Tag Archives: illustrator

The Adventures of an Odd Duck

《飞克船长》系列:摘星计划

Beijing-based illustrator Tiepi Guaiya (meaning “An Odd, Iron-clad Duck” in English) is an artist whose love for sci-fi and adventure shines through in his work. Each stand-alone frame is an immersive story that pulls viewers deep into the scene. With surreal details peppered throughout his work, his drawings invite viewers to journey into the depths of his active imagination. Summing up his own art, he describes it as consisting of “space, aliens, monsters, wild animals, skateboards, bicycles, pimped-out rides, fashion, sexual desire, local Beijing culture, and everything else that seems cool.”


来自北京的插画师铁皮怪鸭,画中充满着探索的气息与科幻的意味,每一幅画都像在讲述一个故事,具有引人入胜的魅力。铁皮怪鸭的插画融入了很多幻想的元素,把一些天马行空的想法变成了现实,“比如说太空宇宙、外星人、怪兽、野兽、街头滑板、自行车、改装汽车、服饰潮流、欲望性感和北京文化,以及一切很酷的想法”。

《飞克船长》系列:等你很久了
《飞克船长》系列:飞克船长谜一样的笑容
《飞克船长》系列:飞克船长在土星玩玩具
《飞克船长》系列:当飞克船长变成老船长 依然可以把你迷倒
《飞克船长》系列:飞克船长在复古迪厅
《飞克船长》系列:船长的实验室 她们都说船长认真研究的样子非常英俊 眉毛一挑世界地动山摇
《飞克船长》系列:飞克船长航海计划
《飞克船长》系列:摘星计划
《飞克船长》系列:北海公园营救计划
《科学怪青年》系列:北京飞碟
《科学怪青年》系列:驾驭自己的梦想
《科学怪青年》系列:发现外星人

Weibo: ~/铁皮怪鸭

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


微博: ~/铁皮怪鸭

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

The Taste Reminds Me of You

猪排三明治 / Pork cutlet sandwich

“My name is Ye Zhijun, I’m in my 20s, I’m a virgo, and I love photography, drawing, and food.”

Endearing and direct, just like her drawings, Ye Zhijun’s description of herself can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Ye’s works rarely strike a gloomy or grumbling note, because most of the time the people in her drawings are too busy happily stuffing their faces.

That’s the unique charm of Ye’s words and images: you feel like you’ve known her all your life.


我是叶纸君90 后处女座,最大的爱好是拍照画画和吃东西。

这样坦白却可爱的自我介绍,和她的画一样,看起来让人不禁莞尔一笑。她的作品很少有那种“悲天悯人”“我见尤怜”的感觉,因为画中的人,大抵都在眉开眼笑地吃吃吃。

是的,这就是叶纸君从文字、从画面传达过来的个人魅力,让人倍感亲近。

肉夹馍 / Roujiamo, or Chinese hamburger
烤肉 / Grilled meat

When Ye graduated from University of the Arts London, she felt lost: “I was drawing every day, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.”

Back then she’d often go out to eat at little hole-in-the-wall restaurants. No matter how perplexed or lonely she felt, when seated in front of something delicious, “for a few moments my entire body felt cured. So I thought, why not put all these dishes into my drawings?”


三年前从伦敦艺术大学毕业后,叶纸君觉得很迷茫,在那段不长不短的时间里,“虽然每天都在画画,但不知道未来的人生会怎么样。”

当时,她经常会独自去很多小店吃东西,却意外地发现,无论再多迷惘和孤独,当面对美食的那一刻,“整个人就瞬间被治愈了,心想着那不如把这些美好的食物画出来吧。”

泡菜炒饭 / Kimchi fried rice
咖啡店 / Coffee shop
法式蛋糕 / French pastries

“The first thing I drew was a super simple but extraordinarily delicious bowl of noodles with scallion oil,” she says. “You put the chopped scallions on the strained noodles, add a bit of sugar and light soy sauce, then pour the hot oil on top. You can hear the noodles sizzle, and then the fragrance of scallion fills the entire kitchen. You mix it all together and take a big bite. It simply fills your heart with joy.”

Since then, eating and drawing have become the two main parts of her day. “Drawing accounts for 60%, eating accounts for 35%. But when I draw, most of the subject matter is still food related.”

After toiling away for an entire year, in 2016 Ye published her first comic book, It’s Not Fun Until It’s Drawn: London.


“动手画的第一道菜是超级简单却又十分美味的葱油面。小葱切末,放在沥干的面条上,撒入生抽和白糖,热油浇在面条上,此刻你会听到滋滋滋的声音,再过一会儿,整个厨房都弥漫着葱油的香味。搅拌均匀,大吃上一口,简直是心满意足。”

自此之后,吃与画,成为她日常的绝大部分。“画画占60%,吃吃吃占35%,不过画画中大部分的主题还是跟吃相关了。”

一年多后,叶纸君出版了自己的第一本绘本《一定要画出来才好玩:伦敦》。

  • 第四话《居酒屋》

From rice bowls to roujiamo (a Chinese hamburger), from French pastries to Oreos, from snacks to hors-d’oeuvre to main courses, Ye’s drawn it all—and of course, she’s probably eaten it, too.

Asked why she’s so obsessed with food, Ye gives a serious answer: “Food does more than just fill your belly—it can also comfort your soul,” she says. “Behind every dish there’s a story. There may always be something even tastier than what you’re eating, but the people and ingredients that made that dish can never be replaced. They linger in our hearts and are hard to forget.”


从肉夹馍到煲仔饭,从奥利奥到法式蛋糕,各种或传统或新奇的零食、小吃和主食,叶纸君都画——当然,也可能是都爱吃。

要问为什么对吃如此执念,叶纸君的回答很正经:“美食不仅仅可以填饱肚子,更能抚慰人心。每一道菜的背后其实都蕴藏着一个故事,菜的味道或许能随时被更好吃的东西代替,但所关联的人与事,是无法取代的。它能够久久留存在我们心里,难以割舍与忘记。”

浪味仙 / Lonely God snack puffs
栗子饭 / Chestnut rice

In fact, Ye’s favorite dish, fried Chinese bread, is something she loves because it’s filled with love. “That was the first thing Chef made for me,” she says.

Chef is her boyfriend, and as his nickname suggests, he’s the one who does the cooking. “I remember once when driving back to Beijing with Chef I said I’d never met anyone who was so good to me. I’d never felt such kindness. Chef laughed and said, ‘I love you, that’s why I like to cook for you.’ That simple sentence utterly moved me. Every day I say, ‘I’m so happy I met you.'” Sweeter words are hard to imagine.


殊不知最让她喜欢的一道菜,“煎馒头片”,也正因为其承载了满满爱意。“因为这是大厨给我做的第一道菜。”叶纸君说。

大厨是她的男友,也充当着日常主厨的角色。“记得和大厨开车回北京的高速上,我说从来没有遇到过一个人对我这么好,第一次体会到这样的温暖。大厨笑着说,因为我爱你啊,这些饭菜都是我愿意为你做的。大厨简单的一句话,却让我感动到不行。每天都在感叹,遇见你真是太好了。”言辞之间,尽是甜蜜。

奥利奥 / Oreos

Ye says that the pudgy girl in the drawings is “one side of me.” Everyone has something to share, and the girl in the drawing is her window for sending the world faith, hope, and love.

