A Reader on Illustration and Lived Experience

Our curated collection of extracts explore lived moments that span a lifetime. Each completely individual but all deeply interlaced through human connections, finding identities, navigating the everyday and preserving memory.

Xin Yu - The story of "Grandma Tiger's Head"

One year old

Ma Ju said that her grandmother's mother had worked as an embroiderer in the Qing court, so there is a heritage of traditional handicraft skills in the family, such as embroidery and tiger toe shoes and hats, and her craft was passed down from her grandmother.

Tiger toe shoes and hats look simple, but in fact the workmanship is very complicated, and you have to put in a lot of effort to make them vivid and beautiful. Ma Ju, who is not a good talker, picked up a tiger-toe shoe before talking more. She said, the tiger's head shoes to do complete, at least need to go through the gusset, cut samples, nano-sole, do the upper, embroidered tiger face, on the upper and other 22 processes; tiger's head hat process more elaborate, to be cut, paste, insert, stabbing, sewing and other dozens of processes to complete.

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Ma Ju is not only good at making tiger head shoes and hats, but also at embroidery, weaving, sewing, and even raising silkworms, drawing silk and dyeing, and has been awarded the title of "expert in non- heritage" by the Dalian Art Institute. For Ma Ju, the tiger head hat and shoes are handicraft skills passed down from her grandmother to her. Her parents died early, she left the country at the age of five, lost her husband and was laid off in her middle age, but the tricks of fate did not change her kind heart. She has not only trained her daughter to become a master's student at a major university, but also selflessly taught the family skills to the outside world.

Ma Ju, a representative inheritor of the traditional handicraft of tiger head shoes and hats, has never given up on her intangible cultural heritage through thick and thin, even when life has been difficult. After years of exploration and accumulation, she has developed a unique technique and expressiveness, inherited and developed in art, folklore and cultural values, and has selflessly taught her family's skills to the public, promoting the culture of tiger head shoes and hats to the whole country and even the world.

Art does not press the body, but virtue does.

A weak woman with a great sense of righteousness in her heart. She is able to bear the burden of a state enterprise, and if the country is in trouble, she dares to lead the troops. Through her resolute face, we seem to see the tenacious quality of China's five thousand years of existence. This ordinary mother has a noble sentiment that we need to look up to.


Xiaoyuan Wang - We Were Smart(Yifan Li)

10-20 years old

SMART kids' erased history should be seen

We were SMART is a documentary completed by director Li Yifan in 2019.In the documentary, Li Yifan forgoes images that can deliver a strong visual impact. He chose to let each of the former SMART kids themselves tell their experiences, how they entered the factory at the age of 12 to 15, how they struggled to live and ran into walls at every turn, what comfort and light they gained from the shell of a killer in those days of extreme loneliness, exhaustion and poverty, and what hurt and attacks they suffered from the mainstream gaze. The director also uses a lot of video shot by the workers themselves in the documentary. When the workers provide the material, they also become participants in its creation.

This documentary gives the voices back to SMART and preserves SMART's group memory. It not only gives the group the right to be visible and respected, it also serves as a reminder of SMART's erased history and pain, of the indifference, arrogance and narrow-mindedness of mainstream society for so long. The simplest expressions of the SMART children are the most penetrating: 未命名作品 10.jpg

Sometimes it feels like the hair gives you a sense of courage. And in everyone's mind it's the bad boy, and the bad boy feels like he won't be bullied. Sometimes I would like to be a bad boy myself.

When I first left home I could only feel relief by styling me hair or by dressing up. I really want to style my hair in a way to attract people to let them want to be your friend, let them know you were special.Even if it was to yell at you someone is speaking to you. Even if some people didn’t like it, it didn’t matter.

I think I've been working in this factory for a decade I'm still an ordinary worker with no chance of advancement. But in SMART, I have a chance of advancing. First, I was already in a different space. In that space I could easily get status.I could become part of the SMART elite. Even though it was virtual, but virtual me was happy there. In the factory, if I cut my hair just like others I’m just another unknown line worker


Bibliography: Yifan,L.(2019)We Were Smart:Guangdong Times Museum


Mante Cheng - Wuqiao Acrobatics Dream of Asian and African Students

9-21 years old

"Up to ninety-nine, down to just walking, Wuqiao played acrobatics, everyone has one hand." Wuqiao County is located in the southeast of Hebei Province, China, and is recognized as the hometown of Chinese acrobatics in the world. Wuqiao is known as the cradle of acrobatics in acrobatics circles at home and abroad for its long history of acrobatics and superb acrobatics.

