Do-ho Suh Reflection Post

Describe it:

  •      – What do you see?

Do-ho suh is making art based on his own experiences and culture. He is using a variety of media ranging from cloth to statuettes to metals. This is the kind of artwork you see more of today.

  •      – What observations can you make about the work?

Each piece has a personal connection to the artist, and you can tell this even without knowing him. Everything was placed, printed or sewn so precisely that you could see how much the artist really cared about his work. Most of the materials he had were not easily available to him (or to anyone as a matter of fact) so that what he got was very precious. You could tell that he really valued what he was doing just by the detail and placement of his artwork.

Relate it:

  •      – What does the work remind you of?

In general, his artwork reminds me of the picture book “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan that we read in 6th grade. Its about a man that leaves his family in search of something greater for himself. He goes to a foreign land and brings a few bits and bobs of his own culture with him. People end up appreciating his culture.

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For some reason, the big, public statue/art that he made reminded me of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno as well as the way the social classes work in society in general.  The general shape of the piece reminded me of this famous painting. At a second glance, the two look nothing alike. But the way the people stood at the bottom “carrying” the whole base reminded me a little bit about the story behind Inferno.

This piece also reminds me of a social hierarchy that we see in todays world, where the working class and the commoners all work to try and support themselves, but end up supporting a higher class. You see a lot of this in Hong Kong where there are only a few powerful people. The people at the bottom seem like they are lifting not to get squished, but really they are just carrying the platform of a person who is of higher class than them.

Analyze it:

  •      – What can you share about the form, function, and/or construction?

The pieces that Do Ho Suh makes are generally quite interactive. Some allow the viewers to step on them and poke and engage with the art. This allows the viewers to connect more personally with the work and enjoy the piece in a new way.

The construction is not something that you imagine most artists doing. Normally, when you think “artist,” you think about a man/woman sitting in front of an easel and picking colours from a palette. Mr. Suh searched long and hard for his materials and took time to make each one unique. He learned different practices such as sewing and typing, something that takes lots of effort and research.

  •      – What is the most interesting part of the work?

The most interesting part about the work is the history behind them. Mr. Suh talks about his experience in school, in the army, and in Korea that really show you that there is a potential for art everywhere. There is a meaningful story behind everything and it is so interesting how his own life experiences could lead to art as beautiful as his.

  •      – What questions would you ask the artist about the work?

I would ask him how much it cost to put together. There are some materials that really make you think “wow, where did he get that?” Things like the silky materials that he used for the house project looks expensive, and the type writer that he used to imprint on each of those metal plates could not have come cheap.

Interpret it:

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  •      – What title would you give the work?

I would call it “group effort.” Mr. Suh had mentioned that the people supporting the class did not have pained expressions on their faces… If the people didn’t all want the support the same cause, if there was even one glimmer of doubt within the crowd, the glass would’ve fallen a long time ago.

  •      – Why do you think the artist chose this kind of work to create?

Do-ho Suh said that he wanted the viewer to interpret the message for him. He said it was up to the viewer. I think he chose to create interactive work like this so that the viewer could get up close and personal with the art, study it all a bit more carefully, and really build a connection with the piece.

 

Evaluate it:

  •      – How successful is the work?

I think that the work is very successful. Do-ho Suh wanted the viewers to build their own connections with the art, and the media he provided and the amount of care he put into the work made that pretty easy. Another key part of the artwork was to share a spot of Koreas culture in the New World. These pieces really make you wonder and investigate. Do-ho Suh made the viewers actually care about the message that he was sending. That’s not very easy to do.

  •      – What is the most impressive aspect of the work?

The obvious amount of time and energy put into each one. It takes a long time to scan people’s faces onto a laptop and superimpose them. It takes a long time to learn how to sew like they do in Korea. It really shows how much the artist cares about what he’s doing. If the artist cares, so does the audience.

  •      – How relevant is the work to issues in your life or society today?

Still very relevant.

In Korea, the culture is still the way it was when Do-ho Suh made the artwork. Culture like the one he was investigating doesn’t change, not even after million years.

The hierarchy I was discussing earlier with the public monument is still very relevant especially in Hong Kong. Here, we have several tycoons that controll everything. In the end, all the efforts we make all feed back to them.

