Experiment: Neon Signage using Photoshop

For the Lights at Night theme of my projectI wanted to create multiple images documenting the areas of soho and Oxford circus where they have neon lights signage. This is because I find the neon lights fits well with this theme and I think that neon lights are attractive when display properly and the message of the text. It can make a difference to the appearance of shops, bars or restaurants and many people would automatically gaze their attentions to the bright colourful neon signs which make soho so vibrant.

Here I have experimented with the idea of using photoshop to create a replica of the neon signage without having to actually spend any money or pay somebody to make it for me. I wanted to see if it is possible to do so using photoshop and it worked!

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Chinatown

Chinatown is a great place to visit and explore the culture. When you walk around the area, you could see the way Chinese people display their shops/ restaurants is very different from other places in London. From hanging lanterns and posters on the windows,the atmosphere is a lot different from how westerners are interact and living their lives. In one afternoon, I have chosen to visit this place because every time I come here there’s always new things to discover.

I have recorded my time by doing some watercolour sketches and some drawings. It was a little bit challenging when you do your drawings out door in the cold and where ever you turn it’s very distracting because theres’s so many restaurants and coffee shop teasing you. When you are visiting Chinatown you automatically assumed that there is only Chinese cuisine/ product available but that’s totally not true. I have came across Thai and Korean restaurants, the people there are very nice, greeting you with their warm smiles and making you feel very welcoming.

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Letterpress Printing

On Friday afternoon we hd a workshop about letter pressing with Kim. She gave us some details about letterpress and gave us some tips how we could corporate letterpress printing to our project. I started out by working on some words that’s related to London and experimenting with using different type faces and sizes to see how many work I could make.

‘BUZZZ’ was the first ‘word’ that came up in my mind because I was trying to expressed the sound, buzzing noise that I hear when I’m in the city. As you can see that I have placed the letter B in a wrong direction because as I placed the letters together my brain just automatically react and spelled out the letters in the way that I would read it and as a result of doing that the letter B is facing the wring way.

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Even though I have made a mistake on the letter, surprisingly I really like how the letter look together. I also printed the same word to fill in the paper but not applying anymore ink because I wanted to create a form of effect that the colours and words are fading out.

Here are some more experiment that I have done…

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Exhibition: The Unfinished Conversation by John Akomfrah

On Thursday afternoon we went to Tate Modern to have a look at some exhibitions in relation to the case study that I am currently working on. This exhibition takes its title from John Akomfrah’s 2012 video installation “The Unfinished Conversation”, which is a 2013 multi layered three screen installation.

 

 

“When you see the crowds in Tate Modern, you realise that those developments in modernism that were such barriers to public comprehension have now been accepted”, he says. “People from all walks of life suddenly just get it.”

The Unfinished Conversations considers a set of intertwining themes; social protests, the effect of history on the formation of identity and how art juxtaposes fact and fiction, realism with utopian. In the vide, there were acts and structures of state of violence, as well as the resistance and activism they provoked. They reexamine charged historical monuments, evoking images and videos clips of the past and claiming their place with it. The video also take on contemporary debates, interviewing into contemporary struggles over the significance of government surveillance and the exploitation of labor. The anxiety that informs so much of our world today is their subject matter, which they approached through a variety of artistic strategies.

Exhibition: The Crystal Quilt by Suzanne Lacy

 

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In this exhibition artist, Suzanne Lacy have showcase her work  ‘The Chrystal Quilt’ at Tate Modern. The American artist has spent much of her life as a feminist performance artist. This quilt piece has taken three years and is a public art work called ‘The Whisper Minnesota Project’, which aimed to empower older women. In this exhibition there is a screen showcasing video film of old women working together on this project. It was filmed on Mother’s Day in 1987 and there were 430 women over the age of 60 with different races and backgrounds who gathered to share their experiences of growing older.  In the video, there was a scene where you can see these women moving around and then sat at the tables on a large piece of constructed to look like the Crystal Quilt, and at regular intervals the women changed the positions of their hands to alter the quilt’s patterns.

In the documentary of the project, you could hear women speaking about the project. One elderly lady said “A lot of senility comes from the fact that nobody asks you anything. It is a great cultural loss.” 

In one interview article, Lacy said that she has a “desire to make shape, it’s a pure physical pleasure” she explained ” The shape can be conceptual, performative, relational, or visual… As a child, I was always making things, fooling around with napkins, or food on my plate after dinner. With some of us there’s just this urge to create shapes, and that’s very individualistic. It can be trained, but I’m not sure if the drive to do it is trainable.” 

The Crystal Quilt is physical object and it is creating shape out of time. The visual shapes represents the women and the piece itself is conceptualised. The Crystal Quilt gave the audience a broader sense of spectrum of attitudes about ageing, and a depth of understanding the politics of ageing.

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Sketches of London Architecture

On Friday morning we were set out to draw interesting buildings London. I walked around Aldgate and Liverpool Street area and took some images and well as doing some sketches of the buildings surrounding the areas. These drawings that I have done are some rough sketches and they are not perfect at all. They are just simple sketches and I have applied the techniques that I have learned from the last week workshop. Besides feeling super cold while drawing these sketches, I really enjoyed doing these drawings because I didn’t have the pressure of making them look perfect and I can expressed my creativity.

Drawing Exercise

In the morning lesson Ricardo have introduced us to a few drawing exercises to give us some ideas how we could apply these techniques to our future work. We sat down across other students in front of us and we had to draw them using methods such as:

  • Continuous line drawing using your right hand
  • Continuous line drawing using your left hand
  • Add tones to the drawing 
  • Using shapes (e.g. Triangle)
  • Using uneven lines

 

These task was quite challenging for me because I wanted my drawing to look perfect and exactly like the person who was sitting opposite me. Drawing this person’s face and not being able picking up the pen was difficult as I am not use to that. To make it even more challenging, Ricardo had a timer on us so we were only able to create a drawing in just 2 minutes.  During this exercise I felt a sense of stressed and pressure because in my mind I automatically pictured what I want my drawing to look like. To do this exercise in such short amount of time was not ideal but however it was a good experience. Surprisingly I really like the outcome, for an example the continuous line drawing was not perfect at all. The imperfect line gives the subject of the drawing a sense of character.

These types of methods that we had practised have inspires me to have fun, be playful when I comes to drawing and think outside the box a little bit. Because I have set an expectation of how I want the outcome of my work to look like, that will restrict me from doing great things and that is something I want to change. I want to explore with different elements and methods to create some unique work in the future and becoming more spontaneous with my creativity.