Tongyu is an image maker who was born in Guangdong, China and now currently based in London. When she was a child, a bicycle and a pencil were her own way of exploring her living world, and she found her inner expression in the world of drawing. Tongyu studied oil painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 2016. However, the curriculum there could not satisfy her curiosity about the outside world and her desire to explore new things, so she turned to exploring printmaking alongside her studies. In 2021 she started her new journey at RCA, during which time she experienced a transformative period of self-reflection influenced by the environment and diverse cultures.
My artistic practice is rooted in the fertile soil of real life. Walking in physical space is my primary method of exploration, and in this walking and stillness I traverse a range of emotions. My work embodies the interplay between the external world and my internal realm. I delve into the visual impact of materials and textures, mixing them in the mysterious spaces created by tangible objects.
Rather than communicating facts in a straightforward manner, I prefer to immerse my senses in my images and invite others to experience them. I want these pictures to be silent and powerful, possessing the ability to draw people in and pull individuals into their embrace. In front of the image you become the protagonist and begin a profound journey of self-discovery.
This project was inspired by the Barbican's Architectural Tour - a regular event at the Barbican, a process of getting to know the Barbican estate through purposeful walking and interpretation. This process allowed me to get to know a different Barbican and inspired me to see the space differently. In the experience of familiar surroundings one can walk unconsciously according to preconceptions. This project seeks to break free of fixed perspectives and experiment with new experiences, offering the viewer a different perspective on the Barbican. It explores the unique vision of Barbican architecture, including the relationship between material and texture, space and structure.
This project is a set of still images in a circular composition. It depicts the encounters I had during a walk through the City of London. As I walk through the streets, the feeling changes with the different constructions and structures as the space shifts at each corner. Using a circular composition I have attempted to take a voyeuristic perspective, exploring the space of imagination that is created between the spaces that connect the inside and the outside, while reflecting the sense of atmosphere of the space in the images.
This is a collection of fragmented images from a life diary. Between the play of words and images, I attempt to re-establish a connection to my living environment after the epidemic quarantine by re-viewing life and focusing on small changes in my surroundings. Especially since coming to England, it is a record of not only the attention to small things but also of my perceptions and encounters with life in a different cultural context.