 

The Unconventional Pot

  • I will upload a picture of my unconventional pot once it has been fired and glazed!
  • My process was both similar and different to Yee SooKyung’s. Attached below is a picture of her artwork that I can closely relate to mine. This is a piece called “Installation View” and, much like mine, the shape and size of the pottery has made it quite ineffective as a pot and rather something pretty to look at. Besides this, Yee SooKyung’s art isn’t too similar to ours other than a few minor details.

yee-sookyung-installation-viewThe process she went through to make these pots was a little bit like mine but with a few stark differences.

The overall concept was the same. Taking pieces of pot from other people’s work and turning it into your own using your own style and techniques. You kept the original shape and structure of their work while finding a way to fuse it into whatever outline you wanted to achieve. Other than that, the details of the process are quite different.

After our class discussion, I found out that many potters throw away a lot of their work when it is imperfect and therefore cannot be sold on the market.

Miss Kyung took these imperfect pots, mashed them to pieces, and put them back together again using a sealant and some gold lining. With our class pieces, we used pots that were cut in half instead of crushed to pieces. Additionally, not many of the pieces were imperfect as we had put a lot of effort into making the original form. When we cut them in half, we could choose the shape and line that the wire goes through the clay in. When you put a hammer to a piece of pot, chances are that you are going to get some pretty randomly-shaped pieces. Cutting them in half gave us a much easier piece to work with instead of having to put together what looks like close to 100 shards of pot.

On that agenda, we only had two pieces to work with, our own and somebody else’s, while Miss Kyung had many many different shards from many many different pots. This allowed her work to be much more unique and diverse.

Another big difference is that the type and state of the clay was different. With Miss Kyung, she was dealing with solidified korean pottery, much like what many people call “china.” In art class, I was working with wet red-clay. This made the process of cutting the pieces into half much more controllable. Furthermore, the fact that the clay was wet meant that we didn’t need to use any type of sealant (like the gold lining in the pieces shown above,) we only had to scratch and slip everything together. The wet clay also meant that the design was more malleable and adaptable to whatever design you wanted to form it into. If you didn’t like the other person’s work, it was just as easy to manipulate their clay to make it suit your needs.

Moreover, Miss Kyung’s work was already fired and glazed meaning the design that was on it was stuck and there was nothing she could do about it. With ours, we still have the opportunity to glaze everything the same colour and with the same patterns. This might mean that the overall look of the piece is more fluent which is not the same as Miss Kyung’s.

  • My final form is not quite a pot. It looks more like something you can use to hold a candle in, sort of a shrine…

The original pot looked something like this, except wider, and the petals that you see as the base here lined along the sides on mine. For the other half of the pot, I took a pot that also had a flower inspiration and stuck their half (since it was smaller) inside of mine. Now it looks like a huge, half flower.

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The shape is like this, where there is a base, a back, and sides. The candle could be sitting in the middle of the opening. The design concept is very similar although the overall product is wider. The blooming petals give it an opening feeling, like the entire pot is spreading outwards. Somewhat like this:

