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Graphic Design

Ruozhu Li

Ruozhu Li is a designer and a visual communicator based in London, UK and Chengdu, China. After few years of studying and working in advertising in Xiamen and Shanghai, she continued exploring her interests in different visual forms and came to study at the Royal College of Art. Mainly specializing in graphic design, her creative practice also includes illustration, type design, web design and photography, among others.

As a visual communicator, her main job is establish connections between things within a virtual and blank world, and show what audiences may overlook or ignore.

 

2020-2021 Achievements:

Terminal RCA 2021, London, UK

Inky Pixel RISO exhibition, Bananafish Bookstore, Shanghai, China

It's Nice That Interview, UK

Selected Award, JAGDA International Student Poster Award, Japan

Degree Details

School of Communication

Graphic Design

My practice often begins with an observation from surroundings. I gradually respond to the world and explore the process and ideology behind it. Thinking through making is a very important working method, the images I produce are often the visualizations of my thoughts. With usually exuberant yet sometimes calm visual language, I reinterpret words and metaphors which are already constructed by the mass audience. I connect things, and focus on raising rather than answering questions.

My current project starts from the notion of Breaking the 4th wall (the invisible wall that separates actors from the audience in the theatre theory). By continuously questioning the interpretations of "Break" and "Wall", I propose to the audience more narrative possibilities. I divide my project into several sections that reflect different topics from social media and surveillance to Male Gaze and Asian feminism.

First Page-front — A hidden metaphor of the WALL is proposed: what else can be the Wall and who is behind the wall watching? I took the scene of Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot and replaced the two characters with a green dot that lit up next to our laptop camera.
First Page-back — If the wall acts as the tulle of mutual gaze, what is the power dynamics behind the gaze? Marry Maclane is the first people to break the fourth wall in the movie history. As bell hooks wrote: “Looks that were seen as confrontation, as gesture of resistance, challenges to authority.” After hundreds of years of life under the Male gaze, it may be a rebellion for women to watch back, from the Olympia by Manet to Mary’s film.
Second Page-front — While reading Mary's autobiography. I feel empathy through the soft, chaotic, and contradictory personality that she created as a woman. I tried to capture those emotions through a series of abstract illustrations and writings. These works hence, to a certain extent, are a joint work between me and Mary Maclane.
Second Page-back — Stereotypes about Asian woman present them as docile, subservient, sensual and manipulative. Even in Chinese, vase is a metaphor for women to imply that they are beautiful but empty. This metaphor is one of the strongest ways of objectifying women. However, is beauty really related to value? Or should women’s value be measured?

The two double-sided newspapers are the visual collections of my research, writings and drawings. Textures and styles are adopted from old newspaper reports of Mary Maclane (The first lady who break the fourth wall in cinematic history).

Medium:

Recycle paper, Riso print

Size:

410*230mm

Comparing women with vases is a notorious metaphor and an undeniable materialization of women. Intended to break the derogatory label of VASE and free women from this metaphor, I invited girls to send me their photo and use the vase face illusion to create a new portrayal of their faces. The side profile becomes the shape of the vase and the trace of the front face becomes the background stars.

The only approach to oppose gaze is to tell our own story in our own words. A hundred girls' faces are collected and made into vases. Each vase is so unique, existing tenderly and firmly in this universe. The vases can be so fragile but they are so solid standing there, representing women’s strength and resilience.

Medium:

Soft Indoor Banner, Color Wave Print

Size:

5400mm*800mm

Caught between traditional Confucian education and Western radicalism, between young determined activists and authoritarian repression and surveillance, Chinese-specific feminism is rising.

Feminism can be diverse. Using the face vase illusion again, I intended to challenge the notion of BREAK and present the potential possibilities of the fight against gender power.

Medium:

3D printing, Moving Poster

Size:

200*200*170mm, 00:00:03
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