"In Africa, there is no female rolling ring acrobat. My goal is to become the number one. I never feel bitter." Heikema, a 16-year- old from Ethiopia, was slightly shy, but sure. "When I was a kid, I watched movies and thought acrobatics were so cool. I really want to be someone with a stunt. I entered the Ethiopian acrobatics school at the age of 10 and I have been there until now." In the meantime, Heikema happened to see European actresses. She was deeply attracted by the rolling ring show she did not think much about, and she was determined to learn this stunt. "The opportunity will come soon!" Speaking of having won the opportunity to study acrobatics in Wuqiao, Heikema couldn't hide her excitement. "Many outstanding actors in our country have come to Wuqiao for further studies. Coming to Wuqiao to learn acrobatics has become a lot of people's interests. The dream, of course, includes me."

Considering that there is an age ceiling in acrobatics, Heikema intends to attend high school, enter university, and become a doctor or costume designer in the future. "If I have enough money, I also want to open an acrobatics school in Ethiopia."


Jon, a 21-year-old Tanzanian girl at the time, took a bus and entered Wuqiao in the pouring rain. Before this, she knew nothing about China. It is her mother who works for the Ministry of Culture of Tanzania, and she is very happy that Jon can come to China for further studies. Jon likes magic, and he often consults Chinese students majoring in magic at night. Her English name is Joan, but Chinese students call her "Black Girl" because "You are black and you look good." Jon liked this nickname very much. Jon said that when she first came to Wuqiao 16 years ago, the locals were "scared" of her. She was shopping in the county town, and people "all ran away". She went to the store to buy things, and some bold people came and asked her: "Can I touch you?" "Do you take a bath? Why does it look so dark?" Nowadays, locals are used to African faces. When acrobatics declined in China, it became a well-paid career choice in Asian and African countries. Red Mbas, an international student from Laos, started practicing acrobatics at the age of 9. He can get a basic salary of 2,000 yuan a month and has extra income from performances. In Africa, both acrobatics and circus are promising. He confessed that if there is no circus, he may be involved in gangs or drugs.


1.http://www.wqzjdsj.com/ 2. http://ydyl.people.com.cn/BIG5/n1/2018/0731/ c411837-30180710.html 3. https://kknews.cc/world/q5985vo.html

Images: https://kknews.cc/zh-my/world/q5985vo.html


Ioana Elecfi - Drawing Power: Women's Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival

13-35 years old

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Drawing Power is more than an anthology; it's a manifesto of solidarity and empowerment of those who have lived and fight with trauma. Different voices meet together- sixty illustrators tell their stories of violence and sexual harassment through comics:

'Even now, years later...it’s still buried...it feels like there is no space to openly talk about it and move beyond it.'

'I was trapped in a cycle of abuse and the monster grew longer.'

'Only my rage felt safe now.'

'A constant state of panic & having to pretend it was all ok.'

' I haven’t changed much. I still play tough. I still keep my blue - collar roots, my love of sludge metal and old trucks, my boots and my bowie knife. it... sits in my purse now. I am afraid to go anywhere without it.'

'We were in a dictatorship. I couldn’t do anything, we entered an empty apartment, they took me to a room , they laid me on the floor and closed the door. I didn’t want to die or be hurt. So I didn’t defend myself, I closed my eyes and thought of something nice.'

'In half dream, I saw a group of unknown shadows surrounding me.'



