolian artist who is best known for his hyper-realistic portraits that depict seemingly unconscious men on the streets of Ulaanbaatar. The men depicted are homeless alcoholics who resort to rummaging and salvaging garbage to survive. By displaying these men at the lowest point in their lives, his art is an uncomfortable confrontation with the rampant problems of alcoholism and poverty that have plagued Mongolia.

While he’s earned praise for his work outside of Mongolia, many people in the country don’t see any merit in his art, viewing his work as nothing more than unpleasant imagery. Despite the negative feedback, he isn’t deterred. Similar to Orkhontuul, a Mongolian artist we’ve featured in the past, Lkhagvadorj isn’t afraid to expose the ugly truths of society.

来自蒙古的当代艺术家 Lkhagvadorj Enkhbat 向来以超现实主义的肖像画著称,在他笔下,常常描绘着乌兰巴托街头一些不省人事的男性,他们往往都是无家可归的酒鬼,只能靠翻找垃圾维持生计。通过记录下这些处于低谷中的男人们的生活,Lkhagvadorj 试图直面充斥于蒙古社会的酗酒和贫穷问题。

虽然他的作品早已在国际社会上获得认可,但在蒙古国内,仍然有许多人不能理解他的作品,在他们看来,他的作品无非只是一些令人不愉快的画面。尽管有这些负面的反馈,Lkhagvadorj 也没有因此却步。和我们之前介绍过的蒙古艺术家 Orkhontuul 一样,Lkhagvadorj 并不畏惧揭露社会的丑恶现实。

Lkhagvadorj’s interest in these dark subjects stems from his past: his father and the environment he grew up in. When Mongolia became a democracy in 1990, many men and women not only lost their jobs but they also lost their sense of self. This led many people to turn to the bottle as a way of drowning out their loss and sorrow – this was especially true where Lkhagvadorj grew up.

He shares, “There were more men in my neighborhood who became addicted to alcohol than in any other neighborhoods in Ulaanbaatar.”

Lkhagvadorj’s father was no exception.

Lkhagvadorj 对黑暗题材的兴趣源自他的过去、他的父亲以及他长大的环境。1990 年,蒙古转型成为民主社会,许多人因此失去了工作,同时也失去了他们的自我意识。许多人因此选择用酒精来麻醉掉强烈的失落感与悲伤,在 Lkhagvadorj 长大的地区尤其如此。

“在我家附近,沉迷于酒精的人要比乌兰巴托其它地方多得多。” Lkhagvadorj 说。


Supermarket (2014)
Dream of Having a Horse (2013)
All Needs Fulfilled (2013)

“My father’s addiction got so bad that he would also end up on the street passed out. My family has tried so many times to make him stop, but nothing really worked. Eventually, he moved away to the countryside when I was in high school.”

For over a decade, Lkhagvadorj didn’t interact with his father, but recently, Lkhagvadorj’s father moved back closer to him and found employment as a security guard. Unfortunately, his father still hasn’t stopped drinking – he’s even one of the men depicted in the painting titled Supermarket. While the two have rekindled their relationship, Lkhagvadorj’s father remains unaware of the exact kind of works that his son paints.


十多年来,Lkhagvadorj 都没有和父亲联系,但最近他的父亲搬回到 Lkhagvadorj 家附近,并且找了一份保安的工作。但他仍然没有戒酒。Lkhagvadorj 在自己一幅名为《Supermarket》(《超市》)的画里描绘了自己的父亲。虽然他与父亲重拾了父子间的关系,但父亲依然不明白他画的是什么类型的作品。

Sweat of a Winning Horse (2016)
Me Above the Birds (2015)
Sheep Man (2015)

In the beginning, Lkhagvadorj ventured out into the streets to take candid photos of these homeless people, using the images as references for his paintings. It was a very detached approach. However, after completing a few paintings, Lkhagvadorj decided to rethink his methods and set out with the goal of getting to know these people, to understand who they were before they ended up on the streets.

“Most these people had very interesting and fruitful lives before the ended up on the streets,” Lkhagvadorj comments. “They had a family and a job, but the bottle was a stronger pull for them. And I would ask them, ‘Why can’t you just stop drinking?’ and their responses were, ‘I can’t stop, I just have to drink.’”

Lkhagvadorj made it his mission to converse with and get to know more of these people as he continued to create more paintings. His interactions reached a point where he realized many of these marginalized individuals had specializations and skills in their own communities. Lkhagvadorj started to understand that their self-worth wasn’t diminished in any way by their lifestyles. He tells us, “These people did not see themselves as we saw them.”

