Here, I shall write a short paragraph on Rene Magritte. It’s not to fill up my posts, but he really did play a part in my initial development of ideas for my coursework.

In Rene Magritte’s works, his subject matter is always out of the ordinary. Sometimes his subject matter appears randomly, in the wrong time or in the wrong place, and it shocks and confuses people. This was what I found interesting, and what I could use for my work.

By using this idea, at first I wanted to create a space which is meant for children, but at the same time, it does not seem like the space belongs to a child. My objective was trying to confuse the viewers, and at the same time, question them on what is the real definition of childhood today, in our present society. Once, a friend told me that children in this present society seem to be always busy with studying, going for courses, etc. , and it seems like they have lost their childhood.  I think this idea was pretty interesting as it’s very close not only to students, but also to everyone, especially parents. However, this idea was kind of scrapped as  wanted to do something more sentimental and closer to myself, since this is my largest art project of the year.

When I was doing my coursework, Ms Yap showed me a work by Jennifer Bartlett, which really inspired me. Thanks Ms Yap. 🙂

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Jennifer Bartlett, “Yellow and Black Boats”

In Jennifer Bartlett’s “Yellow and Black Boats”, it consists of 3 paintings placed together to form a single image, and 2 boats, one which is black and one which is yellow. The 2 boats are placed in a way such that it is the mirror image of the boats in the painting. When I saw this picture, I thought the way she put 3 disjointed paintings together to form a single image was interesting, but I was more interested in the usage of real-life objects in her artwork.  Ms Yap suggested that I could use real life objects to juxtapose the “real” and the “surreal”, and I thought that idea was really good. By adding real-life objects, not only it emphasises the sense of depth of the drawing and makes it more realistic, the artwork becomes more interactive and also adds a very interesting concept of juxtaposition and contrast. To me, the usage of real-life objects is a contrast of the past and the present, where the drawing represents my childhood memories, while the real-life objects represented my real and present surroundings. Therefore, this was an important concept to my coursework, and a step up to my development of ideas.

Finally, I’ve completed my cousework. This final work is pretty close to me, so hope that all of you would appreciate it.

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My Previous(?) Space, Charcoal and pastel on paper. 

In “My Previous (?) Space”, I question myself about my childhood. My childhood was a little different from other kids, it was deprived, not only in a materialistic way, but deprived of a happy and a complete family. Since young, I have heard my parents quarrel while losing the hope that our family would reconcile, studied hard for my mother; but never thought of myself and hence, losing the joy of my childhood slowly. People say that childhood memories are meant to be treasured, but is it different for people with childhoods like me?  Hence, while doing this work, I want to ask myself if my childhood memories should be forgotten, or should be kept within myself. In the drawing’s context, will the drawing be part of my “real” environment, or is it just a drawing to me? (Hence, the title.)

During the process of doing this artwork, not only did I learn new things and enjoyed myself, but I also tried to think for the answer to my question. It was pretty inspiring, as it made me think very hard on myself and my life. Later, when Ms Yap gave me the idea on contrasting real objects with the drawing, it did not remind me of the real and the surreal, but also the past and the present. And when I thought of the word “present”, I think I managed to find my answer to the question.

I then decided to add items which represented my life experiences, as well as a photo with my mother, which represented the present me. This was kind of, my answer to the question. It is still a fact that the bitter memories I had were still part of my childhood, and even if I wanted to forget, I couldn’t deny them. Furthermore, my childhood was not entirely sad, it also had happy moments in it, and should be treasured. But now, what I should do is concentrate on the present, and work harder to make my life more fufilling than before. I told myself, let bygones be bygones, and always be happy with my broken, but heartwarming family.

I’m sorry for being cynical, but I am not trying to gain any sympathy or attention from anyone who is reading this. This was how I really felt when I was doing this artwork, and I’m happy that I managed to finish it.

   

 

 

I’m going to post a revised version of my Sec 2 EOY drawing paper, which is based on chess. Title of work is “Checkmate”. Basically through this painting, I wanted to show the violent side of Chess, a seemingly serene looking game.

BUT WARNING. THE OLDER VERSION IS HORRIFYING.

HERE IT IS:

sec 2 eoy

See, I told you it was horrible. What happenned to my hand?! And why is my face YELLOW?? *facepalms* Medium used: Acrylic paint. Lots of layers of them.

