MA Studies > Editorial design > Editorial design alumnus > Ralph Wu

Ralph Wu

Wu Kuo Chiang

Nowadays, to be a graphic designer means creating a dimension universe which ought to communicate with the illusion and the reality, particularly in this media community. Graphic design has to explain all kinds of cultural aspects to the audience, and to consist of the meaning of design elements between localization and globalization. Principally the system of communication such as science of sign, is carried on the task to send information to the viewer. This is because this particular communication can reduce the misunderstanding of cultural difference from the designers who wants to go through the issue to the consumer; no matter who they are or where they are from. As well as this kind of visual language, that is usually based on the common consensus, so the designers should take the responsibility to classify the background information of the design project which attempt to strike most of prospective target or individual aims.

I think the contemporary graphic design scene focuses on the multi-media or interactive function more and more, therefore, it causes the visual languages that become more coordinated between the regional and worldwide. Accordingly, today most people only want to absorb the information as soon as possible which let them feel not out of the stream in modern society, so multi-media can decrease their anxiety about time flow away when they spend time on the different phase of information. In addition, people receive the mass media from different society and platform, their psychological status will translate the repetitive unknown signal to their cognitive linguistics - the native language and the nurture experience. According to the process, the information can be as simple as people's expectation and recognizing. Nevertheless, the smallest mistake can procure the biggest damage. Those tiny but upsetting symbols often make the misconstruction to both sides that are coming from two totally different cultures.

For example, if I send an e-gift card to my Chinese friend to celebrate the birth, the illustration definitely cannot show the clock on it, that is because the pronunciation of clock in Chinese same as the death, and mine meaning would not indicate my friend to go to hell. Moreover, in Asia, if people walk on the street to encounter a black cat, the phenomenon in folklore usually implies something terrible or horrible condition is going to happen, but in western countries, the black cat can signify luck. Those examples tell briefly in two diverse cultures that the same object can display the opposite meaning whether in visual field or audiogenic part.

Since I come from Taiwan which be populated more than four hundreds years by several nations until modern times, I can observe this island's nationality which is usually cultivated by other countries' custom or the international media judgment. The autonomous awakening of culture is still potential and low-pitched. Although the manufacturers and the technology industries have the brilliant mark in the global, but self cognition do not grow as success as we expect at all. In my personal experience, this kind of information affects frequently contradictive problems in my life such as the conversation between my foreign friends and me, we had unnecessary misunderstandings when we first met and talked about each other's historical culture. If there was a book or a guideline which could direct each other's cultural basis in a visual way, that would definitely be  the educational to myself. Therefore, to modify the situation by this concept that will be in my MA thesis in the future.

Hence, in my further study at your school, I would like to design a book or to hold an exhibition which could account for the various materials implication between East and West from the people's imagination such as, Dragon, is extremely amazing animal in the eastern culture but not in the western culture; to the functional stuff such as white candle usually means romantic and peaceful in the West but is considered ominous in the East. Thus, in my project, I am able to visualize these objects in three categories that will be real, surreal and virtual which include the organism, the creature and the affair in the present time, or even the mystical legend in the ancient period. In addition, this project will aid people to:
  • be acquainted with the cultural foundation from various backgrounds,
  • also assist people to reidentify their own historical position in either society,
  • and to redefine my personal identification in design career which ought to reveal my interests in symbol of deja vu,
  • finally, to demonstrate the importance of the system of communication in the multicultural world.