“What I want to tell people is, not everything you experience in life can be perfect. But whether something is good or bad is up to you to decide. I hope everyone who sees my drawings can live without fear, and enjoy the people and things they encounter in life.”

In other words, “eat, drink, and be merry.”


画里那个肉嘟嘟的女生,叶纸君说那“算是我的一部分”,因为每个人都有想表达美好的意愿,而画中的女生,就是她输送爱、希望与信仰给这个世界的窗口。

“我想告诉大家的是,人生中遇到的所有事情不可能是完美的,但好与不好的处决权在自己的手中。希望看到叶纸君漫画的朋友,无畏结果,都可以尽可能地享受生命里遇到的人与事。”

毕竟,那句诗怎么说的,“弃捐勿复道,努力加餐饭”。

Douban: ~/leaf0831
Weibo: ~/leafstyle

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


豆瓣: ~/叶纸君
微博: ~/叶纸君

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Pictures of Solitary Life

Beijing illustrator Dongo makes simple drawings. Gentle and cheerful, and they tend to feature only a single person, the artist’s close friend Yang Laowu. He’s the one who inspired Dongo to start making his “pictures of solitude.”

“Yang Laowu is very sweet. He likes to do all sorts of things by himself, and he’s often traveling around the world, snapping heartwarming photographs,” Dongo says. “Thanks to him, I began to take notice of the minor beauties in life. I wanted to record him, so I started making my drawings of solitary life.”


来自北京的插画师 Dongo (阿东),他的画很简单,在温柔明亮的画面里通常只有一个人。画中的人是 Dongo 的挚友杨老五,他同时也是启发 Dongo 开始以“一个人”为主题创作的原因。“杨老五是一个温暖的人。他喜欢一个人做各种事情,经常自己四处旅行,拍了很多温暖人心的照片。我也是通过他才开始慢慢留意到生活中点滴的美好。想把他记录下来,所以开始了对一个人生活的创作。”

Yang Laowu may be alone, but he’s not lonely. He enjoys moments of tranquility all by himself—visiting exhibitions, brewing tea, playing with his cat, or quietly sitting and feeling the passage of time. Dongo finely depicts the state of mind of enjoying one’s own company. His drawings open a window onto Yang Laowu’s solitary world, almost letting us take part in his peaceful, comfortable life.


杨老五也许孤独,却不是寂寞的。他时常一个人享受这些恬静的生活片段,看展览、泡茶、和猫玩耍、或就静静地坐着感受时间的流逝。DONGO 细致的描绘出这种喜欢与自己相处的心境,他的画帮杨老五原本独处的世界开了一扇门,让我们仿佛也参与了他这样宁静写意的生活。

“Gradually I learned that some journeys you have to face alone,” says Dongo.

Solitude is less of a physical state than a state of mind. For Dongo, it’s the mood that best sparks creativity. “Solitude is like another self: it always appears when I’m lost in thought, and it offers a lot of different kinds of inspiration.”


“渐渐的,我发现有些路途终究是要一个人独自面对的。”

孤单与其说是一种处境,不如说是一种心境。而这种心情状态对 DONGO 来说,是激发创作最好的时刻。“孤单对我而言就像是另一个自己,它总是在我陷入思索的时候冒出来,带给我很多不一样的灵感。”

Behance~/dongo

 

Contributor: Yi Xuan


Behance: ~/dongo

 

供稿人: Yi Xuan

An Eye for Change

As a child, Pat Lee, the colorist perhaps best known for his comic-book adaptation of Transformers, spent hours leafing through penny-bin comics, taking in all that he could from every corner of the world. Heavily influenced by Japanese works like AKIRA, Gundam, Ghost in the Shell, and Fist of the North Star, Lee integrates manga into a traditional Western style, a skill that landed him his first job at Image Comics and eventually established his reputation in the comics industry.


从小时候开始,Pat Lee 这位以改编《变形金刚》漫画作品而出名的漫画上色师,就喜欢把自己沉浸在漫画的世界里,常常一看就是好几个小时的时光飞逝。他从来自世界各地的漫画书中吸取不同的灵感刺激,其中对他影响最深的是日本漫画,譬如《阿基拉》(Akira)、《机动战士高达》(Gundam)、《攻壳机动队》(Ghost in the Shell)和《北斗神拳》(Fist of the North Star)等作品。他尤其擅长将日本漫画美学融合进传统的西方漫画,这样显着的风格不仅为他带来在美国漫画出版商 Image Comics 的第一份工作,最终也让他在漫画界获得一席之地。

“I kind of teetered off a bit when I was doing Marvel and DC stuff – it was very dark with a strong presence of very heavy blacks,” says Lee. “But I’ve realized I truly love making work that’s a hybrid of Japanese anime and American culture. It’s interesting to fuse things together.”

That’s exactly what he’s done with his ongoing series, Interference. Over the last 6 months, Lee has been gradually transforming images of Western pop-culture icons like Mickey Mouse and Marilyn Monroe into something more foreign.


Lee 说:“每当我给漫威或 DC 创作时,总是感到不太有把握。这些作品风格非常黑暗,像是压抑着一大片深沉的黑色色调。我意识到自己真正喜欢的是将日本动漫和美国文化相结合的作品。把不同的东西融合在一起比较有趣。”

他目前进行中的系列作品《Interference》(《干扰》)正是遵循这一理念来创作。在过去六个月里,Lee 将米老鼠和玛丽莲·梦露这些西方流行文化中的经典形象进行创新的演绎。

Each iteration of a figure changes in subtle ways, challenging the viewer to spot minor alterations, like an iris turned into a camera shutter, or a shoelace that’s actually a fiber-optic cable. While some pieces in the series involve futuristic technology, with aliens and robots seated alongside a bionic Bambi with exposed brain matter, all are a part of a larger narrative about technological development in a structure that mirrors that of a comic book.


他以极为微妙的方式去重新设计每一个角色,挑战观众是否能发现那些微乎其微的变化。譬如将角色眼睛的虹膜画成相机快门,或是将鞋带变成光纤。虽然系列中有一些作品涉及未来的科技,像是一只暴露着大脑、和外星人和机器人坐在一起的仿生小鹿斑比,但所有角色都座落于一个更宏观的叙事里——对于科技发展问题的探讨。

Lee, known for his work with Copic markers, primarily uses acrylic for the paintings in Interference, which he often makes in quick succession. “Acrylic is just fun to apply, because it’s not as technical as Copic,” he says. “If you compare the two, acrylic has a kind of glow to it, this shine, texture, tone. It’s a thicker feeling, where Copic is very light, very illustrative. Really, they’re a pair – I have to have both.”


