Chiammy’s Blog

yunxin’s aep e-portfolio!

September 28, 2009

Filed under: artworks — chiammy @ 17:38

fashion designing

try to ignore the unglam three of us and the many bottles of water and focus on my model. (: yep. this was the tankini i designed in china. It was really really exciting as it was my first fashion design that got executed. it was under our entrepreneurship development programme by the name of The Little Entrepreneur. we actually went to purchase materials and went to the tailors with our designs to get it made.

so basically you cant see it in this photo, but my tankini has a corset back, which was because the target market we  were heading for was the Shanghainese market, which is to say very chinese. And the corset back is a very much tang dynasty influenced idea. Our target market was for teenagers to preadults, meaning that we were targetting those who are young and vibrant. so we chose really clashing colours. which in retrospect slightly resembles a traffic light D:. anycase, then we also made the wrap around her hips considering the fact that she’d be walking on beaches in it. The neck of the tankini is also a halter and the strings of the halter are french braided to add small details to our design. The orange sash on her waist is also connected to the back and ends with a kimono inspired big bow.

On the overall i liked this experience of having a target market to work for and stuff. I must admit that this looks rather normal, but considering that i had to restrict myself to the bikini/tankini market, and that i had to keep my model who is my friend, looking decent, i think that is all that i could have possibly done.

we were given 5 days to design, conceptualise, buy materials and make the tankini by the way (:

if i could do this again, I would actually try making dresses. I do draw dresses in my free time but i havent got the chance to making one of them so yep, i would like to try this if given time and money!


Comments (:

Filed under: Uncategorized — chiammy @ 17:25


Kathe Kollwitz!

Filed under: inspirations — chiammy @ 16:39

Kathe Kollwitz is regarded as one of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, and as a remarkable woman who created timeless art works against the backdrop of a life of great sorrow, hardship and heartache.Kollwitz

Hunger, 1925


Before i start, did you know that Kollwitz knew Lu Xun? hahah it’s a random fact I found out at the Lu Xun museum during my 3 month immersion last year.

Nevetheless, this is a woodcut depicting people in hunger by Kollwitz. I came across this painting when searching Kollwitz. Well personally, I like artworks that are especially emotive as i like the relation between literature and arts. anycase, in this woodcut, Kollwitz uses strong lines to bring about the idea of the emotional suffering in which her subject matter is going through. The faces consuming the lady in hunger emphasises on the torture in which she is undergoing. This idea of an object consuming another influenced me quite alot as can  be seen in my coursework under the theme Results Centred Happiness. Here’s the short write up from my prep board.

In this piece of work, I endeavour to depict how most Nanyang Girls place too much emphasis in the attainment of good results. The overall concept of this linocut was inspired by a movie that I watched entitled “Drag Me to Hell”. In the movie, the woman never escapes the arm of the evil spirits. Similarly, students of our school never seem to escape the notion of the need to attain straight As. Thus, I decided to depict an anguished girl being engulfed by flames and trying to reach into infinity for her grades. I also decided to make many copies of this picture, file it in a file and then mark them using very harsh remarks.. This was possible as linocut allows for rapid reproduction. Therefore, not only does the print reflects results- centered happiness, the file also shows everything a student never wants to hear or see, thus stressing the idea of the importance of good results to a student.


Indeed, I admit I was more influenced by the movie than Kollwitz initially, however, Kollwitz’s style is rather notable in her way of cutting to present the idea of agony. She uses harsh lines across her canvas to make the viewer identify with the pain the subject matter feels. Though i ultimately did not employ these harsh lines in my work, i tried to use a different way, which was to overwhelm the viewer with neater strokes. I admit that I am not daring enough to use harsh strokes like Kollwitz as I do not really have the guts and confidence to make such strong decisions on my lino. so perhaps this is an integral learning point for me in that I really need to learn to be less reserved.

In addition, there is an unequal amount of positive and negative space in Kollwitz’s Hunger. This could possibly be because she wanted to show how the black and darkness of the entire situation is more overwhelming. I tried to include this in my own linocut by including more negative( black) spaces in my artwork.

