Youth Goo - Traditional Culture Innovation

Youth Goo - Traditional Culture Innovation

Scope : From 2015 to now (This is a long research and design process.)                          

Tool : Sketch, Adobe illustrator, Photoshop, Printmaking.

Categories : Exhibition design, Brand design, Product design, Traditional culture innovation.         

Role : Youth Goo Cofounder, Graphic designer, UX designer.                  


Chinese New Year Painting

Chinese New Year Painting

There are many different kinds of Chinese traditional arts and crafts. I had a chance to learn about the woodcut of New Year paintings.

In Chinese culture, the New Year painting is a symbol which is a protective god symbol of New Year painting. It is very meaningful for Chinese to wish new year peace and happy. Only pasting it on the house meant the New Year’s Day. The New Year painting is not simply a holiday decoration at that time. The cultural and artistic value it contains reflects the people cultural lives. However, now Chinese have gradually forgotten this art. So I want to re-design it by new way, and let more young people know it. So the Youth Goo is an innovation design brand which is focus on new year painting redesign. My partner and I create the brand since 2015.


According to my research, decline reasons are as follows:

  1. Modern aesthetic notion has changed;

  2. The impact of digital print is powerful;

  3. The traditional way of production cost is high, yet the market demand is limited.

Deeper understanding and redesign of the traditional culture can make it glow with new vitality. It also can help more people, especially the young people accept, understand and generate culture ascription through it.


The decline of the New Year painting


Infographic of research (click)


Design 1 - Experience Workshop of New Year Paintings

I initiated this workshop for the Beijing International Design Week of 2015 with my partner. Based on researching modern peoples’ lifestyles, we discovered that the main reason for New Year painting’ gradual reduction was that people have no proper spot to place the prints and they have an insufficient understanding about the value behind it. During Beijing design week, we ran this workshop to invite walk-in visitors and people with online reservations to participate in the painting print activity. It turned out to be welcomed and appreciated by the majority. Thus I intend to work on it and keep establishing such space in more cities. People can print paintings and enjoy other people’s works in the meantime. Furthermore, they can make cross-region communications about the related culture. This is how I spread the New Year paintings.


PART1: Exhibition section


We open an exhibition at Dashilar Hutong in Beijing Design Week 2015. This exhibition includes traditional crafts and some redesign of New Year paintings. We also hold some lectures given by artisans in this field to let more people understand our traditional culture.


PART2: Workshop section

The printing process of New Year paintings is guided by master Zhang who has been an artisan of New Year paintings through his life. Participants can choose different place's paintings to print. And they can send these card by transmission box to other city's workshop. In this way people can interact with one another, and see more unique work from other places.


Design 2 - Interactive Installation

My design inspiration comes from the door-god image on New Year paintings. Door-god is a patron saint in Chinese culture who protects our house and wishes happiness to the family. So I come up with the idea of creating this image on the New Year paintings. I manage to connect the participants and the door-god image, as well as move synchronously by technologies like Kinect and motion capture. It helps people engage in the process to learn more about the relevant knowledge of New Year Painting.

Kinect interaction

Kinect interaction


Design 3 -  New Year Paintings Poker



Design 4 - Tagoo - Traditional pattern innovation for tattoo lovers



I am a designer and traditional culture enthusiast, and I want to design and transfer traditional culture into a modern context. Three years ago, I started learning and researching Chinese culture, which is also my national heritage. I learned quite a bit through interviewing traditional artists and learning to make and draw the traditional art. Using my professional design knowledge, combined with traditional Chinese culture art, I created these tattoo designs.

Design Inspiration

I have been learning traditional Chinese New Year painting for many years. In my learning process, I found there are lots of symbols in traditional painting to express specific meanings. For example, the peach, in traditional culture, means health and longevity. Interested in these symbols, I started to study and collect all the symbols in traditional Chinese New Year paintings, with the ultimate goal of classifying and redesigning them. I combined them together using our blessing words (all words about best wishes).


Temporary tattoo

These patterns all have their own style. Each tattoo sticker will include several different patterns. If you like Chinese traditional culture patterns, this is a good time for you to pledge! I will give you a temporary tattoo, accompanied with a description, so you can know the meaning behind the pattern.