开始的时候,Lkhagvadorj 壮着胆子拍路人的照片,用来作为他绘画的参考。但他发现,这是一种置身事外的做法。在反思自己的创作过程后,他开始主动去了解这些人,了解他们在沦落街头之前的生活。


Lkhagvadorj 为自己定下了这样的任务:和这些人交谈,去了解他们。通过与这些人的交流,Lkhagvadorj 意识到,他们在自己的世界里也是各有专长的。Lkhagvadorj 对这些人的认知渐渐深入,他也明白了,他们的自我价值并不会因为他们的生活标准而降低,“这些人对自己的认知与我们眼中的他们是不一样的。”

Holding on to Dear Life (2016)
I am with a Flock of Sheep in the Prairie (2010)
Wolf (2012)

At gallery showings, there were times when Mongolian art critics stormed out of his exhibition because they were outraged by his work. Similar to how Mongolian society has shunned their homeless population, Enkdhat’s art has yet to find a home in Mongolia and most of his work tend to end up in foreign art galleries.

当他画廊展出作品时,曾经有一段时间,一些蒙古艺术评论家会气急败坏地离开他的展览,因为他们接受不了眼前的画像。Enkdhat 的作品和这些无家可归的人口一样,在蒙古社会都遭到了冷遇,所以大部分作品都只能在国外美术馆展出。

Lkhagvadorj understands there is a dilemma to his craft in Mongolia. He understands that if he painted topics were more likely to be well-received by the masses, then more people would purchase his paintings. There were times when people tried to persuade him to paint things that were pleasant. However, no matter how many people would attempt to convince him to create art that’s more accessible to the public or art that can to garner more name recognition, he refuses to change his style. He insists that he paints what makes him feel like himself. “People will try to persuade me to paint something different, but I have stayed true to myself,” he states. “Just like these people who can’t stop drinking, I can’t stop painting these people. I just have to paint them and tell their stories.”

Lkhagvadorj 明白,他的作品在蒙古面临一种困境。他也明白,如果他画一些更令人赏心悦目的画,会有更多的人购买他的作品。有好几次,别人都劝他画一些更愉快的主题。但不管有多少人劝他去创作能带来更多知名度和吸引更多观众的艺术,他依然选择坚持自己的创作风格。他认为,他的画能让他坚持做真实的自己。他补充说,“很多人都劝我画别的主题,但是我其实只是要忠于真实的自己。就像这些戒不了酒的人,我也无法戒除要画他们的念头。我必须要画他们。”

Facebook: ~/LkhagvaArt
Instagram: @lkhagvadorj


Contributor & Photographer: Anand Tumurtogoo

脸书: ~/LkhagvaArt
Instagram: @lkhagvadorj


供稿人与摄影师: Anand Tumurtogoo

A Day in the Studio with Yan Wei



Yan Wei is a contemporary artist and painter from Beijing, China. After graduating from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Art and Design, she started her career as an illustrator working in the advertising industry. However, during her stint in advertising, she began to question her own goals and motivations. “I had to face the fact that advertising was not the reason I got into art,” she says. “I realized that advertising would only take me further away from my goals as an artist.”



Soon after this revelation, Yan quit her cushy advertising job and set up a painting studio in her parent’s home. She intended to dedicate all of her energy to making a reputation for herself in the art world. Over the next decade, Yan continuously progressed as an artist – her work would evolve from small ink-on-paper pieces to large-scale acrylic works on canvas.

Yan’s hard work would pay off. As of now, her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions, received massive amounts of praise and attention online, and has been purchased by the Shanghai Art Museum for its public collection.



Yan Wei’s creative process is centered around routine and discipline. She shares, “A lot of people might think, artists or those who work creatively might live more spontaneously and stay up late, but it’s not like that. I’ll wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, clean the house, and start to paint. Then I’ll have lunch and continue to paint, all the way until the sun goes down and it gets dark, and I can’t paint anymore.”



Youth, beauty, and femininity are recurring themes throughout Yan Wei’s body of work. Her art is a way for her to explore the changing roles of women within the context of modern culture and society. “I think of femininity as a whole,” she explains. “Each of my paintings, the subjects are different, but they all have something in common.”



For Yan, her art has also become a process of self-discovery regarding what it means to be a woman. “When I depict women, I think it’s different than when men depict women. When men depict women, it might be as an outside observer. But when I depict women, it’s a depiction of who I am.”


Double Birth
Empirical Wonderland

Yan Wei will be hosting a solo exhibition in Beijing, China opening on March 3rd, 2018. See below for full details.


Yan Wei Solo Exhibition in Beijing

Date: March 3rd, 2018 ~ April 3rd, 2018
Opening Reception: March 3rd 15:00 – 18:00

Hi Art Center
B-B36, UBP
No. 10 Jiuxianqiao Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China



展期: 2018年03月03日 —— 2018年04月03日
开幕酒会: 03月03日,15:00 – 18:00


Instagram: @koomoowei


Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人与摄影师: George Zhi Zhao