Yimin Qiao

MA Student, Royal College of Art


Yimin Qiao

Yimin Qiao. Keep Connecting, 2020. Digital.

In the process of thinking about illustration: Two-year time capsule


My speech is composed of two parts according to different time contexts. The first section is a form of reflection after I finished my first year of the learning experience at RCA. This part is a summary meanwhile a process of situating my practice. Taking the format of the self-zoom meeting, a recorded video made in March 2020 with more questions at the end, leading towards the direction of my second-year study.

Another part will be a short report on my recent projects. After I position my practice to a certain approach, in the process of thinking and making, from the beginning of my second-year study I tried with some methods to test the scope of my practice. About the narrative functionality of illustration and its connection method to deal with reality, currently, my work exists as blueprints and a continuous answering process to the former reflection and questions.

Taking this symposium as an opportunity, these two sections with different time backgrounds become a time capsule which will produce dialogue through comparison. For the audience, through understanding my learning experience as a topic that can trigger conversations happen to discuss the possibility of illustration. For me, this is also a chance to reflect directly and to think with broad feedback.


Yimin Qiao comes from China, currently a MA illustration student at Royal College of Art. Her practice includes multiform media in terms of moving image, photography, and three-dimensional projects. Not limited to the function of display, she prefers to use illustration as an analytical approach to navigate different themes and bring a sense of narrative for transformation and transmission.

With Graphic Design as BA background and a critical awareness of the historical and existing visual language which always as facilitators of the value system, she now focuses more on the subject of functional images. Not as an invitation to a more immersive world, but as a trigger to build connections. These connections include relationships between people and themselves, people with each other, also people and nature. In particular, by looking into objects/human inventions and their relationship with user/audience, Yimin is trying to add a layer of imagination to the existing world therefore to offer an alternative narrative. Renarrative as a form of deconstruction, her practice mainly points to connect with the present, so as to break free from the coherent system of mainstream historical narrative and future promise.