“My way, I loved, I laughed, I cried, get satisfied and down. I never feel ashamed, cause I live in my way. I have regrets, but only a few. I have done things I have to do, although didn’t avoid anything. Yes, a few times, I face challenge. I swallowed them, standing with my head up. I will leave this world one day. Say goodbye to all ones I loved, loved me or hated me. But I have had a complete life, in my own way”. – ‘ Remember English her second language’.
Photo by Lynn Clayton – Vivian relaxing without a special ‘face’.
Vivian Tian Yuan left mainland China aged 18 to travel to New Zealand to study. Thousands of young Chinese do this annually and many of them return home, however many find a way to stay here. Vivian hopes to stay here – or make it to Hollywood. Now aged 20 she has found her mojo and is enthusiastic about her future. She has also found her faith which plays a large part in her life and influences her choices daily. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs. I was intrigued as to how a young Chinese girl manages to survive and get noticed in the city of Auckland.
Vivian’s parents, despite the fact this is their only child, have supported her adventurous streak. Her mother lectures in maths at a university and her father is in ‘investments’. Back in China Vivian did modelling and photo salon makeup. This is her passion and by all accounts she is making her mark on the New Zealand scene. She is found most weekends painting faces whether it be for Ghosts and Ghouls parties or a model shoot; she is in demand.
Photo by Manasee Joshi – Model makeup by Vivian Tian Yuan.
I persuaded her to paint herself ‘crazy’ for our weekend shoot and I tell you she can transform a face in minutes. Something about Vivian reminded a few of us of an Oriental Dawn French. I wonder if she can act??
Photo by Lynn Clayton – Vivian in her ‘crazy’ face
I asked Vivian a series of questions largely to understand her life in NZ. Living in a University hostel in the bottom of Whittaker Place is not her dream home but will have to suffice until she graduates her BA in Marketing. Then she will take on the world.
Vivian, why did you decide to come to New Zealand and not Australia? “I decide to come to New Zealand instead of Australia, just because I heard that there is no snake and other scary animal here before I come.”
Do you have family in New Zealand? Not many family, but just an aunty which is my dad’s cousin. Our family blood relationship is far away.
How hard was it on arrival here if you knew no one? I didn’t feel it was hard at all. Life is much easier in New Zealand. I have more freedom to do what I want. I have ability to express myself and choose the right thing to do.
Did you already speak good English? Yes, I have been training my English for ages before I move to New Zealand.
What lead you to study art and design? “I like art, I think it’s a way to express myself. All my design inspiration come from my day-dream and my politics perception.”
Vivian posing in her ‘crazy’ face and below arm ‘tattoo styles’.
Are your parents artistic? No, they are not. But they mostly support my art, although they don’t understand my art meaning.
I know you are very talented as a makeup artist, what other art forms do you enjoy? Tattoo art, illustration, photography and jewellery making.
Where do you hope to be ten years from now? I will have been traveling around the world and probably have my freelance job or company and running really well.
You are someone with your own individual style which is a great asset I am sure. How did you develop this? Just keep trying new things, in my own style.
Photo by Lynn Clayton
Vivian is available to paint faces at your next event – email her. email@example.com
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