Zhaoyu Dong - The imagery of the mouth in Francis Bacon's illustrations

From Youth to Adulthood

Bacon took Three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixion, painted in 1944, as the true starting point for his painting. From this painting onwards, elements recur in the picture that have become his hallmarks. One of these is the focus on the mouth. The mouth has metaphors for life, such as the Latin word "vagina dentata", which combines the female genitalia with the teeth. This image is also used as a metaphor in some modernist women's writing to illustrate that although men are more dominant and aggressive in a patriarchal society, eventually all will be embraced and swallowed up by women. In summary, the mouth has the meaning of fertility and primal desire. Bacon's obsession with the mouth came from Eisenstein's great film Battleship Potemkin of the screaming nanny, which he thought was the best depiction of the sound of crying. The mouth, as the subject of "crying", represents the panic in the face of violence, and at the same time, as the most mobile organ of the face, its movement is a deconstruction of the totality of the head. The mirror image of the human being is in fact a mapping of the head. So the deconstruction of the head can represent a deconstruction of the identity of the self. When the ego identity dissipates, the mouth is given a new direction. It is not a wail for fear or a scream for grief; it is a pleading cry to an empty self.


Bibliography: https://www.francis-bacon.com/francis-bacon-painting-philosophy-psychoanalysis https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2007/05/10/the-cunning-of-francis-bacon/

Thararin Jirajakkavan - Ephemeral Material: Queering the Archive, Queer Zine Archive Project

From Youth to Adulthood
‘Ephemeral Material: Queering the Archive’ introduces a number of unconventional archives and the process of how queer individuals and collectives critically engage existing archives, bring sensibilities to bear on archival projects, and figure out ways to document, preserve, and share their lived experiences through their collections. The chapter about queer zines offers insights into how ephemeral material can bring the community together.


Zines like Gerken’s and Keller’s exemplify the documentary record the co-founders and volunteers of the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) seek to preserve, and the kind of record they, and other participants in queer zine subcultures, encourage others to produce. (…) While most of the zine-makers I write about are in conversation with professional zine librarians and archivists, they have developed approaches to archival pedagogy outside of conventional, professional-institutional archival contexts and discourses. They develop their approaches in alignment with queer values, experiences, interests, and knowledges, and in doing so, create culturally-specific, situated archival practices. They make their ideological investments explicit, and find ways to translate these ideals into practice. In doing so, they enable the production of diverse queer historical record.


Queer zine archivists and creators articulate an archival pedagogy appropriate to the materials, subcultural practices, and experiences of queer zine creators (and related audiences — like drag kings and members of leather clubs). They educate in a variety of venues: online archives, zines, classrooms, conferences, workshops, museums, galleries, community spaces, and the archive itself. They invite learners to become archivists and documentarians, and offer tools to support these self-directed activities. By empowering members of their subcultures and communities to take on these roles, they create conditions for producing a diverse, inclusive historical record.(…)
Recall that, in In a Queer Time and Place, J. Halberstam observes that queer subcultures “tend to be documented by former or current members of the subculture rather than by ‘adult’ experts”.


Sara Rafat - Park Bench Kensington

30-40 years old

Peony Gent challenges and pushes the boundaries of comics as a medium. She is inspired by unconventional comic artists like Aiden Koch and Simon Moreton and influenced by the modern feminist tradition of poetry (those such as Maggie Nelson and Holly Pester) that sees poetry about the self as an act of resistance.

'Park Bench Kensington combines illustration with printed text to recreate a conversation the author had with a stranger on a park bench, in Kensington. As she describes the encounter: “I was eating lunch when a man approached me and asked if I could take a second to talk for a bit. After we said goodbye, I wrote down every sentence I could remember him telling me, and turned it into this comic.'

'He talked to me about how he was currently waiting until 3pm where he had an appointment at the Bangladesh High Commission, where he was going to announce himself as an illegal immigrant within the UK so he could return home to his family. He told me about how hard it been living and working in London for the past 10 years, and how his illegal status had made it almost impossible for him to get well paid work, despite him being a talented chef. He had become very very depressed, and felt abandoned after his girlfriend of a number of years had left him. He also felt torn about returning to his home country, both looking forward to seeing his family whilst feeling sad about losing the freedoms London provided him. He was in a lot of pain, and hoped returning to his home would ease some of it.'


Yingying Wu - Charleston:the house of Vanessa Bell

37 years old

I wish you‘d leave Wissett and take Charleston...It has a charming garden, with a pond, and fruit trees, and vegetables, all now rather run wild, but you could make it lovely.