I also feel very inspired by the movement of the lines she uses, which would be a good reference for me when I was trying to portray smoke engulfing my student.


block test two 2008

Filed under: writings — chiammy @ 15:38

1)With the aid of 2 examples, list some of the key concepts behind the works of M.C. Escher. (10m)

         Two weeks from M.C.Escher include “Reptile” and “Waterfall”. “Reptiles” show the lifecyle of a reptile and how it starts from a tessellated picture of an alligator to an alligator with half a body in 2D and another half in 3D, to a fully 3D alligator which then returns back to the tessellated 2Dalligator form. The entire picture is rendered in black and white, due to the use of woodcut. The black and white helps to create positive and negative spaces in the picture. From “Reptiles”, we can infer that key concepts behind M C Esher’s work include tessellated figures that can be transformed, reflected and pivoted. We can also infer that Esher emphasizes positive and negative spaces, especially with the use of the two parallel achromatic colours, black and white. This can also be inferred by his choice of medium, the woodcut.

           The other work, “Waterfall” shows water flowing down a building. However, from another perspective, we could say that the water is instead flowing back up to the building. The idea of an impossible structure is intelligently camouflaged by M.C.Escher as when viewed from afar, the building is seemingly normal. This idea of the impossible building follows the mathematical idea of a mobius strip, which is a never ending loop. Once again, “Waterfall” is rendered in black and white, due to the nature of the medium, woodcut. Based on “Waterfall”, it is not tough for one to infer how the key concepts behind the works of M.C. Escher includes mathematical algorithms as well as the exploration of positive and negative spaces in black and white.

           In retrospect, “Reptiles” shows how M.C.Escher is interested in the links between 2D and 3D, the mathematical idea of tessellations and positive and negative spaces. “Waterfall” on the other hand exemplifies how he is interested in mathematical algorithms and impossible structures like the mobius strip.

marks: 10

2 (a)

Antony Gormly, Field for Brititsh Isles 1993 Terracotta variable size, approx 40, 000 elements, each 8-26 cm tall

Henry Moore, Recumbent Figure, 1938, Green Horton stone, 88.9 x 132.7 x 73.7 cm, 520kg, Tate Gallery, London

Describe the subject matter of these sculptures, making reference to what you see. (1om)

          In Anthony Gormley’s “Field For The British Isles” (1993), figures of people ranging from 8 to 26 cm in height is exhibited. These figures are built using terracotta and the final product is left to be in the natural reddish colour of terracotta. The terracotta figures are arranged in long rows and columns that appear quite orderly and seem to be attaining a vanishing point within a great distance. The terracotta figures are of varied shape, size and expressions, seeming to be unique individually.

            Henry Mooke’s work. “Recumbent Figure” (1983) is a sculpture carved on Green Hamton stone. The sculpture seems to be depicting a woman, as can be seen from her cleavage. The extensions on the two sides of the sculpture’s chest can be inferred to be the sculpture’s arms, which are locked in prayer. This could possibly be, as implied from the title of the piece, a recumbent figure. The choice of medium used, which is the stone could also possibly be the sculpture’s expression as how he wishes for it to be long lasting. The uneven shape of the sculpture also implies how people are never perfect.

Marks: 7

2b)Analyse and interpret the artists’ intentions of the sculptures. (10m)

From my contextual knowledge, I know that Anthony Gomley makes figures cast in head and iron, often taking his own body as the object for which the sculpting occurs on. His aims of doing so were to emcompass not only what people see from the exterior, but also what is to be seem internally. The “Field for the British Isles” is an installation with varied terracotta figures. These figures come in varied shapes and sizes, possibly showing the differences within every single person, implying the individuality of people. In addition, I know that when viewed from a specific height and angle, the figures all seem to be staring at the viewer. This together with the overwhelming 40,000 figures could possibly be the artist’s intention of overwhelming the viewer and making the viewer feel insignificant in comparison with the massive amount of figures. Also, the fact that the artist chose to leave the figures in its original colour instead of colouring.The figures show how the artist possibly wanted to retain the sole similarity in the figures, which is the colour.

