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Dansiyu Zhu

Zhu Dansiyu is an illustrator and digital painter. She graduated from Wuhan University of Technology, China, BA Animation in 2014 and went on to work as a character designer in the production of mobile and PC games such as The Lost Empire(2014) and Shang Gu Jie Ling (2015).

Dansiyu has a great passion for classical Chinese painting. She employs digital techniques to expand traditional content, to narrate contemporary, individual, edgy and borderline stories, and to iterate classical motifs in this traditional art. Dansiyu advocates the idea of “Women`s Drawing” and works with image metaphor, context interpretation, creative writing and the free association process of psychoanalysis.

She is currently collaborating with V.O.Q (Voice of Queers) in China on imagery that will communicate to and empower the young woman who is suffering from body shaming.


Les Is More, Work-in-Progress Show, Royal College of Art, 2020

The Neighbor, Tate Britain Archive, London, 2019

Hear My Voice, Canal Museum, London, 2019


Ins: Zhudansiyu

personal website


Degree Details

School of Communication


Being both a female and a citizen prompts me to explore inwardly to reveal the native identity of my background, my cross-cultural education and my ideology of gender. My current practice relates to female protest and anti-gaze, and responding to the injustice faced by women today, as well as their specific difficulties in the marriage system. This is developed from the variety within my identity. In my creation, my identity is no longer simply a person who has fallen in love. but also a citizen who is concerned about my status in my own country.

Currently the law does not permit homosexual marriage in my motherland, and in recent years it has strictly restricted publications including queer content and tried to marginalize these voices. So it’s my current consideration to clearly communicate my views on feminism and make it available to wider audiences. Because I don’t want us to be domesticated by the silence. Even more terrifying is, I worry that we are forced to be silent by our fear of the silence, and eventually become a part of the silence.

Inspired by the French feminist pioneer, Hélène Cixous, I took her idea of Women's Writing to visualization my idea of Women's Drawing. I established my visual language that includes tone of colour, body shaping, lighting, and atmosphere creation, to demonstrate a subtle, fickle longing to show off, combined with the reserved temperament of an oriental female. I also create a dual narrative system composed of positive images and negative text to achieve the symbiosis of utopia and dystopia in a narrative.

The survival dilemmas of women and queers is my subject. I have been censoring and modifying my position to sympathise with marginalized people and minority groups with humanitarian care and compassion. At the same time pursuing the questions of how do I want to be seen? how do I want to be exposed to my audience? And how do I want to present in the face of censorship?

Mating Under Surveillance

I am a wordless person from a wordless background.

Fathers are always forbearant and silent; mothers are always quiet and obedient.
With the shared and sweetest glory, sunflowers turn their heads round and round never doubting the sun.

Cubs lost their teeth. Youngsters start to flinch. Graduates trapped in housing prices.
With only a one-way ticket in life, no one can afford to choose or to make a mistake.


anti-censorshipanti-gazedigital Chinese paintingdouble-lined narrativefeminismhomosexuallesbianMulti-lingual practiceprotestqueerwomen`s drawingwriting

The Bubble Song

It's easy to make a voice in an environment that has already been built by forerunners.
We are shouting out at their shoulders, stamping on their bones and ashes.
But refuse to become the shoulders and ladders for our next generation.



To the Moon

When life can be glanced to the end directly, and no more turns and miracles will be there, sexuality and the exploitation of the minorities and the weaker becomes the only export of our outward instinct.
We are like water grass. Our tiny self-esteem still roots in the mud bed, but our sterms float with the flow involuntarily.
The sweet sunshine rises as usual while the bitter moonlight licks our spines.



The Chain

The Mantis

The Origin

What is the history?

In the context of the sun as a writer, the development of this sun-centered ecosystem is called history.

The sun, as the founder of the light and everything, monopolizes the ultimate interpretation of the history.

While the moon is a bystander, an outsider, the other.
A footnote, a reflection, and a punctuation.

“Wait,” The sun said, "You were not born at that time, you cannot be a participant in history."

The sneering moon no longer obeyed: “How can a me without the right to write history write the present and the future?”



The Bathroom


I love you, my girlfriend.

I love you for liberating my uterus and my fallopian tubes.

I love you for you don't buy my reproductive rights with marriage.

I love you for you don't treat my body as a farm.

I love you for you, and for me.



Sex Education

Sex Education

“Sex!” with giggles comes from graves, sex is being talked again,

which is

a tool for men to show off while a label for women to be humiliated;

a way for men to possess while a way for women to be conquered;

a magic to create while a power to destroy;


should have been a combination of two, but was monopolized by one.



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