Working across installation, sculpture, video, and digital drawing, London and Hangzhou-based Weishan Yang is a polymath of sorts. Distilling a bubbly, metallic and techy aesthetic throughout her creations, you'll often find Weishan in her studio – sketching a doodle, building a 3D model or putting together a digital collage.
In recent times, she's had recognition for her works, too, having shown internationally at exhibitions, with a recent piece being shown in London Grads Now 21 at Saatchi Gallery. "During the past two years, a huge part of my practice has shifted towards graphic design," she tells us. "And since then, I've worked with a few communities, independent artists and magazines such as Please Don't Touch magazine."
For Weishan, the creative process is intuitive and free-flowing. Following a spontaneous ritual to her day, she'll turn towards a mix of software to create her pieces – Photoshop, Procreate, Nomad and Blender. She's self-taught and spent a large amount of time playing around with different tools and software – "but without watching too many tutorials, so I won't be restricted by certain graphic design 'rules'," she says. By working this way, Weishan can sift through her deep pool of ideas and design something free of restrictions, often leaning towards the horror genre or pulling references from biomorphic forms. "I also find beauty in the imperfections," she adds. "It can be anything, basically. It can be as small as a glitch or the rough surface of the wall. They have this raw texture and abstract quality that I find fascinating."
This becomes clear when observing her works, where mishmash textures are paired with weird wobbly structures, blurry backgrounds and grainy gradients. Sometimes a strange little character will be thrown in there, too – like a mischievous looking cartoon character looking like it's about to cause some trouble. One of Weishan's favourites is a piece named Untitled (Ghost), created this year. Presenting a freaky, haunted-looking house in the centre, Weishan had loads of fun adding the layers to this one – "and am very happy with that little ghost figure," she says. Another, named Untitled (Leaving Oasis), she describes as a "happy accident" from playing around with Nomad. "3D modelling is not my strength, to be honest, and there's always so much to learn. I'm very proud of the colour comb nations of this one. People can see I use this purple and green in a lot of my work. I love shapes that suggest movement. They are always on the verge of transitioning into something else."
Full of life and character, even if the subject matter to which Weishan applies herself might be a little moody, there's something effortlessly charming about her style. Next up, Weishan and a friend are thinking about putting together a zine focusing on the idea of "the othered body", which is currently still in the early days. She's also participating in a collaborative project with Tunica studio called Reloaded – "It's coming up soon. I'm really excited about it!"