My Line is Emo: Research and Experimentation

“The notion of origins, the promotion of inexpert forms of expression, as well as the “discovery” of the uncharted subconscious realm as unveiled by Sigmund Freud, unleashed a creative frenzy in the era of surrealism and resulted in the invention (or reinvention) of many drawings and drawing-based techniques: Automatic drawing, …” (Jones, 10)

English translation by Hollo from “On The Veiled Swings” by Jean Arp

The book ‘talks’ about chance drawings and collages with the example of Jeans (born Hans) Arp, a German-French poet, artist etc. He had a peculiar way of writing his poems where he would “close his eyes and randomly underline words and sentences in newspaper articles and advertisements that would become the foundations for his poems.” (Jones, 19)

Jeans (born Hans) Arp, Germany, 1886-1966, active France and Switzerland, Automatic Drawing, 1917-18, Ink and Graphite, 16 3/4 x 21 1/4 in. (42.6 x 54 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, given anonymously

“For Arp, chance manifested the order (or disorder) of nature to which he aimed to connect, rather than his unconscious. His so-called automatic drawing beginning in 1917, for example, are derived from his wanderings in nature, not from the wanderings of his mind. Drawn after his habitual nature walks, the works capture Arp’s recollection of trees, branches, and other plant life.” (Jones, 19)

“Essential to the process was speed. “When one goes very quickly, the drawing is mediumistic. as if dictated by the unconscious.”” (Jones, 25) So the faster you draw, the less you think. Therefore the drawing is more from one’s sub-conscious.

The Birth of the World, Joan Miró, Spanish,1925. Oil on canvas, 8′ 2 3/4″ x 6′ 6 3/4″ (250.8 x 200 cm),

In the same page it also mentions Joan Miro. The “loosely drawn and schematic nature functions like multivalent pictograms or signs; that is a single form may connote several different meanings.” (Jones, 27)

After gaining some knowledge of automatic techniques, I became very eager to try them all out.


This is the first mono-printing I did. I just played around and see what effects it would create.

I tried putting crochet flowers in to see if the ink would penetrate the tiny openings. They did not; perhaps because the strings were knotted too tightly.

Here I tried with strings of different thickness.

… and strings of a single width…


I thought mono-printing a net would result in a print of a net because the ink would have passed through the holes of the net. But that did not happened; with and without the printing-press.

 I was able to achieve the print of the net only by inking it and pressing it under the printing-press.



Bubbles bring about a dreamy effect. They are related to positive emotions; I could use them for Joy, Love or Surprise.


I did not expect the stamping of a fork would look this terrifying and intense.


These are prints made from the stamping of seashells that I picked from a beach in New Zealand long ago.

Automatic Techniques:


I made an attempt with pressing paint between papers that mixes the paint and creating interesting vein-like texture.


I was very interested in the Fumage technique and wanted to try it for myself.


Here I tried to make the impasto textured effect with acrylic paint and a fork. The attempt to keep the swirls of black and white was a failure; and it was not as textured as I liked it to be.

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Jones, Leslie, 2012, Drawing Surrealism, Los Angeles, CA : Los Angeles County Museum of Art ; Munich : Prestel, [2012]

My Line is Emo: Ed Moses

I was going through all the artist reference listed in the project brief and Ed Moses’s drawings really stood out to me. The images that turned up when I googled “ed moses drawings” really drew me in and my mind sparked ideas for the project.

However I found that it was quite a challenge to search information online. Everything was so private since the museums did not give anything away. So I went to the ADM Library to borrow the Ed Moses book which was much easier since it had all that I was looking for. The book allows a more intimate connection between the reader and Ed Moses because of the interviews recorded in it.

From what I have gathered, Ed Moses does a lot of experimentation on materials and techniques in his work. He is constantly taking risks, trying out new materials and testing new forms; moving away from his comfort zone.