          Henry Moore’s “Recumbent Figure” is a sculpture of a figure carved in Green Hamton stone. The figure is of a majestic size and is a depiction of the upper torso of a human. The figure was a pair of magnified arms that seemingly looked clasped in a prayer like form. Through the emphasis on the upper torso, especially the hands, the artist could possibly be implying how she can repent through prayer. In addition, the size of the figure could perhaps be the artist’s idea of how great or how nobel the recumbent figure.

Marks: 7

2c) From the perspective of a viewer, discuss the differences between installations and sculptures. You may use these two works, or other examples to illustrate your answer (10m)

From “Field of the British Isles’, we can tell that the positioning of an installation is a key factor which affects the viewer’s perception and understanding of the intention of the artist’s work. For example, had the terracotta figures be arranged in a circle with no vanishing point, the viewer would have had a different idea on the artist’s intent. This contrasts with a sculpture as most sculpture are at a rooted position and the viewer is allowed to walk around the sculpture, to admire the sculpture from whichever position he deems is beautiful. The arrangement of the sculpture is done during the process of sculpting the work instead of after the process of the sculpting.

         In addition, comparing Andy Goldsworthy’s “Ice Arch” to Henry Moore’s “Recumbent Figure”. Though both artwork are of majestic sizes, installation artworks have a tendencyto use the arrangement of the artworks to bring out a deeper meaning like global warming. This is in contrast to sculptures in which most of the time, as in the”Recumbent Figure”, the meaning lies within the artwork and not through the positioning of the artwork.

         Also, comparing Han Sai Por’s “Spring” with the “Shimmering Pearls”, “Spring” is a sculpture that is rooted at one spot and it was the sculpture as the sole and central focus.. “Shimmering Pearls” however, has placements of different pearls at different heights. Though they are essentially balls that are coloured, they confuse the viewer as there is no central object to focus on. This shows how installation art is more focused on big picture while sculptures focus on the main object.         

Marks: 7


free writing

Filed under: writings — chiammy @ 15:28

the following was written in 15 mins. the instructions from Mr Lim was to write whatever we thought about any painting in the exhibition. ( This was during one of the AEP field trips). so here it goes

An An In La La Land


This painting shows An An lying on a patch of green grass. Her eyes are closed and her arms are behind her head. An An looks serene, at peace, happy. Nice texture of grass is portrayed through the varied direction of the brushstrokes. I like the grass. It seems to surround An An and yet it does not suffocate her. There is a strong shadow cast on the grass. Amusingly it doesn’t seem to be cast on An An. I think the texture of the clothing is well drawn and the overall harmony and happiness that the painting seems to exude might be due to the artist’s choice of colours which are pure colours that seem relatively unmixed. Colours used are green, blue, beige, black and white. An An seems to be smiling though her lips is in a straight line. Is it because of her cheeks? Or just her relaxed posture? Then again, shadow cast on ground seems fake because it comes in really odd shapes that look like splats. Childhood. Innocence. Happiness. Simplicity. Bliss.  

I think free writing is quite a good way and fast way to reflect, learn and internalise  what I see.


by the Olympic Fervour

Filed under: inspirations,Uncategorized — chiammy @ 11:14

so i went to china for three months and i watched the olympics on my television. so i could not help but feel a little inspired by many designs generated for the olympics. i mean do you even remember the mascot of the previous olympic? or do u even remember how its symbol looked like? i tink i definitely wont forget the fu was and the pictograms of the beijing olympics.




these four pictures are common jokes found online as to how the beijing olympic emblem was created. though amusing, it actually shows the artist’s design concept. if you were to google on the story and the intended message of the emblem, you would get the idea of how every emblem of the Olympics tells a story. This emblem is the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games emblem “Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing” is filled with Beijing’s hospitality and hopes, and carries the city’s commitment to the world.


“Dancing Beijing” is a milestone of the Olympics. It serves as a classic chapter of the Olympic epic inscribed by the spirit of the Chinese nation, calligraphed by the deeper import of the ancient civilization, and molded by the character of Cathay’s descendents. It is concise yet deep inside, bringing forth the city’s gradual changes and development. It appears dignified yet bears a tune of romance, reflecting the nation’s thoughts and emotions.

In the lead up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the emblem will attract more and more people from around the world to Beijing and China to join the great celebration with the Chinese people.


