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Foundation Diploma: international student Yijing Chen recreates the skeleton of Pikachu
Yijing is one of our Foundation Diploma students showcasing her work during the Summer Show exhibition 2018 on the 08 -11 May. She came to London last year from her native city Wenzhou, a small city in south eastern China. Yinjing has self-taught painting before deciding she wanted to study theatre design and make props. Below she explains the inspiration behind her degree piece.
“For my final project I was inspired by the character Pikachu, an animal from the animated game and TV series Pokémon. Also I was inspired by a skeleton sketch from Oda Takashi, a Japanese restoration artist. I worked around the question ‘What would a non-existent animal would look like under the flesh?
I’ve bee exploring this subject in different projects throughout the Foundation year. There are many fantasy animals in western legends such as the unicorn, centaur and the mermaid that have been recreated many times so I choose to work on mythical animals from Chinese legends. I start the process by designing the imaginary animal, then make the creature in 3D and the final outcome is a flexible puppet. To make the puppet body part I choose plywood and paper, then I use latex on paper to make the special effects. I usually make the head with papier-mâché.
How has the Foundation Diploma course helped you develop your practice?
For me it was very important to do a foundation before going to university for my undergraduate degree. Personally, I feel I’ve learned a lot, for example I gained knowledge of theatre design and how to develop my own ideas from scratch. It’s also great that I could explore with many new materials I’ve never used before. I really like the 3D workshop at college! The equipment there is very useful, like the fretsaw and bandsaw, I can stay there the whole day practicing and making my work. Finally, the Foundation course really plays a big role at helping you prepare your portfolio for applying to undergraduate course. I am hoping to study my undergraduate degree at Wimbledon College of Arts.