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Illustration

Siqi Sun

I am a multilingual Illustrator and visual communicator based in London.

With an initial background in fashion design at Central Saint Martins, I shifted to complete my BA in illustration, and graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2018. Entering RCA visual communication, I sought to build up a more conceptual approach to explore illustrative practice, with my contemplations often manifesting as experimental publications, printed matter, and sometimes writing.

Recipient of the Gordon Peter Pickard Travel Bursary 2020.

Degree Details

School of Communication

Illustration

What is “a sense of place”?

What does “creating a space” entail?


Places and spaces are multidimensional, complex amassments that one gravitates towards, sometimes out of a compulsion to land, to orient, or to belong. Whether they are literal or abstract in use, concrete locations or an expression, the ambiguous terms both denote some extent of idealisation and sentiments of attachment.


Rather than imposing another set of differentiation, my personal practice explores what falls in between, outside, or stretches beyond the comfortably grounded; and examines when, familiar unquestioned spatial notions start to derealise and crumble into something ungraspable. Fascinated by concepts such as non-place, flatness, and dimensionality, my practice frequently attempts at subtle subversions, taking apart conventions and less discussed aspects of place or space across academic and everyday settings. Using drawing, writing, found text, digital compositing and manipulation, I often integrate multiple materials and methodologies specific to my inquisitions, but also in acknowledgement to the plural, indefinite existences of ‘works’ in contemporary contexts.

— detail of the Recto publication, taken apart to hint at its temporary structure
— detail of the Verso publication, taken apart taken apart to hint at its temporary structure
— 'remnants' of Recto and Verso, after all postcards are torn from the publications

Recto and Verso are my responses to an indefinite postponement through the site of the postcard.

Initially to explore the act of tourist travel and its surrounding tensions through a trip during Olympics season, the original project was put on hold due to prolonged restrictions that led to a reconsideration of travel. Informed by an expanded reading of The Post Card by Jacques Derrida, I looked into the postcard as a site, using the entangled object that had resurged in its prevalence, to draw connections between ‘non-arrival’ in deconstructionist theory – the perpetual deferral of meaning, with a more literal non-arrival at a destination.

Bound from opposite sides into two publications, the 180 pages are created through methodologies seemingly corresponding to their respective titles. The spiral bound publications however serve as temporary structures, akin to a word, an uncertainty, where the content is not perfectly contained by the page, slipping into adjacent image spaces; and where the pages can be torn from their perforation lines to become individual, disordered postcards.

Size:

19.6 x 11.5 cm

In Recto, Derrida’s repetition and playful (mis)translations of postal words are imitated through the act of repetitive drawing and defamiliarisation of travel ephemera from London and Tokyo. While they infer a legitimacy of travel, the recontextualised images however become non-existent spaces that one travels ‘into’ through brief sequences, but does not ultimately reach. 


Medium:

300gsm uncoated card

Size:

19.6 x 11.5cm, 180 pages

Re-writing, interweaving selected fragments from The Post Card and the language of travel guides, Verso is created entirely by stencilling and rubber stamping the assemblages of text to compose sequences of pre-written postcards, that become increasingly more illegible the more the text is repeated and layered. Handmade marks that hold connotations of sincerity and truth are hence made through a deliberately prescriptive methodology, progressively altering the functionality and perception of postcards.

Medium:

300gsm uncoated card

Size:

19.6 x 11.5 cm, 180 pages

A binary facilitated by the nature of the postcard is often imagined, between the supposedly artificial recto and the genuine verso, yet the desire for touristic authenticity has been not only assumed or fabricated in the sending of the post card, but also exploited and commodified in the production of the postcard.

Prior to their development into publications, a selection of the initial postcards is put onto a display stand to emphasis a sense of repackaging. The work becomes impossible to encounter as a totality as the photographs are intentionally composited for an online context, that differs to its iteration in a physical exhibition space, and as tangible publications -- an adestination.