MUSE | chinese garden looks at Chinese Garden, Singapore in a different perspective and records the contrast of the place through pictures and words, slowly revealing them to its readers.
Thank you for viewing!
View on ISSUU here.
Research and Process can be found here!
Final Product presented on 16 October 2017
Before going head-on in approaching the project, I did some research!
Also, view my work process here!
Final Product (As printed on a tote bag)
The idea behind this piece is to bring out the irony in the way we face challenges in life.
This design is based off a true story about a World War II Japanese soldier, Hiroo Onoda, who was ordered to not just fight, but also to stay alive. He was assigned to fight in a forested area in Western Philippines. He escaped capture and stayed in the forest for 29 years even after the war ended. He survived through stealing food from the farmers or look for random food in the jungle. (View his full story here)
I had initially taken the quote very literally and after a consult, Joy told me about Onoda’s story. I thought this quote could resonate with how he was feeling while being trapped in the jungle and tie in well with his story as well.
Thereafter, I decided to tap on the phrase “You Are What You Eat” for this composition. By using food to depict the forest brings out the idea of Fantasy. Just like Onoda’s hunt for food everyday, unpredictable, I decided to use random food I can think of to add to the composition, as well as the size and shape of it.
Ice cream cones are used to depict the dense vegetation in the forest and the fusilli noodle depicts the forest bed, since fusilli pasta are always served flat on the plate.
Notice the Japanese flag at the background is used to relate the composition literally back to the quote itself. The off-centre placement of the flag is to capture the movement of the moon setting or the sun rising. I overlayed a cookie in the circle of the flag to further blur out the interpretation of the background. Is it a Japanese flag, a sun rising, a moon setting? Or all of the above?
This piece challenges the idea of doing good or what is convenient.
The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is incorporated into this composition to borrow his character to further help the audience understand this piece better, or resonate with them better.
The stairs that seems to be limitless brings out the idea of infinity in the quote. How I wanted to further work on the word “infinity” is to use the idea of Heaven and Hell, two extreme opposites.
This piece strive question its audience, do good or do what’s convenient?
The idea of heaven and hell cannot be represented, except by tapping on the common stereotypes that hell can be associated with extreme heat, and heaven with the sky. Hence, I tap on that as an apparent way of portraying both complete opposite elements in one composition.
In Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit is someone who is constantly afraid of offending people and he is often put in a dilemmatic position as to whether he should help Alice out in Wonderland and risk offending the Queen or leave the poor girl alone in a foreign place. Tapping on this character of his, I thought he will be a perfect subject matter for this composition as we talk about doing good or doing what is convenient. He could choose to help, and take a step closer to heaven, or be indifferent and take a step closer to hell.
As I approach this quote, I first brainstormed what the “war” of reality is? Global Warming and Climate Change then came into my mind (perhaps it is because I was a geography student? HAHA)
Playing with the past and the present, I portrayed comrades, used to fight war in ancient time, saving the reality today.
The comrades from ancient times coming to “save” today’s day might be more accurate than you think it is.
They are riding on horses and not automobiles that we use today, eliminating the release of harmful gases to the atmosphere. Moreover, their military weapon does not consist of chemical weapons, guns or rifles, depicting a very manual mode of fighting the war of today.
Overall, I approached this project afraid because I was very unfamiliar with the concept of surrealism and having to study and produce relevant works was a challenge for me. Even so, I really liked the idea of using movie quotes and then giving them our own taste to it! Also, although it was also my first time silkscreening, I thoroughly enjoyed it and despite the long and tedious process, it was one filled with anticipation as we go one step closer to printing our designs onto the tote bags.
Here is a full PDF of my final works!
Final Product presented on 4 September 2017
How I decided to approach this project is by first brainstorming about how each emotions resonates with me, and subsequently working with different mark-making techniques to fit the qualities of each emotions to bring out its entity. My brainstorming process can be viewed here. I decided to categorise the emotions according to positive and negative emotions.
Top to bottom:
Love, that spreads from one end to another
Love spreads from one person to another. Be it from your family members or from the people around you, love spreads in an outward motion. Also, we love because we are first loved. The feeling of being loved is similar to having tiny explosions inside of you, the tiny butterflies you feel, the warm and hearty feeling. The organic and fluid shape created shows a gradual outward motion with hard-edges. As the shapes intertwine, it shows the actions 0f love transmitted from one to another.
The first panel was created by putting large amounts of ink on the paper and then using a straw to blow the ink in an outward direction, not fearing that they will connect with each other.