Lee 先前以他用 Copic 马克笔(源于日本的马克笔品牌,因其优良品质深受设计人士喜爱)来作画的作品闻名,但在《Interference》中他改用压克力颜料,这让他的创作过程更加一气呵成。他解释道:“压克力用起来比较有趣,因为它不像 Copic 马克笔那样讲究技巧。如果你认真比较一下这两种媒介:压克力颜料会有一种光泽,更有质感和色调,有一种更浓厚的感觉;而 Copic 马克笔则更加轻盈,更加清晰。应该说它们是一种互补吧,两种颜料我都需要。”

Lee says he doesn’t know what his paintings are going to look like when starting – he works backward and forward without a final image in mind. His process aligns with how he sees the development in technology, be that VR, the sex industry, or personal communications, playing out – in steps, leaps, and sometimes sprints. “I think Interference is about asking if we’re prepared for the technology that’s coming. Is our society ready for these kinds of tools, this tech? Should we be scared about our future, or is it exciting?”


Lee 表示,一开始创作时他不会知道自己最终会画出什么样子,过程中他会不断地来回调整,但不会去预先设定一个最终结果。他的创作方式体现了他对未来科技,像是虚拟现实、性行业或个人通讯等等,如何一步一步、或者说是大步发展的看法。“我认为《Interference》其实是在提问,我们是否已经为即将到来的科技做好了准备?我们的社会是否准备好迎接这些工具和科技?我们应该对未来感到害怕?还是感到兴奋?”

Lee’s work draws no conclusions on its own but asks viewers to actively notice changes, both big and small. Interference can help train our eyes and minds to focus on what’s happening right now, and to ask where we want technology to take us.


Lee 的作品本身并没有提供任何结论,但他要求观众去主动发现其中或大或小的变化。《Interference》可以帮助训练我们的眼睛和头脑,去专注于当下发生的事情,并提出问题:我们到底希望科技带領我们到哪里?

Website: www.patleeart.com
Instagram
: @patleeart

 

Contributor: Sarah Forman


网站www.patleeart.com
Instagram
: @patleeart

 

供稿人: Sarah Forman

Black Holes and Strange Worlds

Despite a gravitational force strong enough to swallow light, black holes don’t actually destroy everything inside them. According to the late Stephen Hawking, black holes aren’t as “black” as we think. Matter or energy pulled beyond the event horizon might still find a way out, or even emerge in another universe. 

This may be true enough of real black holes, at least in one scientist’s theory. But the black holes imagined by Korean illustrator Sangho Bang are very different. For him, they’re an otherworldly refuge.


黑洞,其实并非是所有物质的黑终结之地。尽管黑洞的引力巨大,能把任何物质包括光线都吸入其中,但史蒂夫霍金用他伟大的一生向我们提出了这样的见解:黑洞没有我们想象的那么。任何进入黑洞的事物最终还是会找到出口,或者跑出黑洞外,又或者跑进了另一个宇宙。

那是一个科学家头顶上的星空,和他对黑洞的理解。而对于来自韩国的插画艺术家 Sangho Bang 来说,他心中畅想的黑洞,更像是一处宇宙避难所。

Bang draws planets filled with outlandish creatures, often covered in craters and bulges, in a vibrant, psychedelic world of holes. “My work is mainly about building a world of other planets, depicting their landscapes and inhabitants, and giving them artistic expression,” he explains. “On the planets I create, everything is extremely primitive: creation, disintegration, copulation.”


在 Sangho 创造的星球上,你会看到无数形态怪谲的生物,像是变异的多囊细胞核,充斥在鲜艳颜色迷幻孔洞世界。“我的作品主题主要是建立行星世界,描述景观,并通过艺术媒介表现出来,” Sangho 说,“在我创造的星球上,创造、爆炸和交配,一切都是非常原始的。”

For Bang, black holes are portals to an unknown world. “When I peer into those holes, I can see other worlds inside,” he says. “And the worlds in those holes have holes of their own. This chain of interlinked black holes means we can never know the exact scale and location of these worlds.”


而黑洞是通道,连接的是另一个未知的世界。“当我往这些洞里看进去时,我可以看到里面出现了其他的世界,也看到了其他世界里一样的洞。这种黑洞一层层的连锁循环,阻止了我们猜测世界大小尺寸或具体位置的可能,” Sangho 说。

Bang’s worlds are a refuge, a sanctuary for his own reality and feelings. The organisms and spaces on the planets he creates can be microscopically small or larger than the sun. The planet’s form is also in constant flux: it might appear as an animal’s head, a plant, or a complex cellular shape. There’s no order or logic, and nothing has to respect or resemble the world as it actually is.

“Whether we’re stepping into an invisible space or a vast, boundless universe, our imagination lets us enter the black hole and probe even its furthest reaches.”


这里也是 Sangho 作为自己现实和感受的避难所。在这个星球上,空间和生物体可以像细胞一样小,也可以比太阳还大;星球的形状也千变万化,可能是动物的头颅,可能是细胞或植物。一切都不必参考和遵循既有的存在,也没有秩序和概念。

“我们可以进入一个看不见的空间,或进入一个巨大深邃的宇宙。我们通过想象,进入到黑洞内部,甚至可以看到它最深处的部分,去一探究竟。”

Website: www.bangsangho.com
Behance: ~/bangsangho
Instagram: @bang.sang

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网址: www.bangsangho.com
Behance: ~/bangsangho
Instagram: @bang.sang

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Redefining Femininity & Sexuality

Butt Sausage

Drawing the most feminine parts of the female body as a series of dishes – isn’t that a bit over the top? Trying to fully express women’s desire for sexuality and even its symbolic form, through the tip of a pen – isn’t that a bit audacious?

Claudia Chanhoi, a Hong Kong-born and U.S.-based artist, says most of her creations feature women’s body parts but aren’t only about women’s sexual desire. They also represent the artist herself, a modern straight woman.

But what do these illustrations aim to communicate?


如果要你说,把女性最具特色的身体部位当成一道道菜品,画成画,是不是有点太堂而皇之?如果要你说,把女性对性的渴求甚至象征形象也统统诉诸笔尖,是不是太过于胆大妄为

现居美国的艺术家 Claudia Chanhoi,她大多数作品创作的对象就都是女性的身体部位,但它们实际上不仅仅女性性欲的代表,也是身为现代女性异性恋的艺术家本人的象征。

那么,这些图像具体想表达些什么呢?


 

Non-reproductive Sex

 

Sex, a veiled and silenced word, traditionally connotes privacy, shame, even filth. But just because it’s silenced, does that mean it doesn’t exist?


不是为了生育的性

 

性,这似乎是一个看不见也说不出口的词,在传统历史中,它囊括了私密、羞耻,甚至“肮脏”的概念。但不被说出口,就代表它不存在了吗?

Feeling Detached From The Body
Coconut Summer

Chanhoi was raised in Hong Kong by devout Catholic parents. As a child, she attended a very traditional all-girls Catholic school where she was taught that female sexuality should be passive and vulnerable. “Women couldn’t really express sexual desire – doing so would be shameful and wrong,” she recalls. Back then, it didn’t even occur to her that sex could come before marriage or should happen outside of procreation. In her mind, sex was only for reproduction.