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Pottery: Inspired by Object

  • I will upload an image of my pot once it is finished being fired and glazed!
  • My original object was a guitar pick that I have at home. I used this object in my final design in many ways. First, I took the shape of the object and made my pot in direct relation to it. Guitar picks are generally tear shaped, and my pot was in a tear shape as well. My pot was intended to hold small objects instead of carry water and such. The base of the “teardrop” was where the main mass of the objects will go. Towards the top, the area thins out and the pot can hold less objects. Other than the shape of the pot, I plan to glaze it in a very similar colour to the original pick. I have attached a picture of what my guitar pick looks like here: 666988345_583 This marbled colour is very achievable with the glaze as some glazes contain minerals and have this mottled look to them.
  • I chose a guitar pick for many reasons. First, the more obvious reason is that I am learning to play the guitar and is something I am currently enjoying very much. A guitar pick is very important to guitarists because it helps them project their sound in a neat and concentrated way. All the articulations are better heard (in my opinion) with a guitar pick. Other than this, a guitar pick helps symbolise music. A guitar is a very common for artists to use in their songs. Instead of making an entire guitar out of clay, I decided my pot would be more functional in the shape of a pick. Music plays a big part in my life. I play 2 instruments and rely on music to lift my spirits every day. Music is important in my life because when I’m having a bad day I can depend on my music to either cheer me up or let me wallow in my sorrows a bit (it helps, I promise.) I feel like every moment in life deserves a soundtrack of sorts because if you are incapable of putting your feelings of a particular moment in words, someone out there probably already has. Music reminds you that you are not alone in this world and that someone has/is going through the same fun times/hardships (whatever it may be) with you. It connects you to the community around you just by letting you know that someone out there is probably listening to the same lyrics as you and is feeling exactly the way you are. Isn’t amazing how all of that can be summed up in a single guitar pick?
  • Some improvements to my pot which I could have made might have been to make it more functional. Looking around the classroom I sort of wish I made a more conventional pot that would really serve a purpose. As proud as I am of my work, I still wish I made a more traditional-looking sculpture that I would be happy to keep for a long time. Other than that, I am very happy with the final outcome of my pot. I love that it has a lid and is something really unique. I used a lot of borrowed techniques such as the three-slab method that was extremely useful as well as using a sponge to smooth out the sides.
  • I am very proud at how I managed my time. I know that I am a very slow worker as I like to focus on all the little details at the beginning, and then when I figure out that I wasted so much time, rush the end and ruin everything. I planned my process out well and came up with a plan of action before starting my work. I thought about the shape that I wanted to incorporate and how my object would relate to the pot. I made a very simple cut out as a plan for my shape and stuck to my original plan. I was quite productive in class and looked for help when I needed it. It was my seeking assistance that allowed me to come up with many of the ideas I ended up using in the end.

Clay Slab Relief

  •  I will insert a picture of my clay slab relief once the glazing is complete!
  • What are 3 key differences between working with clay and wood for relief sculpture? (What are you able to do with clay that you cannot do with wood?) 

Working with clay allowed more artistic freedom in all areas. For one, you could shape the original clay slab the way you wanted because clay is more malleable than wood. You could choose how thick or thin the piece which allowed for more liberty when it came to making the foreground, middle ground, and background. You could add slabs on top of the original base as well as carve quite deeply into the slab itself. With the wooden slates, what you got was it. There was no adding wood on top of the slab, only carving deeply into it. You could not change the shape or size of the slab: you were stuck with the dimensions of the piece you chose.

Apart from this, the artist could also cover up mistakes on the clay which they could not do with the wood. We were working with fresh, wet clay, so as you made indentations, the clay was cut quite deeply and the surrounding material also moved and adapted to your actions. If you made a stroke that you were unhappy with, you could have either moved the clay back into place to seal up the cut you made or (if the mistake was especially big,) you could scratch, slip and blend and entirely new piece of clay on top. Working with wood was definitely more stressful because any mistakes you made were stuck. All cuts and incisions we permanently indented in the wood. Unless you glued the wood back into place (which might not look particularly nice), there was no going back on a mis-carving.

Thirdly, working with clay allowed more detail to be inputted into the carving. The soft material allowed for easier strokes (we got tired less quickly which meant our hands could keep moving) and the detail was all very defined. You could also do multiple layers of detail. The artist could still apply detail to things in the background of the picture clearly with clay. With wood, you saw the difference in characters and strokes mainly by the difference of the colour of the paint and that of the block. With the clay, all the details could be seen whether they were already carved into before or whether they were on a fresh surface of clay.

Although it may seem like the clay would be the better way to go, there were some benefits to carving on wood too. 1) you do not get texture on the clay that you do on the wood. The wood has quite a natural feel to it as you can see the striation of the wood through the glaze. The clay is completely at mercy to what the artist tells it to do, so it really takes a creative person to make the clay carving look nice. 2) When you put the clay in the oven, there is a chance that it might shatter. That would ruin all the hard work you put into it! You don’t need to fire wood to finish it off.

PBL Final Reflection

PBL was a difficult project  to complete. It brought out the best and worst in everyone within either themselves or their groups.

VIA Strengths: Which ones did you see in yourself during PBL? 

Perseverance: I saw perseverance in myself when our circuit wasn’t working and we kept on trying and trying to get it to work. I cancelled plans and put time aside to stay in after school to get this to finally work.

