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)








Taking a deep look into the mentality of a great artist  

Hilma af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction?

Hilma af Klint
(October 26, 1862 – October 21, 1944)
Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art.


Hilma af Klint, child of a Swedish naval commander. Hilma spent summers with her family at their manor where she started to get in touch with nature in her earlier life. It deeply inspired her in the later life. Hilma’s interest for mathematics and botany were influenced by her family. She also showed her interest in visual art, She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Stockholm, which is controversial for a female to have higher studies in the beginning of the 20 century. In 1887, she graduated with honors from Royal Academy of Fine Arts. From graduating to 1908, she was mainly drawing portrait and landscape painting as a source of financial income, yet she kept her spiritual work as a separate practice.

Hilma’s artworks are mainly spiritual, which can be traced back to her sister Hermina’s death in 1880. The interest for abstraction and symbolism is from her involvement in spiritism, which is pretty popular at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century. She also showed her interest in theosophy and philosophy.

Hilma knew Anna cassei, one of the four other women in “The Five”  who shared her ideas. The five artists practice spiritistic séances regularly, and created the experimental automatic drawing in 1896. Messages from higher spirits, the High Masters form a new system of mystical thoughts, as recorded in a book. Hilma claimed that she was assigned to create the painting for the “temple” by the High Masters, and her hands were lead by a force. From her notebook:

“The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings, and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict; nevertheless I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke.” 

There are 193 paintings in the collection for the Temple, which describes the different phases in life.

Hilma af Klint past away in the car accident in 1944, at the age of 82 years old. She left with over 1200 paintings, and 150 notebooks of her studies and thoughts.  


Hilma af Klint, Hilma af Klint From A Work on Flowers, Mosses and Lichen, July 2 1919 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk/Photo: Moderna Museet, Albin Dahlström

Hilma’s work is all about symbol which represents the messages she received. Each symbol represents different meanings. For instance, the snail means development or evolution according to her notebook.

Installation view from Hilma af Klint – A Pioneer of Abstraction, 2013 © Photo: Åsa Lundén/ Moderna Museet.
Hilma af Klint, Altarpiece, No. 1, Group X, Altarpieces, 1907 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk. Photo: Albin Dahlström/ Moderna Museet.



Iris Müller-Westermann, the curator of international art at the Moderna

“It’s pretty extraordinary to imagine this rather small woman, 157 centimeters tall or so, doing these huge paintings,”

“Hilma af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction,”  

“She was doing something that was not on the retina of people at her time, in terms of size, color, composition and, of course, the abstraction — she was very much a pioneer.”

“Is she in the same box as Kandinsky and all the abstract pioneers, or maybe it’s easier to say it’s not art at all, just some woman who did something crazy? The category does not interest me so much, to be honest; what intrigues me is simply to consider what is there. What did she see, what do we see?”

Julia Voss, an art historian and art critic for the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“Kandinsky was actively campaigning for himself as being the first abstract artist, constantly writing his gallery and saying, ‘Hey, you know, I was the first! I painted the first abstract painting in 1911!’. He was obviously successful, as he’s widely considered the father of 20th-century abstraction. But all the while, af Klint, much more privately, had already been creating these striking, abstract visuals for years.”

Kenneth D. Tuchman, American businessman and founder of global outsourcing company TeleTech.

“To a large degree, modern art history is made by the marketplace. Af Klint hasn’t been out there to be seen and traded. She hasn’t been purchased by important collectors and more importantly, major museums,”

(Critics from


My Inspiration

To me, art is an expression, like a language. Hilma used her language to tell the story and convey the message. Her language is inspired by her surrounding and herself. She paid attention to shapes, lines and etc. from nature. I will pay more attention to my surrounding and hopefully, I can get some inspirations.


Taking a deep look into the mentality of a great artist



Chinese Artist Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang’s artworks made by inflaming gunpowder on sheets of special made papers, which is a new medium of contemporary artistic expression. Cai wants to look at how he can create something with destruction. His drawings give both the viewers and the artist the primordial state of chaos by making the explosion with natural energy forces. Further, gunpowder was invented in China, where Cai Guoqiang was born. For Cai, gunpowder is a cultural symbol, which similar to traditional ink paintings in ancient China.

Summer, 2014
Gunpowder drawing on porcelain as part of installation “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter” at Power Station of Art, Shanghai.
Self-Portrait: A Subjugated Soul, 1985-1989
Gunpowder and oil on canvas
Cai Guo-Qiang sprinkling gunpowder onto canvas to create Chaos in Nature, Los Angeles, 2012. Photo by Joshua White/, courtesy The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Sheets of special paper are placed on the floor with gunpowder fuses and loose explosive powders arranged on the top. Cardboard or paper stencils are used occasionally to create the outline of the works. He also used wooden pieces to spread the patterns created by smoke and the impact of an explosion. He lights up the fused at one end of the drawing after the setup is done. A gunpowder drawing is almost completed when the flame goes across the surface with powerful bangs. Next, the assistants need to do a quick clean up of the embers with rags. Lastly, the artwork is lifted up and hung on the wall.

My Inspiration

Exploring cultures, histories and natural mediums might be inspiring for creating artworks. Perhaps, I could get some interesting ideas from my cultural background as well as past experiences for mark making.