The Arts Learning Journey

In a world where views on education and growing up can be limited and one-dimensional, Art carves out a special place for the young at heart, thriving in its wildness and freedom. Harrovians, in Art, are subtly shifting the world. Their work is not just a statement, but a quiet telling of their own tales. In the guise of artists, these youngsters are gently ushering in significant changes to our world.

Vincent’s Creative World

For Vincent, the pandemic turned out to be an unexpected journey of inspiration. While the world hit pause, his studio became a carnival of creativity. During this unique time, he discovered his mission: to declare, through his illustrations, the fragility and strength that reside deep within every soul.

He chose an abandoned factory in Guangzhou as the venue for his solo exhibition. It wasn’t for lack of more convenient options, but rather the appeal of the dilapidated walls and the remnants of machinery, which seemed to silently tell stories echoing his own work. Vincent was aiming for an exhibition that truly touched the heart, not just a visual spectacle.

The exhibition was titled ‘Are “WE” Fragile’, not about combat, but a state of being. With his brush, he delved into issues like school bullying, the struggles of the LGBT community, and invasions of privacy… Topics often marginalized by society became tender yet powerful under his stroke. He explained that ‘We’ represents both the collective and the individual, the past and, more importantly, the future.

Vincent’s inspiration came from a Thangka painter in his family. He used to think art was just about canvases and paints, until he realized that each stroke by this elder was a narrative of life. He decided not to follow a traditional path but to blend the spirit of Thangka with modern art forms, ensuring his works have both roots and soul.

For Vincent, Art is his utopia, his realm of freedom, where he uses his brush in place of words, allowing each piece to become an outpouring of emotion and a process of self-healing. His works, rich in abstraction and symbolism, reveal their stories and emotions only to those who truly understand him.

He dreams of furthering his studies at UAL, aspiring to become a curator who transforms inner worlds into tangible exhibitions. On his artistic journey, Vincent believes that only through relentless exploration and expression can the colours of life shine through in what seems like a grey reality.

Tom’s Visual Tales

In photography, Tom Y. stands out as a youthful adventurer. At just 16, he showcases a surprising maturity in aesthetics and narrative strength in his work, remarkable for someone who’s still finding their way in the Art world.

Initially, Tom casually captured life’s moments with his phone, but soon his photos rippled through his social network. With curiosity, he embraced the camera, embarking on a true photographic quest. Like a novice gamer, each shutter click was a guess and adventure into the unknown.

Tom firmly believes that photography is an exercise in freedom, unconstrained by any framework. He isn’t after uniformity dictated by rules, but rather seeks those soul-stirring moments – the ones he finds meaningful.

His exploration of style is equally unique. Tom refuses to be confined by existing styles, aspiring to create his own signature. He understands that even the same scene can tell different stories from various angles. This insight gives him a deeper understanding of photography: it’s not about taking more shots, but about capturing the emotion in that fleeting moment.

Tom independently produced a video promoting Shanghai’s culture, engaging passionately from script to post-production. Hours of editing and colour grading were not just technical practice but a commitment to passion. 

Every holiday, he doesn’t hesitate to cycle tens of kilometers, all for that perfect photo. This pursuit of interest tells us that real growth is not just about improving academic grades, but also lies in discovering one’s own brilliance and bravely chasing it.

Tom’s dedication to photography translates to a profound life understanding. Through his lens, he expresses himself, discovering his identity, clearing confusion, and finding direction.

He plans to study photojournalism in college. For Tom, photography isn’t just personal expression: it’s a bridge connecting self, others and society.

Tom’s story is a growing miracle, reminding us each child is a unique star, their brilliance worthy of discovery, care, and amplification. Such growth is truly dazzling and touching.

Illina’s Digital Art Journey

In the virtual realm, Illina is an explorer, seeking a nexus between the classical and modern within codes and pixels.

Raised in an international school with Western education, she harbored a passion for China’s landscapes, poetry, and mythology. This fascination with Chinese culture and love for gaming spurred her mastery of painting and beyond—she aimed to create her own virtual kingdom.

From childhood, Illina wove stories in her mind, filled with fairies, demons, and fantasy characters. She not only designed game characters but also rich backstories, giving each a life and history.

Game modeling is Illina’s dream and challenge. It demands artistic skill and a thirst for knowledge—from 3D modeling to architectural understanding. She digitizes her paper and pen concepts into computer models.

Inspiration stems from ancient tales of monsters and deities. She seeks to retell these ancient stories through games.

Art gave Illina creativity, enabling her to depict inner worlds beyond words. Her emotions and visions transform into digital creations, building imagined worlds bit by bit.

At Harrow Shanghai, we nurture artistic dreams, escorting their creative journeys. Our alumni, whether pursuing music at Berklee, filmmaking in London, or aesthetics at RISD or UAL, reflect our commitment to each student’s individuality and their dreams.