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Shih-Hsien Hsu

MA work

Lingering: Place Lag

“One moment I was sharing my birthday cake with others, the next day I was alone thousands of miles away.” A deep sense of feeling lost hit me on 20th September, 2017, the next day after I came back to London from Taiwan after summer break.

Mark Vanhoenacker named the state ‘Place Lag’ in his book Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot. “Place lag: the imaginative drag that results from our jet-age displacements over every kind of distance; from the inability of our deep old sense of place to keep up with our aeroplanes.”

There are two stages of the year project. Firstly, Dover was the trigger that evoked my homesickness; therefore, I chose Dover as my site to discover both of the outer and inner landscape. Secondly, in order to explore more sensations I wrote down the entire transition of my mood and self-reflection in terms of the displacement of my body and soul. Based on the written narrative structure, my seven panels of illustrations serve as a role of giving a sense of intangible poetic emotion rather than showing something very literal. In the SHOW, my recitations resonate with the audiences while they are listening to my voice and traveling in my works which are printed on the light and see-through fabrics, hoping to arouse their emotions and fragments of memories within.


  • MA Degree


    School of Communication


    MA Visual Communication, 2018

  • Viewing illustrations as an universal language communicating thoughts, I explore every possible way to illustrate visual narratives that speak out my voice. During the two years journey at RCA, my ideas regarding to image making has changed a lot. I'm keen to demonstrate a poetic atmosphere which falls between abstraction and realistic representation. Looking forward to opening a brand new professional career and meeting new commissioners after graduating from RCA, I believe being an illustrator will always be my primary original intention in my life.
  • Exhibitions

  • The World Illustration Awards Exhibition, Somerset House, London, 2018; WIP Show, WhiteCity RCA, London, 2018; Into The Dark, RDP Symposium, London, 2017; New Taipei, Osaka Japan, 2015
  • Awards

  • New Talent Winner, AOI World Illustration Awards Books Category, 2018; Pre-selection, Portugal ILUSTRARTE, 2018; Winner, BATSFORD PRIZE Illustration Category, 2017