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Visual Communication (MA)

Chen Mao

Chen Mao, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Shanghai, London and Nanjing, graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Visual Communication, explores opposing concepts and their dialectical narrative through illustrations, visualizing stories with a poetic and humorous touch.

GH201 15:00pm-16:00pm
1. A print out with a detailed description of the work
2. Where it is located
3. What equipment it will ne

My practice revolves around storytelling, and I believe that irony and healing are inseparable.

I have always been fascinated by opposing concepts and their dialectical nature. For instance, I delve into the realms of realistic and unrealistic paintings, truth and falsity, existence and nonexistence(something and nothing). This approach compels me to examine things objectively and from different perspectives.

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In my work, " Red Riot", I employ an absurdly originated red stone as a metaphor for faith, exploring its various interpretations among different individuals.

Last year, I embarked on a journey to understand the lives of people from the past by delving into my own PROCESS of discovering old materials, rather than focusing on their content. Through documenting my work, I realized that the opposite of the "great lives" is not the "minor lives," but rather the absence of records, the non-existent or the untraceable. When we approach history with fairness and empathy, we confront the challenge that the antithesis to significant and dominant narratives is the unrecorded and the untold.

There exists a segment of the population whose faces have been erased from history, leaving no trace of their individuality.

These findings prompted me to explore similar themes, such as the distinction between religious and non-religious individuals when it comes to faith.

Our spiritual foundations are becoming increasingly diverse, and each person has a unique way of practicing their beliefs. Reason alone cannot definitively prove the validity of any particular belief, and our scientific education often leaves us questioning and occasionally blind. This ambivalence grants us freedom and confidence but also brings confusion and fear. Nevertheless, we still seek to externalize our emotions and derive inner strength from our beliefs.

This complex and contradictory psychology is often simplistically categorized into terms like religious or non-religious, providing only glimpses into individuals' lives. However, our quiet reverence in our hearts shapes who we are.

What objects and reasoning do we use to bind our desires? Whether perceived as foolish or rational, our beliefs are ultimately our personal choices.

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A naked book and a fragile, semi-transparent shell