Students can enter the Lumen Prize competition for free, thanks to Meural, the digital canvas company which provides the funding for the annual Meural Student Award. Even so, it’s a tough sell to get students to enter. When I asked a group of students why this was, one answered that they’ve yet to determine their own style and were reluctant to submit work they might later disavow.
Following a great deal of outreach by the Lumen team, young artists did enter for the 2018 competition – more than 120 overall. Our talented winner, Ziwei Wu, is from southern China but is currently living in the UK where she’s studying for a masters in Computational Art at Goldsmiths University, London.
Although she trained in painting, she turned to creating art with technology while at the prestigious China Academy of Arts (CAA) in Hanzhou. The decision, she said, was natural. “I’m from new Chinese city named Shenzhen, located across the border from Hong Kong. The electronics industry is well developed in Shenzhen. with the majority of China’s electronic exports made there. So I became comfortable with electronics and tech gadgets from childhood,” she says.
When she arrived at CAA, she joined the School of Intermedia Art (SIMA). “I had a lot of classes which related to technology,” she says. “Compared with painting all the day, I felt really excited to be able to control different media to create artwork. Also, I could meet many different and interesting people in different areas of study.” In 2018, she graduated and moved to London.
Hell with Music
In speaking about her winning work, The punishment of Tantalus, (pictured above, video link below) she says her inspiration came from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych ‘The Garden of Earthly Delight’. She was especially attracted by the right-hand panel, which illustrates Hell with musical instruments, she explains.
“The surrealistic style endows the music instruments with constructive power,” she says, adding that she was fascinated with the idea that visual elements are able to transmit the sound, which in turn exerts an effect on its viewers.
It’s not too surprising, then, that this multi-talented artist is planning to go on to a second Masters or a PhD after finishing her MFA at Goldsmiths. “This is because I need a research environment around me to produce my art. Also, I need others help with some of my projects.”
We look forward to seeing what’s next.
And special thanks to Meural for its support of the Lumen Meural Student Prize.
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