For this project, I centered my theme around the things I dreamed of doing and would like to do in the future if I was given the opportunity to do so.
Since I was young, I have always been one to love animals a lot. When I lived at my Grandpa’s house over holiday breaks, I would always play with the strays all around the Kampung (they live in Malaysia) and would occasionally play with the hunting dogs (they hunt in the forests) because they seldom get tender loving care from the hunters. I’m also the kind of person who will go around chasing dogs and cats just to feed them and play with them; these are the animals who do not really get cared for because they do not have owners, and it pains my heart to see them so. When I was 18, I decided to join the SPCA to help out with the Animal Shelter, and am waiting for myself to hit 21 before I join ACRES. In a sense, I’m already part Animal conservationist, and would like to continue on this route especially when I am able to get schooling out of the way (so I have more time to help out in the shelters).
My idea is rooted in how animal endangerment and conservation posters often depict sad pictures of deprived animals and how we should help them, but rarely about what is the cause of their sadness. Maybe these conservation posters are afraid of corporate backlash when they throw out the causes of animal endangerment in their posters, but I feel that the impact is lessened when they do not remind people about how these animals are being mistreated and harmed in the first place. All sad animal posters do is to evoke feelings of pity in people, but rarely the feelings of ‘oh shit, we did this and caused this? Oh shit.’. Hence, I placed these causes in my typography poster, in an attempt to spread the message about how animal endangerment has come about- due to human consumerism and ideals.
The J of this typography depicts hunters poaching for ivory which is then used to make medicinal pills which are often fake. As a result, animals such as elephants and rhinos often become orphans, at the mercy of these hunters who have slayed their parents.
O depicts how deforestation to build cityscapes and buildings in our concrete jungle have resulted in homeless animals. These animals consist of those in the forest, and often relies on trees to build their habitats. I used monkeys, because they are one of the main animals living on the trees.
E highlights the danger of dumping waste into the oceans. We often accumulate waste because of the non-biodegradable rubbish we throw away after shopping for them. As a result, marine animals such as fishes get either poisoned, suffocated, strangled, or smashed to death.
The last letter, Y, depicts how we always like to have cute pets and to gain a lot of profits at a low-cost margin, one of the mass pet producing factories have emerged; puppy mills. These animals are crammed in large numbers in small cages and end up being extremely sick, or even dead.
The issues I have highlighted are greatly relevant in today’s context. I used Gestalt and black and white to depict this art also because I wanted to show that this is a very black and white (obviously bad and good) situation, yet people are not doing much to stop this crisis. Also, black and white represents how a lot of these problems arise due to contracts and agreements to produce and consume. Mere contracts and paperwork can result in the loss of lives for these animals.
For the font, I used a very clear-cut and bold font, because it helps to create an impact. It is loud and almost hard to ignore. Also, I placed the letters very close together to symbolize how all these problems are essentially very closely related to each other, and that we hence cannot ignore the rest of the problems just because we think it does not apply to us. The Y of the JOEY is also tilted, to show that as more of these problems arise, the world around us will start to disintegrate and collapse. And this is only just the start of the issues we have to face if we do not start saving these animals.
I have always wanted to be a Café owner because it is very peaceful and calming. There is also something called Coffee Therapy, which is basically how you pour hot water into your coffee beans- it is very calming, and the taste of the coffee differs based on how you pour your coffee. I would like a café that I own to be a place where people of all sorts of moods to be able to enjoy and relax in. They will be welcome to talk about their troubles, to vent their problems, and to sink into the sweet aroma of coffee beans. It will hopefully serve as a sort of second home, where they can always go to.
The cups are all kept white, because they symbolize how everyone almost always start from the same capacity- being a human being. The contents of the cups contain the different moods people may feel when they come for coffee; so fatigued and weak they need an entire mug of coffee beans, fluffy and happy like a cup of sugar cubes, a normal, relaxing cup of coffee, and a cup of fancy latte. Ultimately, I would like my customers to end up like the gentle curve of the J, where they will be relaxed and comfortable after visiting my café. I chose to use only 4 cups because I would like my café to be one not like crowded Starbucks or Coffee Bean, but one which is not popular, yet a humble abode and a secret paradise.
I am one who really loves traditional patterns and culture. Hence, I picked an occupation which is a speciality of the Japanese culture; origami. I wanted to emulate the childish innocence we have as children, hence using origami to form Japanese words that are a direct translation of my name; Jōi, otherwise also known as ジョーイ. I used the Japanese Kanji because I wanted to link it back to the traditional Japanese roots. This presentation is supposed to be a depiction of a child’s best origami collection. If you look closer, some of the origami creatures are really well made, while some are really crumpled and have been refolded over and over again, such as the heart, grey blob, shark and dragon. The purple fan at the side and the brown origami in the middle is also incomplete, showing that the child has given up at some point. The chicken origami figure and the green bird at the side has sauce stains on them, too. In a sense, the childhood innocence shines through how the child’s best work is flawed, yet he or she is proud to present it. At last, the scissors and the cutter is randomly placed to show that the child is careless and still does not have the same mature foresight we have as adults to present our work in perfection. Through this work, I also took inspiration from ‘Accidental Typography’, a concept where you put things in unplanned positions, only to accidentally form a sort of lettering.
This concept may seem confusing, but I chose this ‘occupation’ with the reasoning that I would like to be the only one who can trigger and affect my own life. In a way, I am essentially saying that I want to be someone who can shake my own world so powerfully. I faced many difficulties in the Art field because I had no art background, and was only backed up by my own interest in art. I guess this spurred on my motivation to be successful and to become someone I can be proud of. As a result, I decided to create an art piece which shows a ‘plot twist’. I chose the word that is a direct translation of my Traditional Chinese name (well, I used Chinese because it is my origin), otherwise known as Qiao (喬) (To note that this is only Jo). I inverted the letter, and kept the first part of the name, which highlights how I retained the originality of my identity. It also forms ‘Jo’. Then, midway through, I inserted a ‘Plot twist’ and inserted a western influence into my name, creating a change in my identity. I did not remove any part of the Chinese word at all, but I sliced the top half of the word into half and changed its direction to form ‘Ey’. Hence, my Chinese identity was configured into something that was a mix of eastern and western culture.