And now for the so-called improved and revised version. Pardon the picture quality, it’s not supposed to be this bright.

sec 2 eoy revised 

 Medium used: Pastel on black paper. Looks like I’m really better at pastel than paint. Compared to the previous one, the choice of colour is definitely much better. I changed the face by drawing one with closed eyes, gives a sense of tranquility, which is in contrast with the murderous intent of the artwork. Composition is much better, as the subject matter is more proportionate than the previous ones. In this version I really like the hand and the scythe, they look much more realistic than before. The blood is pretty good too, the shadows gives the blood a 3-D look, emphasising on the large quantity of blood (But I hope it doesn’t look like ketchup to some people). But I still think that the chess piece, the skull and the pendant should be drawn more realistically, and more shadow should be added to the reaper (aka myself). Should have took the effort to fix the work too, looks really blur…

Anyway, this is much better than the one I did in Sec 2. MUCH BETTER.

This time, I’m posting an image I copied from the cover of New Moon, one of the books from the famous Twilight series. Below is the original cover:

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And below is my copy of the flower in the cover:

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 Medium used: Acrylic paint. Well, I think it was a pretty good try, considering that I’m weak in painting. I think it does look quite alike to the original, so I’m quite pleased with myself. 🙂 Used a small amount of dabbing technique for some parts of the flower, especially when I need to blend colours for the shadows. Colours used are generally accurate, but I think I should have added more shadow for the right side of the flower. And I think some parts of the flower are also quite slipshot, didn’t draw them in detail. I think because I was lazy, or I was running out of paint(I’m serious)……

Oh well, this was rather comforting to me, since I’m really a newbie at painting.

It’s been a long time since I posted my manga drawings, so I shall post 2 here. Both drawn in a A5 sketchbook (and hence, the title).

First, we have something to commemorate the Combined Sports Meet:

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Whoo! Nanyang’s winning the race! And looks like Hwachong’s trying really hard…(Hehe.)

 I didn’t have anything to do at the sports meet (besides watching the contestants run), so I decided to draw a little parody on the CSM. It’s in Chibi style; won’t be as funny and cute if its in the full grown style. I probably got the face of the Hwachong guy from Maplestory, or maybe from Edward in Fullmetal Alchemist when he gets angry. Note: this drawing is not meant to laugh at Hwachong or anything. And it’s my birthday when I drew this! 😀

And next, for game fan art: 

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Noa, a character from a VERY OLD PS game, Legend of Legaia. I remember my brother and my cousin playing this since young, so I decided to try the game out. Not bad, but I still prefer Final Fantasy. 😄

Anyway, I’m pleased with this drawing as I think it does bring out her character quite well, looking from her pose and her expression. I also got some influence from Tetsuya Nomura, such as the facial features and the thick outlines. Maybe it’s still a little improportionate, as seen from her left elbow (Seems to be in the wrong direction). But I still think this is one of my best manga art so far. 🙂

It’s quite sad, but I don’t really draw manga anymore. Probably lack of time to improve my drawing skills.   :/

Random photographs using the school’s camera:

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A window near one of the school’s staffrooms. My main intention when taking this photo was to try to make it as aligned and as “symmetrical” as possible. I deliberately opened the other pane of the window to see if it made the photo more interesting. Er, I guess it didn’t. If I wanted it to look better, maybe I should open the left window pane as well; gives the photo a vanishing point.

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Rainbow No. 2. Why am I so obssessed with rainbows…By the way, can you spot it?

Compared to the previous one, I decided to take this photo by slanting the camera. I think it looks quite interesting, and I think the flat on the left really helped a lot in the composition. For a sky, grey isn’t a very good colour, but for this photo it fitted pretty well as the colours in this photo are generally dull.

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Rainbow No. 3. This one is my favourite among the three photos. For this photo I decided to use the silhouette effect, and I really loved the result! I think the best part of this photo was the contrast of the bright colours in the background and the darker colour of the silhouette of the Lu, really allows it to stand out. I think I took this in the late afternoon, by looking at the bright orange colour on the wall of the flat. Really nice colour, and I think it’s quite uncommon to capture sunlight with a colour like that.

Yup, that’s all. Maybe I should get a camera for myself, but I think it’s kind of a waste since I can’t take photos like this most of the time. 😦

For this post I’m posting more random pen drawings. One done last year and one done this year.

