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Print (MA)

Yiran Zhang

Yiran Zhang / 张怡然 (b.1998, China) is an artist who lives and works in London and China. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from Renmin University of China. She is currently pursuing an MA at the Royal College of Art in London.

Recent exhibitions: Two-Fold at the Southwark Park Galleries (2023), the annual open exhibition at the Southwark Park Galleries (2022), the 4th Contemporary International Ink Design Biennial Exhibition (2022), the Autumn Salon Exhibition at the China Yue Art Museum (2022) and the 15th Annual Conference of Printmaking Teaching and Creation in China (2021).

Up and coming shows: Graduate Show RCA 2023 and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2023.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesPrint (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Battersea, Dyson Building, First floor

Wellcome to The World of Postbugs again!

My work explores the intricate relationship between humans and nature, as well as the connections between humans and non-human entities.

I express my artistic vision through the medium of printmaking, using repetitive elements and embodied expressions. By immersing myself in the creative process, I witness the coexistence of multiple elements within my works. Guided by rhythms, I listen to the resonances between the body and the natural world. These resonances become the language of my art, inviting viewers to contemplate the uncanny, the extraordinary, and the ambiguous.

In my recent series of printmaking works, titled "Postbugs," I delve into the integration of human and non-human characteristics. Postbugs symbolize a new species in a post-modern world, embodying the potential for interspecies diversity. Through etching techniques, I utilize dots and lines as tools to portray exquisite creatures. Simultaneously, by fictioning the stories behind these creatures, I assist in imagining otherwise, thereby stimulating viewers' imagination of binary-centred organisms. These artworks challenge the boundaries of life forms, questioning the dichotomy between humans and the natural world, and sparking contemplation on biodiversity and multi-centric existence.

RunnerRunner is a postbug that excels in high-speed movement. They are always drawn to the intense rush of fast-moving forces, such as typhoons, falling objects from great heights, and spacecraft. There is nowhere they cannot go, and their fingers can even allow them to sprint on the water's surface. However, wearing shoes is the biggest trouble for Runner, if they ever need to wear them.
CollectorCollectors are also known as Thieves. They began to appear at the same time as machines produced more and more ready-made products. They love to collect all kinds of human-made 'waste'. When you can't find the cup you bought on a trip to China five years ago or a ring you took off by the sink, it's likely that one of them has stolen it. Suggestion: think carefully about the 'scraps' you don't remember that they may have collected.
Self-protectorThe shyest finger-bugs in existence: afraid of sound, light and vibration. Few other species of finger-bugs have ever seen them. The last time I saw one was at night in Cubitt Town Library in London, but it was scared off by the sound of a customer accidentally dropping a book.  Suggestion: if you want to see them, be sure to keep quiet in public places, as I'm pretty sure the unfortunate customer mentioned above won't have the chance to see them again.
SpacemanSpacemen are finger-bugs that live in space. They have multiple dimensional forms and to be honest, I have only seen them in three dimensions (pictured). In three dimensions they have a full range of insights into the air and their research includes Air History, Post-Airism, Trans-Airism and Anti-Airism. Suggestion: If you have good insights about their understanding in other dimensions, please contact me. Thank you very much.
FeelerFeeler feeds on the emotions in the air. The higher the concentration of emotion molecules, the easier it is for them to survive. They are often found in playground queues, wedding celebrations, company redundancies, lifts crowded with strangers, etc. Tips: try to wonder how much more empathetic they are than us, so you don't have to worry that no one will understand you anymore.
SageNo one knows for how many centuries it has graced the world, as if every little critter and their great-great-grandcritters have crossed paths with this mystical being. With a mind sharper than a ninja's throwing star, Sage is like a creaturely sage, the ultimate wisdom dispenser. Picture it as the "Weirdo Wizard" of the critter realm, indulging in the peculiar hobby of suspending itself from tree branches in hilarious upside-down meditation sessions.




DriverDriver is a transportation and logistics expert among postbugs, specializing in carrying a wide range of goods. Their transportation services extend beyond postbugs and include human-made products as well as untouchable spiritual substances in the postbug realm. Driver possesses four pairs of flexible and sensitive legs to aid in movement and traversal. They have a wireless collapsible storage space at the back, which unfolds upon reaching the destination, allowing passengers and items to be released.
Lollipop Fairy
Lollipop FairyThe Lollipop Fairy, also known as the Love God, is one of the longest-surviving finger bugs. Whenever people develop a crush, a Lollipop Fairy is created. They are also often found in the vicinity of humans and are one of the better finger-bugs to observe. Urgent advice: think about whether you have had so many crushes that their numbers are always growing exponentially. To protect the balance of finger-bugs survival, be brave and speak your mind!
Nunu & Willump
Nunu & WillumpSome postbugs are left pondering, how many brains do these two actually have? The answer remains elusive. They are often seen keeping to themselves, rarely engaging with other postbugs, quietly going about their own business—just walking onward. Typically, Nunu can be found riding atop Willump's back. However, there have been whispers among postbugs claiming to have witnessed Nunu dismounting from Willump. Just like the unsolved riddle of their cerebral capacity, the truth may forever elude us.
BlanketThis extraordinary one is adorned with a plush coat from head to toe, harboring a fear of heat while embracing the chilly embrace. When summer's scorching temperatures strike, Blanket enters a state of deep slumber to escape the sizzling heatwaves. Serving as the cherished companion to others, once winter unveils its frosty beauty, a desire awakens within postbug to huddle around Blanket's comforting presence. Like a radiant hearth, Blanket emanates a soothing warmth, enveloping others in its cozy embrace.
LullabyDo you ever find yourself forgetting what you were supposed to do? Does it frustrate you to forget things? Don't worry! It might not be entirely your fault. There's no postbug better at lulling others to sleep than Lullaby. With their unique eyes, if you happen to meet their gaze, within 0.0001 seconds, you'll be whisked away into dreamland. Lullaby uses its special tentacles to delve into your dream world and absorb your imagination, storing it safely in its belly protected by its fingers.
SoliderBehold the epitome of strength and agility! Soldier, the valiant defender among postbugs, is ever vigilant, rushing to the forefront in moments of peril. Its elongated tendrils act as perceptive antennas, keenly attuned to every subtle movement in its vicinity. But that's not all—picture its back adorned with thick, fortress-like nails, a veritable arsenal of defense. With a touch of style, Soldier turns into a fearsome warrior, ready to conquer any challenge that dares to cross its path!