“Honestly, at the time, I didn’t really think much about it, since I was still too young to understand what sexuality and sex actually meant,” Chanhoi says. “Once I got a bit older and entered puberty, people around me started making comments about my appearance. […] It seemed like it was a woman’s job to be sexually appealing, and to uphold all those standards of beauty.”


Claudia 小时候在香港长大, 父母是传统的天主教徒,她小时候就读的学校,更是一所非常传统的私立女子天主教学校。小时候的她,被教导为“女性的性行为应该是被动的、易受伤的”;“女性不能真正表达自己的性欲,否则它会显得可耻”。甚至,对那时候的 Claudia 来说,性行为在结婚怀孕前,是一件“永远不会去做”的事情。性,仿佛永远只能为生育服务。

“老实说,当时我并没有太多的想法,因为我还太年轻,不了解性欲和性的真正含义。等我长大了一点,到了青春期之后,我发现女性的身体被广泛当成是性对象,我周围的人也开始对我的外表发表评论,并且觉得女性需要努力保持性吸引力,坚持所有这些美丽的标准。”

Vag 03

Looking back now, she says, “I was confused, and I always felt I wasn’t good enough to meet society’s expectations of how women should look or how they should behave.”

Perhaps that’s when she started asking questions about gender inequality and women’s roles. “Even though I was taught that women shouldn’t display their sexuality, from my own experience, I’d say society uses female bodies as sex objects. Women have never really had full ownership or control over their bodies.”


回看那时候,Claudia 说:“我感到很困惑,总是觉得自己不够好,没办法满足社会对女性应有的期望。”

那或许正是 Claudia 开始质疑女性的社会角色和性别不平等问题的时刻——“从我所经历的情况来看,社会一直在使用女性身体作为性对象。对我而言,女性似乎从未真正掌握过自己的身体。”


Sex Tablets?

 

In 2013, in her last year at the London College of Communication, Chanhoi started a final project titled The Sexual Objectification of Women. Three years later, still fascinated by feminism and what it means to be a woman in modern society, she picked the project back up with the addition of new illustrations. “Most of my work is created purely from my own experiences. I see this as a visual journal, a message to share, a joke,” she says. “Of course, these illustrations go far beyond the original topic.”


性爱药丸?

 

2013 年,Claudia 在伦敦大学传播学院开启了她的最后一个学生时代的项目女人物化的性The Sexual Objectification of Women)。出于对女权主义的好奇,对“在现代社会做女人是种什么样的感受”好奇,Claudia 在 2016 年重启了这个项目,“我的大部分作品都是纯粹基于我的经验而创作的。我觉得这是我的视觉杂志,亦是可供分享的一条信息、一个笑话,当然这也完全超过了我最初选定的主题。”

Bad Medicine

The subjects of Chanhoi’s drawings are often based on more than everyday objects. “Once, while recovering from the flu, I had to take different drugs every day. Staring at those pills, I suddenly began to wonder: if loneliness is a sort of illness, might casual sex be a short-term treatment? That’s how I created ‘Bad Medicine: Sex Tablets.’”


Claudia 作画的对象,不外乎是大家每天在生活中都能看到的东西。 “有一次我从流感中恢复过来,每天都必须服用不同的药片。 盯着这些药片,我立即质疑自己,‘如果孤独是一种病的话,那么性爱算不算短期特效药?’ 这就是我创造一剂坏药—性爱药丸的原因。”

Isolation Room
Body 01
Loneliness is An Infectious Disease

For Chanhoi, art is her best means of connecting with people and telling stories. She believes that the message or concept behind the image is crucial. In a world where everything moves quickly, people can always forget a beautiful image. For a work to be really memorable and irreplaceable, it has to say something meaningful. “I hope people can relate to my art and understand the thinking behind it, and not just see it as a bunch of images with nipples and genitals,” she adds.


Claudia 觉得,在画面背后所蕴涵的信息或概念是至关重要的。在这个快节奏的世界中,人们往往会很快就忘记美丽的图像,但真正能够让人铭记且无法替代的作品,是那些言之有物的作品。对 Claudia 来说,作品就是她与人沟通和讲故事的最佳交流工具。

“我希望人们会在我的艺术作品中感到关联性,并理解背后的概念,而不把我的作品当作乳头和生殖器的图像。”


 

Shifting Power Dynamics

 

Chanhoi began to see her project as a potential platform for expression and a way of better understanding herself and her own sexuality. She was struck by how celebrities like Rihanna and Beyoncé, as strong, independent women, used their sex appeal to celebrate feminine sexuality and proclaim their power over men. This insight upended Chanhoi’s whole concept of sexual power, a shift she found liberating and fascinating.


“性力量”的易位

 

在这个个人项目创作中,Claudia 把它作为一个可供表达的平台,来更好地理解自己和自己的性欲。在这个过程中,Claudia 意识到像蕾哈娜、碧昂丝这样的名人,作为强大的独立女性,她们利用女人的性吸引力来彰显女性的“性力量”(sexual power),展现女性对男性的性权力或掌控力。从这个角度来看,Claudia 发现“性力量”的观点竟整个转变了,这个转变显得非常自由且迷人。

To Love Your Body To Love Somebody
Plum Double

“Generally speaking, I think women have more sexual power than men, even though I’m a heterosexual woman,” says Chanhoi. “For such a long time throughout history, women’s bodies have been sexualized and taken away from them. Now women can be as sexual as we like, and can freely express our desires, without being called out or rejected.”

Chanhoi enjoys being a woman in today’s society, but she recognizes it’s not easy. Women are often unfairly put into different boxes: attractive or ugly, single or taken, married or unmarried. “You can even be called a prude and a slut at the same time, depending on who’s doing the judging. I can’t sum up how society sees women because there are too many rules women are asked to follow. Even women treat other women very harshly,” she adds. “What I can say is that modern women are more empowered to have a voice than ever before, and that voice will always be heard.”


“一般说来,尽管我是一名异性恋女性,但我认为女性比男性拥有更多的性权力……在人类历史上,女人的身体在很长一段时间里都已经被‘性欲化’了,而且被剥夺于自身之外。 我想我们女性可以像任何人一样享受性生活,并且可以随心所欲地表达自己的欲望,而不会被社会声讨且反对。”

Claudia 很喜欢在现代社会中做女人的角色,但做女人并不容易。女人往往会被不公平地划分成不同的类别:有吸引力或没有吸引力、单身或有对象、未婚或已婚……“你甚至可以同时被称为修女荡妇,仅凭人们评判角度的不同。我恐怕无法总结我们的社会如何看待女性,因为有太多的规则要求女性来遵守,甚至女人也会对女人自己非常苛刻。我可以说的是,现代女性比以往任何时候都更有能力发出声音,而且将一直被大众听到。”

Drive Through 02
Sexy Back 01
Fantasy Room
Lips 01
I Feel Strong To Be Served

Website: www.claudiachanhoi.com
Instagram@brainxeyes

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站: www.claudiachanhoi.com
Instagram: @brainxeyes

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Darting Between Fiction & Reality

  • Book by Wo Shi Bai. Swipe to read.

