WIA2020 Shortlist Highlights: Site Specific Category


The WIA2020 Site Specific Category offers up a host of inspiring and unusual projects, usually created to enhance public spaces, such as hospitals, schools, offices and museums. Some projects are created for single events, while others are made to stand the test of time.

Site Specific illustration is often thought of as murals painted onto walls, but can also include the use of digital technologies such as projections, holograms, and augmented reality. Site Specific can be created to enhance or promote a brand, to create a welcoming or calming environment, or to inspire actions and feelings of hope and wellbeing. This way of working is a real skill, taking into account not just the look of the illustration, but how it interacts with the architecture or space it is created for, as well as the people who will see it in the future.

Explore just a few of our highlights of the entries shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020 Site Specific Category below. If you would like to learn more about a project, click on the image or title to see the full entry.

Thanks go to the three Site Specific Category judges:

The World Illustration Awards 2020 Shortlist features 200 hundred projects by New Talent and Professional illustrators from all over the world organised within 10 industry relevant categories.

If you would like to learn more about a project, click on the title or image to see the full submission.

Wai Wai : 618 Shanghai Street

Wai Wai was commissioned to create a large mural by Ample Construction for the Urban Renewal Authority, as part of the revitalisation of an area of old buildings in Mongkok, Hong Kong. Themed around the idea of a voyage of time, this mural tells the secret history and hidden stories of the bustling streets. Measuring around 20sqm, the mural is created spray paint and enamel, with projectors, to create an ‘in the round’ stereoscopic image. The work is full of details particular to the area, giving a sense of travelling both through the streets, as well as through time.

Wai Wai was born and raised in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong. She has been making illustration, shutter painting, mural painting, teaching, and hand-cut silhouette projects since 2018. Wai Wai paints illustrations of local vintage shops to bring people closer to their communities.

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Tongyang Yu : Solar term, start of spring

Tongyang Yu’s illustration responds to Chinese culture, and traditional characters. The theme is the solar term, with the start of spring forming the beginning of this cycle. The illustration is intended for use in promotional material and spaces. The work is created using traditional Chinese patterns and materials

Tongyang is currently based in Beijing, China

Lele Saa : Hooray! It’s a totem parade!

Lele was commissioned by Horizon, a centre for adults with learning disabilities in Cambridge, to give the outside of the building a facelift as part of a community project with local artists donating their time and talent.

Lele’s bold image responds to the space created by the building’s architecture, and only fully from one particular place. Using the motif of a Phoenix, the mythical bird that is reborn from its own ashes, offers a message of positivity and hope to the centre’s visitors. The work was designed digitally, and then painted onto the wall using masonry paint and acrylic for the bright pink details, responding organically to the building’s design as the painting time went on.

Lele Saa is an Illustrator and Visual Designer based in Cambridge, UK. Originally from Vigo, Spain, she holds a BA in Advertising and Public Relations and an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. She balances her job as part-time Creative Director in a UX design studio with her illustration practice. 

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Bartosz Kosowski : Spatial Compositions

This series of posters was commissioned by Puro Hotels, a Polish hotel chain for their hotel in Lodz. As a local to Lodz, Bartosz was asked to create work inspired by the local area. He chose to create these surreal, architectural works, inspired by the artist Katarzyna Kobro’s Spatial Compositions, whose sculptural works are housed at the Art Museum across the street from the hotel. These large size digital illustrations were printed as limited edition prints exclusively to the Puro Lodz hotel, to be framed and displayed in the hotel rooms.

Bartosz Kosowski is an illustrator and poster artist based in Lodz, Poland. He was educated at Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Working mainly with posters, portraits and editorial illustration, he has created award-winning posters for numerous films and cooperated with such clients as Apple, ING, The New Yorker, The Economist, Newsweek, and many more.

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Tess Smith-Roberts : Discover Here

Tess was commissioned by Kai Planning to create a new image for the ‘Discover Here’ One Avenue Shopping Centre campaign. The image was used as a window display, as well as on marketing collateral, print, merchandise and in an advertising campaign on the Shenzhen Metro. The colourful and playful characters caught the imagination of people passing by, who sometimes stopped dance, mimicking the characters.

Created using Adobe Draw and Adobe Illustrator, this work began as a long image of people dancing which could then be used in a myriad of ways.

Tess Smith-Roberts is an illustrator and printmaker based in London, and a recent graduate of the Kingston School of Art Illustration and Animation Course. She is represented by Snyder New York.

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Nicholas Cheng : Organic Space

This work is intended to be used to enhance a healthcare setting as a way of promoting a sense of safety and warmth. These illustrations playfully turn parts of the human body into functional spaces, for example the heart as a home and the lungs as a windmill. Made digitally using Photoshop, these soft images are imaginative and clever, creating unexpected compositions with an almost dream-like tone.

Wu-Jyun Cheng (Nicholas) is from Taiwan and is currently studying MA Illustration at Kingston School of Art in London.

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facebook.com/Nicholas Cheng

Jonny Glover : Mural for The Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health

Jonny was commissioned by the NHS for The Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health, an in-patient service for young people with complex and severe mental health difficulties. Throughout the concept design through to the process of painting onto the walls the patients were involved in the creative process, with the final mural promotes a feeling of hope and positivity. Covering the entrance to the ward, the work is playful and welcoming, using calming colours and a light-hearted touch to delight visitors and patients.

Jonny Glover is a freelance illustrator based in London. He works with people, charities, progressive organisations and agencies to produce illustration and animation that both informs and delights.

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Lauren Emmons : Wee Thee Vikings Gallery

Lauren was commissioned by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis to create a series of illustrations for a children’s gallery about Viking Culture. The illustrations decorate the walls providing a colourful and rich landscape for children to play and learn. The works are made using watercolour, with markers, coloured pencil and gouache to achieved luminous colour with detailed line motifs throughout.

Lauren is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and she is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Children’s Book Illustration from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University.

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This work is a proposal for a mural. It shows a colourful world of childhood, designed to inspire a childlike sense of wonder and play. The work was made using watercolour and coloured pencil by Han Lu, who lives in China and is studying Visual Communication Design at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts.

Vann Law : Night, Good Night

Vann Law was commissioned by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology  to present an animation as part of a festival of moving image. The work was projected onto a building. Combining the artist’s home town, and the theme of ‘Night, The Beloved’ into this project, this mesmerising animation is both graphic and ethereal. Following a process of sketching and storyboarding, the animation was created digitally using After Effects.

Vann Law is an animator currently based in Singapore. Raised in Sarawak, Malaysia, her works have been screened at film festivals and events, notably Melbourne International Animation Festival, White Night and Noise GIFFest.

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If you enjoyed these highlights, why not have explore the full WIA2020 shortlist, for more inspiration!

11th August 2020

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