A decade of cross-cultural collaboration with Chengdu University

Wintec Media Arts academic, Loryn Englesman at Chengdu University

It’s not often that artists are given the freedom to paint a brand-new BMW with their own bespoke design. But that’s exactly what happened to illustrator, designer and Wintec Media Arts academic, Loryn Englesman, when she visited Chengdu University in China recently.

Englesman was part of a group of international artists from around the world who were invited to participate in Chengdu University’s automobile design festival ‘c+c international design week’. The car painting experience was the festival’s opening event, sponsored by BMW.

The top-of-the-range cars were painted with gouache, more often used for paper-based art, so the the designs could be washed off afterwards.

Following this unique opening event, the automobile design festival kicked off, and similar to Wintec’s own Spark Festival, it featured a range of speakers, workshops and events.

“We’ve had toy designers, product designers, artists and graphic designers from Germany, Israel and surrounding countries attend,” says Englesman.

As well as taking part in the festival, she spent two weeks teaching at Chengdu University, focussing on developing students’ illustration skills from concept development and helping students foster their own unique style. 

This is just the latest collaboration between Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) and Chengdu University who are celebrating ten years of working together.

Wintec and Chengdu share several undergraduate and postgraduate pathways, with Chengdu students able to begin their study at Chengdu before arriving in Hamilton to complete a Bachelor of Communication, Bachelor of Design or Master of Arts at Wintec. 

Over the past ten years, a number of Chengdu staff and students have both visited and studied at Wintec as well as Wintec staff visiting Chengdu.

To celebrate this milestone, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Chengdu University, Wintec School of Media Arts staff Sam Cunnane and Jordan Foster are in Chengdu this week where they will deliver lectures as part of the Chengdu University International Week.

Check out the video of Loryn Englesman and other international artists painting BMWs here.

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