In 1916, at the age of 37, Vanessa Bell moved to Charleston which is close to the Sussex countryside on the recommendation of her sister Virginia Woolf. She was an English painter and interior designer, born in 1879, and is considered to be a representative of the Bloomsbury group.

Since she moved in, she has filled every corner with art ,

Vanessa and Duncan transformed the house into a living art installation. The dining room has black walls, hand-stencilled with pale squares and circles; upstairs, Grant painted Henry, the family lurcher, beneath a window. A bathroom became mint-green, a ceiling lemon-yellow and a dining table salmon-pink. Greek myths - from Arion riding a dolphin to Leda and the Swan - decorated chests and tables, while everywhere there were buxom naked figures.


It is art that has jumped off the canvas onto the things that you live with: walls, chairs, tables, cups.' It's easy to fall for the colourful disorder, the sense that art can bloom everywhere if only you let your imagination run wild.

Charleston demonstrates how art can be practically integrated into life and presented in the most everyday way. The whole house is her large canvas, unique walls, plates, bathtub make an otherwise deserted house the most charming place to be. It also naturally became a meeting place for the Bloomsbury Group, where writers and painters could meet, create and be inspired by this house. Charleston becomes an extension of herself, and anyone who steps through the door can instantly sense the owner's aura and artistic style.






Weijia Tang - Dream and visual art

40-56 years old

“The show started as soon as I shut my eyes.”

“Dreams are fairy tales that we tell ourselves. They are the small and big myths that help people to understand. Of course, you shouldn't ask your dreams for instant or constant help in changing your daily behavior. And you shouldn't completely abandon yourself to the pleasure of this night spectacle. The insensitive dreamer risks spending his days doing nothing, surrounded by brittle, evanescent things. Sometimes people are so immersed in that reality they dream only at night-but by then it's too late for images.”

“According to an essay by biographer Tullio Kezich included with the recent release of Federico Fellini: The Book of Dreams, he started it as part of his Jungian psychotherapy through the charting of these subconscious thoughts.The entries were garnished with pen and marker sketches and watercolor paintings. ”

I agree with the connection between Jung and Fellini, but I do think that the interpretation of <the dream book> is a very autonomous and indefinable affair in fact. For an artist, dreams are also a very important source of inspiration. He turns his dreams into words and pictures, and then into film images, which I think is a very wonderful thing. There is no order or structure to the dreams, they just come as they may. He had many strange and absurd dreams: having sex with all kinds of prostitutes, his wife dying of all kinds of strange diseases, himself getting all kinds of strange diseases, eating shit and chasing trains and so on. Fellini's films also embody this kind of experience by creating countless fascinating dreams for us with his camera. In< La Dolce Vita>, it starts with a picture of Jesus hanging on a plane,in <Eight and a half> magicians who can read the minds of others etc. It can be said that thanks to his unrestrained dream, we can feel this fantastic art works. It is very brave to record all dreams and show them to the world, and it is also very lucky to read the master's dream.

Illustration from <The Book of Dreams>:

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Tingwei Wang - Rebellion from old people - elderly fashion in Shanghai

60-80 years old

In the context of the collective distortion of China's elderly population, Shanghai photographer Qin Xiao has inadvertently delivered an answer to elderly people's fashion attitudes, in the meantime using street photography to visually and honestly show the living conditions and wild fashion outlook of China's elderly. 6325b12d-f47c-43c2-bdf3-ab000f6cc750.jpg The elderly in his photos can be unkempt, rolling up their trouser and rampaging through the grocery shop, or modern and stylish, wearing floral shirts that the young can't manage and wearing socks with carefully selected patterns. 640.jpgCarol Tulloch in <the birth of cool> says that clothes reveal where people were, at a certain stage of life, and how they imagined themselves, how they became a person. These intriguing street photographs reveal old Chinese people's lives, which are constantly changing and difficult to summarize. That’s why viewers will feel amazing at the fashionable and rebellious spirit of the elderly as well as the richness of their lives. Influenced by anthropological photography and Alex Webb, Qin Xiao's photographs are an integration of personal and collective memories and life experiences, which, as he says, like the natural material that future archaeologists will be looking for. Those elderly people who walk on the streets of Shanghai's Jing'an district are easily ignored by the public, at least not as protagonists of artistic creation, but they are a dynamic representation of a generation's social life, and their clothing is a visual representation of their social identity. Such detailed, realistic recordings provide a peek for audiences to understand the lifestyles of the elderly. In contrast to young people, whose lives tend to be homogenized and who dress in increasingly similar styles, the diversity of older people's lives seems stimulating and even interesting.













