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
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.
ALL IN ALL
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.