Zu Naixin

Zu Naixin

Degree: Bachelor

Professional Title: Associate Professor

Title: Secretary at the Department of Visual Communication Design under the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University

Master Supervisor

Social Title: Member of the Higher Education Self-study Examination Committee


Research Direction:

Advertisement and Visual Image


Academic Proposition:

Shape is the most important. 

The importance of art design lies in the shape. It is mediocre to pursue shape for the sake of meaning while it is excellent to create meaning via shape. Therefore, a wise man uses shape to expound meaning while a mediocre one uses meaning to explain shape.

The importance of shape lies not in the normal shape; the highest realm of shape control is to seek difference among normal shape and to find out normalcy at the same time from differences. The same goes for “in between similarity and dissimilarity” pursued by great masters in both ancient and modern times. It is beautiful to find out normal shape in the difference while it is ugly to express normal shape via normalcy.

In order to understand all things in the universe, it is required to understand the shape first and then the meaning. Shape goes first, and then comes meaning.

Shape exists without specific meaning. For example, the earth and wheel are round. A circle drawn on the paper can be called either the earth or a wheel. This shows that a circle is round without meaning given by people and still exists by shape. Therefore, shape is permanent while meaning is changeable.

A meaning without shape is meaningless. For example, Beijing was called “Yan” (meaning swallow) in ancient times, but it is meaningless to draw a swallow as a symbol for Beijing. Swallow is a normal shape but not a modeling, so its meaning doesn’t exist without a shape.

There is no doubt that the shape contains information, but the quantity of such information lies not in the shape changes. Take Taiji Figure for instance, Double Fish of Yin-Yang is very simple but it summarizes all things in the universe representing a masterpiece in the shape.

The information contained in the shape feeds on the shape. A simple shape is clear and expressive while a complex shape is cluttered and disorderly.

All phenomena can be summarized into three categories, namely image, shape and form. Shape and form are contained in the image.

Image means specific and vivid shape; shape represents an existing way of the object; form refers to texture, such as expression and color of the object. These three categories are unified with respective characteristics. The shape originality means to change some of them so as to make it different while showing normal shape via difference, which constitutes a basis for originality.


Academic Achievements:

1. Textbooks compiled:

He compiled Chapter 1 Advertisement Design in Print Advertisement Design (Second Edition), published by Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House in September 2007, ISBN 978-7-5394-2047-9; compiled Chapters 1, 3 and 5 of Packaging Design, published by Anhui Fine Arts Publishing House in December 2006, ISBN 7-5398-1400-4; translated and compiled Design by Makoto Saito, a book for designers published by Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House in August 2001, ISBN 7-5394-1100-7.

2. Five representative papers:

 (1) Review of Aesthetics, page 201 in Flow Science published in June 2009; (2) The Essence of Life is An Art, page 84 in Stardom published in April 2009; (3) Beauty and Appreciation of Beauty, page 66 in Decoration magazine published in February 2009; (4) On Advertisement Originality, page 104 in Decoration magazine, published in September 2007; (5) Advertisement is Crazy, page 319 in the Teachers’ Papers published in October 2006.

3. Six theses by his graduate students:

(1) Research on Interesting Design for Online Interactive Advertisement; (2) Research on Fractal Art Application in Graphic Design; (3) Survey on Art from Life Perspective – Development Trend of Visual Communication Design in Lifestyle; (4) Research on Visual Language of Shan’xi Animal Totem; (5) Temptation and Communication – Emotional Appeals of Body Language in Print Advertisement Originality; (6) Originality and Presentation in the LED Display Media.


Exhibitions and Awards:

He participated in the Contemporary International Poster Retrospective in October 2009, the 2nd International Exhibition of Art & Science in 2006, the National Logo, Slogan and Poster Solicitation organized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in April 2002, in which he won the 1st Prize for Poster Design.


Course Overview:

Undergraduate courses: Poster Design and Packaging Design

Postgraduate courses: Advertisement Originality and Presentation