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Illuminating Perspectives: A Dive into the Creative Realm with Hongfei Chen

Take a glimpse into the mind of Hongfei Chen, an innovative force in the design world. Hongfei recently claimed victory at the C2A Awards with the mesmerizing project, “WE DON’T EXIST.” Join us as we explore the intricacies of his creative process, aspirations, and the transformative impact of this prestigious recognition.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that Hongfei Chen’s award-winning project, “WE DON’T EXIST,” delves into the subtle intricacies of identity, culture, and the impact of globalization? Through this project, Hongfei invites readers to ponder their roots amidst the ever-evolving tapestry of global cultures.

About the Project:

Unraveling “WE DON’T EXIST”: Navigating Identity in a Global Jungle with Hongfei Chen

In the project “WE DON’T EXIST,” Hongfei Chen, a visionary designer from the University of Shanghai For Science and Technology, grapples with the blurred lines of cultural identity in an increasingly interconnected world. The project serves as a poignant reflection on the neglect and preservation of hometown culture in the face of globalization. Hongfei uses his creative prowess to guide readers through the labyrinth of cultural exploration, posing profound questions about finding one’s roots and defining a sense of self.

Delve deeper into Hongfei Chen’s creative mind as we explore his thoughts and experiences in this exclusive interview following his recent triumph at the C2A Awards.

1. Fresh from your recent win at the C2A Awards, can you share how the recognition has influenced your perspective on your creative journey or business endeavors?

Hongfei Chen: At this moment, I am not satisfied with only designing 2-dimensional projects. I am trying to break through the boundaries of graphic design through different fields and media. C2Aaward’s recognition of my project has encouraged me to explore the world more actively. Therefore, in my recent practice, I have tried to express my thoughts on identity, future, and environment through installations, virtual reality technology, moving images, etc. In the next stage, I would like to expand more media to better communicate with the world I live in.

2. Let’s rewind to your journey through the submission and evaluation process for the C2A Awards. What were the standout moments, challenges, or surprises you encountered?

Hongfei Chen: Be brave enough to break out of the confines of your inherent industry.

3. Creativity is a mystic force. What fuels your imagination, and how do you approach the creative process?

Hongfei Chen: I think keeping a critical mind pushes me to think about the essence of everything around me instead of staying on the surface, which tends to give me a lot of inspiration. Also, the use of unique materials and the creative expression of inherent materials will not only make your work more interesting but also increase its ability to communicate with the reader.

Presentation of the "WE DON'T EXIST" project by Hongfei Chen

4. Navigating the twists and turns of a creative career often involves overcoming obstacles. What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced, and how have you tackled them?

Hongfei Chen: I’ve recently been working on PILLOW SHELTER, a project that focuses on how to release stress in adults, in which I’ve encountered the problem of how to release my own stress while readers are reading my books without making reading a burden for them. Simply put, how to make my message more accessible. This question has been bothering me for a long time, but I knew that sitting in my studio and thinking about it probably wouldn’t get me any good inspiration, so I decided to let myself go a little bit and enjoy life first.
However, during my nightly pillow fights with my girlfriend, I noticed that pillows may be a vehicle for releasing stress, so I decided to make my book in the shape of a pillow.

5. The ink on your C2A victory is still fresh. In what ways do you anticipate the award impacting your credibility and reputation in the creative industry, and how do you envision leveraging this recognition as you move forward?

Hongfei Chen: C2A will make my work more convincing in the world, and for my projects, I will my audience will trust me more. For me personally, this might be the starting point for me to become a great designer.

6. Networking and collaboration are integral to growth. Have you already seen opportunities or partnerships emerge as a result of your C2A win, and how do you foresee these connections shaping your future in the industry?

Hongfei Chen: As a result of the C2A award, I have now received a number of offers to work with Chinese companies, and C2A has allowed my work to be seen and widely recognized.

Visual representation of "WE DON'T EXIST" expressing the author's research

7. Immediate effects aside, do you foresee winning the C2A Award influencing the demand for your services or products in the near future?

Hongfei Chen: Definitely, my plan is to connect with the international scene in the future, and C2A will be great proof that my work has an international reach.

8. As a recent C2A Award winner, what aspects of the experience have you found most valuable, and would you encourage others in the creative industry to consider participating?

Hongfei Chen: I think it is valuable for the development of cross-boundary competence, which motivates us to break the inherent boundaries through different mediums. I have seen a lot of good cross-boundary works in other C2A award-winning works, which is very worth learning. In addition, the reputation and recognition that C2A brings is also very valuable to individual designers, and I recommend all designers to participate in it to create a good design communication country.

9. Looking ahead, do you see yourself applying for the next edition of the C2A Awards, and what aspects of the competition would motivate you to participate again?

Hongfei Chen: I will be applying my new work for the next C2A award. It would motivate me more if the competition had a trophy or other physical proof.

10. Staying current is an ongoing challenge. How do you currently keep abreast of new industry trends, and are there any emerging trends you’re excited to incorporate into your work?

Hongfei Chen: The industry trend in China is currently focusing on the combination of traditional culture and modernization, such as the ancient Chinese book binding form: dragon scale binding, with NFC. This will make the books more interesting.

The process using Touch Designer to create diverse sports balls, expressing the convergent states of cultures worldwide.

11. Future gazing: what plans and aspirations are on the horizon for you, and how do you anticipate your creative journey evolving over time?

Hongfei Chen: I plan to start a photography business with my friends after completing my graduate studies. Later, my design may be more focused on artistic photography and image processing.

12. Zooming in on your recent triumph, what inspired the winning project you submitted to the C2A Awards?

Hongfei Chen: From my reflection on the identity of my own hometown, as a descendant of the first group of uprooted people in China, I questioned “Where do I really belong.”

Charting New Territories: Hongfei Chen’s Design Odyssey

As we bid farewell to this enlightening conversation, we catch a glimpse of Hongfei Chen’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity. With the C2A Award as a catalyst, Hongfei’s trajectory as a designer takes a fascinating turn, promising an exciting future marked by innovation and global influence. Stay tuned for more from this luminary in the world of design, Hongfei Chen, as he continues to redefine the landscape of creative expression.


More about Hongfei Chen and the Project:

C2A – Hongfei Chen (University of Shanghai For Science and Technology) –
Winner in Other Books / Books

Hongfei Chen We Don’t Exist Video:

Other C2A Winners:

2023 C2A Winners