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Visual Communication (MA)

Man Wu

Man Wu is an illustrator and artist from China, currently based in London. 

Wu enjoys integrating different media into her illustration practice, and her work includes illustration,  animation, installation, photography, and video. Through her studies and creative process she is constantly exploring narrative illustration in space, and how to interact with the audience. 

When Wu is feeling low, she often falls easily into the labyrinth of memory. In her practice she explores the impact of memory on the individual and self-exploration through the act of remembering. Utilising the subconscious in her creative process, and making the unconscious content visible, is an important part of her work. 


Do you really remember the moment when you captured that scenery with your phone? Did you really forget it when you deleted the photo? 

'The photo of a disappeared object touches me, just like the ray of a star.' Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

'Indeed, like a curse, this form of memory, this fixation on images, obscures the daylight cast on today and now.' Jörg Becker, The Missing Remain. 

Sometimes, due to the fear of forgetting, I try to record every moment with photos. However, this leads to a large number of duplicate photos and the need to choose which photos to delete when the memory is full. I question the value and importance of repeated shooting in this documentation process, as it consumes too much time to make choices. Sometimes photos are taken simply to record the moment, and the fear of losing the moment prevents us from feeling the present moment. 

The mobile photo album is seen as a personal archive, while 'recently deleted' is seen as a recycling bin. All photos used in my work are from 'recently deleted', representing state between an archive and waste. They can be recovered at any time within 30 days. These photos are seen as digital waste, but most of them depict my real life. 


Memories and archives cannot fully encompass everything. We record what we think is important and forget some parts which gradually fade away and disappear. However, seemingly these lost memories may be the most profound even if we no longer pay attention to them. They have become the habits, language, and thoughts that are parts of our daily lives. I have not forgotten them, I just selectively ignore them. 

Through analysing the process and results of constructing a personal archive, this project has revealed my intrinsic value. It provides a way for viewers to explore their own. 

The project provokes thoughts on the boundary between archives and waste, as well as the factors that influence decisions to record or delete. It also explores the value and impact of memory. Ultimately, the project aims to help individuals make a choice about self-value in a self-centred culture. 


Mixed media installation


60 x 50cm

These digital illustrations are created by collaging deleted photos, then distorting and stretching them to gradually transform the photographs into illustrations. I used an abstract approach to express my feelings of not accepting myself, and my confusion about self-identity.


digital illustration
Interactive website
Launch Project

Memory Ecology is a living archive of childhood memories. The work consists of an installation and website where visitors can scan the QR Codes on the installation to access the archive collection, and then upload their own similar memories (words, pictures, sounds, images). This began with a collection of oral histories. I used a combination of the interviewee's memories and present experience to create small sculptures and images. These objects are like codes in an archive, categorising memories. 

Through this growing gathering of information, individual memories turn into collective memory. The project aims to explore how historical and generational context of the times, and childhood experiences, influence us now and into the future.


interactive installation