By Atina Dimitrova
Zhu Yingchun, a Chinese renowned book designer, says: "I do not think my work should be translated." The artist's pieces of work are a revolt, but a classy one, towards the lack of appreciation and observation of nature’s power. Being bold while using nature's small creatures like ants, snails etc., Zhu creates unique prints and drawings. And he tries to inspire youngsters. Because young people are the ones responsible for the directions the society takes, right?
Zhu is currently in London for the celebrations following the Nanjing Week, as part of the London Design Festival. Yingchun's exhibition "Slow" highlights the idea that nature is superior to us.
That is why... Zhu does not just observe and document insects' behaviour. He uses traces of insects dipped in ink and left to dry on the paper in order to go beyond the trivial designing and bookbinding... "I do carved insect designs because there are so many incredible things happening in nature. And they attract attention. Both plants and animals should be appreciated by youngsters. Nature is beyond us. We are a product of it. We should feel this connection from a very young age. My interest was ignited when I found these creatures wandering through my studio. I understood that observing them as an artist in my book designs could provoke reactions in people. That is what I aimed at," says Zhu.
His visual experiments never end. "My book printing career started as a simple trivial activity. Then I turned it into art. I was just designing simple things at the beginning and it was not interesting. It is the feeling when you know your talent is not satisfied. I wanted to expand my career by creating curved fonts, made from traces of insects," highlights Zhu.
And an artist do not take a break from their 'occupation'. It is a complete vocation. That it is why even thanks to his strong religious beliefs in Taoism and his food preferences, he expresses his magical dedication to art. Because, according to Zhu, what you eat and what you believe in could affect how harmonious your life is. "I have a studio in China which I use for art activities. But I also take care of some plants inside the art studio. It is what it takes to have all your inspirations together at a simple place."
When asked about all people aiming at having his art aspirations, he says: "The ones who want to follow my steps should, actually, look only for unique things. Base your ideas on your personal imagination. Do not distract yourself with anyone else's ideas."
As Zhu proves, traditional Chinese culture has many things to offer. And the artists there have inherited the hesitation what it is the most powerful way to put your message across. Zhu says: "I want to continue designing and binding books. But through art’s prism. But we need to know that the visual elements are more powerful than words. Not everybody can understand words. They are always full of free interpretations, but there are barriers. Pictures, though, provoke direct reactions in people."
So let's see the visual elements Zhu talks so much about...
Author of two novels published in Bulgarian. Photography lover. Journalism student at City University London