“Untitled (Hegeman Series)” , 1970| acrylic, resin & masking tape on canvas| 77″ x 95″| Collection of Cedd and Pamela Moses

Ed Moses used resin for his Hegemann Series and I thought it was really interesting. In the book he stated that by putting the canvas face down on a big Mylar table, he could pour resin on the backside and it would bleed through the canvas out to the edge. He would then put fiberglass cloth around the edge to give it some structure. When it dried, he would peel the whole thing off and the result will be a surprise. The resin embedded in the canvas, as were the snap lines- they turned out shiny in some places and flat in others.

Why do you paint on both sides of the canvas?

That was what Frances Colpitt, a professor and Deedie Potter Rose chair of art history from Texas Christian University, asked Ed Moses. He mentioned of his discovery of ‘ghost’ painting when he reversed the canvas and the ghost images came through, which he liked a lot. So he wanted to put some kind of mark to it that indicated he made it, rather than being ‘found’. His idea of these ‘ghost’ paintings really intrigues me. It is like recycling an artwork when you don’t like it. Or creating a 2 in one.

Below are some of the works that I picked out from the book.

Rafe Bone, 1958| Oil on Canvas|72 7/8″ x 65 1/2″| Collection of Hanna Finkelstein, Los Angeles, CA
Rose #6, 1963| Graphite and acrylic on Strathmore board| 60″ x 40″| Collection of the artist
Cut Place #4, 1966|Graphite and paper foldout|13″ x 16 3/8″| Collection of Avilda Moses, Ojai, CA
Pulled Warp, 1972| Acrylic and masking tape on canvas| 66″ x 78″| Collection of Murray and Ruth Gribin Family Trust, Beverly Hills, CA
Broken Wedge A/1, 1973| Rhoplex and pigment on laminated tissue|84″ x 72″|Collection of the artist
NY Trac, 1974| Acrylic and tissue on nylon| 72″ x 84″| Collection of the artist
Red W-L, 1982| Acrylic on wood panels| 84″ x 122″| Collection of the artist
Bak, 1988-89| Acrylic and oil on canvas|96″ x 60″| Collection of the artist
Cocoteni, 1989| Acrylic and oil on canvas| 78″ x 132″| Collection of Fabian Carisson, New York, NY
Ranken #2, 1992| Acrylic and asphaltum on canvas| 60″ x 48″| The Molly and Walter Bariess Family Collection
Bozook, 2002| Acrylic on canvas| 96″ x 120″| Collection of the artist
So-Wh, 2004| Acrylic on canvas| 72″ x 60″|Collection of the artist
Cta-Hola, 2006|Acrylic on canvas|78″ x 66″| Collection of Jayne D. Murrell, Newport Beach, CA
Double, 2007| Acrylic on canvas| 72″ x 60″| Collection of the artist


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Curating Self: Final

Task 1: Object and representation of self

I had been playing the violin for as long as I could remember; from the age of three to be exact. Going for lessons every week for 17 years has made the instrument become a part of me.


It really opened many opportunities for me. During my learning years, I got to travel to many countries such as Australia and Korea. Also by completing all 8 Grades meant that I could teach the skill to others in the future.

With a medium shot I was able to show the enjoyment I had from the oversea trips through facial expression. I also chose to take the horizon of the sky and ocean to represent the countless possibilities that I could do with my musical skills.


I started taking solo classes instead of group classes because everyone in my group class was advancing at lightning speed. I ended up lagging behind. Being not talented at all and I felt left out.

Taking a long shot from a high vantage point gives a sense of isolation. Translating the feeling of loneliness from being left in the dust by child prodigies. The waves and the beach creates a contrast in texture. Those kids were already sailing the seas while I still tread on oncoming waves.


Playing music was really fun but learning the Violin was not easy. It hurt my jaw, my hands cramp up, the Rosin made me sneeze, most likely the noise I made was unsatisfactory. I felt trapped by my extremely slow improvement.

I decided to make use of tonal difference with lighting to depict this emotion. A contrast is created between the background and the foreground. The background being bright and colorful while the foreground is much more dark and dull.

Task 2: My World

During my childhood my family often came to West Coast Park for picnics on weekends, sometimes with friends or relatives. Having not been there in a long time and thought to take the chance to visit the park. I wanted to capture the  fun and energy of the place.