“Dancing Beijing” is a Chinese Seal. It is engraved with commitment made to the Olympic Movement by a country that has 56 ethnic groups and a population of 1.3 billion. While witnessing the advocacy of the Olympic Spirit by a nation with both ancient civilization and modern culture, it also unfolds a future-oriented city’s pursuit of the Olympic Ideal.

It is a symbol of trust and an expression of self confidence, standing for the solemn yet sacred promise that Beijing – the host city of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – has made to the world and to all mankind.

“Complete sincerity can affect even metal and stone (literally meaning sincerity smoothes the way to success).” The inception of our ancestors’ wisdom and the image of a seal made of metal and stone allow the emblem to present Chinese people’s respect and honesty for the Olympics.

The moment we earnestly imprint the emblem with the “Chinese seal”, Beijing is about to show the world a grand picture of “peace, friendship, and progress of mankind” and to strike up the passionate movement of “faster, higher, and stronger” for mankind.


“Dancing Beijing” serves as the city’s foremost appearance. It is an image that shows the eastern ways of thinking and the nation’s lasting appeal embodied in the Chinese characters. It is an expression that conveys the unique cultural quality and elegance of Chinese civilization.

With inspiration from the traditional Chinese art form – calligraphic art, the character “Jing” (the latter of the city’s name) is developed into the form of a dancing human being, reflecting the ideal of a “New Olympics”. The words “Beijing 2008” also resembles the vivid shapes of Chinese characters in handwriting, voicing in concise strokes of the countless feelings Chinese people possess towards the Olympics.

As people ponder on the rich connotations and charms of these Chinese characters, a “New Beijing” has thus been brought forward.


“Dancing Beijing” is a favorite color of the Chinese people. The color “red” is intensively used in the emblem, pushing the passion up to a new level. It carries Chinese people’s longing for luck and happiness and their explanation of life.

Red is the color of the Sun and the Holy Fire, representing life and a new beginning. Red is mind at ease, symbol of vitality, and China’s blessing and invitation to the world.


“Dancing Beijing” calls upon heroes. Olympic Games functions as the stage where heroes are made known, miracles created and glories earned, and where every participant constitutes an indispensable part of the occasion.

The powerful and dynamic design of the emblem is a life poem written by all participants with their passion, affections, and enthusiasm. It is an oath every participant takes to contribute power and wisdom to the Olympics.

The emblem cheers for arts and for the Olympic heroes, who pass down the essence of the Olympic Spirit, which well connects sports and cultures.


“Dancing Beijing” extends the totem of the Chinese nation. The form of a running human being stands for the beauty and magnificence of life. Its graceful curves are like the body of a wriggling dragon, relating the past and future of one same civilization; they are like rivers, carrying the century-old history and the nation’s pride; they are like veins, pulsing with vitality of life.

The intrinsic values of sports — athlete-centered and people-oriented – are well defined and upgraded in an artistic way in “the dance of Beijing.” We sing if words fail to explain it all, and we dance if the singing does not explicitly tell the meaning.

Vigorous Beijing is looking forward to the celebration in 2008 and the Olympics wait all mankind to dance together.


“Dancing Beijing” is a kind invitation. The open arms in the emblem say that China is opening its arms to welcome the rest of the world to join the Olympics, a celebration of “peace, friendship and progress of mankind.”

“Is it not a joy to have friends come from afar?” The idiom portrays the feelings of friendly and hospitable Chinese people and expresses the sincerity of the city.

Come to Beijing, take a good look at the historical heritages of China’s Capital city, and feel the pulse of the country’s modernization;

Come, share every piece of its joy, and experience the vigor of the country;

Come, and let us together weave a peaceful and wonderful dream.

I feel that this was a very effective piece of work as it successfully made use of culture and applied it to the modern society. Another great example of how the Beijing Olympic designs use old artistic concepts in modern day artworks is its use of the seals.


The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) also released the Pictograms of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on the occasion of the 2-year countdown to the opening of the Games.

One of the basic image elements of the Olympics, the Olympic Games Pictograms are widely applied in areas such as Olympic directional instruction system, advertising and communications, landscape and environmental arrangement, TV broadcasting and souvenir designs. The Pictograms play an important role in identifying the Olympic sports as well as in Olympic marketing.

