Skip to main content
Visual Communication (MA)

Zhicheng Yi

Zhicheng Yi is an independent visual communicator from Chengdu, China, and currently based in London. He has built a diverse portfolio working in the fields of graphic design and photography, and is now earnestly exploring additional mediums to communicate his work to the public.

At the core of his work is the construction of visual narratives that focus on the relationships between communities (human/natural) and society. The inspiration behind his work is deeply connected to the environments in which he has lived and the experiences he has gathered over time.

Zhicheng takes a different approach as a visual communicator. He believes that situating art within the environments it represents can create more meaningful and resonant connections with audiences and communities. This reflects his commitment to embedding his work within the contexts and spaces that it draws inspiration from.

statement pic

In Marseille, as I stood in awe before Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation, I realised that my travels might be more than mere wanderings. This was my catalyst: I delved into the archives as a bridge between space and time in order to gain a deeper understanding of places and their stories.

In my situational practice sessions, 'diving into the archives' became my approach to work. It is not a passive consumption of information; it is an active dialogue with history. My creative process becomes almost like archaeology, unearthing layers of stories that need to be told.

The essence of my practice lies in navigating four dimensions - the individual (myself), the community, the generation and the society. Archival research became my compass. These archives are more than dusty records; they are voyages through the timeline, they are paths into the depths of human narratives and cultural imprints. They illuminate the places of where we came from, where we are, and where we are heading.

However, archives have their limitations. To fill in the gaps, I engage directly with the space, as if I were taking a brutalist walking tour. Such contact energises the abstract and allows me to craft a more overall narrative through my work. It is a collaborative method that combines critical research with intimate experience, as I attempt to contribute to the evolving weave of our shared heritage.

Work placed in the public garden


This is a poignant public intervention art project focusing on the petition launched by the iconic brutalist building Trellick Tower community in response to RBKC's New Homes Delivery Programme to preserve its art and outdoor spaces.

The project intertwines archival research and my own personal childhood experiences in high-density housing to comment on urban redevelopment. 

I created a series of paintings featuring windows as a motif to reflect the constriction of living space and community. These paintings are covered with concrete-proof clay, symbolising the loss of green spaces through urbanisation. 

While the project uses Trellick Tower in West London as an observatory site, it speaks to broader issues. It fosters dialogue and advocacy, urging communities and the public to understand the significance of outdoor spaces for physical and mental health, especially post-Covid-19. 

Through highlighting Brutalist architecture's original intent in fostering communal spaces, the project calls for urban development that is more considerate of communities' needs and well-being.

300 copies of design pamphlet waiting to be distributed.Type design for this petition.


This pamphlet encapsulates the history, voices, and aspirations of the Trellick Tower community, aiming to both inform and engage the public in the preservation of its cultural heritage.

My own visual archive, through creating the research documentation for this work, I built up through multiple on-site visits to the area of Trellick Tower community. 

The journey from various social archives I have consulted and analysed associated with the community. 

The content of Save Trellick Hall of Fame petition.

Bringing all these elements together, I have designed this 9-page black-and-white, double-sided pamphlet for wide distribution. 

Corresponding poster


Oil painting with clay coating, Pamphlet
Go to The Shelter – The documentary video

Go to The Shelter

Go to The Shelter is a documentary video of a performance based on an exploration of the Tate Archive, started with a photograph taken by Ewan Phillips, which was collected by the Tate Archive. The photograph depicts thousands of church bells that had been seized to be melted down for raw materials by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Odd behaviour today, but sensible in wartime. The Tube Shelter paintings by Henry Moore depict people finding refuge in underground shelters during WWII. These shelters were lively places, contrasting with the war-torn world above, as people strived to maintain their spirits. Inspired by this, I decided to take my artwork to the Elizabeth Line’s underground station, as a symbolic journey to escape a war that hasn’t occurred yet. This action is a reminder that though war may seem distant, we must not forget its possibility and work to ensure that places like the Elizabeth Line do not become future shelters. We must remember that war is never truly gone.

In the video, a package made of a 2 x 2m canvas wrapped around my pillows is dragged through an underground space. The canvas symbolizes my identity as an artist, while the pillows represent the essence of home.

Walked in the station
Go to The Shelter
The Canvas – The package canvas is displayed on the outside.