As the shot captures the players in the middle of motion, we tend to anticipate their movement.

The foreground, middle ground and background in this photo are very clear-cut. The people playing volleyball in the foreground. The trees in the middle ground and the sky in the background. These create some depth to the photo.

The Pyramid

I took this as a framing shot through the hexagonal shape made by the ropes. Then I thought it was a perfect example of multiple viewpoints with the lines criss-crossing one another. It made the photo quite messy but the boy in blue attracts attention and guides your sight from right to left.

Cycling Family

This is a one point perspective from taken from eye level. It also communicates movement with the swaying bicycles. There is also some depth to the image due to the converging lines.

Scattered Belongings

This image does not communicate much energy but I thought it was interesting that people would leave their belongings scattered around the field. As if to say they were carefree and had so much fun that they dumped their things wherever they like. Also that the place is friendly and safe enough to do so.

Curating Self: Task 1 Process

When looking at a photo we ask these questions:

What techniques were used?
What visual elements make up the photo?
How do the elements work together?
How the image is composed?

Photo manipulation techniques  –

In this project I try to experiment with the basic techniques of photo manipulation:

Framing and cropping is use to include or exclude details that may change the meaning of the photographs. By moving the frame of the camera or cropping an image, the creator controls and defines the content of what we see.

Subject Distance refers to the proximity of the camera lens to the subject. The closer the camera move in, the viewer becomes more involved with the details such as texture, expressions, while becoming less involved with the surrounding and environment of the subject.

Vantage Point or angle determines the position where the camera is place before a shot. By varying the angle of shot from above, below or at eye level can result in interesting images that could distort, manipulate or offer visual pleasure and surprise.

Vantage Point:

Long Distance + Vantage Point:

Long shot taken from a high vantage point
Cropped chosen photo

By cropping this image I eliminate the people in the background making the photo much cleaner and the tone of the photo becomes lighter. Leading the viewer to think that the photo was taken at an empty beach.

The long shot taken from a normal/medium vantage point depicts the subject playing out to the sea and sky. From this view it is as if the subject is envious of the freedom the ocean and the skies provide.

A long shot with a low vantage point here resulted in an empowering effect the subject. There is also some effect of framing from the clouds behind that helps to focus on the subject.

If i were to cropped the image and turn it into a medium shot, the original effect would be lost.

Normal/Medium Shot + Vantage Point:

I attempted this as a close up shot only to realize it is actually a normal shot because my camera can only zoom so far.

Close Up Shot + Vantage Point:

With this close up shot and angle, I was trying to capture the feeling of being trapped by my inferior skills of the instrument thus the darker tone.  There is also a drastic contrast between the inside (dark and monotone) and the outside (bright and colorful).

From the front much more emotion is revealed than the side. The instrument can be seen being held drooping downward much obviously than from the side.

The back view shows the difficulty and tension that goes into gripping the instrument between one’s jaw and shoulders. Otherwise, there is not much to be seen from this view.


Next Entry –

Curating Self: Catherine Opie


Catherine Opie is a social-documentary photographer. She was inspired to be one after encountering Lewis Hine’s images of child laborers from the early 20th century. Her interests lies in the relationship between the private and the public politics, the mainstream versus the infrequent. She was known for her works about the LGBT and BDSM community.

Pervert, 1994. Self Portrait.

Catherine Opie decided to wear a hood in this piece because she wanted the focus to be her body and not the distortion on her face. It is about the existence of the word “Pervert” and what it meant. The politics lie in the fact that she dared inscribe it on her body, it does not lie in her eyes.

Why would she do this?

This piece were made in reaction to the gays and lesbians coming out of the closets during that time. All the sudden appearance of homosexuals segregated society and Catherine Opie wanted to push the viewer’s boundaries of normality; challenging our cultural code for relationships.

Cutting, 1993. Self Portrait.

Catherine chose the background to reference seventeenth century paintings. The photo is took with intent of having a fruit bowl over her head, which queers the image with a little humor.

