London isn’t just about monuments and department stores: look beyond the tourist hubs, and you’ll find a hidden world of cultural quirks. Tinglin Liu draws attention to one such street in her latest illustration project.

Many people who visit London for a day trip or short work visit only get to experience the city at a superficial level. The towering skyline. Big Ben and St Paul’s. The endless string of Starbucks and Pret a Mangers. That in itself can be fun. But scratch the surface a little, and you discover that the world’s most creative city has much more to offer besides this.

Take Cecil Court. Nestled in the heart of London since the 17th century, it’s slap-bang in the West End but feels like a world away from the fast fashion and gift shops of Oxford Street. This small pedestrian street linking Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane is lined with independent shops and is known as Booksellers’ Row. But it’s also a great place for art, antiques, culture, and curiosities, with experienced, knowledgeable dealers ready to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Now London-based illustrator Tinglin Liu, who specialises in bringing poetic narratives to visual life, has paid tribute to this urban hidden treasure in her series.
Dialogue In The Window.

“Art is a living entity”

“This piece draws inspiration from the Poetry Comics, inspired by my observations of Cecil Court,” she explains. “Through poetic illustrations, I’ve captured the interactions between people and still lifes on this street, ultimately crafting them into a set of postcards and postcard box, each intended to land in the hands of visitors.”

“Cecil Court is a renowned haven for literary enthusiasts and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks,” she continues. “It’s a Victorian-style pedestrian street that exudes a rich historical charm. I meticulously documented and observed the visitors traversing this street during a pivotal historical moment. They engaged wholeheartedly with the various antiques lining the street, creating a transcendent exchange across time and space.

“The diverse array of showcases on the street displays everything related to art,” she adds. “I aim to evoke in the audience the recognition that a piece of art is a living entity, embodying the thoughts of its creator. The text preserved within the artwork originates from the dialogues between individuals and these artistic treasures.”

Passion for poetry

Currently studying and working in London, illustrator Tinglin Liu is passionate about presenting stories through her illustrated narratives, focusing on graphic novels and editorial illustration.

She has a keen interest in the study and deep exploration of literature, and as a practitioner, she continues to explore the beauty of nature, keep abreast of current events, and be sensitive to the subtle changes in her surroundings, which serves as a source of inspiration for her artwork.

With a BA in Product Design from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, she recently completed an MA in Illustration at Kingston School of Art. She also won awards last year from Communication Arts and 3×3 International Illustration Annual No.20.