Every person reacts differently to different settings. In four rows of three squares, create a self-portrait based on four different settings. For each of the four rows, use the first column to represent yourself and the second column to represent a setting and the third column to represent an imagined outcome.  Apply your understanding of colours and colour theory to visually represent the multifaceted nature of your personality. You may choose to do this digitally or by hand (or mix-media). There are a total of 12 image compositions. Each individual composition measure 200mm x 200mm (square) with a 20mm x 200mm space for text.




I started this project by looking at my personality based on a personality test that I think is the most accurate. My test result is the ENTJ PERSONALITY (“THE COMMANDER”), and I used the four categories, such as career paths, family value, romantic relationship and friendship of my personality analysis as the concepts of my equations.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.             – Steve Jobs

According to research, Steve Jobs is also with ENTJ personality. People with this type of personality are determined, confident and forceful. Thus, red is the dominant colour in my equations to represent energy and passion.




My first equation is about my career paths. My personality makes me suitable to be the leader in the organization. I chose lion to represent myself, as lion symbolizes strength and leadership. My setting here is my school ADM. It is where I am preparing for my future career. My response to my personality is a pineapple, as it a love and hate fruit. It tastes great at first but gives the numb feeling on the tongue after eating too much of it. I am passionate about what I am doing but sometimes it torturing when I am stuck on some projects.


I was inspired by the vibrant colours of pop art and its simple composition.


I decided to use complementary colours for my personality and setting as it represents conflict which is my love and hates towards my career paths. The first set of complementary colours are violet and yellow, while the second are red and green. I used red-violet, which is the hue in between violet and red to be the background of the response. I used yellow and green again in the response to form split-complimentary colour.


In this equation, I used the symmetrical balance to achieve harmony. Symmetrical balance also shows the sense of order and clarity which is my attitude toward my career paths.




The third equation is about my relationship with my family. I was born during the one-child policy period in China that each couple could only have one child. Therefore, I am the only child in the family with all the attention from my parents. However, I started living overseas away from my family since 15 years old. I am living in Asia but the western culture influenced me for years. Thus, the response is my confusion of my cultural identity, and also my homesickness


I was inspired by the flat lay photography that is trendy on social media. I search for the existing product, edit them accordingly, and arranged them into the plat lay.


I used monochromatic colour scheme. I picked yellow and red from the National flag of China for my personality and the setting. The colour of the response is blue which represent my sadness. Those three colours form triad colour that is lively and harmonious.


For the first composition, I used elements with curvy lines to form the shape of a baby which also contain curvy lines to achieve unity. The decomposition contains more shapes like rectangles and squares that create unity although there is quite a number of different objects. Lastly, the bread is dominant in the composition while the plate and chopstick are the subdominant and subordinate. The focal point is the bread as it is the main character in the story, and the tableware is here to create contrast.  




The 3rd equation is about my romantic relationship. People with the ENTJ personality type like to be the leading roles in relationships. I approach a relationship with a set of goals and plans. My ideal type of relationship is fall of creativity and energy. However, the reality is cold enough the chill my bones. It is difficult to find a partner who shares the similar value. I feel lost and confuse when I am facing the single me with my pride and high expectation.


I always like to explore new things so I decided to do mix media for this equation. One media is makeup, and another is photography. I was inspired by a  Chinese visual artist, Chen Man. One series of her artworks gave me the idea of using makeup as the media. The colours are pure and vibrant in this series.



I chose analogous colours for this equation. Red is used as the dominant in the first composition while red-orange and orange compliment it. The warm colour here represents my energy in my ideal relationship. Moreover, I used cool colours for the setting which are green, blue-green and blue. Those three colours are opposite red, red-orange, and orange that from the contrast between idealism and realism.


The first composition is shot at the low angle which shows the power of the character. The second composition is an extreme close-up to capture the emotion. The last composition is underexposed to show the darkness. My face is covered with my hair, and it seems like I had lost my vision and hope.




The last equation is about friendship. I used traditional medium, such as watercolour pencil and watercolour paper and some other tools like blender and cotton pad. Friends are very important for me as they are the closest while my family is so far away. I received a lot of help from my friends along the way. My friends and I are the types of person who work hard like trash but also play hard sometimes. We are all spontaneous and do not think about consequences sometimes. Therefore, I used toilet paper to represent ourselves. The toilet bowl is our setting, as we always do ‘shit’ together. The response is a pregnancy test with two lines which means the test result is positive. unplanned pregnancy emphasized how spontaneous and playful my friends and I are. Lastly, the objects I used in this equation are normally in white, which shows that how friendship makes my life more colourful and lively.


I was inspired by an artist called Nicolas Party. He is famous for using saturated colour in his painting. I like the way he composites the object in a simple way. Each of the object is in monochrome. 



I chose analogous colours for my last equation as it is the most harmonious colour combinations represent the good friendship that I have. The first composition is in red, red violet and violet. The red colour here represent the energy my friends and i have. The second composition is in green, yellow-green and yellow. As green is directly opposite red which form a strong contrast in this equation. The response is in complimentary colours to form contrast.