In her words “You’re looking at this juxtaposition of cutting of two stick figures, you know, women holding hands, with this comic fruit bowl over my head in the fabric.”

According to the creator this piece was made after the break-up of her first domestic relationship and she was working our her ideas of longing. It is also a representation of what a queer child might make at school.

Oliver in a Tutu, 2004. From the series In and Around Home.

Not all her works that tackle homophobia are so intense. The above is a photo of her son in a tutu and tiara.

Catherine, Melanie & Sadie Rain, 1998. From Domestic series.

For the Domestic series, Catherine Opie rented an RV and spent three and a half months traveling the states.  She wanted to complete the story of domesticity in a show that she attended.

“One of the things I always think about is who I want to have conversations with, what does it mean to create history related to a history that is already present, the need to add a conversation to a given situation, because something is not being represented, something is left out of the telling of the story. ”

Catherine Opie also documents other events such as the Inauguration and High School Football.

Firefighters, 2005. From the series In and Around Home.
Untitled #1, 1994. From Freeways.
Untitled #14, 1999. From 1999.
In Protest to Sex Offenders, 2005. From the series In and Around Home.
M.L.K. Parade, 2005. From the series In and Around Home.
Untitled #1, 2009. From Inauguration series.
Josh, 2007. From High School Football.
Rusty, 2008. From High School Football.
Football Landscape #3, 2007. From High School Football.
Football landscape #18, 2009. From High School Football.
Football Landscape No. 13, 2008. From High School Football.
Football Landscape #12, 2008. From High School Football.

Catherine Opie’s photography style is nothing special it is not especially aesthetic but rather mundane. Just normal day to day lives that most people can relate to, which really ties in with her concept of interconnection.

Next Entry –

Pandora – 3D Sketch Model

My word: Zing

The google definition is energy, enthusiasm, or liveliness. But according to the answers of others that I asked on the meaning of Zing, it is a fancy word for magic and wonder.

Model 1:

Front View
Side View
Top View

Model 2:

Front View
Back View
Bottom View
Top View
Side View

In Model 1 and 2, I was still unsure as to how to translate the meaning of Zing into an arrangement of rectilinear volumes. Thus, only trying out arrangements that defined the dominant, sub-dominant and sub-ordinate.

Dominant, Sub-dominant & Sub-ordinate

Pencil Holder

The red and green complementary colors play a role in the aesthetics of the object. The red part is the ‘flower’ and the green part is the ‘leaf’. The ‘flower’ is the Dominant (D). The ‘leaf’ is the Sub-dominant (SD) and the triangular cut out in the ‘leaf’ is the Sub-ordinate (SO).

2D Sketch Analysis

Four holes can be seen drilled into the ‘flower’ for inserting pencils. Due to their plurality, the four holes are considered to be another SD.

The ‘flower’ is obviously symmetrical. But because of the triangular cut out in the ‘leaf’, the object become asymmetrical.

There are many other details to an object that makes it interesting:

  • X, Y, Z axis
  • mass and voids
  • color
  • symmetry
  • texture
  • finishes
  • opacity
  • proportion
  • Rule of Third – It gives ‘breathing space’ and dynamic to the object, resulting it to be more aesthetically appealing. The ideal proportion should be: SO 1/3 of SD and SD 1/3 of D.

Visual Element – Perspective

No Perspective: Everything in the image will be in focus. There will not be any depth in the image and it will appear to be flat.

1 Point Perspective:  With only one viewpoint, it draws all the attention and focus to the point where the lines converge (viewpoint).

1 Point Perspective

2 Points Perspective: It also attention and focus to the viewpoints. The addition of another plane adds more depth to the image than a 1 point perspective.

2 Point Perspective

3 Points Perspective: Usually emphasizes on the scale of the subject and imposes its personality on the viewer. Again the addition of another plane adds more depth to the image than a 1 or 2 point perspective.

3 Point Perspective

More than 3 point perspectives: As the number of viewpoints increase, the depth of the image also increases. However, it becomes more difficult to focus at a certain point in the image with multiple viewpoints. With no focus points, the viewer becomes disorientated and confused.