Mei Yuxi: the NO.1 in Graphic Design and an Art Lover

Four years’ study at WKU has left Mei Yuxi with cherished memories and remarkable achievements. She is the No.1 in the Graphic Design major and scores 3.866 in GPA. Her language proficiency meets the requirements for an exam exemption, and she is also the recipient of dean scholarships and Zhejiang provincial government scholarships. Now she has received the offers of Pratt Institute and the Savannah College of Art and Design, with a total of $36,000 scholarship for two years granted.

Pursuing the Integration of Tradition, Technology and Reality in Class

Chinese writer Shu Yi once said that literature is an activity of value and significance. It is by no means a form of entertainment or a game. This is also true for art, which is not intended to arouse public attention or cause a sensation but to provide comfort for the soul and rebuild the spiritual life. That is how Mei interprets the value of art with her own works.

“Inspired by many endangered traditional Chinese cultures, I tried to design a grotto with the God of Door, a dragon head and a god with fire on his head—the fire is a symbol of talisman in ancient Chinese culture.” In her portfolio Disenchantment, Mei combines modern VR (virtual reality) technology with traditional art forms of works to offer an immersive experience of a grotto under the guidance of Matthew Wood, a lecturer at the College of Architecture and Design (CAD).

This design collection paves her road to success in applying for graduate programs. “The inspiration came from a sculpture called The Venus of Laussel in Dr. Mieke Paulsen Bahmer’s art history class. It is about women and reproduction,” said Mei with a smile. Across the globe, many women and girls are not treated equally by society, and that is why she designed a game called The Handmaid’s Monopoly. In its final barrier, the winner goes to whoever gets a female doll out of a claw crane. The truth is there are only male toys in the machine, so you can never win the game. “From this game, I want to show people that gender inequality still persists in today’s society.”

All her works during her four-year study at WKU are the perfect blend of tradition, technology and reality. In the UIUX class, Mei and her classmates designed a work called Thanks You for Smoking, in an attempt to call for quitting smoking with irony. At the end of 2021, this masterpiece was exhibited as a work of Michael Graves College at the 3rd FutureLab in Shanghai.

To be Better Outside the Classroom

Mei Yuxi wishes to pursue a more fulfilling life in college. Apart from sharpening her professional skills, she also improved herself in all aspects outside the classroom. In 2019, when she was working as a student assistant of CAD, she wrote a special column called Explore the School, in which she interviewed the alumni of WKU so as to help younger students have a deeper understanding of international graduate art schools.

In the summer vacation of 2019, Mei taught English, art and Chinese culture in Romania as a global volunteer. It was indeed a cultural shock for her. She saw how the local customs, religious beliefs and lifestyles were different from those of China. While exploring the bigger world, she was also proud to spread Chinese culture to foreign kids.

To be Perfect and Follow the Dream

Mei always sets strict demands on herself and keeps perfecting her work by double-checking, making modifications, and brainstorming with professors. That is how she manages to produce high-quality works. The offers from two of the best art and design schools are the best proof of her devotion to greater perfection. She recalled: “At the beginning, I drew the illustrations of the portfolio. Then I turned them into computer graphics. After I consulted my teacher, I altered them into watercolor paintings. It was really a challenge to start over again in such a short time, but I wanted each of my work to be perfect.”

Chekhov the artist noted that “Art gives us wings and carries us far, far away!” When talking about her future plan, Mei said that she enjoyed the inclusive environment in the United States and she was surprised to get the offers from her dream schools. In the future, she will complete her graduate program in the U.S. and establish a workshop on graphic and interactive design.