Rosie Ruoxi

Students & Alumni. Fine Art.

Rosie Ruoxi and some of her artwork

Rosie graduated from our MA Fine Art in 2022, and is now establishing herself as a practising artist in China, as well as preparing for her PhD.

What have you been doing since graduating from ARU?

Currently, I am setting up a small team in China, and also applying for a PhD course. My artistic research focuses on promoting the innovative combination of Chinese non-heritage culture of ‘Nv Shu’, which is a woman-only secret language and contemporary art. My interest is to observe the details of nature and daily life, female individual and collective consciousness, intimate relationship, semiotics, and psychology. My art creations are mainly in the form of paintings and art installations.

Images of Rosie's movable installation
"Windows", Rosie Li, Movable installation, 2019, 90cm x 90cm x 90cm*4

What inspired you to do what you do now?

When I was studying the MA Fine Art, through the study of the history and creation of Western contemporary art and the background of Chinese women's experiences, I found out about this secret language only use by women - ‘Nv Shu’. I was fascinated by the script, language and the historical stories of women behind ‘Nv Shu’. Therefore, the research topic in my MA project was "How Can ‘Craftivism’ and the Chinese Secret Language of ‘Nv Shu’ Demonstrate Women Self-awareness and Collective Consciousness in Art Practice?" My postgraduate studies have guided me to experiment with different forms of art practice. I started to create the artwork in a series called ‘Girlism’.  Recently I continued working on the general direction of integrating non-heritage culture (mainly in Nv Shu) and contemporary art, and have carried out cross-disciplinary art projects, exhibitions, and a study tour of research and education.

What’s the most valuable thing you took away from your education?

I treasure every communication and contact I had with my Course Leader Veronique Chance. To share a few unforgettable moments: I was studying abroad during a very serious epidemic, I was anxious because people around me discouraged the unstable environment abroad. However, Veronique kept contact with me online on her own time. Even during the period of frequent strikes in various industries in the UK, she did not miss a single day of work. On the first day of my arrival in Cambridge, we met in a cafe to talk about postgraduate study planning. It’s meaningful and surprising that in the last week of graduation, when I was preparing to go back to China, we still met in that same cafe to talk about achievements and future plans. I saw in her the love and persistence of an artist for art, but also the love and responsibility of a teacher for teaching and students.

Studying in a foreign country is not only about obtaining a degree, but also about getting along with different environments and people, and witnessing differents lives, which makes me clearer about my future plans and goals.

Rosie Ruoxi and Veronique Chance on Mill Road, Cambridge
Rosie and Veronique

Which aspects of the course most helped your career development, and why?

Personally, I liked the teaching framework of Cambridge School of Art’s MA Fine Art programme very much, because it let me learn the knowledge of art in a practical and systematic way. The first module, Making Methods, opened up a new dimension about contemporary art for me. The module Visual Practice helped me understand the importance of the process of creative research.

In the Master’s Dissertation, Course Leader Veronique and tutor Debbie Lauder's guidance played an important role for me to publish my dissertation of “How Can ‘Craftivism’ and the Chinese Secret Language of ‘Nv Shu’ Demonstrate Women Self-awareness and Collective Consciousness in Art Practice” with American and Chinese publishers afterwards.

The last module, Master's Project, combined theoretical research with creative work over the course of a year, and I learned how to combine artwork with the concept of “site-specific” in the degree show. Overall, the art education and practice I received during my postgraduate studies have allowed me to gradually understand what an artist's creative process is, and find my own art language and development.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Be more determined, more believe in yourself, live more courageously.

"Girlism" video, 2019

What was your favourite thing about studying in Cambridge, and what did you learn about the city that other people might not know?

Cambridge is a place with a profound humanistic and academic environment. Once I was invited to share my graduation work and research culture about “Nv Shu” with scholars from the Centre for Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Cambridge, which made me feel that is a very valuable experience to do artworks and then also communicate with many excellent people in different disciplinary fields. During the graduation exhibition, I met a scholar and we had a good conversation and got to know each other very well. He gave me a unique insight into Chinese culture of “Nv Shu”, which let me study the combination of “Nv Shu” and contemporary art in more depth.

What projects are you currently working on, both at work and outside?

Now at this stage, I am working on my own business and applying for a PhD. From my research and practice, I am constantly expanding the path of non-heritage culture “Nv Shu” and contemporary art in a deep and creative way.

This year I spent a year travelling to Jiangyong, Hunan province, the birthplace of “Nv Shu”, actively contacting “Nv Shu” inheritors. In the process of doing field research, I organised an “Nv Shu and contemporary art” study tour for international school students, including lectures, business proposals, international exhibitions, art residencies and other activities. Many people have learnt about “Nv Shu” through my various methods of propaganda. Even more, people have better understood the importance of contemporary art. Above all, I now have a clearer plan and motivation for my future development.

Where now