“Ludicrous.”

“A fiction within a fiction.”

“Cuts between perspectives in time and space.”

“Just read through your comics, some of them are really deadpan and really funny, some of them I don’t quite get, some of them really hit you in the gut.”

“The author is 30? Hahaha.”

“The author’s got to be a woman…”

All these are messages and comments left by readers of the comics of Wo Shi Bai, whose pen name literally means “I Am White.” For his fans, these comments have just about become required reading. Sometimes they point out a detail in a comic you missed, sometimes they leave you marveling at the reader’s overactive imagination.

And sometimes Wo Shi Bai will write a few words in reply, such as: “Thanks for the messages. I notice most of the feedback comes from people who don’t understand the comics or don’t get the point. Honestly, I drew them to record boring everyday experiences, really ordinary stuff. The first part is about the book the main character’s reading, or related to his mental state.”


“好荒诞!”
“虚构性虚构。”
“时空视角切换。”
“刚刷了遍你的漫画,有些很冷很好笑,有些看不太懂,也有些一下击中心脏。”
“作者 30 岁?哈哈哈~”
“作者是女生吧……”

这些是读者看了我是白的漫画后,给他的留言和评论。这些内容几乎成了观看他的漫画之后,大家必不可少也会去阅读的一部分。甚至有的时候,这些留言会让你发现漫画里之前没有发现的一个细节,或者竟然读者的脑洞可以这样大之类的感叹。

有的时候我是白也会回复大家几句,比如:“谢谢楼上的留言,我发现大部分反馈是看不懂或者不知道点在哪里,其实我画这篇漫画就是记录一段日常琐事,很平淡的内容,开头一段是表达男主在看的书的内容,或者是与他的精神状态的联系。”

From Chuck & The Portal / 来自《查克与传送门》
From Chuck & The Portal / 来自《查克与传送门》

As a comic artist in the internet age, Wo Shi Bai has been in dialogue with these unseen critics from the start. You could even say that the very existence of these readers, both the ones who get it and the ones who don’t, is what gave Wo Shi Bai the chance to change his life and focus on his creative work. That’s jumbling the timeline, though: in reality, it was an assignment from Gummi Comics in early 2017 that led Wo Shi Bai to start drawing seriously. Yet as anyone who’s read his work knows, this kind of jumble is the precisely what makes his comics so engaging: they leap and dart across space and time. Comics have an expressiveness that gives him a great deal of creative freedom.

“After drawing a few comics,” he says, “I found that a lot of ideas I couldn’t express in a single image I could express easily in comic form.”


作为一个互联网时代的漫画家,我是白的创作从一开始就和这些看不见的读者紧密地联合在了一起,或者说正是有这些看不懂和看得懂的读者的存在,才得以让我是白遇到了一个改变了他生活和创作的机遇。

这样讲似乎有点时间逻辑混乱,其实是因为 2017 年初的一次来自于《软糖漫画》的约稿,才让我是白真正开始画起了漫画。但是如果你也看过他的那些漫画,你就会明白这样的混乱恰恰是他漫画里一个很有趣的特质。从一个空间跳跃到另一个空间,从一个时间穿越到另一个时间。漫画的这种表达方式,给了他很大的创作自由,“在画了一些漫画之后,我发现我有蛮多单幅画面传达不了的想法可以用漫画的形式顺畅表达。”

  • Swipe to read.

  • This is my last story for Gummi Comics.

  • When I was coming up with the story, I started getting a migraine.

  • It usually takes three to four hours before I feel better.

  • I’ll feel better with the lights off. I’ll just sit in the dark and wait for the headache to pass.

  • Not doing anything, I began to drift into the recesses of my memories.

  • In 1997, my mom went to Japan to work at a clothing factory there. Seeing her off at the airport was the first time I took a taxi.

  • I was in first grade at the time, and I got extremely carsick. I regretted going along to see her off. (If I’d known I wouldn’t have come…)

  • My dad had been in a hospital long-term, and for the next three years I lived with my grandparents, aunt, and uncle.

  • All I did the whole day was play with the kids living nearby.

  • We brewed concoctions with pills, dead insects, and leaves.

  • Stuck firecrackers in toads’ mouths.

  • There was a kid a few years younger than us, and we didn’t always include him.

  • To grab our attention, he’d pretend to poop or masturbate.

  • Most of the time in the summer I’d watch T.V. by myself at home.

  • Sometimes I’d climb out of the second-floor windows and get lost gazing up at the sky.

  • The rooftop panels were burning hot in the sun.

  • In the building across the way, I’d sometimes see a little girl.

  • We’d undress for each other.

  • My memory is hazy. Maybe it was just me who undressed.

  • At the time, landlines had just become commonplace.

  • But I was terrified of picking up the phone. I don’t know why. Whenever it rang, I’d throw a blanket over it to muffle the sound.

  • Or sometimes I’d quietly pick it up and listen for a bit before gently hanging up. (Hello? Hello? Hello? That’s weird, someone definitely picked up…)

  • One particularly boring afternoon, I went through every corner of our house.

  • In a bedside cabinet, I found a pile of five-mao coins. I exchanged them for a kind of popsicle called “Mr. Banana.”

  • I also dug up my aunt and uncle’s book that taught newly married couples how to maintain their relationship.

    I also flipped through my aunt and uncle’s

  • At the time, Hong Kong just transferred its sovereignty back to China. By the time Macau was handed back over, my mom moved back.

  • I used the allowance money she gave me to buy accessories for my Mini 4WD racer.

  • Not long after, this entire neighborhood where I grew up was demolished.

  • Revisiting the area, there are no traces of my childhood to be found.

  • I think the migraine is easing up.

  • I think I still remember the phone number from that old house. I wonder what would happen if I called it.

Wo Shi Bai was born in Shanghai’s Songjiang district, and in a comic titled Migraine, he talks about his childhood there. The main character, drawn simply as a boy with hair, represents the author himself. But in Song, another comic, the story he tells is fictional, and for that fiction, he created a character with nothing but eyes and a mouth. That’s right: no eyebrows, nose, ears, or hair.

“I only kept the eyes and mouth, and added a human outline, to have a minimal vehicle of expression. That’s how the blank little guy came about,” he says.

Readers often think this blank character – xiao bai ren (小白人) – is Wo Shi Bai, because their names are so similar.

“Some of my moods and states come through in that character,” he concedes, “So there’s a part of ‘myself’ inside. Really, every writer’s characters probably have something of themselves inside.”


我是白出生在上海松江,在他的一个漫画《偏头痛》里,他讲述了他童年在松江的往事,里面的那个有头发的男孩角色就是作者自己。而在另一个漫画《Song》里,他又讲述了一个虚构的故事,并且为了这个虚构的故事,他创作了一个只有眼睛和嘴巴的角色(是的,连眉毛、鼻子、耳朵还有头发都没有),“只保留眼睛和嘴巴,加上人的轮廓这些用来‘演出’最低限度的‘工具’,小白人就这样诞生了。”

很多时候,读者也会把小白人和我是白本人联系起来,因为他们的名字太像了。“通过 ta,我的一些状态和情绪具象化了,所以有一部分的‘我’在ta里面。实际上每个作者创作的人物都有一部分自己存在吧。”

  • Swipe to read.

