Meet new artists from Oppo Renovators 2021 Project

Oppo Renovators Project for emerging artists – the initiative of the smartphone innovator Oppo, the name inspired by the brand’s Reno serial phone – launched in 2019. Here we present works by the project’s 2021 winners and nurture the concept of technology as an art form. excellent participants.

The message of the project? Designers and artists are no different from everyone else. Everyone should harness the power of technology, facilities, materials and creative talents to express themselves boldly. Everyone can be and are artists.

Oppo: pursues technological artistry

Ever since the launch of its first, Smiley Face mobile phone, in 2008, Oppo has been pursuing the perfect synergy of aesthetic satisfaction and innovative technology. On a mission to elevate life through technological art, while striving to be a sustainable company that contributes to a better world (the brand was one of the first to participate in a pan-industrial Eco Rating labeling scheme in May 2021 for to provide customers with transparency), the technology company now offers a wide range of devices – from headphones to a watch and a fitness band – with the Oppo Find and Reno phone series at the forefront.

Still from Cymatic projections by Daniel Karaj

Oppo Renovators 2021 Emerging Artists Project: short

For its 2021 Renovators project working on the theme of light, Oppo created two categories, Art Tech and Art Toy. For Art Tech, Oppo encouraged participants to submit conceptual proposals, creative research and ideas for business incubation that would bring together art, science and technology. The Art Toy track found Oppo encouraging attendees to present artwork based on the concept and image of Oppo’s mascot Ollie – a virtual guardian of new artists’ dreams.

The project saw 3,345 individual contributions submitted by new artists based in 40 countries. Topics covered technology, humanity, environmental protection, biology, history, social interaction and current trends, while the works spanned digital media, interactive experiences, stage installations, portable devices and biological and material designs.

Through their contributions – including outstanding works on display at the London Design Festival 2021 in September – the new artists demonstrated their distinct views on a wide range of issues, reflecting the connection between people, technology and nature, and how technology and art can create a better future for all.

Meet winners and outstanding artists

Explore works by some of the winners and outstanding participants in Oppo Renovators Emerging Artists Project 2021 below. Wallpaper * took the opportunity to talk to some of the talents and asked each of them what inspired them to become artists, as well as whether they see themselves as artists.

Chengxiu Yin

Occupation: Point to the planet: perceive nature with light (in collaboration with Hengyue Zhao)
Winner: 2021 Artistic Creativity Award

‘I’m currently studying at the Design School at the Central Academy of Fine Arts [in Beijing]. Studying art has improved my taste and eye for design, but right now I do not see myself as mature enough to be called an artist. Being called an “artist” is just a brand – my hope is that my work gets more attention and recognition so that others see me as an artist. ‘

Xinyi Zhao

Occupation: Dream Catcher
Winner: Future Design Award 2021

‘I’ve been studying art for 17 years now and I’ve been making art for almost four years. My friends and relatives around me usually describe me as “an excellent student”, “good at my job” and someone who “creates beautiful art”, but no one thinks of me as an artist. I also do not consider myself an artist, because I have not reached an artist level, so I call myself a designer. ‘

Jelle Valk – WERC Collective

Occupation: AR graffiti
Winner: 2021 Creative Excellence Award

‘I was inspired to be an artist by my great-grandfather, who was a sculptor. I liked the quiet surroundings, and the artistry is just right for me, so it fit quite naturally.

Liang Xiao

Occupation: Plant autonomy
Winner: 2021 Creative Excellence Award

‘When I exhibited in London in 2018, I was already communicating with the audience as an artist. Identifying in this way felt natural and extremely positive, I felt completely awakened spiritually! After my parents saw the change in me, they became really supportive of my decision to pursue art professionally. ‘

Peter William Holden

Occupation: AutoGene
Winner: 2021 Creative Excellence Award

‘The moment you define yourself as an artist is the moment you become an artist, and what you then do results in whether society defines you as an artist. I realized I was an artist shortly after I moved to Germany [from the UK], but at that time, without parental support and financial resources, I was in a difficult situation. I remember a time when I just finished a kinetic sculpture and the only money I had was to buy food or pay the exhibition fee for the sculpture. I chose to pay the exhibition fee without hesitation! I’m not sure if I’m an artist. ‘

Petko Tanchev

Occupation: Stems
Winner: 2021 Shortlist Award

‘I am an artist by nature. Making art allows me to be myself and use my mind and my abilities to shape things, and I love the freewheeling lifestyle. My mother is also an artist and we often discuss our creations together. ‘

Noriyuki Suzuki

Occupation: *
Winner: 2021 Shortlist Award

‘I’ve actually called myself an artist for 15 years, but I still do not feel completely qualified. I love reading stories in all forms – they were my refuge when I was young, and my inspiration for making art. My parents sponsored me to finish art school in Japan, and I am now based in Germany, where I make art. ‘

Youhong (friends) Peng

Occupation: Skin awareness
Winner: 2021 Shortlist Award

‘I loved drawing when I was young. At the time, this was art for me. Years later I saw the exhibition “Rain Room”. [by Random International at Yuz Museum Shanghai in 2015), which completely changed my understanding of art, so I started to go to metal workshops for inspiration and to try to make art. My family didn’t support me to study art – they didn’t see the value in it – but I finally went to London to study on my own. Now I am teaching in London and have my own studio. I’m not really an artist.’

Daniel Karaj

Work: Cymatic Projections
Winner: 2021 Shortlist Award 

‘My family has always encouraged a balance between the technical and the creative. I don’t think it’s necessary to be a full-time artist with big physical works. Alongside art I have also worked at Google as a software engineer.’

From conversations with the entrants, we can conclude that artists are no different from the rest of us. They have joys, worries, and are moved by the world around them. Becoming an artist, to express our emotions and create from the things we perceive around us, requires bravery. With this courage, there’s an artist in all of us waiting to be discovered. 

Oppo Renovators 2021 Project: full list of interviewed artists 

  • AR Graffiti, by Jelle Valk – WERC Collective , 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • AutoGene, by Peter William Holden, 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • Autonomy of Plants, by Liang Xiao, 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • Cymatic Projections, by Daniel Karaj, 2021 Shortlist Award 
  • Point to Planet: perceiving nature with light, by Hengyue Zhao & Chengxiu Yi, 2021 Artistic Creativity Award
  • Dreamcatcher, by Xinyi Zhao, 2021 Future Design Award
  • Light High, by Jacqueline Hen, 2021 Best Performance Award 
  • Stems, by Petko Tanchev, 2021 Shortlist Award INSIDE / OUTSIDE, by Dariusz Makaruk, 2021 Shortlist Award
  • Parasite 寄, by Yajun Shi, 2021 Best Performance Award
  • Skin-awareness, by Youhong (Friendred) Peng, 2021 Shortlist Award
  • Splice, by Yiming Yang, 2021 Shortlist Award
  • Xiang Phase, by Haozhe (Seph) Li, 2021 Shortlist Award
  • *, by Noriyuki Suzuki, 2021 Shortlist Award 



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