Wk 8- Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu


Artist: Yujia (Beatrice) Gu
Exhibition: Information Graphic Design 
Media: Pictograms, Graphic Design
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: N/A
Instagram: Yujia_gu

About the Artist

The artist is Yujia Gu and she is a senior at CSULB. This spring she graduates but is currently done with her credits. Yujia is from China and moved here to get an education. She goes by the name Beatrice because she said its easier for people to pronounce. Both of her parents still live in China and she is an only child. She currently lives in an apartment near school. Beatrice is very interested in the pictogram and how it translates meaning. She also is very involved with the Special Olympics and volunteers with them often.

Formal Analysis

Part of Beatrice’s work is pictograms dedicated to the Special Olympics. Each is made up of smooth and rounded lines. She also colors the lines blue and red. The red lines make up the people and each red line is normally straight looking. To make each body she uses a couple different red lines. To make the equipment that the bodies are interacting with, she uses blue lines. The blue lines are thick and normally straight, like the red lines. In her other piece of art, it was a video presentation. The presentation would go through the years to show popular female and male names from 1900-2000s. Each of the names were in normal looking font but the way they were presented in the video was unique. Each name would appear like a bubble and they would also float around. In the background there were a mixture of more names or the colors blue and pink.

Content Analysis

The pictograms for the Special Olympics were created by the artist because of her connection to the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics were in San Francisco so she drew inspiration from the Golden Gate Bridge.She  used the lines of the bridge and connected them to the lines of the human body. She explains, “the design of the pictogram is based on sport’s movement so the body of the bridge as people’s body and the legs and arms are the lines. When these two elements are combined together, it will create different movements and sports at the same time”.  Each of the pictograms represents movement and dynamism of each sport. Besides providing dynamism, the pictograms are easy to recognize, remember, and use. Some of the sports at the Special Olympics include archery, athletics, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goal-ball, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis. The Popular Names (1900-2000) experience was based on the fact that in China names have specific meanings during specific time frames, and the artist wanted to see if American names are the same. Names represent what is happening during that time, explains Beatrice. She received the statistics for names from a social security website and then organized the top 10 popular names in the last 100 years. She explains that the names float up or down according to their rank and how it changed over the years. She also explains that the background is related to space because we are all just elements that make up space.

Synthesis / My Experience

Beatrice’s work was absolutely interesting to me. Her work for the Special Olympics was very dear to my heart. I want to be a speech and language pathologist, so I will be working with people who have a disability. The Special Olympics are a wonderful event for people with disabilities to be apart of something that will not only help them, but help the rest of society. These games will help society realize that although someone has a disability they are human and should be treated with the same respect. It was refreshing to see this young artist uses her talents to help others and especially help with a cause that will definitely impact society. It was really interesting to see that just these small and simple pictures carried so much meaning. Her other piece of art within the exhibit was about names, and I found this just as interesting. I really enjoy meeting people with unique names and hearing the stories of why they are named a certain name. It was really cool to see how she put together all of these names, and by doing this show reflects on what American society was doing during this time frame.


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