Ruoqi Wu was born in Beijing, China. Before starting the MA Print course at the Royal College of Art, she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA degree, with a major in printmaking.
Ruoqi’s practice is primarily concerned with nature. She uses feeling and memory as guides to re-imagine natural settings in a representational and metaphorical way, in order to explore her personal connection with nature. She also pays attention to her physical and psychological engagement during the creating process and regards it as a significant part of her artistic practice.
I'm interested in exploring the relationships and connections between humans and nature, trying to find the interconnectivity between those two in my creative process.
In the year 2020, I spent most of my time in quarantine, in both Beijing and London. During those times, I found of myself longing to be back in natural environments. I stood in front of the window every day and looked at the trees, the flowers, the grass, and the birds.
People always find solace in nature. Without it, we can't live.
But what would a world without humans be like?
The current global crisis has revealed the fragility and the ephemerality of human existence, at the same time as it has shown that nature can still prosper.
My working process involves taking photographic images of abandoned urban sites where plant life has been allowed to re-grow. I take these photographs during daily walks, hoping to document and appreciate the natural world, and to translate my memories, feelings, and experiences of a specific time and space. When making this work, the sense of being in place returns to me repeatedly, again and again. When working, I am fused into a wholeness, roaming with everything that exists around me in the multiple sense of realities.
Installation view — digital print on polyester film, 22 cm x 90 cm
Detailed view — digital print on polyester film, 22 cm x 90 cm
Flowing Wind — lino printing on printmaking paper, 27 cm x 19.5 cm
Dead Tree — lino printing on printmaking paper, 27 cm x 19.5 cm
I look at them through the window, the glass blocks my view.
I look at them through the screen, the small one of my phone, the large one of my laptop.
I look at them...
The scattered memory in my mind occurs to me like a flash.
The moment when leaves were flow with the wind, and the sounds of my footsteps.
The time is flying by each day,
And the day goes by slow...
Page 1 and 2
Page 3 and 4
Page 5 and 6
We are new here, humanity is new here,
But everything else in nature has been here for so long.
The mountain, the river, the desert, the grassland,
The tree, the grass, the fungi, the flower.
They take care of us,
They connect us, guide us, and heal us.
In everyday life, in the way we can’t imagine.
Close your eyes, listen to what they say.
Let the wind blow through your hair,
And let the river touch your skin.
Medium:risograph on paper
Size:21.5 cm x 15.5 cm
The Regent's Park
I'm trying to find you
get closer to you
get back to you
pretend to be part of you
For this work, I tried to capture my memory of being in nature before lockdown, during a time when I walked through the city, in the park, along the river... Everything was new to me. Since being in lockdown those moments have re-occurred to me again and again. By working with images of plants and soil in the city landscape, and manipulating them by hand, I found a way to collect my feelings and experiences from different times and spaces. To get access to nature, to shorten the distance, to pretend be part of it, and to overcome the impossible distance resulting from current circumstances.
Medium:dry point on plastic with black etching ink
Size:13.5 cm x 29.5 cm, 21.5 cm x 29.5 cm
Along the Riverside I
Along the Riverside II
The weather was so beautiful. I went outside and walked along the River Thames, enjoying a peaceful moment in the morning. The things that caught my eye are the "lives" that live on the river bridge. There were so many little mosses and they grew like a grassland, covering the top of bridge. I also found a huge piece of moss that grew on a tree bark. I thought maybe it was a special gift to me from nature. After debating with myself for a really long time, I decided to take it home carefully, to take care of it and help it grow.
The first day in home the moss looked ok. But after few days, it began to dry out quickly. I didn't want it to die, so I opened the window and placed it on a safe place. I was worried about the fierce wind and the burning sun, also the lack of rain on those days. But it lived, turned green again. I checked it every few hours to make sure it was ok. I knew it was better for the moss to be outside, living around the environment where it supposed to be. But I don't want it to go.
I knew deeply in my mind that I saw the moss as the connection between me and the outside world, between my memory of that place and time when I was last surrounded by nature. I wouldn't let it go.
One day, it disappeared. "Good", I thought, "The moss went back home now."