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This one was done last year. Drawing of a teru teru bozu doll made my Ting Chih’s YFC group. Cute? 😀

I think the shading was pretty good, it’s kind of subtle, not very intense, and the proportion looks right. I think the area I could improve is the linework, ’cause it’s quite messy, if you can see those hairy lines there. And I think the cloth of the doll could be less stiff, the lines I probably used were too straight.

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This one was done in class this year. I was feeling really bored so I decided to draw my phone. Yes, I know I’m really random.

I drew this on the cardboard backing of my foolscap paper, ’cause the lines on foolscap paper was kind of annoying and I had no other paper. Didn’t draw all the details on my phone, I was really lazy. I didn’t really like the shading for this drawing, I think it’s quite inconsistent, especially the screen of the phone. But I still think it looks my phone anyway. 😀

Feeling random again, I decided to outline with my orange ZIG marker. It was new, so uh, I wanted to test it out?

Okay, this post is really short. More to come later!

Um, I realised I  haven’t posted on my inspirations for my coursework. So here it is! 😀

My very first inspiration for my coursework was the works of Tang Ling Nah, one of my favourite artists.

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“Everytime We Say Goodbye 好久不見” By Tang Ling Nah and Willie Koh

When I was brainstorming for ideas for my coursework, I wanted my coursework to be unique and something I have never done before, since it’s going to be my last art project in Secondary school. I then suddenly thought of Tang Ling Nah, whose artworks were mostly drawn on walls. Ever since Mr lim brought my AEP class to her exhibition “Send me an Angel”, I found her work really interesting, as she tries to create new spaces with drawings, creating a fusion between the “real” and the “surreal”.

Tang Ling Nah uses charcoal as her medium most of the time, and does large scale artworks on walls, with commonly seen architecture as her subject matter in most of her drawings. By drawing on the walls, it is almost as if she is creating a new dimension, or a new space. To me, the “dimensions” she has created could also be her memories of what she has seen.

I also remember her explaining her choice of medium, charcoal, to us in “Send me an Angel”. She mentioned that charcoal can be easily faded away (if you don’t apply fixative), which is also kind of reminiscent of memories, and hence gives her work a sense of nostalgia. The medium she uses also reminds me of memories, as I feel that memories can be easily forgotten. This inspired me to use memories as my theme for my coursework, and then leading to using childhood memories as the idea for my coursework.

 

Section A

1. List three characteristics of the Nanyang Style of Painting, with reference to a painting of your choice.

In this answer, I will use Liu Kang’s “Life by the River” as an example. the Nanyang artists had a unique style of painting, as listed below.

Firstly, the Nanyang artists had a similar subject matter: Life in Singapore in the 1970s to the 1980s. they depicted Singapore life in many ways, ranging from the middle-class families (e.g Georgette Chen) to kampong life (e.g Liu Kang) In Liu Kang’s “Life by the River”, a depiction of the life of Kampong people are shown, where they lived in houses on stilts, doing chores by the river and children playing by the river. Judging by the bright colours used, the Kampong life depicted in the painting is a happy and pleasant one.

Secondly, the Nanyang artists each had their own style and technique of painting. in Liu Kang’s “Life by the River”, he painted flat, 2-dimensional forms with flat colours, and this is a recurring technique in his paintings. It differs greatly from other artists, such as Chen Wen Hsi, who had a painting style alike to Cubism.

Lastly, Chinese influences were also found in their paintings. although the subject matter in liu Kang’s painting has got little to do with Chinese Influences, however his style has it: Simplicity. Simplicity can be considered as a prominent value in Chinese culture, and is definitely shown clearly through his simplistic and flat style of painting.

2. Name and describe one of Nyoman Nuarta’s works.

One of Nyoman Nuarta’s works is “Rush hour II”, which was completed in 1992, and the main materials used were copper and brass. In the sculpture, it depicts a man riding a bicycle, but in a unique way. The sculpture shows 3 stages of a man riding a bicycle, depicting the general movement of the bicycle rider. The sense of movement is emphasised by the streaks of metal in the sculpture. This depiction is reminiscent of Umberto’s Boccioni’s “Continuity of form in space”, where a man’s running motion is depicted through flowing curves and kines. hence, Nyoman nuarta’s style in making this sculpture is reminiscent of Futurism, where movement is empahsised. The colour of the sculpture is tosca, and it is deliberate, as stated by Nyoman Nuarta. One of the purposes behind using copper and brass was to allow the material to oxidise to a mix of green, black and blue (tosca). in this work, Nyoman Nuarta wanted to show that people are always moving forward in life, no matter how many obstacles there would be. hence, the sculpture is also a depiction of harmony; a harmony between humans and human life.

