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Yang Dong

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Dong Yang works in participatory, narrative picturebook design methods and in picturebooks presenting narratives using different formats and media, involving three-dimensionality and the layering of images, including, but not limited to:  Artists’  picturebooks; Novelty books; Pop-up books.

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Dong Yang is a published children’s picturebook author, a lecturer, an animator and a designer. Prior to studying in the UK, she worked as an animator and graphic designer working on children’s products for more than three years.

Her first book ‘Mine!’ has been published in the UK and sold in several countries, including Italy, Spain, Korea and China. The book was shortlisted for the 1st Little Hakka International Picture Book Competition. In 2018, she published her second picturebook ’Blueberry Pie’.

Yang is particularly interested in using different formats and media. With her research, she aims to understand the picturebook design methods which can provide participatory reading experience for readers and introduce them to picture book makers. She defines these methods as ‘Unflattened Design’ based on Nick’s idea of ‘unflattening’.

She has also established a picturebook studio - ‘32 Pages’, aiming to train illustrators to create picturebooks. She designed and delivers the picturebook-making course and supervises a teaching team with four staff. She has also worked as a senior lecturer at Beijing University of Technology, where she taught a picturebook-making course.

Research interests

It has long been known that children’s picturebooks are an important educational resource for children’s intellectual development. They are very different from other books; the format of picturebooks are diverse and are less constrained. Many artists do not limited their imagination to two dimensions, they take up the challenge to experiment with the physical structure of the book form. They explore the space between pages, play with the texture of the paper and various binding forms to create infinite possibilities, aiming to provide readers with a highly participatory reading experience and a unique sense of perception. The design methods to create these kinds of books can vary widely.

Yang aims to analyse Unflattened design methods through the practical application of design methods and theoretical approaches to create various participatory picturebooks. How can these unflattened design methods best be applied as a tool in visual storytelling for the generation of content in a participatory narrative picturebook? This research will not only be of benefit to the practitioners, who need a practical understanding of how to narrate using the material book, but also these future books will benefit children by allowing them to access book art at a young age and enjoy unique reading experiences.

Selected recent publications

Mine!, published by The Salaryia Book Company

BlueBerry Pie, published by Poplar.