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence: Aside from appreciating our own work (haha,) I was able to see the value in the creations of others. I know that not everything is easy to make, so when someone pulls something off, they deserve to be appreciated.

Why is collaboration and teamwork important in problem solving? 

Two minds are better put together than separate. It helps us be more open minded. With a group there will be more chance that we succeed because the other person should act as a critic and will help think of any thing that is wrong with the project. Normally, with just one person, he/she will already have their ideas thought out and will not be willing to stray from their original path. I think that it is the job of the partner to help “open the box” for the other person so that they can bring in ideas from the outside and take input from other sources.

Mr. Bourque shared with us 5 videos… 

I think I enjoyed the second video, the snippet from Big Bang Theory, the most. I liked this because I feel like what Sheldon did is most likely what I would do *cringe.* I have been told that I am a ‘natural leader.’ This is something I accept about myself and use to my advantage. Even though I try and let other people take the reins, I still think that most people feel like they are obliged to report to me. Sometimes, I don’t like that because there are times where I just want to take it easy more than I do want to lead everyone around. In most situations, however, I embrace the leader side of me and do what Sheldon did, which is elevate myself. I can see now that this is what I probably look like, and honestly, it looks stupid.

Wood Relief and Candy Chang

Photo on 16-3-15 at 9.52 AM

On one side of my carving, I wrote the word incomplete. I chose this word/font because I wanted to symbolise how incomplete my life is- there is so much more to come as we are still young and have much to achieve in our lives. I chose this font because it looks somewhat immature and barbaric, representing the teenage community!  There’s this quote that goes: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold your pen.” I feel like that represents this carving in its full. The font shows that there is jagged edges that kind of remind me of puzzle pieces. I tried to incorporate it as a pictorial element.  Like, it’s kind of up to you which pieces to fit together and which to mend. Almost as if, when your life is complete, the letters will be more rounded and complete. For now, its permanently jagged, representing eternal youth. I painted the background grey because I think it was quite a stark contrast. When you think of youth, its normally brighter colours. With such a dim colour, you can really see how the wild font stands out. It also symbolises how us teenagers stand out from the crowd with our personalities.

I think I could have used my space a little better. I used the top half quite well but there is still a lot of space left. Also, even though you can’t see it in the picture, some of the carving got really deep in the borders. I think I just used the wrong tool in general and should’ve chosen more wisely.

Photo on 16-3-15 at 9.52 AM #2

 

For me, harmony means many things. When I’m riding a horse, it it important that you are in harmony with the animal because otherwise you will achieve nothing. It is the core of the sport and without it you are not an equestrian. I am also into music, and harmony connects to music for obvious reasons. These two aspects- riding and music, are really important in my life and are highly personal to me. This colour reminds me of nature and how harmonious it is. Both music and equestrianism relate to nature.

I chose this font from the dictionary. As you can see, it is a classic typing font. I think it shows the simplicity of the word. As for a pictorial element, you can see I put in the little phonetic sound things at the base of the word. It brought out the simplicity in it, too. That’s what you can find in a dictionary and I thought it would go with the whole theme of it.

If I could go back and do something again, I would improve the phonetic symbols at the bottom. It’s not very clear really and very splintery. I hope I get the chance to clean that up.

Candy Chang 

1) In her work, Candy uses several materials. She uses the basics: chalk, chalk paint, stencils, and the actual wall of the building itself. She also uses the general public as a material, since its them that are actually making the art.

2) Candy put the phrase “Before I die, I want to…” on a wall in her home in New Orleans. Language is a key aspect because language is what we use to communicate with each other.

First of all, she could have phrased this question differently. She could have said “One thing on my bucket list,” or  “A to-do list made by you.” The language that she used put more weight into the question. If you have something like “A to do list” up there, the severity of the whole situation does not sink in for the crowd. Something on your list can be to go to the grocery store and buy an egg. But really, she was trying to find the meaning and purpose of peoples lives with this question. People don’t live on this earth to buy an egg! Something to do before you die is something that really matters to you, and she used language to incorporate and suggest this meaning.

Also, this wall is now found all over the world. If you see it in Paris written in Korean, the locals are never going to understand it. It is the locals that pass by it every day. Sure, the occasional Korean may come by, but why know one person’s story when you can know hundreds? Language is important here because without it, you cannot communicate meaning to the people you are trying to reach.

