23/07/18 Start of the project
Last week we did project brief of the final major project, and we were learning about how to start a new project with different angles of thoughts. I was thinking about gaining experience and inspiration from the project I did previously and my own daily life.
The first concept I come up with is about the communication and distance between people. This comes from my own experience of knowing new friends in the foreign country. When I try to get closer to someone, I consider a lot including the way I talk, the things I should show to pull the distance shorter, and the things I should keep it as a secret to myself. If he/she get the same feeling of getting closer to become friends, these will also be the thing they need to consider about. The whole process is like two people walking around in the mist and trying to find another people's location. I think this might be a suitable theme for the FMP after more thinking process is made.
The second theme is about getting into an unfamiliar place/country and get a place in it. I use my own feelings after coming to UK for study as the starting point. I want to discuss about how to put myself into a right place in this new country. To me, it's not about becoming recognized to many people or gain any achievement in this country, but find a way that is most suitable for me to live, a way that makes me feel most comfortable and really belong to a place. I want to show the kind of changes and influences that happened to me in this process, and show my attitude of growing my strength in a unfamiliar place.
27/07/18 Weekend coming
This week is a week for research and inspiration. In this week, I went to the school library twice and found several books about communication and installation art. I found it hard to read a large amount of text as a foreign student, which means I need to spend more time on doing these text research. After I read a book about philosophy inside communication, I found that I know little about this area and it will take too much time for me to get familiar with it, and waste some time I prepared for other research. I haven't found a way to solve this problem yet, but still I have to continue it. I decide to do other research first and leave it for later.
31/07/18 Proposal tutotial 1
Tutor didn't make big changes to my proposal sheet in the proposal tutorial. The only part I need to change is the last section, which I didn't wrote in a way specific enough. I add more details about what I should start to do as the first action in this section, such as make models with my memory of the house I lived in when I was young. I think this will be enough for submission as I have written nearly 600 words already.
Also, tutor gave me some advice on research direction. He gave me a word "Psychogeography", which means a sense or feeling that a place can give to the audience. Affecting people's emotion with the visual effect created by arrange of space is a interesting thing which strongly connected with my theme, so I decided to look into it as a part of my research. Several artist and creators' names are given too as a start point such as Georgeo Perec and Rebecca Solnit.
In conclusion, the proposal needs a few corrections and more bibliography to support it, after that I should start my first doing action. Through the first doing action, I might find other points that interest me on this direction to get more keywords for research. Two things need to be done together.
03/08/18 Reflective Journal
In the tutorial of proposal, tutor suggested me that I can start from finding examples in London which reminds me of hometown and makes me feel belonged. At first I go to a Chinese food restaurant which offers takeaways to Chinese Students lived in the neighborhood, because I think food is a very direct way of reminding me about China, which can become a element used in my project. I asked several question to the owner of that small restaurant and record the results in the research page.
After this primary research, I was thinking about moving on in this direction deeper, so I planed a visit to China town in Leicester Square. It's a area which include a large amount of Chinese style restaurant and other facilities such as bank, a lot of Chinese live in there so Chinese language is available for communication there. I think it is the most similar place to city in China, still, it is surrounded by British style buildings. A place looked familiar inside a city that is not familiar, this is the main thing I want to find in this visit.
07/08/18 First Experiment with Prints
I didn't come to school because of illness yesterday so the first experiment of the project start today. After I did some research about Hong Kong orchid flowers and observe its pattern, I tried to use press machine to create several prints with it. There are several kinds of technique that tutor introduced to me, one is to create marks on the plastic film with needle first, then apply paint to it and print it on the damp paper, one is to draw on the film with paint first then print it directly, the last one is to cut out shapes with paper to print by the negative space of it.
For petals, the patterns of it are delicate and the lines should be thin and smooth, so I think the first method is the most suitable one. With thin needles, I can cut out very thin lines and give the image details much easier. I did cutting to the plastic film first, the result is shown under.
Then I chose purple as the color for printing because the most common color of Hong Kong orchid flower is purple. For experiment, I tried different types of purple, changing color by mixing different amount of red and blue paint. Also, I tried to create prints with gradually changing color. Compare two ways of adding color, I think the second one ios better because varied color effect is better in visual for me.
For the further development of this experiment, I'm think of putting different colors of printed petal together and create something 3D, because I think the 3D sculpture can be more direct in expressing meaning and full of details from every angle, which be better than a piece of flat drawing.
I was talking about my project with tutor today, and I gained useful advices as it was written above. I really should have read things from Freud in the previous week as his research got huge connections with my project, but I didn't because of the huge amount of the text would spend me too much time. Tutor still suggest me reading the essays about it, and I think I should follow this suggestion.