Multiple sizes
Disguiser I
Disguiser I
Disguiser II
Disguiser II

Have you ever come across those fluttering moths? But wait, are they really just ordinary moths? Let me introduce you to the extraordinary Disguiser brothers, masters of disguise and information gathering. Their camouflage skills are off the charts! Hidden beneath their wings, you'd be amazed to find tiny, sneaky fingers. Who would have thought to examine a mere moth so closely? Well, some adventurous souls did, and boy, were they in for a surprise! Each day, the Disguiser brothers transform into something unpredictable. They keep everyone guessing, except for their moth form – the one disguise that humans have managed to see through. Now, people can't help but stereotype them as mischievous moth tricksters!


Process during the workshop

Why Workshop?

While creating more and more postbugs using etching and mezzotint techniques, I've received various feedback from people. Some find them incredibly fascinating, while others feel a sense of fear. Almost everyone, however, agrees on their exquisite nature. I believe that perhaps this excessive focus on technique has created a certain distance between these multispecies creatures and the audience, and even me, which contradicts my initial intention.

In my view, this sense of distance is something I don't desire. I want everyone to be able to join in and experience the feeling of being both a part of themselves and a part that is not themselves.It‘s important to strike a balance between technical proficiency and the ability to connect with the audience on a deeper level. That's why my recent work has been centered around organizing workshops continuously.

During these workshops, participants have the freedom to use their preferred materials to create their own envisioned postbugs. These creatures exist beyond species boundaries and can be composed of parts of the human body, assembled from ready-made objects, or even completely independently designed as unique beings. Once their creations are finished, each participant will give their little creature a name, develop a persona for it, or share a story about it.

Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
woye again
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends
Participants and Their Bug Friends

From Participants

"Sometimes, it's best not to overthink and analyze things from a personal perspective. I haven't dwelled on it too much, but the truth is, everything a person does is a reflection of themselves."

“By blending in we create a new ego. Providing an experience revealing answers in the end.”

"Take, for example, my previous life-drawing class. The model remained the same, yet every person's artwork was unique. In essence, your art becomes your own world. During this workshop, I realized that I was actually putting myself into it. ”

“It's a wonderful feeling, and I believe it's a form of self-expression—being true to oneself. In the process of creating, you can reflect on your own thoughts and experiences, which leads to self-discovery."

Alternative Escape PathsI had a really interesting process of making a wooden box and a wooden mouse.

The Explanation I Wrote for It Three Months Ago

This work is my publication, entitled 'Alternative Escape Paths'. A book about finger-shaped rats that live under the pressure of survival and escape for long periods of time. But behind the seemingly multiple escape paths, they are still unable to escape capture by humans. The "humans" take the remains of these captures as their trophies.

The following is the text portion on the work.

The work we are looking at is part of the collection of a man who wishes to remain anonymous. This man likes to think of himself as the master of the world, controlling everything he thinks he is in control of in a seemingly ingenious way. All actions are within this man's calculated path. And the protagonist always has to choose, always has to escape. 


(NARRATOR) There are many paths of "escape" in the world.

(NARRATOR) Here, for example, go under the big iron gate in the backyard, dart across the moonlit lawn that hasn't been repaired in three months, crawl down the outside of the leaking water pipe to the shady first floor of the building, enter the gap between the glass and the wooden frame of the second small broken window, and reach the corridor next to the storage room. Lift the warped wallpaper on the right wall and pass through a passage that has been carefully excavated over three generations.


(NARRATOR) The target appears in glowing eyes, the ultimate goal that has been planned and studied for so long. Step by step, the target radiates a seductive force so powerful it's uncontrollable, the brain goes berserk!

(CRISP THUD) ------- Snap!

(SPEAKING VOICE) "Oh, lucky day!"

(A footstep up the stairs) ......tata tata


(SPEAKING) "Hello, number 43."

(CONTINUES SPEAKING) "Welcome to your visit."



Wood, Mousetrap, Transparent Printable Paper