3) Candy had many purposes to her work. She did it both as a favour to herself and a service to her community.

Right before she created this work, a mother figure of hers died and she was very upset about it. She used art as an output of her emotions instead of keeping it bundled inside of her. In her Ted talk, Candy says that she thought about death a lot. Maybe she wanted to see if any strangers had done that too, and see if she could connect with any of them. Sometimes connections are the best way to start the healing process.

This project also benefitted the community. The wall she used used to be an old abandoned house. You can see from the images she shows that is neglected and dilapidated. She turned this old ruin into a space where people can “pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their aspirations in a public space.” This became a place for people to reflect. For people to laugh or cry at other peoples responses. For people to know that they are not alone.

4) I think Candy’s work is successful. It made its way all over the world. It achieved its goal, both personal and globally. It made her laugh and cry, and it let her reflect on life and death. You can see that it empowered her and let her think about life. It was very successful because people got to relish in their own emotions and reflect about what makes them happy, which is what it was set out to do in the first place. It was a place for reflection, and that’s what people did. Reflect.

Pre PTC Reflection

What is one project you have enjoyed? 

I am currently really enjoying our wood carving project. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the other ones, which I did, but I think that this carving project is the one to beat. I love the freedom that we have while carving and the actual process of making the intents in the wood.

How have you gained a better understanding about sculpture?

After doing more research, I realise that sculpture isn’t just marble works by the classic artists, but rather everything around us. The chair we’re sitting on and the building we’re walking in is all sculpture. It has made me think of art in a whole new way.

What is one area of improvement you could make for the rest of the semester?

I think should be more constant with my research habits. I normally cram everything into one day and it takes me a long time. My schedule is pretty crammed in the first place, so I think it has to do with time management.

What are some skills or work habits you have successfully developed?

I think I plan everything out a lot more effectively. I put a lot of effort into thinking everything out and drawing out my plans before actually doing it. I think thats important both in the art world and in my academic life, so its a good habit to have.

WHAT IS IT SUPPOSED TO DO? 

We are trying to make a hand cranked flashlight. We are using a generator to charge a battery, which will then connect to an switch and eventually a light.

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

My partner and myself are currently trying to figure out the circuit. We have recently discovered which parts our model needs as well as how the circuit should work. Today, we started wiring things. I found that the electricity from the battery can be used to make the generator a motor.  What we want is  to use the generator to give the battery power instead. We incorporated the use of a diode for that purpose. Also, for the first time, we got the light to light up, which is progress. Once we finish the circuiting, we need to find a way to encase it in a container for general usage.

 

BY DAY 6, WE NEED TO…

Finish the circuiting. From that point, we can start finding a way to encase it in a container or shell to keep it safe. IMG_7116 IMG_7115 IMG_7112 IMG_7113 IMG_7114

PBL- Update #1

1) My partner Caroline and myself have decided to build a wind up flashlight after much consideration of other designs. We started off by looking on the internet for ideas that we could possibly replicate or improve. The decision was between a hotdog cooker (solar oven,) a wind powered iPhone charger, and the windup flashlight. From the many designs that we on the internet, we narrowed them down with choice criteria to do with things that we were passionate about and things that we thought needed changing. That included food, the constant struggle of dying phones, and renewable energy. We chose the flashlight because it seemed like the most original idea as well as the one that we were probably most capable of doing. We are still researching the perfect materials (which light, which generator, which battery, etc) and have yet to start building. We have tried to use a generator to power a flashlight (an incredibly simple process,) but we are considering adding a switch.

 

2) With the materials list close to complete, we have to start gathering and buying all the things we need. With this project, we won’t have many things that you can just pull out of your house. Not many households have a motor, hand crank and glass panes handy, ours certainly don’t. We have our design all figured out, the next hurdle is the materials.

 

3) We have to ask Mr. Bourque for the materials that we will not be able to get at home. Over the break, there is not much we can do (since we are not together) except for further research and the collection of materials. Though, like I said, there is not much you can find in your house. We have to figure out the ideal circuiting as well as the placement inside the container, as we cannot have all the mechanics on display because that makes it more fragile. One of us has to work on the case it will go in, and the other the wiring.