Meet emerging artists from the Oppo Renovators 2021 project


Nurturing the concept of technology as an art form, the Oppo Renovators Project for Emerging Artists – the initiative of smartphone innovator Oppo, its name inspired by the brand’s Reno series phone – has been launched in 2019. Here we present the works of the 2021 project winners and outstanding entrants.

The message of the project? Designers and artists are no different from others. Everyone should take advantage of the power of technology, facilities, materials and creative talents to speak up with courage. Anyone can be and is an artist.

Oppo: pursuing technological art

Since the launch of its first mobile phone, Smiley Face, in 2008, Oppo has sought the perfect synergy between aesthetic satisfaction and innovative technology. On a mission to elevate life through technological art, while striving to be a sustainable business contributing to a better world (the brand was one of the first to join a pan-industrial Eco Rating labeling program , in May 2021, to give customers transparency), the tech company now offers a wide range of devices – from headphones to a watch and a fitness band – spearheading the Oppo Find and Reno.

Always Cymatic projections by Daniel Karaj

Oppo Renovators 2021 Emerging Artists Project: the brief

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

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

Through their submissions – including outstanding pieces which were presented at the London Design Festival 2021 in September – the emerging artists have demonstrated their distinct perspectives on a wide range of issues, reflecting the connection between humans, technology and culture. nature, and how technology and art can create a better future for all.

Meet outstanding winners and artists

Check out the works of some of the winners and outstanding participants of the Oppo Renovators Emerging Artists Project 2021 below. Wallpaper * took the opportunity to interview some of the talents, asking each of them what made it so. inspired them to become an artist, as well as if they see themselves as an artist.

Chengxiu Yin

Job: Point to Planet: perceiving nature with light (in collaboration with Hengyue Zhao)
Winner: 2021 Artistic Creativity Award

‘I am currently studying at the School of Design of the Central Academy of Fine Arts [in Beijing]. Studying art has improved my taste and sense of design, but at the moment I don’t consider myself mature enough to qualify as an artist. Being called an ‘artist’ is just a label – my hope is that my work receives more attention and recognition so that others see me as an artist. ‘

Xinyi Zhao

Job: Dream Catcher
Winner: Future design award 2021

“I’ve been studying art for 17 years now and creating art for almost four years. My friends and family around me generally describe me as “an excellent student”, “good at my job” and someone who “creates beautiful art”, but no one considers me an artist. I don’t consider myself to be an artist either, because I haven’t reached artist level, so I call myself a designer. ‘

Jelle Valk – WERC Collective

Job: RA Graffiti
Winner: Creative Excellence Award 2021

“I was inspired to be an artist by my great-grandfather, who was a sculptor. I liked the quiet environment, and art is perfect for me, so it was a natural fit. ‘

Liang Xiao

Job: Plant autonomy
Winner: Creative Excellence Award 2021

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

Peter william holden

Job: Autogenous
Winner: Creative Excellence Award 2021

“The moment you define yourself as an artist is the moment you become an artist, and what you do after that determines whether society defines you as an artist. I realized I was an artist soon after moving to Germany [from the UK], but at that time, without parental support and without financial resources, I was facing a difficult situation. I remember a time when I had 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 fees without hesitation! I don’t know if I am an artist.

Petko Tanchev

Job: Rods
Winner: Selection price 2021

“I am an artist by nature. Making art allows me to be myself and use my mind and skills to shape things, and I love this free-wheeling lifestyle. My mother is also an artist, and we often discuss our creations together. ‘

Noriyuki Suzuki

Job: *
Winner: Selection price 2021

“I’ve actually considered myself an artist for 15 years, but I still don’t feel quite qualified. I love to read stories in all their forms – they were my refuge when I was young and my inspiration for making art. My parents sponsored me to finish an art university in Japan, and I’m now based in Germany where I do art. ‘

Youhong (friend) Peng

Job: Skin sensitization
Winner: Selection price 2021

“I loved to draw when I was young. At the time, it was art for me. Years later, I saw the show “Rain Room”[parRandomInternationalauYuzMuseumShanghaien2015)quiacomplètementchangémacompréhensiondel’artalorsj’aicommencéàallerdansdesateliersdemétalpourm’inspireretessayerdefairedel’artMafamillenem’apassoutenupourétudierl’art-ilsn’envoyaientpaslavaleur-maisjesuisfinalementalléàLondrespourétudierseulMaintenantj’enseigneàLondresetj’aimonproprestudioJenesuispasvraimentunartiste[byRandomInternationalatYuzMuseumShanghaiin2015)whichcompletelychangedmyunderstandingofartsoIstartedtogotometalworkshopsforinspirationandtotrytomakeartMyfamilydidn’tsupportmetostudyart-theydidn’tseethevalueinit–butIfinallywenttoLondontostudyonmyownNowIamteachinginLondonandhavemyownstudioI’mnotreallyanartist'[parRandomInternationalauYuzMuseumShanghaien2015)quiacomplètementchangémacompréhensiondel’artalorsj’aicommencéàallerdansdesateliersdemétalpourm’inspireretessayerdefairedel’artMafamillenem’apassoutenupourétudierl’art–ilsn’envoyaientpaslavaleur–maisjesuisfinalementalléàLondrespourétudierseulMaintenantj’enseigneàLondresetj’aimonproprestudioJenesuispasvraimentunartiste[byRandomInternationalatYuzMuseumShanghaiin2015)whichcompletelychangedmyunderstandingofartsoIstartedtogotometalworkshopsforinspirationandtotrytomakeartMyfamilydidn’tsupportmetostudyart–theydidn’tseethevalueinit–butIfinallywenttoLondontostudyonmyownNowIamteachinginLondonandhavemyownstudioI’mnotreallyanartist’

Daniel Karaj

Job: Cymatic projections
Winner: Selection price 2021

“My family has always encouraged a balance between the technical and the creative. I don’t think you have to be a full time artist with great physical works. Along with art, I also worked at Google as a software engineer. ‘

From conversations with the participants, 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, expressing our emotions and creating from the things we perceive around us, takes courage. With this courage, there is an artist in each of us who is waiting to be discovered.

Oppo Renovators 2021 project: complete list of artists interviewed

  • RA Graffiti, by Jelle Valk – WERC Collective, 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • Autogenous, by Peter William Holden, 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • Plant autonomy, by Liang Xiao, 2021 Creative Excellence Award
  • Cymatic projections, by Daniel Karaj, 2021 Selection Prize
  • Point to Planet: perceiving nature with light, by Hengyue Zhao & Chengxiu Yi, 2021 Artistic Creativity Award
  • Dream Catcher, by Xinyi Zhao, 2021 Future Design Award
  • High light, by Jacqueline Hen, 2021 Best Performance Award
  • Rods, by Petko Tanchev, 2021 INSIDE / OUTSIDE shortlist award, by Dariusz Makaruk, 2021 shortlist award
  • Parasite, by Yajun Shi, Best Performance Award 2021
  • Skin sensitization, by Youhong (Friendred) Peng, Selection award 2021
  • Splice, by Yiming Yang, 2021 Shortlist Award
  • Xiang phase, by Haozhe (Seph) Li, 2021 Selection Prize
  • *, by Noriyuki Suzuki, 2021 Shortlist Award



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