The scale of the objects increase from the first composition to the last composition to gradually draw the viewer’s attention, and trigger their curiosity. As the objects become less clear when the scale increase.



This project helps me with a better understanding of colour theory and also myself. It is challenging as I do not use many colours in my own work. I had a good time exploring different technique and other artworks. I received constructive feedback from my professors and friends along the way. I think I will pay more attention to the usage of colours in the future projects.



Project Brief

To create a visual narrative that expresses each of the four movie quotes using only symbols, pictograms, dingbats (ornaments), icons and engravings as your visual vocabulary.


Research on Movie Quotes

Related image
Chinese director, Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚)

For this project, I decided to work on the movie quotes from the movies that made by a Chinese director, Feng Xiaogang. I watched his movie since young, and I believe in the value that he conveyed through his movie. Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) was born in Beijing, China in 1958. He is well-known as a Chinese comedy film director, screenwriter, and actor. Also, Feng had done other films such as drama or period drama films, and he is trying different innovative way to make films. Feng started his career as a stage designer after high school at Beijing Military Region Art Troupe. He joined Beijing Television Art Center as an art designer in 1985. Then, he started to write screenplays. Feng gained fame for creating “New Year’s Celebration Films” in Chinese cinema in the late 1990s with his own kind of humor. The chosen movie quotes from his movies are as followed:


  • A man has a thousand faces. Which one you see depends on how you treat me. (男人千面,你给我的温度决定我对你的态度。) – Mr. Six 2015
  • Living is a process of self-improving and refining. (活着就是一种修行。) – If You Are The One 2011
  • There is no win or lose in life. You are lost once you have a winning heart. (生活本没有输赢,但如果你一旦有了胜负心,那你一定是输家。) – Cell Phone 2003
  • The highest level of performance is not when one with a mask, but when one’s face becomes a mask. (最高境界的表演不是带着面具,而是将自己的脸变成面具。) – The Banquet 2006


MOVIE QUOTE: A man has a thousand faces. Which one you see depends on how you treat me. – Mr. Six






I had a long journey coming out with the concept for this movie quote. At first, I took the quote too literally, so the composition had the lake of context and it was more like a movie poster.

I came up with a few refinement with fruit army vs. cat scenery. As we know that most of the cats hate fruits. In the final composition, the strawberry army burned cat’s house and stole the giant fish. The faces of the cats show the reaction when they are treated in this way which reflects the movie quote that “which face you see depends on how you treat me.”


The giant fish here is the focal point because of its scale and position. It is on the edge of the frame which creates a sense of direction. The different sizes of the strawberries create depth in the composition. The bigger ones are in the foreground while the smaller ones are in the background.



This composition was chosen for silk screening. I tried to expose the screen using my first draft, then expose the final version. I did several experiments on newsprint and started trying on the tote bag. The outcome was not ideal and the tote bag and newsprint have different textures. I tried a few times to understand the correct amount of ink for the tote bag.


MOVIE QUOTE: Living is a process of self-improving and refining.


Based on the lessons learned from the first quote, I tried to create the context for the second composition. In this composition, baby Donald Trump is playing chess, China vs. North Korea. He is still at the beginning of the process of self-improving and refining, as many do not believe that he is able to do well at his position. Further, symmetrical balance is applied in this composition to achieve harmony.


MOVIE QUOTE: There is no win or lose in life. You are lost once you have a winning heart.


In this competitive and fast-paced society, sometimes, people want to win in any situation even for small things like getting on the MRT train. In this composition, the baby is crawling on the running track towards the huge bottle of milk on the train. The light on the train door is blinking, means the train door is closing which creates the tension for the viewers that foreseeing the baby is going to lose. It illustrates the quote that you are lost once you have a winning heart from the start.

The position of the milk bottle and the baby follow the rule of third. There are a few contour lines and implied lines pointing at the milk bottle which creates the focal point.


MOVIE QUOTE: The highest level of performance is not when one with a mask, but when one’s face becomes a mask.


The last composition was inspired by Wayang, a form of puppet theatre art from parts of southeast Asia. In my composition, there is a pair of puppet hands playing the man in formal clothes. Nowadays, the best actor and actress are probably not on the stage or on the screen, but in our daily life. Sometimes, people in the business field like to put up their show to achieve their goals. Further, the shape of the light in the composition is formed by saws. It is the weapon that the man is running away from. Also, saw is the past tense of see. It is still performance, not the truth, no matter how high the level of performance is.

Lastly, man heavier elements are placed at the left and two other lighter elements are on the right to balance the composition asymmetrically. The sticks and direction of the light are pointing at the man which lead viewer’s eyes to the focal point.




This project is really challenging for me as I was trapped with the literal meaning of the quote and struggled with coming up with the visual narrative. I had to force myself to step out the comfort zone and think out of the box. I had received a lot of comments and suggestions from the professors and classmates which helped me with my refinements. Moreover, it was the first time that i played with silk screening. It took quite some time for me to understand the principle and adopt the skill. I think I learned to push myself to the limit through this project. Lastly, there are few parts can be improved which I will pay attention to those areas in the future projects.



