My concept on this project is to have two different categories, the first one being Emotions that are able to be expressed and the second one being emotions that can’t be expressed or explain yet it can be felt.

My approach to it is that the simpler emotions that can be expressed is used with one type of material whereas the emotions that can’t be explained is made from two or more layers and materials as most of them are mixture of two or more emotions expressed together. So the words that describe them has a name when I researched on them.


Top down:

  1. Frustration (ANGER)-
    I chose this to be frustration as I feel that it has this crushed paper effect which signifies anger. This is actually made from crushed cling wraps which is actually a nice and easy material to work which turned out to have different patterns. I purposely used a white paper as the background so as to bring out the black to show that it is a strong feeling of frustration.
  2. Wounded(SADNESS)-
    I used the gauze that is used to clean wounds to represent wounded. It was one of the tougher piece of strip I had to do as it was quite hard to get it from monoprinting. Initially, I wanted to use white paint to monoprint onto a black paper but my black paper stucked onto the surface and tore when I pulled it out.
    Thus, I used newsprint and used black paint to get the pattern out but it didn’t work also but when I pulled the gauze out it was white cause it was previously dipped in white paint!
  3. Relief (JOY)-
    This was done with Chinese calligraphy ink and water such that I used a paint brush to spread water in a funnel-like shape such that it is thicker in width at the top and slowly getting smaller towards the bottom of the strip. Then, it was followed by dripping the Chinese ink on the water from the top and allow it to spread down by itself, giving the faded black ink at the end to look like the emotion relief.
  4. Shocked (SURPRISED)-
    I used a syringe and randomly splattered white paint on a black paper and it ended up looking like blood vessels somehow. Thus, I feel that it portrays how our blood vessels may burst when we get a huge shock.
  5. Bewilderment (SURPRISED)-
    Creating this strip was a simple process which requires using only the facial sponge dabbing on newsprint to show the off white tone and black little dots done by the sponge to give a contrast of colours which in turn looks like a feeling of confusing and amazement.


  6. Dreamy (LOVE)-
    I feel that a dreamy feeling is like clouds so I used a felt paper and added dabs of light grey color to it to give the fantasy and imaginary feeling.
  7. Fragile (SADNESS)-
    I used hot glue gun and tried to depict how the glass being shattered which is an actual representation of fragility.
  8. Dreadful (FEAR)-
    Using some cardboard paper, I dragged them across the strip of paper giving it a fader look at the end to show the emotion when one feels dreadful to start something. It is white on black as I wanted the white to pop up more to show the strokes more clearly.
  9. Resentful (ANGER)-
    The strokes feel like they have a lot of power and hatred shown thus it represents anger. I used the shredded cardboard paper and made strokes out of it.

IMG_7982These 9 emotions as shown is the final piece that represents emotions that can be expressed. They are all made of one type material to show the simplicity of these emotions.

Going on to the second group: Emotions that can’t be expressed are all used with newsprint as I feel that since it is a mixture of emotions, the background of the strips can’t be seen in black or white. Also, from the work in progress, I actually found 14 of such emotions so I sieved out and selected the best 9 that fits the criteria of the 6main emotions the most.


 These are the close-ups of the strips (which may look very confusing at first):


  1. Nighthawk (FEAR)- A recurring thought that only seem to strike you late at night.

    Emotions: fearful, regretful and sad
    Explanations: The black and grey gives an impression that it is continuously hunting someone and the white seem like it’s trying to escape from the dark, therefore creating an emotion of fearfulness.

  2. Liberosis (JOY)- The desire to care less about things

    Emotions: Optimism, Contentment, Pride
    Explanations: The clear spirals on looks like happiness to me and the swirls are like when you want to care about something you just turn another way and decide to care less.

  3. Zenosyne (SURPRISED)- The sense that time keeps going faster.

    Emotions: Anxious, surprised, fear
    Explanations: The black faded line at the back is supposed to represent the fear in one and the small black is actually gradually increasing in its intensity to show how time is going faster. Thus, I feel that it gives a very anxious and surprising emotion.

  4. Avenoir (LOVE)- The desire that memory could flow backwards

    Emotions: longing, sadness and sufferings
    Explanations: The black background represents the sadness and the white represents the memories. As you can see there are some faded swirls at the back it shows how the memories are fading but yet you want it to be clear again.

  5. Jouska (FEAR)- a hypothetical conversation that you continuously play out in your head.

    Emotions: Doubtful, confusion
    Explanations: It is made with complexed materials to show the different patterns that depicts confusion. Leaves and face sponge with a bit of thumbprints randomly pressed.
    From the group discussion in week 3, I realized that my friends thought that I used the sponge first followed by the leaves and the thumbprints which seemed very confusing to them to decipher which comes first. However, in actual fact, I used the leaves first then followed by the sponge. From the discussion, I felt that this piece of strip gave a lot of confusion hence It will be a great match to use it for Jouska as it has a mixed feeling of confusion and doubtfulness.


  6. Catoptric Tristesse (SADNESS)- The sadness that you’ll never really know what others think of you.

    Emotions: Feeling of disappointment, sympathy, confusion, anger and fear
    Explanations: The black strokes that seem to be all over the place represents the sadness and confusion one feel when they want to know what others think of them but yet they are not able to. If you look closely, there is actually a layer of thick white paint from the middle to the end of the strip which signifies the fear and sympathy one feels for themselves. This strip is not as clear as the others in emphasizing its emotions as it is more of the inner thoughts of a person which is almost invincible to others.

  7. Nodus Tollens (ANGER)- The realization that a part of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore

    Emotions: Feelings of frustration, annoyed, disappointed, sad
    Explanation: This is the most complexed and mixed feeling because there is a lot of different emotions together. The anyhow lines represents the annoyed feeling because you don’t really know what’s going on in your life and the frustration you feel is shown by the little black dots and its more of the black tone than white cause you’re feeling sad.

  8.  Sonder (JOY)- Realizing that passerby or other people has life as complexed as yours

    Emotions: Joy and relief
    Explanations: One would secretly feel happy inside to know that they are not the only one going through a particular situation. Hence, the white is gradually fading represents a form of relief and satisfaction.

  9.  Heartworm (LOVE)- A relationship or friendship that you can’t get out from your head, which you thought it faded long ago but yet it is still alive and unfinished.

    Emotions: Longing, sadness, irritation, confusion
    Explanations: The faint swerved lines represents the irritation and confusion for the fact that it is a past relationship but yet it keeps getting back to the person. Whereas the greyish background portrays the sadness and longing one will feel as it might be a relationship that they wanted to salvage but yet they just can’t help but to end it. Thus it feels as though they want this relationship back again therefore the memories kept hunting them in their head. This state of mixed feeling shows the confusion of one’s feeling hence the random curves and intersection of the lines in the strip. 

    IMG_7969So one of the challenges I faced was thinking how to combine different materials to express the mixture of feelings that made me quite confused the more I did it. The 9 strips of emotions that can’t be expressed are all made from 2 or more materials to give it a more complexed look compared to the simple emotions that can easily be expressed by one.




Project Critique:


Instructor’s feedback: Simple emotions should keep it more simple in terms on the outlook. Shocked and fragile seem too complicated for a simple emotion such that it might draw more attention compared to the complex emotions that cannot be expressed on the right.

Classmates feedback:
All in all, I really feel quite accomplished after finishing this project and honestly although it was a long process, i had fun doing it as it allowed me to really think about what i want to achieve for ever emotions. 🙂

Author: Chia Te

Hi, i am Chia Te

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