 

Section B

3. Montien Boonma, “Buffaloes from the Field to the Town”, 1988, unhusked rice, sacks, straw, horn, stools.

a) Describe the main subject matter of the installation, with reference to the symbolism of the materials used.

In Montien Boonma’s work, “Buffaloes from the Field to the Town”, it seemingly depicts 2 buffaloes side by side in an abstract way. The curled bundle of straw represents the tail of a buffalo, the sacks of rice represent the bodies of the buffaloes, and the horn, obviously, is a horn of a buffalo, and the 2 stools represent the legs of the buffaloes. the colour of the sculpture is rather dull, but earthly, using brown tones as a main colour for this sculpture.

There are a few symbolisms that these materials can take. Firstly, the materials could suggest agriculture life. Buffaloes and rice could give the viewer an image of a pair of buffaloes ploughing the rice fields. the materials could depict the life of the farmers in Thailand, where it could represent poverty (materials are plain looking), but also simplicity (sculpture is of a simple form). This is also reminiscent of buddhism, where simplicity is emphasised. The teachings of Buddhism state that having dreams of gaining wealth and prestidge will plunge people into ruin and suffering, and hence, living life in a simple way or with what you have is the best way to live life. However, apparently in Thailand it is not so, as Thailand is slowly taken over by consumerism. hence, the depiction of the sculpture could be a contrast to the current situation in Thailand.

b) Name another of Boonma’s work, and describe with the aid of a diagram the work’s subject matter, and significance of his use of materials.

Another work done by Montien Boonma is “Stupa”, which was completed in 1990. In this artwork, wire, clay and buckets of soil is used. the sculpture generally resembles a framework of a pagoda, with fistprints made out of clay on it, and on the 3 ends below it is attached to 3 buckets of soil. Each element or material he uses has its own significance. Montien Boonma usually used found materials in his artworks, like Joseph Beuys, which is prominent in the 3 buckets of soil. the soil and debris were actually taken from archaeology sites of temples, and hence the soil used in this artwork has a sense  of Buddhist symbolism. the fistprints were made form clay, not only because clay was easy to shape and mould, but also because Boonma anted to emphasise on the handprints made on the clay. hence, it is almost as if that the “fists” on the clayis working on the wire framework, and could indicate labour. However, the clay fistprints also resemble skulls, which then again questions the Buddhist influence shown in the artwork. The pagoda-like framework could depict Buddhism, and pagodas have been a recurring influence and subject matter in his work, such as “The Great of the East” (1992), where he placed detergent boxes i a way that resembled a pagoda.

c) From the perspective of a contemporary Asian audience, state your views on Boonma’s work as a critique of contemporary society.

Montien Boonma’s work mainly criticised the contemporary society in thailand. One of which is consumerism and industrialisation in Thailand. In his artwork, “Changing World No. 2 “, it depicts a few seed-like shapes made out of metal, and is built on the soil. This could be a contrast between agriculture and industrialisation, and industrialisation may be taking over agriculture as a means of production. This can also indicate that industrialisation may be gradually taking over Thailand’s culture.

This issue can also b shown through the materials used in “The Great of the East” (1992), where detergent boxes and soil pigments to make the artwork. Detergent boxes and soil pigments are 2 contrasting materials, one which is artificial and one is natural. hence, there is a clash of the natural and the non-natural, which questions the Thai culture in Thailand.

Another issue is environmentalism, which can be shown in “Arte Amazonas in the Gothe” (1992). 2 breasts were deliberately hung in the garden of the Institute of Gothe in Brazil: one hanging in mid-air and one on the ground. The breast, to a woman, is a vital organ, and hence can be implying that the Amazon (rainforest) is vital to Brazil’s ecology and survival. it also nourishes Brazil’s Nature, just like a mother’s breast, where it gives a baby nourishment. However, deforestation is common in the Amazon, and not a lot of people seems to care for the rainforests in brazil. Environmentalism is a prominent aspect in Buddhism, which Montien Boonma heavily believes in.