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.


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.