Unit 3: Wood Relief

Reflection (Interpretation):
Upload a photograph of both sides of your wood relief carving.  

76ead47d-c268-4215-9a93-4feb20cc1cde 94a0cacc-d967-420a-82db-f64484b0bd18

Explain why the word you have carved is personally significant to you. Share about the meaning and personal connections.

The two words I chose was “desolation” and “isolation”. Desolation was actually the first word that came to my mind when I was thinking for a word. For some reason, ever since Grade 7 started, I’ve been personally attached to the word “desolation”. This personal attachment started when I watched the movie “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug”. Ever since I saw this movie, I felt as if I grew a new pair of eyes. People tend to see beauty in other people’s faces, sceneries from nature or artwork, but after watching this movie, I seemed to find beauty in destruction, war, and desolation. I just thought, the greyness, the plainness and the sadness radiating off a desolated scenery. So for my first wood sculpture, I carved out a bare tree, ravens and the word “desolation” in The Hobbit’s font.

For isolation, I just thought I wanted to have a word that rhymes with my first word, on which the first word that came to me was isolation. Isolation just seemed to be one of the factors to desolation. But this time, while making this second wood work, I wanted a simple theme, with colour. So I used the figure of a lone human being walking on water, with their reflection, and used that human being as the “i” in the isolation. I wanted one single theme for both carvings, so I stuck with the theme of desolation.
How does the colour of your painting relate to your word choice?

I used grey for my first carving, desolation, and blue for my other one, isolation. Grey fits my theme because desolation tends to refer to the effect of war or the remains of a battlefield. Since grey can mean a very grim, sad colour, and desolation means something similar to that, so I used grey for the first carving, desolation. For the isolation one, my theme was a sole person walking a puddle of water, with their reflection. So I used blue because blue is the colour of the water that the person is walking on.
Identify the other pictorial (picture) elements of both your word carvings.  What do they represent or symbolise?

For the desolation, I carved out the a bare tree which represents the theme of desolation. Usually desolation is the opposite of life, more like death or cold winters. So when I thought of life, I thought of a spring tree, with flowering leaves. Since desolation is the opposite of that, I thought in winter, there are bare trees. So for desolation, I carved a bare tree.

For the isolation, I carved out the person walking on shallow water, with their reflection. The person is looking down, as if they’re disappointed or depressed. Isolation is usually about depression and sad emotions. So I thought, since the the person is alone with only their reflection, it could symbolise that they are isolated with only themselves, and they are alone with only their feelings. That’s how I decided to carve out the person walking on shallow water.
What improvements could you make?

I could spend more time maybe burning the wood, because I personally wanted to experience the burning process, but the only thing I burned was the reflection of the person walking on water. I think I should’ve added some burning to the first side, or the desolation side.
Research (Understanding):
Watch this Ted talk video about the artist Candy Chang and respond to the questions below.  http://bit.ly/1w4NKBl
What are the materials that Candy uses in her work?

Chalk, an abandoned house, spray paint, creativity, grief from the death of her friend, and compassion to help others.
Explain how Candy uses language and people in her work.

Unlike other artists, Candy used other people’s thoughts and quotes to create her own artwork. While other people work independently and complete their artpiece without any interaction with the public, Candy created a base to an artwork, and the public just evolved around it and helped Candy make it.
What is the purpose of her work?

To help others clarify about their identity, their worries and fears, and to show others that they are not alone. Also to combine and connect the public together by displaying people’s feelings out for everyone to see.
How effective do you find her work? Is it successful? Why or why not?

I think Candy’s work is a step closer to connecting different kinds of people together. Inequality is often seen in many countries, and by letting people know that they are not alone by anonymously sharing other people’s thoughts, we can join different people and possibly stop inequality, whether it’s gender inequality or skin colour inequality. So I do find her work effective, and we can continue her idea by spreading these artwork and make more of these “sharing boards”.

Unit 5: Critique on Work of Do Ho Suh

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.54.39 AM

Describe it:

  • What do you see?

A chainmail armour or coat that seems to be hanging in mid air.

  • What observations can you make about the work?

The inside is made so that there is a hallow structure supporting the art piece, but the inside of the hallow structure is lined with mirrors to make it seem like it’s not there. And the chainmail extends all the way out the door.

Relate it:

  • What does the work remind you of?

One of those Chinese warrior’s armour, when they’re all draped in metal and fancy coats. Kind of like a war dress/coat.

Analyze it:

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

If this coat was real, then the function would to serve war, while the form a cross, but with the top cut off. If you look at this other artwork by Do Ho Suh, you can see the style Do Ho Suh has. He often does coats, without the heads, and makes it look really formal and orderly. I can also see that the coat has a dragon scale pattern, or a fish scale pattern. The coat’s pattern also might resemble crocodile leather, on which both material, the dragon scale and crocodile leather are both very tough material and hard to penetrate. This might symbolise that Do Ho Suh wanted the coat to look like a armour that couldn’t be penetrated. The colour, shiny silver, also might symbolise that this coat is meant for someone with high status or honour.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.54.39 AM

  • What is the most interesting part of the work?