Svetlana Pavlova - The Child's Play

2-4 years old

D.W.Winnicott is a 20th century British psychoanalyst cum paediatrician in Britain, whose theories about child development and the role of play in it are widely acclaimed.

The child of two, three, and four is in two worlds at once. The world that we share with the child is also the child’s own imaginative world, and so the child is able to experience it intensely. The reason for this is that we do not insist, when we are dealing with a child of that age, on an exact perception of the external world. A child’s feet need not be all the time firmly planted on the earth. If a little girl wants to fly we do not just say ‘Children don’t fly’. Instead of that we pick her up and carry her around above our heads and put her on top of the cupboard, so that she feels she has flown like a bird to her nest. Only too soon the child will find that flying cannot be done magically. Probably in dreams magical floating through the air may be retained to some extent, or at any rate there will be a dream about taking rather long steps. Some fairy story like the one about the SevenLeague Boots, or the Magic Carpet, will be the grown-ups’ contribution to this theme. At ten years or so the child will be practising long-jump and high-jump, trying to jump farther and higher than the others. That will be all that remains, except dreams, of the tremendously acute sensations associated with the idea of flying that came naturally at the age of three.


Eszter Lerner - Experiencing childhood in Iran

10 years old

Abigail Hustler’s essay, Geographical Context of Persepolis (2013) on Marjane Satrapi’s, Persepolis (2000)

Marjane Satrapis uses illustration as a way of retelling her lived experiences in her autobiographical story. She details childhood while growing up, starting from age 10 in pre-revolutionary Iran through a linear graphic story. Experiencing war, revolution, political and social upheavals and her stuggles as a child are a big part of her book. In a critical analysis essay of persepolis, Abigail Hustler describes how Marjane deals with confusion and inner conflicts of alienation as her family’s beliefs are liberal but she feels constrained by Islamic traditions, religion and the political and social contradictions in Tehran. “The novel recognises these contrasts: Marjane, even as a child, is very conscious of the social injustices, for example the fact that her maid is not allowed to eat with them and feeling guilty that her father drives a Cadillac; she also demonstrates the gap between the modern and traditional, Eastern and Western cultures, when she goes to buy tapes on Gandhi Street in her punk jacket”.

Figure-1.png "feeling guilty that her father drives a Cadillac" a1.png Still-from-Persepolis-fil-010.jpg

The essay also discusses, how “the war is a significant factor in changing both the public and the personal space. For a child especially, the home is a place of safety and security of the home, which is changed by the invasive bombing. The relationship of between the public and private space is also altered throughout the novel by the oppression of the regime. “Our behaviour in public and our behaviour in private were polar opposites” (307): within the private space, she is able to behave more freely”. “School is another important space within the novel. Like the home, it is a key space for a child but rather than an environment which is stable, nurturing and creatively freeing, it is instead presented as a limiting space. In 1980, “it became obligatory to wear the veil at school” (3), boys and girls were separated and Marjane’s school was no longer bilingual because that was a symbol of “capitalism” and “decadence” (4). In this class photo, she is off the page, symbolically marginalised and isolated by the system. Indeed, she is expelled from school because of her willingness to challenge both the strict school rules, for example by wearing jewellery, and the regime, questioning what the teacher said about political prisoners (144). This is reflected later in the book when Marjane attends the art school: the college too is restricting. Rather than the creative freedom one would expect from an art school, it is a repressive and limiting space. The students are forced to draw fully veiled life models and forbidden to look at a man when sketching him, while the uniform, their own veils, restricts their freedom of movement”. Marjane’s parents and their Westernized beliefs had a big impact on her. She shows several times that she is rebelious and mature from a very young age, questioning her cuntry’s system, religion and traditions. Where we grow up, experience childhood and who we are surrounded by often has an effect on our lives.