There's also suggestions for research such as going to the Kew garden for plants in local as I want to make comparison with Hong Kong orchid and flowers here. I think it's a good idea, but I might need half a day or even a whole day in it to make drawings, so I decide to plan it into the weekends. At the same time, I should look into more artist who make works about their hometown or memories to get reference as my project is strongly connected with these feelings, and I haven't got much in my research yet.
Tutorial Feedback 24/7/2018
During the tutorial, tutor and I discussed about the two theme throughly and he gave me some useful advice on expanding my idea and research. Firstly, I've decided to focus on the second theme in this final major project, because the second theme was more related to the status of myself at this stage.
At the same time, elements from the first theme can be somehow connected to the second one. The communication and understanding between people affects their feeling of being comfortable in a place or a community. I think this part of the first theme can expand the research width of my second theme, so I decided to do both part of the research at the same time.
With the phrase "sense of belong", tutor gave me another direction to move on, which is the word "alienation". It means a feeling of being unfamiliar to something, but "physically" knowing it at the same time. Because it's a word from psychology, there will be a large amount of information which I can use in books and essays from psychological area. I think I should start research from books in the library as the printed text are somehow more reliable than text from websites.
02/08/18 Contextual Practise
Student name: Elysia Lui
Project Title: Belong
Project Summary: It's about sense of place, feeling belong to somewhere and social alienation in a foreign country.
Relevance to your subject area:
1. Fine art is a subject quite related to expressing artists' own emotion or opinions. I think this theme can be expanded in fine art area well.
2. Raising questions and ask for attention is a part of fine art, and I think alienation in foreign country is a common problem among foreign students.
Your Personal Context:
1. The theme partly comes from my own experience as a foriegn student. I feel unfamiliar with this country and city, and feel both afraid and exciting when I need to explore it.
1. After some time in London, I've learnt the route I should take to go to school or go back to dorm, but I can never feel belonged with British red buses and road sign in English. This is because I'm used to the view of street in my hometown, which makes me only "physically" feel familiar with London.
1. Plastic and acrylic boards cutting and re-shaping
2. Wood modeling
3.Plaster and resin glue modeling
1.Small room gallery.
2.street installation, next to residents' houses
3.Audience: People with similar feeling and experience
Balance between respect local culture and showing self culture's characteristic.
2.The amount of foreign student increased through the years
08/08/18 Petals of watercolor
After yesterday's experiment, I started to think of ways to create petal patterns on 3D materials. Watercolor was the first thing that came into my mind because it's easy to create gradual change effect with it, which matches my requirement for the visual effect I want in this experiment. I want to create patterns with different density of paint and thickness of line, which is abstracted from the pattern of Hong Kong orchid flowers.
Although I used watercolor to paint, I didn't choose to use watercolor paper as they are too hard for reshaping. I was thinking of creating petal shape with soft paper, so I chose this recycling paper as the first material I tried with. This is the effect I got.
I am satisfied with the shape and color changes of the lines as they really makes me think of patterns from petal, and it gives out another feeling of veins with blood running inside. I like this double-meaning visual effect which can help me express my emotion towards my hometown: The feelings from that place I belonged to have become a part of me, and will always be with me like blood running in veins.
However, the texture of paper really breaks the atmosphere a bit. I was expecting the visual effect being more transparent and light like petals and unclear memories, but the recycling paper looks rough and dull. I should change the material next time in the following experiment. I was thinking of using sulphuric paper which is semi-transparent, but I didn't know the place I can get it.
Things to do:
Research on sulphuric paper, find a source.
Develop the shape of 3D models of flower, more accurate and delicate
Start to draw sketches for houses and maps with memories from hometown (no photos)
10/08/18 Outcome Draft
Today we were doing the one-day project of creating a outcome from the experiment we have done in previous days. I decided to combine my sketches of houses and map and the petal pattern prints to make this draft. They were both 2D experiment before, but I decided to try to make them into 3D sculpture as the first rough outcome.
With the sketches of maps and houses's position in my memory, I created a model of 3D-map with the wood blocks first in the workshop. I could have used paper to make models, but it would be too fragile, this is the reason why I gave up this idea and turned to wood. The main material came from the scrap pieces and I bound them together to create larger rectangles. I used glue gun but not wood glue because I considered that it's a hurried one-day project and I have to make models quickly. I should use wood glue in the real outcome because it will be much stronger and stabler for improvement.
After Making the wood model, I found that there were cracks on the surface of the model as the work was from scrap pieces of wood, and the visual effect wasn't good with that. Also, I don't want to keep the color and texture of wooden surface, so I'm thinking of covering the model with paints or other materials to improve it. After consideration, I chose to use plaster to cover the whole model, as it can make the surface smooth and white. The result I got is shown under