I think the way that Do Ho Suh made the inside look invisible was the most interesting. Putting mirrors inside the coat and having the lighting shine on the surface of the coat makes the coat look very majestic. Also, the fact that the mirrors make the inside not that obvious, it adds the element of creepiness since when when someone briefly glances at it, it looks like a floating coat.

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

Why did you spread out the coat so much? Why did you cut off the head part? What inspired you to create this artwork?


Interpret it:

  • What title would you give the work?

Ghost’s Armour.

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

Maybe because he comes from Korea, where North Korea is suffering from communism. These strict uniforms and the serious mood might represent Do Ho Suh’s feelings toward Korea. He also might have chose to do this work because he wanted to raise awareness about North Korea’s communism, or maybe even the entire Korea’s culture.

Evaluate it:

  • How successful is the work?

If success means impressive, then yes, this was very impressive. If success means sold for a lot of money, then I’m not quite sure if this artwork is even for sale.

  • What is the most impressive aspect of the work?

How he made the inside invisible, and how steady and consistent the pattern looked. Maybe even how he supported the structure of the coat.

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

Well, this armour might represent how in life, we always have to protect ourselves, whether physically or socially. But there should be a gap in this armour where our loved ones are, how we trust them and give them all we have. On the other hand, the mirrors on the interior might represent that we have to constantly reflect on ourselves, see what errors we have, fix them, and not just focus on other people. Lastly, the everlasting pattern of scales/alligator leather might represent that life has consistent times, where all you have to do is training, practicing and boring text book reading. But that is for the better good, to protect yourself like the pattern is imprinted on the armour that we all must wear.


Unit 4: Pottery “The Unconventional Pot”

  1. How was your process similar and/or different to Yee SooKyung’s work:


In many ways, my process was similar and different from Yee SooKyung’s work. Yee SooKyung had evidently used different pieces from different pots to assemble together, and form a new pot. My process was similar to that; I took another person’s pot, took mine, then somehow connected them together to form a new pot. But on the other hand, my process is very different from Yee SooKyung’s work. While she made a pot, I only made half a pot. While she made a whole shape that could be recognized as a rough circle, my work only resembled a semicircle. So our process and final result are similar but also differ in many ways.

    2)  Is your final form a pot? Please explain with the use of examples.

Sadly, no, my final form is not a pot. In fact, if you combine the other halves, it might resemble a pot. I took my pot and another person’s pot, and somehow managed to fit her pot into mines, so that it would look like a pot with another pot inside but cut in half. The definition of a pot is a round container of some kind, that can contain something. My pot, however, cannot contain anything, so therefore is not considered a pot.

Unit 4: Pottery “Inspired by Object”

Explain how you used your object in your final design

My final design was modelled after a Roman helmet, the one with the plumes of hair. For the hair design, I used my object, which is a bottle cap, and made the imprints with the sides of the bottle cap.

Explain how you are connected to your object and why it is personally significant to you.

Well, a bottle cap isn’t really useful to me, but it is meaningful. When we were little, me and my sister used to collect bottle caps, just to see what we could do with them. Sometimes we would combine two of them and make a box, containing something small in it. Other times we would marvel over how unique the bottle cap was from the others. In a way, the bottle cap itself represents our childhood silliness.

What are some improvements that could be made?

I could make the hair more realistic, instead of making it look like a dragon’s spikes or a mohawk, so when someone glances at the pot they’ll immediately see the connection with the Roman helmet. I could also make it more like the pot is resting on top of the actual “cup” and not the “head” of the guy who’s wearing the helmet.

What are some achievements you are proud of?

I’m proud of the idea that I came up with. It’s not easy connecting a bottle cap and a Roman helmet. I’m also proud of how I managed to turn a helmet into a pot, which was actually one of my main challenges in this project. Last of all, I think I did well on supporting the structure, because the helmet’s structure makes it really easy to break off anytime.

Unit 4: Pottery “Clay Slab Relief”

Sculpture - Clay Slab Relief

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?)

The first thing that comes to mind is that wood is obviously much harder and not-easier to work with. Clay is such a soft material that you can “erase” your mistakes with your finger by blending over the mistake, unlike the wood. With wood, once something is imprinted or carved into the wood, it can’t be reversed. Even if you can paint over the mistake, you can still feel it with your finger. Working with clay has it’s benefits and downfalls, and wood also has it’s benefits and downfalls. When you work with clay, it’s easier to restart, to form shapes with your hands, and easier to mould into a abstract 3D shape because of it’s soft form. On the other hand, when you work with clay, all the imprints left behind when you blend the clay with a tool or something is left there. Every crease, fold and crack etc stays there, and once the clay is fired, it doesn’t look that great as it might when you blended it when it was still soft. So you can see clay as a material you want to use when creating 3D shapes that is just to show the overall and bigger picture.