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Bibliography: Hustler, Abigail; (2013) Geographical Context of Persepolis; Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies,University of Warwick; online: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/fulllist/first/en123/cwl-litcrit/persepolis2013/persepolisgeographicalcontext/

Images: Satrapi, Marjane; (2000) Persepolis; online: https://www.google.com/search?q=persepolis+marjane+satrapi&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwix5Mv5mMnwAhUUKhoKHVFDCtAQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=persepolis+Ma&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQARgAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAg gAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADoECCMQJzoECAAQQ1DGelipggFg6YkBaABwAHgAgAFWiAHuAZI BATOYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZ8ABAQ&sclient=img&ei=6m-eYLHHGpTUaNGGqYAN& bih=686&biw=1396&rlz=1C1CHBF_deDE725DE725


Jing Miao - Isolated experience in COVID-19

From Youth to Adulthood

Video: https://artoftheisolation.xyz/ (Issue 06)

“I do think there is a generalized sense of anxiety that I wake up with that sticks with me throughout the day. I do not think I am projecting or exuding any sense of nervousness. The stress is more so simmering on an internal level and gets projected into small thoughts or routines within my day-to-day life. I guess I would describe it as the mental equivalent of a broken pinky toe - more of a dull ache that's always there, but not in the forefront until you bump it.” - Natalie https://artoftheisolation.xyz/ (Issue 02)

Social isolation—along with negative emotions such as loneliness that often accompany it—and poor health. A range of possible effects on the human brain have now been documented: Social isolation is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, as well as mental health consequences such as depression and anxiety.

The sort of isolation people are experiencing right now is unprecedented, and is compounded with other pressures, such as fear of disease and financial strain. Stephanie Cacioppo, a social neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist at the University of Chicago says “We’re a social species. We really need others to survive.”


Huilun Zhang - I Found A Group Of Urban Hermits Living In The Folds Of The City

25-30 years old

I Found A Group of Urban Hermits Living in the Folds of the City is a non-fictional magazine article by Baozhu Lei that records the life experiences of residents in seaside ruins in China, based on travel notes, interviews and documentary photographs.

"On a beach a few kilometers away from the scenic spot, a large unfinished architecture is bluntly embedded in the seaside, and the exposed concrete walls are lifeless...the unfinished architecture has no walls on all sides, and there are many pillars indoors inside."【1】

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"A portal is a half-open and half-closed universe."  "Man is half-open being."【2】

“The Taoist smiled and agreed to teach Wang the secret. The Taoist said loudly, ‘Enter the wall!’. Wang faced the wall and didn't dare to enter. The Taoist said again, ‘Try to go inside.’ Wang walked forward until he reached the wall and was blocked by the wall. The Taoist said, ‘Keep head down and go rashly, don't hesitate!’. Wang left the wall for a few steps and ran towards it. When he crossed the wall, it felt like nothingness, and when he looked back, he was really crossed the wall.”【3】

“Tim Edensor says, a professor of geography who studies the appeal of urban ruins, ‘They're marginal spaces filled with old and obscure objects. You can see and feel things that you can't in the ordinary world.' ”【4】

Baozhu Lei says, “Generally ruin explorers like to explore abandoned factories, hospitals, amusement parks, etc. I think what they need are strong visual stimulations, things that are very grand and bizarre. I also hunt for strangeness, but what I hunt is the oddness in daily life.”【5】

“The young man said that water would overflow into the ruin during the rainy season, he also said, there is no electricity here, but light is reflected from the water surface at night.”【1】

"The dreamers of the home fully know this and fully feel it, because the sense of being in the outer world is weakened, but instead allows them to experience the tension of various senses of private textures being more strengthened.”【2】

