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Visual Communication (MA)

Yu Pan 潘煜

Yu Pan (b.1994) is a visual communicator and multidisciplinary artist who works with a range of design instruments and media.

Prior to the RCA, he had several years of experience working in the design field. He found his own design language and research direction through his practice.

During his studies at the RCA, he delved into the study of Buddhism, exploring its integration with the social sciences and philosophy through a contemporary approach.

Statement image1

Buddhist culture is where it all began for me growing up in a Buddhist household. The jade pendant of the Guanyin that I grew up wearing, the ritual of burning incense and praying etc., all this is deeply rooted in my mind. I observed the world through the lens of Buddhism.

There is a Buddhist perspective on everything, and Buddhist culture serves as the 'skin' for everything in the world. Since the society that exists beneath the "skin" is diverse, I frequently incorporate additional philosophical and social scientific ideas into my project. I also heavily rely on my personal experiences. By combining these elements, I hope to expose my audience to situations they may never have encountered before.

Depending on the projects, I use methods including, but not limited to, graphic design, sound design, moving images and performance art to influence the audience.

Series of images for this project
Visualized 12 vows of Medicine Buddha's mantra.
book covers
Mong Varanasi handbook book covers, 162*115mm.
book page 1-2
Mong Varanasi handbook pages 01-04, these four pages represent the first to the fourth vows, 162*115mm.
book page 3-4
Mong Varanasi handbook pages 05-08, these four pages represent the fifth to the eighth vows, 162*115mm.
book page 5-6
Mong Varanasi handbook pages 09-12, these four pages represent the ninth to the twelfth vows, 162*115mm.
money image 01
The image represents the seventh vow.
money image 02
This vow will help give hope back to the poor.
Conditioning and Not Being Mended, Mong Varanasi moving image, 2:30''.

Mong Varanasi is a name derived from the ancient Dai language, influenced by the Sanskrit language of Buddhism in ancient India. It means an ideal and magical place of bliss. In contrast, we are in this liminal space known as the 'present'; how can one seek peace amid the chaotic status quo and thus step into our inner Mong Varanasi?

Growing up at home, my grandmother played me Medicine Buddha's mantra songs, and it wasn't until I was older that I appreciated what the philosophy of Medicine Buddha conveyed. They have twelve vows, and each of the twelve vows represents Medicine Buddha's love of rescuing the many beings in real life. The Medicine Buddha mantra is mighty for healing physical illnesses and purifying negative karma.

The project starts with visualising the 12 vows of Medicine Buddha, each image employing a different liminal space and its corresponding modern tools to express the deconditioning of uncertainty. Closing the project with a moving image leads you to enjoy a moment of pause, to take a look at this day-to-day life, breaking habits and finding the peace we are missing in this material world.

Light and airy aggregates, thick with nothingness – A triangular cloud-like object composed of fate, broadcasting our daily reciprocating, 01:10".
Under the gaze of the great interlocking bodies of destiny – The three gold spheres, symbolising "the past", "the present", and "the future", move in a regular trajectory under the gaze of interlocking sculptures, 01:09".
Behind Our Lives – What's Real? Is it that metal skeleton wing, that shell halo, or the absurdity of what we see?
ppf image 0
"The past", "the present", and "the future".
ppf image 02
The intersection of the three is our genetic sequence.

We often find ourselves having a chance encounter. Many random things happen in our daily lives and are never repeated. Pleasure can often lead to pain, and existence can seem purposeless.

This project figuratively presents the mental space that surrounds us, replicating through images and video the brief minute of our lives when multiple encounters appear and dissipate, leaving us an endless void and unfulfilled.

I want to use my exercise to illustrate such a momentary interpersonal encounter, like an ancient legendary tale, using the kernel of sadness to make the audience think.