Guilt – Overspend

Enjoyment – Chinese Tea Culture

Satisfaction – Chilli

Annoyance – Dream

Fear – My Constraint

Torment – I Hate Laundry



Final Artwork

According to the dictionary, overspend means spend more than the expected amount. Overspending is one of the issues that I am trying to solve. Receipts are the evidence. I feel extremely guilty when I look at the whole stack of receipts in my wallet. Thus, I amplified my guilt by making it as one of the mark making to remind myself and others not to have unnecessary expenses.

Material: Receipts, Clear Tape & Water

This is an interesting technique that I knew years ago. This is the first time I am using it in the school project. Simply paste the clear tape on the side of the receipt that has words. Tap water on the receipt then removes the wet paper. The words will be transferred to the clear tape, and overlapped tape achieved the ideal effect.

I had done experiments with the original receipts. The value of the words transferred on the clear tape is low, which could not achieve the ideal effect. Hence, I scanned and printed the receipts, and repeated the same method. 

High density is achieved by adding more elements in the space. The high value of the words forms a contrast with the white background, which emphasize the emotion.



Final Artwork

I was inspired by a Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who is deeply influenced by his cultural background. I started to pay attention to my cultural background after knowing more about Cai. I was born in China and spent my childhood there before I moved to Singapore. Chinese tea always plays an important part in my family, for example, family gathering. Everyone sits together, having the warm tea and share the joy.

Material: Chinese tea & Watercolour Paper

I started the experiment with different type of Chinese tea. I used the tea and tea leaves to draw in different motion on different kinds of paper, and watercolour showed the best result. As the paper would not warp too much when it meets water.


I cropped the part that had the cleanest lines. In the final artwork, repetition is used to create rhythm, a sense of uniform movement, which is like the process of making Chinese tea. In addition, when elements symmetrical, the design feels harmonious formal. The low-value colour of the artwork is the original Chinese black tea. It is visually subtle that create a calm feeling. The design principles used here represent the function of tea, that ties family members together, and shows the sign of respect.



Final Artwork

Chilli is my all time favourite food. It goes well with all kind of ingredients. I always feel satisfied when eating or cooking spicy food.

Material: Chilli, Chinese ink & Watercolour Paper

I had tried several methods to do mark making with chilli. I prepared a aluminium tray and ‘fried’ chilli in different shapes, as the process of frying chilli is satisfying. Moreover, I tried to dip different shapes of chilli in the ink and stamp them on different types of paper.

In the final artwork, repetition is used to create a feeling of organized movement. The gradual change of value leads the viewer’s eyes to move back and forth. The consistent movements bring a feeling of intense excitement and happiness.



Final Artwork

Dream reminds mysterious since the start of human history. It is a succession of emotions, images, ideas, and sensations. I always mix what happened in my dream up with the reality. It is annoying that I try to remember my dream but the memories fade so fast.

Material: Black Cloth (t-shirt), Poster Colour & Cutting Mat 

At first, I was trying to use my face to do mark making, and I found out this illusionary effect I got because of different amount of pressure. It reminded me of the feeling of dreaming. Therefore, I decided to use the similar method for the final artwork.

This mark making was done while sleeping. I applied white poster colour on the cutting mat, covered with a black t-shirt and plastic bag. Then placed it on my pillow. The shapes and the value of colour were determined by the movement of my head on the pillow.

The marks on the black clothes were irregular. those shapes represent nothing other than what we see like we are always confused by the meaning of the dream. The cropped part is where my head mainly moved around, like the track of my dream. Further, the composition is not symmetrical, which creates feels of informality.



Final Artwork

In the past few years, I always restrict myself with rules that set by the other’s opinions and forgot to listen to my heart. My deepest fear is losing freedom physically and mentally. I am eager to see the world with my own vision and follow the direction of my true feeling.

Material: String, Brush Pen & Watercolour Paper

The artwork was done unconsciously, that I blindfolded myself, tied my hands together, and hung the brush pen with the string. My vision was taken away as well as my freedom. I had down a few times and the cropped part has a dot. It was caused by accident, which represents the uncertainty of life.

The expressive curvy and ununiform lines tend to lead the viewer’s’ eyes wandering around the space to nowhere, which creates a sense of chaos like my fear towards the constraint.



Final Artwork

I lived by myself since 15 years old, thus I have to do my own laundry. It is the housework that I hate the most. By right, I should do laundry at least once a week. However, I often postpone it until I have almost no clothes to wear.

Material: Clothes, Black Chinese Ink & Newsprint

I threw and rub the clothes with black Chinese ink on the newsprint.

I had done several prints. The chosen area content dark patch, sharp shapes, curvy and straight lines. The composition is not symmetrical, also not in any regular order. The mix of different elements forms no unity, which is chaotic.



In Class Group Exercise

I enjoyed having this project as I experimented with different mediums to express emotions, not just the conventional ways with paper and pen. Also, I was inspired by great artists through research and the in class group exercise. Abstract art was a challenge for me, as I am more familiar with realistic drawing. Through this project, I have a better understanding of using design elements and principles to express thoughts.



Cai Guo-Qiang

Hilma af Klint



Kavanau, J.L. (2000). “Sleep, memory maintenance, and mental disorders”. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 12 (2)