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A great chapter begins

Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: Cambridge School of Art
Course:MA Illustration and Book Arts
Category: Art and design

5 January 2021

Yang Qinlin

My name is Yang Qinlin. I am the GREAT China scholar at ARU, currently studying the MA Illustration and Book Arts.

The UK has a long and distinguished history of art and design. At the same time, it has a lot of modern and avant-garde academic and industry knowledge and experience. This deeply attracted me to study in the UK and apply to the MA Illustration and Book Arts course at the Cambridge School of Art with its 160-year history. It is a very forward-looking subject, combining new technologies, traditional skills and art theories.

I hope to improve my creative thinking, illustration skills and understanding of book art through the course. I would like to interpret traditional culture and show the world we live in by applying creativity and new techniques.

I studied my first degree in Environmental Art Design in Beijing. My knowledge of this subject gives me a strong sense of space, perception of materials and changes of light in my work. I am particularly interested in the subtle adjustment of spatial light. Well-known architects Louis Kahn, Tadao Ando, and Le Corbusier's structural application of light in the architectural space influenced my work. One of my works, A Paper-Based Three-Dimensional Space Structure of Depression, calls for public attention to psychological working pressure, expressing the experience of panic and anxiety through light changes and spatial structure.

I also had the exchange student experience in Taiwan during my undergraduate study. I had the chance to participate in a research project on sustainable housing. I visited the sustainable buildings in the local city to explore the connection between architecture and ecological environment, built urban context and the collected life pieces. I was interested in continuing with the topic of depression among urban working people, doing more in-depth research.

Montage of artwork by Yang Qinlin

Since graduating, I have gained six years of working experience in graphic and user interface design, and worked as a freelance illustrator in Australia for two years on projects in illustration, design and publishing. This has given me opportunities to learn and practice new techniques such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 3D printing, inspiring me with new ideas for illustration.

One project I enjoyed very much was Cheongsam design (Chinese traditional dress). The embroidery technology, fabric modification methods and the production of disc buttons all intrigued me. This inspires me to use fabrics of different textures to make books. In my future illustration and book art, I want to experiment with the visual experience of space through the change and transformation of materials.

I started the autumm trimester online due to the travel situation and am going to Cambridge in January. The MA course is very interesting but challenging at the same time. There are both theoretical and practical modules, such as Sequence and Series. I have to do a lot of academic reading with new academic terms.

My tutors are very helpful and encouraging. After a few weeks of study, I can clearly see my own progress and achievements, in academic English reading as well as the understanding of theoretical concepts. I have tried to read extensively, including journal articles and art books.

Montage of artwork by Yang Qinlin

I appreciate very much the critical thinking and study skills I've learned through the course. I believe this will serve as a very good starting point and lay the foundation for my future works.

I have a passion for adventures and observations. My travel and life experiences in different countries and regions offer me an open mind and keen eyes for different cultures. I am confident that my cheerful personality will make my life in the UK full and happy. ARU's Cambridge School of Art is my dream school.

I am very honoured and grateful to have been awarded the GREAT Scholarship, which allows me to start a new study and life chapter. I want to use illustration to depict and explore the value of traditional cultures and make great works. I hope I can start my own illustration and book art studio after graduation.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.