Kiwi students win trip with Sir Richard Taylor to Korean design symposium
Sir Richard Taylor usually only travels to Korea with one competition winner, but this year two entrants are boarding the plane in late October.
The chosen two are Gwangmyeong Concept Design Competition winner Chow Qin Yi, a first-year architecture student at the University of Auckland, and one of the runners-up, Wang Haning, of Wellington's ACG Yoobee School of Design.
The international art competition finds the top conceptual designers from New Zealand and Korea and brings them together.
The competition this year received a record 102 submissions. The objective was to illustrate Korea as if it were living in a steampunk world.
Taylor, chief executive and co-founder of Weta Workshop, says he is excited to share the experience with two entrants "as they journey up to take part in this wonderful conceptual design collaboration between our two countries".
Yi, 23, admits he did not know much about Weta Workshop's operations before entering the competition.
"Besides crying every time I re-watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy … holding on to my dear breath through the roller coaster ride that is Mad Max … and being shocked like the rest of the world at Avatar, I did not really know much about Weta Workshop."
When Yi found out he had won, he was both "ecstatic" and surprised. "Wrong e-mail check?"
Taylor says Yi's design demonstrates an exceptional level of technical and artistic ability.
"And considering the work is from the efforts of a young student, an astute appraisal of the brief with some wonderfully original ideas that realised the brief into a creative visual story."
Yi says he wanted his submission to evoke a sense of an industrialised, steampunk Korea that would "wind up".
"Instead of a human work force, [a wound] up, organic, clothed-yet-mechanical population."
University of Auckland dean of the faculty of Creative Arts and Industries Diane Brand says Yi has won the trip of a lifetime.
"Not only will Qin Yi get to travel to Korea with Sir Richard Taylor, but he will also get an insight into the many career options available to people within the creative sectors."
Yi has no formal training in art, and has taught himself digital and analogue design skills.
Using Rhinoceros 3D and Photoshop as his main software tools, Yi completed his entry in about two weeks.
He says he is most looking forward to viewing the Korean submissions and sitting in on one of Weta's lectures.
"To learn anything from the masters of this field, too."