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Textiles (MA)

Zhengyi Yang

Zhengyi Yang is a textile & pattern designer and an illustrator. She graduated from China Academy of Art in Interior Textiles Design in 2022 and is currently completing a MA degree at Royal College of Art. She specializes in combining colour, feeling and pattern to create fabrics that explore the possibilities of textiles. She uses multiple ways such as weaving, printing and tufting to make textiles and art installations.

After several years of study in textiles, she focused on digging and expressing memories, which is combined to her personal identity. She infuses emotion and love into textiles to develop her own design language and colour system. 

Selected Exhibition:

LIVE+ Art Week, Hangzhou, China,2022

Feel the Beautiful World Visual Art Exhibition, London, 2023

student portrait

-Memory Pieces-

How to transform personal feelings into textiles?

Throughout my year at RCA. I have been exploring and developing my own project on the theme of ‘Memory Pieces’.

I treat memories as very precious things and have been keeping a diary for over 10 years, which helps me store all the significant moments and relationships. So as a textile designer, I decided to draw, print and weave my own ‘memory’ textiles which are inspired by my diaries and past experiences to record these unique moments.

At the start of the project I divided the massive memory into three sections and gave each of them a keyword to summarise my feelings. I developed my own colour system in the process of organising my memories and attempted many mixed media directions. I then learned how to use machines to complete my own designs, focusing on making patterns and fabrics.

During the whole 3 terms, I have gradually shifted my focus to pattern and fabric itself, which is the charm of textiles. The colour of memory and the emotion it contains can be reflected in the pattern and texture. My fabrics drape quietly, the audiences see the colours and touch the yarns, then a story is being told.

overall look of 'collecting memory'
inspiration of memory


Memories are so massive so I divide them into 3 parts. Each of them represents an important period in my life. Meanwhile, whenever I reminisce, I find that different memories have different colors and moods: my grandmother's house in my childhood, conflicts with my parents in my youth, a summer love affair that took place in my twenties .......I use different keywords to summarize the 3 periods.

Part1-Fuzzy, Pleasant,Hazy; Part2-Inner conflict, Maturity; Part3-Summertime, Warm, Fresh.

Guided by them, I shaped my own color system and make samples to convey the feelings when I recall back.

pattern samples

My sketch book

Picking variety of elements from old photos and diary which best represents the three sections.

Page1-2:This is the page which is inspired by some knickknack in the house.

I drew the window I usually climb up with a Chinese character“囍”. Meanwhile, there was a very stylish decoration in my grandparents' house, a cat embroidery screen.I also drew it then used block repeat to make a pattern.

Page3-4: In addition to extracting figurative elements to paint, I also transform my feelings into abstract patterns that combine with colour to express traits of diverse memories.



'Memory pieces' digital patterns

Based on the above research which contains color system and element picking, patterns are made to represent fragments from the past. They convey emotions and feelings, connect spaces and time.

digital patterns
details of fabrics(1)
details of fabrics(2)
Medium: Print, Jacquard/ Size: 80cm x 100cm

Final outcomes

Several pieces of jacquards and a pile of pattern samples.

details of fabrics(3)
details of fabrics(5)
details of fabrics(4)
ending words