Wo Shi Bai’s comics always alternate between these two figures. Maybe the one with the hair represents reality, while the blank one represents fiction, and only by combining both their stories can you come close to getting a complete picture of Wo Shi Bai. You start to see how much he enjoys this “back-and-forth” creative style – darting back and forth between fiction and reality. It’s like the series of illustrations he once drew called Chuck and the Portal. The feeling of being here one moment and flying somewhere else the next is what he likes best about his creative work. “When I’m at home drawing by myself, I feel like I’m on some remote island,” he says. It’s a solitary, quiet feeling, and I get lost in my thoughts and my creative work. Especially when it’s raining – then I feel even more cut off. The rain adds another barrier between you and the outside world.”


我是白的漫画总是在这样的 2 个主角里摇摆,有头发的那个或许代表的是现实,而那个小白人代表了虚构。而将这两个不同角色的漫画故事混合在一起看,似乎才能更为接近一个完整的“我是白”,你会发现其实他很享受这样的一种“穿行”式的创作方式,在现实和虚构里穿行。就像他曾经画过一套名叫《查克与传送门》插画作品一样,这种忽而在这里,忽而又飞到了那里的感觉,恰恰是他在创作时最享受的时刻。“一个人在家里画画的时候,我感到仿佛置身孤岛。这样孤独而平静的感受让我完全沉浸在思考和创作中。特别是下雨的时候,更加会觉得和外面隔绝。下雨把你和外面的世界又隔了一道屏障。”

  • Closet by Wo Shi Bai. Swipe to read.

  • When my grandmother was in my great grandmother’s body

  • My mother was already in my grandmother’s body.

  • And at the same time, I was already in my mother’s body.

  • But there’s no one inside my body because I’m a boy.

  • I didn’t quite understand how people were born into this world, so that was my theory.

  • The grown-ups told me that babies are born after you get married, but this didn’t feel like a satisfying answer.

  • Isn’t getting married just a bunch of people getting together to eat a meal?

  • How does eating food produce babies?

  • So the only explanation is that everyone already exists inside other people. I was quite happy with myself after coming up with this answer.

  • I thought about all of this inside a closet at my kindergarten.

  • Ten minutes ago, I talked in class, and my teacher put me in here as a timeout.

  • I didn’t feel like I was being punished. It felt fun.

  • Seeing all my peers outside, all well-behaved, and me not having to be part of it gave me inexplicable joy.

  • On my way home, I shared the baby theory with my mom. After hearing it, she laughed, and that’s when I knew something was off about my answer.

  • A few years later, an older kid in the neighborhood told me the truth of it all.

  • And much to my surprise, it turns out the answer was hidden in the curse words that we commonly used.

  • Since then, nothing has shocked me more.

In fall 2017, Wo Shi Bai held his first solo exhibition in Shanghai where he met his online fans for the first time. “Maybe because everyone there was a fan of my comics, I felt they all had a few similar traits: they were delicate, shy, and quiet,” he says. Yet they may have even more in common with the blank character in his art. Maybe they too go to work by themselves, come home by themselves, eat takeout by themselves, read by themselves. Maybe they have also a pet at home and a fantasy world inside their heads. And maybe in Wo Shi Bai’s comics they find a resonance with their lives that they’ve long been missing.


在 2017 年秋天,我是白在上海举行了他的一次个人展览,在这个展览上,也是他第一次和互联网上的粉丝见面。“可能是因为喜欢我的这些漫画的缘故,所以感觉大家身上都有一种相似的特征:细腻,害羞,还有安静”。不过,他们和漫画故事里的那个“小白人”,也许真的有不少的相似性,也许他们也是一个人上班,一个人下班,一个人住,一个人吃便当,一个人看书,然后家里也有个小宠物,在脑海里有一个幻想的世界,而我是白的这些漫画,让他们找到了那种久违的共鸣。

  • 158 Days by Wo Shi Bai. Swipe to read.

  • After every shower, I have to wipe the floor dry.

  • My bathroom has a slanted floor, so a lot of the water ends up not going down the drain.

  • The carpenter didn’t realize this until after he finished laying all the floor tiles.

  • He said: (Sorry about that).

  • It takes me five minutes to dry the floor every single day.

  • Over the course of a year, that adds up to 76 hours.

  • Over 50 years, that adds up to 158 days.

  • 158 days…

  • In Interstellar, there was a planet where the entire surface was covered in shallow water.

  • If I had to wipe water off the floor without any sleep or rest for 158 days straight, I’d imagine the scene would look something like that.

  • (Drip drip)

  • This is some kind of punishment.

  • It’s a sentence passed down to me by that carpenter.

  • To be precise, it’s the result of him mentally checking out for a moment.

  • Some stray thought that distracted him.

  • (A-choo!)

Weibo: ~/WoShiBai
Douban: ~/WoShiBai
WeChat: WoShiBai

 

Contributor: Dawen Ding


微博: ~/WoShiBai
豆瓣: ~/WoShiBai
微信: WoShiBai

 

供稿人: Dawen Ding

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。”

相比之下,她受客户委托创作的作品会更结构化,目标的导向更明确。她说:“给客户创作就像是在我自己脑袋一大堆乱七八糟的视觉联系中,试图让思维映射出一个主题,比如像是一篇文章、一个故事或一个概念。让我感兴趣的是那些视觉隐喻、安静氛围、动力张力和某种神秘的气质,尤其是看着画面里的事物映射着平凡的日常,但它们的轮廓却具有了可塑性,呈现出一个平行空间,这特别让我着迷。”

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.”


尽管有着出色的天赋,且已被公认为新晋的创意人才,但在插画工作上,Wenting仍然有自己的挣扎与苦恼。她与我们分享道:“创意构思的过程有时很令人沮丧,但也真的很有趣,有时我躺在沙发上,绝望到怀疑自己以后还能不能再想出好的创意。就像是在痛苦中奔跑,我只能在痛苦中不停地画画。当然,把大脑切换到一个不同的频道一段时间会有所帮助,譬如去散散步,或是清理一下地下室的水槽。我还希望可以让工作不那么忙碌,好好享受一下创作之外的生活,但是要等到这样的时候,不知道要等到何年何月了。”

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

Four Characters

Mostly comprised of four characters, idioms, or chengyu, are one of the most beloved methods of expression in China. The appeal of chengyu lies in their power to convey complex and wordy ideas in a concise manner. But being that many of these phrases originated from ancient Chinese literature, they can, at times, be difficult to make sense of without an understanding of their original context. Luckily, the more convoluted expressions have all but faded from the colloquial lexicon in modern-day China, while many of the easier-to-understand idioms are still widely used.

