The multimedia exhibition Fragments at Silk Gallery Madrid showcases Yukai Du's surreal and engaging storytelling ability.
Yukai’s influences are rooted in her upbringing in Southern China, foundations in traditional Chinese painting, and appreciation for Chinese literature. Specifically, Fragment by modern poet Bian Zhilin has inspired the artist to build new realities from the abstract. Fragments also explores a painted past of landscapes from the now UK-based artist’s journeys as a traveler. As she picks apart places and spaces, she portrays them in her own surreal, impressionistic visual language.
Through the marriage of animation and illustration in her work, Yukai’s images could be understood as a single frame or a singular moment. There’s an imaginary time before and after, hence the feeling that her works overflow the frame.
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Yukai Du is a Chinese-born illustrator and animation director based in the UK. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins London in 2014, she has been exploring and establishing her work in both still and moving images with her unique style. Yukai's inspiration for her work lies somewhere in the dichotomy of Impressionism—the dash of lines and layering of dots to create a surface—combined with her love for the simplistic and geometric structures of Brutalism.
After university at Guang Zhou Academy of Fine Arts, Yukai moved to London to attend Central Saint Marks. It was in London that she began to play with color in her work. She found it revelatory that in China her work was primarily black & white with hints of yellow, but her thesis short film Way Out was the first time color was introduced. Today, her bold use of eye-catching color is one of the most defining aspects of her work.
Yukai's ability to look within, recalibrate, and reset to really get to the core of her craft is what propels her work. Yukai's clients include Adobe, Apple, WeTransfer, LUSH, the New Yorker, TED Talks, Yora, and more. She has received a number of international awards such as 3X3 Illustration Best of Show (Student Show), Adobe Design Award Honourable Mention, and a D&AD New Blood Wood Pencil.