Happiness, the high points in life
Happiness are the high points in life. There are high points in life when there are low points in life, hence the flowy nature of the second panel created. Life can be seen just like what is created in the panel, much like a roller-coaster. The soft-edges seen are like the times when we are overwhelmed by the tough moments in life when we find it hard to find happiness in life. However, when we try to find happiness in life, we can always find them. This was created on a huge sheet of paper to recreate the large motion of being happy since it is associated with being free-styled and liberal.
Using a brush to create large motion of swirls across a huge sheet of paper and cropping out the section that I wanted.
Surprise, the party poppers that make your heart race
Surprise is interpreted as good surprise. Good kind of surprises are much like birthday surprises or farewell surprises. In parties, party poppers are very commonly seen, hence it is the main subject in the third panel. The motion of the creation of the third panel also brings out the surprise factor. As a semi-dry brush is jammed onto the paper to create the effect, it gives a sudden fast motion, describing the nature of a surprise. Also, the effect created very perfectly described intensity of shock across time. As time passes, the intensity of shock gradually decreases, therefore, as it goes further away from the middle, the ink lightens, bringing out the element of surprise. Initially, I thought the party popper effect was not clearly brought out, so I added tiny swirls across the paper to mimic the strings that come out of party poppers to add more essence to the panel, and I thought it worked quite well as I do not mistake them as fireworks or explosives.
Dabbing semi-dry brush onto the paper, then creating swirls using the back of a brush.
Anger, the build up
Anger would most of the time be an accumulation of different events that ultimately build up to the ultimate event of being angry. The gradient seen on the paper also describes the intensity of anger very well. When the limit is met and one is angry, the initial emotion will be fury and hence, it coincides with the darker regions on the panel. Across time, one will be cooled down and that will coincide with the lighter regions on the panel.
The forth panel was created by putting ink on my mini toy car and running it across the paper to create the straight strips of ink.
Sadness, the tears we collect in a jar
The first thing that came to my mind when I think about sadness is tears and the act of crying. Also, we tend to be sad over things that are significant and intimate to us, hence the phrase “we collect in a jar”, since they are something we hold close to our hearts, we will keep them in a secret place. Therefore, the fifth panel is made up of fluid, tears-liked figures mimic the tears that flow down your cheeks when you cry.
This panel was created by running black ink down the paper, creating the dripping down effect and cropping the top section of the paper out.
Horror, the bloodstains on the wall
I was very inspired by Andy Warhol’s oxidation painting effect as I thought they give off a gory and scary feeling to its audience. It is as if we cannot fully make sense of what is in front of us, but we sort of know its something unpleasant. Working towards that direction, I experimented with a few methods by imprinting ink from different surfaces onto the paper. I worked with different kinds of plastic bags, and tiny ones usually for food storage and found out that I prefer the effect of a zip-lock bag much better due to its smooth texture. As if blood was smeared across the glass wall, the gory effect it gave really resembles that of horror movies I usually watch.
Putting large amount of ink on a zip-lock bag and transferring the ink onto paper and cropping the parts out.
I like the directional element to the work, how the work can be categorised as horizontal, vertical, etc. It brings out a strong visual unity…
I came to realise that how I had categorised my emotions gave a “directional element” to the entire project. Like how anger contrasted with sadness, which then contrasted each emotions even more. I thought that was a good observation by my classmate that I had unintentionally displayed in my work.
I like your idea of using quotes!
As I approached this project, I thought emotions can be hard to express sometimes, hence the word “mixed-feelings”. Truth is sometimes we cannot comprehend or understand how we feel in a certain occasion or event. I thought the quotes really put things into a certain context or situation which can bring out the idea of each emotions even more, enhancing the understanding of each emotion further.
Overall, I really enjoyed creating each emotions because they truly resonated well with me. Also, looking at how my friends created their prints was really interesting as well as I have classmates who experimented with oil and also capturing the contact print of a ball hitting the ground and et cetera. Even so, I enjoyed experimenting with different objects that I can find at home to create these prints as a final product and am overall encouraged by my lecturer, Joy, and my classmates’ comments and feedbacks for project 1. Although I would have hoped to be riskier with the objects I used, but never really got to try. Despite that, I thought this has been a great opportunity for me as during the process, I constantly found myself on a look out for objects with interesting texture and how I can use them for mark-making. As we close this project, I hope to further try out different mark-making techniques and hope to work with the linoleum and the pressing machine in future!