An architecture student with a passion for manga —— Siyan Wen



Siyan Wen , a second year architecture student in Central Academy of Fine Arts, has just finished learning the basics of architectural drawing, perspective and mapping software. She is looking forward to learning more about design in the next three years.



Siyan says she is often satisfied when she sees a delighted painting, made by herself or by others. She loves Ukiyoe by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and she also likes figure paintings of Tibetan Buddhism.


Like many girls of her age, she also loves Japanese Manga, such as the Approaching Bullet,Nickelodeon, Eureka Syndrome, Mr. Ito. She says all these mangas remind her of her time here in YMM.


‘I’ve learnt about many brilliant mangas and cartoonists from animation classes here. Teachers here broadened my mind and improved my skills. It was wonderful that I could spend lots of time doing stuff I really loved. Now it seems I don’t have time and opportunities like that anymore.’


There is no such thing as good and bad in the world of creation


Siyan took her first class of International Animation in YMM when she was only seven. She progressed from junior to senior within 6 years and later took classes in Sketch and Color. But her favorite is still animation.


‘Every time I went to the international animation class, both sides of the aisle were always filled with students' works. During festivals, the whole place would be fully decorated, which would make me feel free and relaxed. People would never think this was a school of no fun and no interaction. Here the teachers’ encouragements and affirmations helped me to feel the desires to learn.’




Siyan says that teachers here at YMM focus on cultivating students’ interests and giving positive feedbacks and encouragements. They are best at developing children’s imagination and creation. While in schools, she feels that she suffers from the education system where ranking is everywhere; however, in YMM, there is no such thing as good or bad in the world of creation. ‘Teachers encouraged us to find our own creativities and express them. I think this is the best part of YMM’s education. I benefited a lot here.’


Taught by Ms Yang herself


When remembering the scenes of Ms Yang Meihong’s classes, Siyan says that her classes were very rich and full of personal charms. The whole processes were always stimulating. At that time, there were a few ‘trouble makers’ in the class but Ms Yang never scolded them. Even the naughtiest kids could be influenced by her personality and behaved.


‘I think this is one of the characters that make her so different. Deep down we all know that we are the ones who benefit when we behave. Ms Yang influenced us in so many ways, not just skills and techniques, but also philosophies of life. ’



Creativity VS Practicability


Although having a great passion for Manga, Siyan chose to study Architecture in university. Knowing that Architecture is more practicable than creative, Siyan never regret about this choice.


‘A lot of things that were manufactured to be used at first, in the end became artworks, such as teapots, incenses, coins, stamps and even visas. People wouldn’t be this interested in them if they were not practical at first. Human beings work with the same rule: you need to have a practical skill first and then you can enjoy the possibility of entering into new fields.’


Siyan says she is very grateful for her experience with YMM no matter how tomorrow leads. ‘I think that in YMM, we were not simply learning from our teachers, instead, we were discovering ourselves under the guidance of our teachers. It was a valuable experience for me.’