Yoobee Wellington celebrates top student

Wang Hening (Ted), a Chinese international student who’s studying Digital Media Advanced at ACG Yoobee School of Design in Wellington is getting some great traction in the design world, having recently been awarded the Wellington International Student Excellence Award. The awards recognise the achievements and contributions of Wellington-based international students. Bill English presented Ted with his award at a parliamentary function late last week.

Ted is also one of just two students selected by Weta Workshop from around the country to travel to South Korea later this month for the 2016 Gwangmyeong Cave International Fantasy Festival. His ‘steampunk’ design marks continuing success for ACG Yoobee.

Ted placed second in the Gwangmyeong Concept Design Competition, an international art contest seeking the next generation of design stars from New Zealand and Korea. More than 100 submissions were received from tertiary students throughout the country on the theme ‘Steampunk Korea’ – conceptualising a South Korea where petroleum-based fuel doesn’t exist and everything is steam powered. Weta Workshop judged the New Zealand arm of the competition.

Inspired by the Korean movie, ‘Train to Busan’, Ted’s entry depicted a Seoul train station. “I imagined it was the year 2300, the steam-powered transport system is highly developed and the trains are both driving on the ground and hanging on cables,” he explained. “For the steampunk part, I used gears, pipes, instrument panels and cables as design elements. I set a huge clock on the building in the background and on the top of the train an electromagnetic system provides power for the trains.”

Ted, who lives in Karori, was familiar with aspects of Korean culture through film and TV, and weaved authentic Asian architecture, Korean clothing styles, tile roofs, Samsung branding and iconic Korean colours, blue and red, into his artwork.

Other details such as a Hyundai logo on the wheel of a motorbike are more hidden. “I like to include little secrets in my work to encourage viewers to explore,” he said.

As runner-up, Ted will now attend the 2016 Gwangmyeong Cave International Fantasy Festival in late October with Weta Workshop CEO and co-founder, Richard Taylor, and competition winner Qin Yi from Auckland University.

“The thing I’m most excited about is travelling with Richard Taylor and talking to senior Weta designers,” Ted said. “That is so awesome. And maybe I’ll get a trophy. I’ve never had one before; that would be a big honour for me.”

Nick Webster, Regional Manager ACG Tertiary and Careers Group, said: “Since commencing with us in February, Ted has proven that he is passionate about his craft and it is incredibly pleasing to see that all of his hours of hard work have paid off. Being given the opportunity to accompany Richard Taylor to South Korea is a fantastic opportunity for Ted and we are excited to see where he will head to next as he shortly embarks on his creative career.”

Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor said: “I am excited to be sharing the experience of Gwangmyeong and the Korea competition with our two winners as they journey up to take part in this wonderful conceptual design collaboration between our two countries.”