Named “the beauty of seal characters” and with strokes of seal characters as their basic form, the Pictograms of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games integrate pictographic charm of inscriptions on bones and bronze objects in ancient China with simplified embodiment of modern graphics, making them recognizable, rememberable and easy to use. Skillfully using the effect of sharp contrast between the black and white colors which the typical Chinese traditional artistic form of rubbings have, the Pictograms of the Beijing Olympic Games display distinct motion character, graceful aesthetic perception of movement and rich cultural connotations, thus arriving at the harmony and unity of form with conception.

The Beijing Olympics Pictograms comprise of 35 sport icons, namely those of athletics, rowing, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe / kayak flatwater, canoe / kayak slalom, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, modern pentathlon, softball, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing, volleyball and beach volleyball.

In March 2005, BOCOG invited four professional design institutes and organizations to the solicitation campaign of Pictograms of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The design based on “seal characters” by China Central Academy of Fine Arts and that on “string” by Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University were shortlisted after experts’ appraisal.

A joint design working group between China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Academy of Arts and Design constantly improved and perfected the design in accordance with the suggestions of BOCOG and experts home and abroad.

In December 2005, BOCOG submitted the Beijing Olympic Pictograms to the 28 International Sports Federations (IFs) for approval, and all of IFs had endorsed the Pictograms by April 2006. And in June this year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted the set of the Pictograms.

Thus in my coursework, I tried to use the idea of the pictograms in my work.

Here’s the short writeup about my theme of Trapped on my prep board:

In this piece of work, I endeavour to show how students in our school are all trapped within the cycle of work and stress. Like a plasma ball that has all its energy trapped within the walls of the ball that holds it, the students often try various ways and positions to escape, but many fail. I researched on simplified forms like those used to make the Beijing Olympics and ParaOlympic logos and thus decided that it was the best way to depict my figures. The figures in my installation are all faceless and have simplified postures. The postures are postures of ways to escape, which are namely reaching out, digging into the ground and jumping. The fact that it is a linocut allowed me to reproduce them in large amounts, thus significant of the large quantity of people who have tried or are trying. I also printed them on coloured paper to signify how all of them are actually lively and vibrant. However, as can be seen in the installation, many have tried to escape but have failed and thus lie on the grounds of the cage which hold them. Those who are still hanging remain coloured on one side and blank on the other to symbolize how in the process of reaching out for one’s aims, many have become mundane and single- sided. Pasting white paper also serves as a practical purpose: to make the figures tougher. I decided to hang them in a cage with a lock to show how they are trapped and are unable to escape.


On communist poster art

Filed under: inspirations — chiammy @ 10:45

My coursework is basically split into four main themes, bicultural, trapped, multitalented and results centred happiness.

The following is the short write up on my prep on the theme of biculture:

In this piece of work, I endeavour to depict what our school appears to pride itself in-biculturalism. I intend to make use of communist poster art to bring across my message. Nanyang is often deemed to be communist because of our strong emphasis in being bicultural and thus I felt it would be apt to mimic communist posters. Also, red and white which are predominant communist colours are also the colours found on our school uniform. In addition, I also included a loud haler as it is a symbol of speaking, encouraging people to speak out and be bilingual. I also decided to ultimately install my print as the coverpage of an English-Chinese dictionary as it is a literal embodiment of biculture.

so i decided to make use of a common perception of nanyang being communist in my artwork. Thus i started researching on communist posters, trying to find a common point, mainly trying to answer the question of : what makes communist posters communist posters?

so i googled communist poster art and found the following pictures rather representative of my perception on communist art.

Common characteristics of communist posters:

communist one

communist two

    communist three
    communist four
    and so i concluded that the following five points can almost be considered to be applicable to any successful communist poster. It must have:

  1. an uprising centre figure that takes up majority of the picture frame
  2. directional lines leading out of the picture frame
  3. red
  4. white
  5. a characteristic figure of the country/group as the main figure

I also quite liked this website as it provides a comprehensive number of propaganda posters collected by the creator of the website.

I think communist poster art is a rather effective way of propagating an idea as it just screams what it is trying to mention right in your face.