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Visual Communication (MA)

Lingyi Zhu

Lingyi Zhu is a Shanghai-based graphic designer interested in communicating with words and images.

Lingyi studied Chinese language and literature for BA at East China Normal University(ECNU) and applied for a MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. After graduating from BA at 22, she got the opportunity to be a graphic designer for Radisson Hotel in Shanghai for one year. 

She is interested in the relationship between humans and their surroundings and is exploring video work.

statement image

Living in the city, we are citizens with many restrictions. 

As we walk, we follow directions or signs. When we are in attractions, we are mostly just passers-by or tourists... Citizens obey all the rules of the city, while the running of it seems to have nothing to do with their presence.

Are we blending into our environment, or is our environment determining our identity? Are there other ways to interact outside of these basic rules? 

When I first came to London, I had a car accident, and I found that I was not sensitive to the traffic regulations here. Since then, I’ve been paying attention to it.

Every day I walk nearby the Westway carriageway, finding that the personal marks left by people in these constructions are so different from those standardized traffic signs Westway provided.

gif installation
MarksMarks is a video installation consisting of two videos about the experience of walking. One presents the ‘ground’ with only standardized traffic signs, and the other represents navigating through the personal experiences of ‘looking up’ and encountering the environment people built together. This is just a demo version, the real device will be up-and-down split screen, as in the gif image above.
MarksThe traffic signs on the motorways and pavements are all standardised, clear and precise, using colours to make them obvious and recognizable. People walk among them, naturally following their orders to cross roads. In contrast, under the motorway, there are name logos and personal tags everywhere, where on walls on the walls people write sentences such as repeated questions, or short lines of poems. Graffiti art is visible all over the place...


Video installation


I just want to be nobody / I’m going to leave a mark here is a booklet about a conversation of traffic signs and people’s ‘marks’, as well as two opposite attitudes of living in urban cities.
The left and right sides of each page are reversed and cannot be read together to suggest a split meaning. It consists of photographs of my visits to these locations, with monologues of the two groups of citizens.




115 x 210 mm