“There are imaginary mountains on the wall painted by the young man.”【1】

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“When I left, I looked up and saw ‘Slanting-Moon-Three-Stars-Cave’ written at the ruin entrance. Later I searched and learned that this Taoist name comes from a Slanting-Moon-Three-Stars-Cave in Lingtai Fangcun Mountain where an immortal spirit is living inside, described in the novel Journey to the West. ‘Lingtai’ is the ‘heart’ and ‘Fangcun’ is also the ‘heart’, whereas the phrase ‘Slanting-Moon-Three-Stars-Cave’ form not only a literal scenery of three stars and an oblique moon in the night sky, but also the Chinese character ‘心’(heart). In the world of Journey to the West, everyone are cultivating spirituality in their hearts.”【1】

“Guan Qin’s poem Nangezi, written in the Song Dynasty, for the prostitute Tao Xiner forms a rebus using the phrase ‘a waning moon with three stars in the sky’, which hides the character ‘心’ (pronunciation: Xin) of Tao Xiner's name. ”【6】

“The reason why Guan Qin changed his courtesy name to ‘Shaoyou’ was because of repeated failures in his career, and Guan Qin had decided to imitate Shaoyou Ma's philosophy of life. ”【7】

“Shaoyou Ma of the Han Dynasty believed that the best life is to live without worrying about food and clothing, and to be kind to neighbors. Any pursuit that goes beyond it is meaningless and often troubles. ”【8】


Marina Pacios Ortola - Leanne Shapton's Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion.

30 years old

Lived experience can be communicated and inferred from the most unlikely sources, including common place objects. In Leanne Shapton's Important Artifacts it is through the collation of objects as images in conjunction with short descriptions that we learn the nitty gritty nature of everyday mundane human experiences. Through this series of images that make up a faux auction of a couples belongings we are able to see the breaking point of a relationship reflected in them.

Screenshot 2021-05-18 at 14.08.54.png Bibliography: Shapton, L. (2009) Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion. London: Bloomsbury.


Jingfu Wang - “There's no difference between artists with special needs and others”: The story of The House of Artists


Life experience can be expressed through art. The art works of patients in Maria gugging mental hospital are the crystallization of their unique life experience. “Some of the events encountered by artists may serve as powerful catalysts for new creative frontiers and spiritual transformation.”

“The first generation of Artists from Gugging were patients at the Maria Gugging Psychiatric Hospital. ”

“Their aesthetic is a true interpretation of how they experience the world and should be critically viewed as such.”

“In the 1950s, they were motivated to draw by their psychiatrist Leo Navratil. In the beginning, Navratil was interested in the diagnostic value of these works, but soon he came to recognize the exceptional talents of some of his patients and supported them by introducing their work to the art world. ” 5bbcfc4a7fa44cd6f2000775.format-webp.width-1440_GmrPYpgUb1aO5psL_爱奇艺.jpg

“During the 1980s, the Gugging hospital restructured and a unique opportunity arose for a group of artistically gifted patients and their psychiatrist Leo Navratil. Leo founded the centre for art-psychotherapy, housing 18 patients who could use the space to support their creative output full time. In 1983, the iconic mural on the building’s facade began and three years later, the building’s name changed to today’s The House of Artists. ” Johann Fischer.jpg Philipp Schöpke Ohne Titel 1997.jpg

“Representatives of art brut continue to enlighten the world with the aesthetic freedom that so many “mainstream” artists strive for. In contemporary illustration, more and more creatives attempt to capture a sense of naivete in their work whereas representatives of art brut is unaware of aesthetic trend and create their work completely authentically. Perhaps the key to their originality involves their detachment from the mainstream and unaware of trends.” leonhard fink, the harbour of athens.jpg leonhard fink, the map of the city of linz in upper austria.jpg The House of Artists, Gugging photography by Markus Gradwohl.jpg The House of Artists, Gugging photography by Markus Gradwohl2.jpg


Amy Nash - The Cinematic Everyday


A critical investigation of architecture as an archive of lived and practiced spaces used to decipher social change and cultural narratives within 1980’s Post communist Romania.

Following established practice within the Soviet Union, Romania used urban planning to assert their ideology and shape a distinctively socialist mentality, believing that in order to “change how a person thought and behaved one must change their material surroundings’.

Because of this, the architectural form and the planning of urban spaces in Bucharest were deeply linked to the social-transformative role in the lives of its residents, leaving a significant (and problematic) legacy in the cultural landscape of the emerging post-communist city.