On the contrary, wood is a material you want to use for precision. Indeed, wood is a very hard material and often is stubborn and hard to bend to your will, oft times leaving you with sore fingers after carving out with the knives. Strength, patience and precision is required when working with wood, and usually not much people have the patience and precision to work with wood. Moreover, wood is the exact material you will want to use when seeking for precise details and a “woody” feeling. While clay is not that useful when seeking for precision, wood is a good material to use that can display the details in a very natural way. Therefore these are the differences between working with clay and wood for relief sculpture.

Sculpture Self Evaluation

What is one project from sculpture you are proud of completing or enjoyed experiencing?

I think I most enjoyed doing and am proud of the project is the wood relief sculpture. I spent a lot of time designing the tree and words, especially the branches of the tree. The result was really impressive, since carving out thin lines over a hundred times is not easy.

How have you gained a better understanding about sculpture (3D art)?

From sculpture class so far, I understood that not all art is that easy to make. It requires much of your patience, passion, determination and skill. Most people think that just a portrait of yourself or a abstract colourful artwork is simply easy, but ever since I started on this wood relief sculpture, I realise you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

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

Manage the design so it doesn’t require that much time to complete. For the wood relief sculpture, one of the designs required much of my time and skill, which kind of got annoying in the end because I could never start on the second piece. In general, I need to make my designs more simple yet impressive.

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

Precise carving out of wood and training my patience. By precise carving I mean like carving thin lines on wood, where it looks like a bare tree’s branches. When I say training my patience, I mean by restraining the impatience to start the second side. This skill can be useful for many fields.

Unit 2: Form and Function (Cardboard Tower Sculpture)

[ still have to upload picture ]


1)Describe your ideas (inspiration) for the form and function of your work.

When the assignment was given, the first thing that caught my eye was that the tower had to be firm and steady. I thought, so what shapes would make a firm sculpture? Pyramid or triangle was the first that came to my mind. But since we could only use rectangles and squares, I thought of building blocks. A steady tower could be a straight up rectangular or square tower, but you could also have square like blocks rotating so it would balance out. That seeded the first idea of my tower.

2) How effective would your sculpture be as a real tower? Please explain in terms of place (city/country) and how people would “use” it.

This tower, or mall, would be commonly seen in cities. We made the bottom as a lobby, with the “biggest” shop areas. The second and third floor was used for smaller shop areas. The roof top was for the “cinema” and “food court”. We still haven’t named the mall yet, but we have thought of something along the lines of “Divergence” or  “The Contrast”. Something to do with opposites.

3) Share one aspect of how your group worked well together and one aspect of how your group could have improved in the area of teamwork.

Our group worked well together when it came to the building. We agreed on many of the designs, worked in harmony when constructing, but we started to fall apart in the designing.

While painting, I thought gradient was a much better design for this building, but my partner thought black and white was better. We ended up coming both designs, which clashed in a unmannerly way.

Standard 3: Analyze (Research)

1) Watch this short video (in class) about the artist Sarah Sze:


2) How does Sarah use improvisation and spontaneity (randomness) to create her work?

She used the art of uncertainty and laid out her entire process of making the uncertain final product into her work of art. Soon, her final product was actually the process of thinking, on which she used improvisation and spontaneity to map out the process.

3) Find a good photo of one of her works and upload this to your site. Don’t forget to label the photo with a title, year, and other relevant information

This sculpture was made of toothpicks, paper and small pieces of wood, plus Sarah’s imagination. It was first released in 2008.

4) How was your art making process similar or different to Sarah’s process?

As to any piece of art, we never follow our original plan. As we proceed toward building, we realise that there might be a better way out, or this might look better instead of that. It’s called improvisation, like Sarah’s process of art. As we change, we might make the art worse through our own eyes, or improve through other eyes. Art, like writing, can never be said “I’m finished!”.

5) What is your reaction to Sarah’s work? Would you call this art? Please explain.

Instead of art, I would call it a gallery. In the video she said she gathered everything that was in her daily life and organised in a way that would look like art. But through my eyes, I see a gallery of everyday things, modelled with paper or clay. Then from a gallery of fake jewellery to paper shoes back to clay sculptures, I say it’s the gallery of our daily lives.

The Definition of Wood Relief

As many sculptors know, there are two different types of wood relief. The low relief sculpture and the high relief sculpture.


So first, what is wood relief? In the sculpture world, relief sculpture is any work which comes from the wall, but stands out. The sculpture seems to have different elevation, either sticking out or going into the background. This is an example of relief sculpture:

Low relief:

The carving, instead of sticking out, will be part of the background. It’s carved into the surface instead of sticking out of the flat surface. 

High relief:

High relief is obviously the opposite of low relief. Instead of hollowing in, it’s sticking out, so that if you feel it it has a a 3D surface. High relief sculptures stand out more than the background. High relief sculptures often look like another work of art, but they are still connected to the wall.