Today, the internet has become a breeding ground for linguistic creativity. Chinese netizens have begun cleverly crafting their own four-character phrases that follow the formula for traditional idioms. One such phrase birthed by the internet is rén jiān bù chāi (人艰不拆), which translates to “life is already hard enough as is, just cut me some slack.” It’s most often used in a jestful manner. Another quirky internet expression that’s made the rounds in recent times is kōu jiǎo dà hàn (抠脚大汉), which is equivalent to “catfishing” in American slang, but it’s tailored to specifically refer to a man pretending to be a woman.

Similarly, many emojis and stickers used in Chinese messaging apps have followed this trend. Images accompanied by four or five-character phrases are commonplace; they’re used to add humor or alter the expression’s original meaning. While much of these are basically Chinese memes, they serve as a testament to the linguistic versatility and nuanced possibilities of the Chinese language. Designer and recent college graduate Xia Ruolan found herself intrigued by the evolution of these expressions, and in wanting to help explain their meanings to a Western audience, she created Four Chars, an illustration project that translates and simplifies some of the more commonly seen four-character Chinese phrases.


如今我们已经很少会在日常对话中用到寓意艰深的成语,有些艰涩难懂的文言文,也随之渐渐淡出人们的视野。但其实随着互联网时代的到来,人们对使用俗语、成语的热情却并没有消退。无论多么纷繁复杂的内容,都可以用四字来概括,甚至年轻一代人还会自创四字短语。从“人艰不拆”到“抠脚大汉”,表情包文化的迅猛发展,也让四字短语的视觉表达成为了展示汉语魅力的契机。

刚从卡内基梅隆大学的产品设计系毕业不久的设计师夏若兰,就创作了这样的“四字画语”,试图用插画的形式来解释四个小小汉字的万千含义。

In the early days of Four Chars, Xia mainly used the project as a way of setting aside personal time for herself after work, a way to unwind from her stressful days. Xia recalls the many trials and tribulations that she experienced within the first year of her career: She underwent four different boss changes, switched departments three times, and even had to relocate to another country. But aside from helping her cope from the stresses of work, and perhaps more importantly, the project was a way for Xia, who’s spent much of her life abroad, to reconcile with her cultural roots.

“It may seem like being independent and living in a new country is a liberating experience,” she tells us. “But the truth of the matter is, it felt like I was running into dead ends everywhere.”

Being that Xia’s mother tongue is Chinese, Xia often found herself unable to fully articulate certain ideas in English. Out of these frustrations, she gained a newfound appreciation for the depth and versatility of the Chinese language. Xia wanted a way to share the beautiful subtleties and complexities of her native language with the world but needed to figure out an easily accessible approach. Noting the vast amounts of four-character expressions that exist nowadays, Xia came up with the idea to use illustration to offer easy-to-understand explanations for these common Chinese phrases, and thus, Four Chars was born.


最初创作“四字画语”的原因,有一部分正是源于夏若兰“在异国他乡独自生活,出于平复心态、提升自己的需要”而为之。夏若兰说,工作还没满一年,她就换了四个老板,调了三次组,在两个不同国家工作。“一个人在一个陌生的国度生活,好像有无限的自由,但也却处处是边界。”

作为一个中文母语者,夏若兰说,她不时会面临有货倒不出的困窘。有些略带俗气的双关词语,让夏若兰一再感受到汉语词汇的广博且充满弹性(雅俗共赏)的内涵。这也让她产生了某种使命感,要让汉语的丰富含义更加平民化地传播。加之夏若兰发现 Instagram 汉语学习专题与插画专题相交叉的一个市场空白,每四个汉字都可能是一个触发点,画面的创作空间非常广阔。“四字画语”就此诞生了。

From fine art to movies and video games, Xia’s inspiration comes from a variety of different sources. “One time, I was cooking something with Sriracha. I was just staring at the bottle of red sauce, and the idiom rè huǒ cháo tiān (热火朝天) popped up in my head mind. At the same time, an image of René Magritte’s surrealist paintings surfaced in my mind. Combining the two, I came up with the idea to draw a bunch of Sriracha rockets flying into the sky as a way of presenting the idiom.”


要说灵感的发源,艺术家的作品、电影游戏的画面,都会成为夏若兰的启发点,“有一次我用 Sriracha 辣酱(中国好像买不到,但在海外很火的中国特色辣酱)做晚饭,看着红红的瓶身,就想到了热火朝天那个词。脑海中又有超现实主义艺术家雷内马格里特(René Magritte)的经典画作,于是就画出了一大堆辣酱瓶子因为自身太辣变成了火箭往天上飞的场景。”

Xia acknowledges that conceptualizing and executing the illustrations aren’t the toughest steps of the creative process. The most challenging part lies in the fact that there are lots of four-character phrases that simply cannot be explained in a sentence or two. “In most cases, I have to simplify the full meaning; if the dictionary doesn’t explain the literal meaning or breakdown underlying connotations of the phrase, I also have to figure out how to add it in. My boyfriend will often help out too and fix up my ‘Chinglish.’” Xia says, grinning. “But when I’m trying to translate these idioms, it’s not just about their meaning. The most important thing is to explain why its an interesting phrase.”

One of the quirkier phrases Xia covers in the series is “děng dēng děng dēng (等灯等灯),” a four-character onomatopoeia that references Intel’s iconic jingle. The first and third character, děng (等), means wait. The second and fourth character, dēng (灯), means light. Her illustrations present a literal interpretation of the phrase with characters holding traffic lights. This expression is most often used as playful banter between friends and simply means “wait” or “hold on a minute.”

Another phrase Xia enjoyed working on was wèi ài gǔ zhǎng (为爱鼓掌), which is a double entendre. Its literal meaning is “clap in the name of love,” but in Chinese, the onomatopoeia for clapping – “pa, pa, pa” (啪啪啪) –  is associated with the sounds of intercourse (or specifically, the sound of skin slapping against skin). The expression is essentially used as a euphemism for talking about sex. Taking into consideration of the fact that many people might not understand the dual meaning of the phrase, she decided to approach the illustration and definition in a literal manner. Another point she took into consideration is that if she were to present the true meaning through illustration, it’d most likely result in a raunchy image that could be censored by Instagram. Xia tells us, “It was fun to look at the comment section for this post,” she says. “Many people who’re aware of the true meaning were cracking jokes with other double entendres.”


但往往最难的不是设计本身,而是那些无法用三言两语去解释的字词。“大多数情况是,自己把词典提供的释义进行略微的改动;如果词典没有提供引申义和字面义的,自己也需要补上。有时候在美国的男友也会帮忙改语法,以及改掉我比较 Chinglish 的部分。”夏若兰说,“在解释这些词的时候,不仅要解释字面义,还要解释为什么这个词是有趣的。”

比如源自于英特尔广告声音等灯等灯,在形象化描绘了等待红绿灯的场景后,也需要融入声音的通感。又比如为爱鼓掌,一语双关。直接解释的话,鼓掌其实就是啪啪啪的声响,但夏若兰担心这么解释反会加深非汉语用户的理解难度;可要是直接诠释啪啪啪本意,则肯定要涉及到露骨画面,会被网络筛查。所以夏若兰在这时就用了更通俗易懂的方法去描述性爱。“有趣的是,这个词的评论区冒出不少人,他们用了相似的语言风格表露了他们作为老司机的一面。”

Having never been formally trained in art, Xia says this project is actually her first-ever attempt at dabbling with illustration. “While Four Chars has helped me a lot personally, it’s actually my first time ever doing something like this. It’s helped me with managing my stress, but in a way, it’s pretty much just escapism. […] I do feel a sense of elation and relief whenever I’m working on the project. It feels different from doing something just to kill time. There also aren’t any extreme ‘eureka’ moments nor do I experience creative stagnation; the project lets me channel my creativity in a pretty consistent way. I also get to experiment with new styles or aesthetics every day.”