The removal of individual homes and replacing them with mono-functional blocks of flats determined the condition of people’s outlook and lives, leaving citizens public life permanently surveyed, resulting in individual freedom to be relegated to the private sphere of the apartment. Your home became the place where you could escape surveillance (in theory), talk more freely and listen to Radio Free Europe. It was also a place that you express and customise your standard dwelling unit. To this day, this is the primary residual element to continually affect everyday life. The absence of an imposed collective way of living, as well as urban regulations, allowed the population to renounce past government laws of conformity; instead expressing individuality and exploring a new sense of personal pride.


Lingjuan Zheng - Mikael Johani,<We Are Nowhere and It's Wow>, poetry anthology

35-45 years old

The book, "WeAreNowhereandIt'sWow." republishedbyPOSTPressin 2017, offered readers a peek into his early life in Australia, as well as thoughtful ruminations on identity, art, and modern Indonesia. As a child, Mikael was constantly on the move. He left Madiun for Yogyakarta, and then Jogja for Jakarta before eventually moving overseas to Australia. We Are Nowhere and It's Wow spends a lot of time on these feelings of rootlessness and newness. He describes his attempts at making sense of his surroundings, of himself, and his eventual embrace of an ever-changing concept of roots and reality. Jakarta is a big theme in the book, how the writer sees it, how it makes him feel, how his perceptions of the city are either deepened or clouded by the distance he experiences with the place — he being an alienated third culture kid and all. The content described in this poetry anthology brings a great deal of comfort and recognition to ‘the third culture kids or people who have also had cross-cultural experiences. “I'm not going to lie, his poems gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies.” “The cars that ate Paris: your country is forever seeking / its own story in the old stories / told retold reinterpreted reinvented / of the missing tiger-dog / the evil do-gooder with the funny hat / the time when dreams replaced people/readers who read and re-read the stories now / to find the spine of the land / and find it missing / your country is probably not you either”


bibliography: https://www.vice.com/en/article/evvnp4/im-a-third-culture-kid-so-im-always-nowhere


Becky Moriarty - Bobby's Fish

70 years old

Bobby Unwin and his family have worked at the Billingsgate Fish Market in Canary Wharf, London for 53 years. In this interview with Bobby, he discusses how a boxing career led him to the fish market, the enjoyment he feels from working with the public and changes he has witnessed over time. The recording is part of the Barter Archive which aims to preserve oral histories and artefacts from the fishermen before the market relocates.


Things will keep being replaced by the new one. When I see the surrounding skyscrapers, I just have to accept them, don’t you? They say it is a progress now and everything, you know, I mean, the company, the old market, we move down here then now we have to move to another location. Things will keep being replaced by the new one. My son will continue the business, and we will be alright. We understand the situation and we can’t complain really. The general public is good. We’ve been serving the same people for many years. It’s been good for us, no regrets really. I always wear a hat and white clothes. I’ve worn the hat for about five or six years. So this will be the next one and we have another one up there. This is a bit warmer than that one, when it gets a bit too cold, I’ll wear that.



Yiyuan Zhang - Lived Experience and Husserl's Phenomenology

All ages

The book of Husserl's Phenomenology (Dan Zahavi, 2007) said, if the ideogenetic concept could restore and be influenced by the timeline, factuality and subjectivity in the mental activities, the similar means of repetition and sharing will be meaningless. Thus, the psychologism will cause the problems of scepticism in self-refuting way.

In the next step, Dan Zahavi (2007) tried to analyze how the theory of Husserl criticize the psychologism.

The attempt to restore idealism from naturalism and empiricism to reality destroys the possibility of any theory, including psychologism itself. He think the psychologism didn't distinguish the cognitive activity and the acknowledge objects.

Therefore, Husserl can think that psychologism leads to self negating skepticism. The attempt to restore idealism from naturalism and empiricism to reality destroys the possibility of any theory, including psychologism itself.

While, in Husserl's theory, when the phantasm is broken, the cognitive activities will be finished. When people considered the object in the next time, they will enter into another completely different thinking, which don’t have any relation with the last thinking.