Phil Qian

Tongji Philip Qian ’13
Art History and Mathematics Majors 
Based in Beacon, NY, and Washington, D.C. 

“Because I launched my career by publishing woodblock prints in a rural mountainous region close to Tibet, my identity as a self-appointed artist away from the center of the art world necessitated a desire to creatively ask questions and to reasonably moderate my ego. As a result, visualization of the problematic position of #skill informs my current practice: I am interested in the #speed of artistic creation in terms of both conceptual works which can be staged swiftly and extensive projects which reveal the unpretentious palimpsests of artistic elements.”

Professional Life Post-Carleton 


  • Earned MFA at Rhode Island School of Design

Favorite memory of life at Carleton 

“Windowless seminar rooms which do not evince allergy to creativity and audacity.”

Favorite memory of studying with Dan Bruggeman and Fred Hagstrom

“I am fortunate to maintain contact with Fred Hagstrom after I graduated from Carleton, and his support for and curiosity in my work is unparalleled. He treated me as an artist shortly after I left Carleton, and it not only gave me hope but also convinced me the position of an artist comes with immense responsibility.

“I took observational drawing with Dan Bruggeman, and I was going to play for Team Shanghai for the annual Shanghai tournament and hence had to leave campus early. I drew for the entire flight from MSP to PVG, and UPSed my drawings back to Minnesota once I landed. I believe he liked how my drawing traveled both with me and on their own. And I guess I do work with mail art now.”