Recalling what life was like before she began the project, Xia estimates that 90% of her time was spent figuring out how to be more effective, how to work faster, and how to get results. Being locked into this mentality led her to feel restless and irritable all the time. “So, as someone who’s always looked within for answers, I began asking myself how I could get out of this slump. I guess I hoped I could use the remaining 10% of my time to come up with an answer, and it turns out, Four Chars was the result of that – this project gave me a chance to work on something that didn’t necessarily need an end goal. It was time that I can use for my personal enjoyment and to better myself creatively. In a way, I’m grateful. If I didn’t face the hardships that I did, then I wouldn’t have come up with Four Chars. Its helped me find motivation in all aspects of my life.”


其实作为一个没有机会进行“艺术科班培训”的画手,夏若兰说,这是她第一次以插画师的身份来做项目。“当然,四字画语给我带来的收益并不是十全十美的。它作为一个精神后花园,很大程度上会让我脱离对物理世界的体会(也会让我产生幻觉)……创作四字画语带给我一种上升着的快感,和消磨时间的快感不同,它并不存在一个‘高潮与高潮消退的阶段。每一天都可以尝试新的画风。”

因为之前受到种种压力的影响,夏若兰每天可能会有 90% 的时间在让自己加速、高效、出成果,需要做到“充实”。但这种充实却建立在浮躁本身的泡沫之上。“于是,习惯于独立思考的我立即开始向内心求助,祈求着那个 10% 的我的援助。‘四字画语’就是那个 10% 的时间,它给了我一个‘沉浸做一件事不求目的’的时间段,是一个享受匠人精神的时间段。如果没有之前的转折,就没有四字画语的初心。它像是一个自我鞭策的存在。”

Website: ruolan.design
Instagram
: @four_chars

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站: ruolan.design
Instagram: @four_chars

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Billie’s Boys Charm

Billie Snippet is a Korean-American illustrator and the co-founder of Uchuu Summer, an apparel and accessories label inspired by summer, nostalgia, and space. Similar to the aesthetic of Uchuu Summer, her illustrations are bright and colorful, featuring a world of (mostly male) character who like to show off their playful, nostalgic, and sensual sides. Her inspiration comes from many sources – including manga and anime from the 80s and 90s, cartoons from her childhood, children’s illustrations, vaporwave music, and fashion photography.


Billie Snippet 是一位美籍韩裔插画家,同时也是 Uchuu Summer 品牌的共同创始人,这个时尚品牌充满了夏季、怀旧和太空的意象。Billie 的插画风格与 Uchuu Summer 品牌相似,同样明亮而多彩。在她的插画世界里,主角大部分都是一些乐于展现其俏皮个性、怀旧情绪和感性一面的男性角色。她的灵感来源很丰富,包括了 80、90年代的漫画和插图、小时候看的动漫和漫画、儿童插画、蒸汽波(Vaporwave)音乐和时尚摄影等等。

Billie wasn’t always set on becoming an artist. She shares with us, “When I was in elementary school, I was the quiet child in my class that was always drawing. However, until high school, I only treated it as a hobby, because I was undecided between being an artist or a writer.”

After deciding to pursue a career in the arts, she first went into a program in Fine Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara, and then transferred to a program in Illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) after two years. During her college days, she began selling her illustrations at anime conventions, mostly offering books, goods, and her self-published doujinshi works. Building on her entrepreneurial success, In 2016, she founded the Uchuu Summer label with friend and fellow illustrator Gabrielle Howitz.


Billie 不是从小就立志成为一名艺术家。她与我们分享道:“小时候,我是班上比较安静的小孩,总是埋头在画画。在高中之前,我一直只是把画画当作一种爱好,因为我还未决定好要成为一名艺术家还是作家。 ”

下定决心从事艺术工作之后,她先是进入加州大学圣巴巴拉分校修读艺术专业,然后在两年后转到马里兰艺术学院(MICA)攻读插画专业。大学时期,她开始在动漫大会上出售自己的插图作品,主要是一些书、商品和自己出版的同人志作品。有了这些初期创业的经验,2016 年,她与她的插画家朋友 Gabrielle Howitz 一起创立了 Uchuu Summer 品牌。

While Billie works mostly digitally in Adobe Photoshop CC nowadays, she’s equally adept with traditional mediums like watercolor and ink. Regardless of medium, the images she creates have a distinct aesthetic with an overarching theme of male vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is a trait I find attractive and fascinating in people because it exposes their true self,” she shares with us. “It’s bare and alluring. And it is easier to trust a person that shows vulnerability.” For Billie, her depiction of male characters is a way to break away from stereotypical gender roles. “We live in a world where men are discouraged to show vulnerability. Instead, there is an abundance of vulnerable women in art – to the point where it became a cliché. So it’s more interesting for me to draw vulnerable men.”


虽然 Billie 现在主要采用 Adobe Photoshop CC 创作,但她同样善于使用水彩和墨水等传统材料。无论是用何种媒介创作,她的作品都有一个共同的特别之处:展示男性脆弱的一面。

她解释道:“我觉得,脆弱是一种特别有吸引力和迷人的特质,因为它暴露了每个人最真实的自我,赤裸又诱人。况且, 一个愿意展现出脆弱那一面的人往往比较可信。”对于 Billie 来说,她对男性角色的描绘是摆脱性别偏见的一种方式。“我们生活在一个男性不愿意表现出脆弱的社会里。与此相反的是,在艺术中经常能看到大量女性脆弱的形象。虽然感觉已经有点陈词滥调,但我觉得画脆弱的男性会更有趣。”

Billie continues to self-publish her illustrations, comic books, is currently working on projects for the Uchuu Summer label, which will include a comic that’s planned to be released next year. Uchuu Summer apparel, products, and zines are currently available for purchase at shops in Los Angeles and Tokyo, as well as on Uchuu Summer’s web shop.


除了继续独立出版插画书和漫画书,Billie 目前还正在制作 Uchuu Summer 品牌的项目,其中包括预计明年发行的漫画。想要购买 Uchuu Summer 的服装、产品和杂志,除了可以在洛杉矶和东京的门店里现场购买,也可以到 Uchuu Summer 的在线商店购买。

Websiteuchuusummer.com
Instagram: @bsnippet

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站uchuusummer.com
Instagram: @bsnippet

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao