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The art-making process, with Yuxiao Ran

Yuxiao Ran earned his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2020, and obtained his MA in painting at Royal College of Art in London, UK in 2023. He now lives and works in London, UK, having joined Cornerstone Studios at the end of last year.

Ran’s paintings are a record, or a re-creation of his present experience. Ran primarily uses representational language to arrange images and motifs from different cultural spaces and times on the canvas. He aims to challenge and subvert our habitual reading of images and symbols.

This "collage-like" visual arrangement never relies on predetermined compositions, and seeks to reenact the chaotic realism of contemporary socio-cultural situations. The process of Ran’s creation is a series of calculated, idiosyncratic, and playful engagement with existing pictorial languages in a context of multiculturalism. 

“My studio in Cornerstone has been an irreplaceable part of my work and life in London since I moved in last December. More than half of my art-making process in fact happens while traveling and living outside of my studio, Cornerstone’s convenient location and accessibility allows me to realise my ideas on canvases whenever I need. On top of that, personally I believe my work’s meaning resides on its power to provoke and spark human interactions and discussions. My studio in Cornerstone is so far my favourite space to invite friends and colleagues to share our love for pictures and music. Its fantastic communal environment has left most of my visiting guests wonderful impressions, which overall has created a cozy yet vibrant atmosphere that sustains my painting practice in London.”

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