After spending four nights in Dana, I finally finished my maquette. The scale of the exhibition space is 1 to 20. It was designed in the shape of golden spiral and separated into three sections. The real height of the wall is another amazing number in the math world pi 3.14 meters, while the perimeter is 17.27 meters long. Since the golden spiral was exists in the galaxy, I chose black as the floor color and use gold marker to write down the numbers of Fibonacci number (also the radius of each part), and yellow chalk to make create some halo to imitate the scene of universe. For the wall of the space, I chose golden oak wood contact paper, because golden ratio comes from nature, and the color of this kind of wood is light and close to the the gold color. On the wall, all the lines are perpendicular to the ground so that when there is light above, the vertical lines could create a visual extension and a divine feeling. When visitor first enter the exhibition space, they would see the Mona Lisa through the frame with lines. This design was based on the theorem of similar rectangle. This frame was located at the top of golden triangle with the real height of 1.7, the mean height of adults. This design directly correspond the poster and catch people’s attention through analyzing it with lines. Also, in this section, both painting are 1.4 above the floor, a comfortable watching height. For these three sections, all the further analysis of golden ratio will be printed on the wall. By creating this space, I want to reach a visual unity and let visitors really feel the Golden Ratio by walking in a Golden Spiral space, standing at the Golden Rectangle and appreciating the artwork applied with the Golden Ratio.
Today we had our last Method class in this semester. Every class member delivered a 20-minute presentation to introduce the organization of the exhibition, 6 artwork, and the relations between them, as well as the maquette and poster. From my classmates’ presentations, I got a lot of new inspirations which would be helpful for my project and future art study. I really love Lauren’s visual description of the sculptures she chose, especially the one about the sculpture Hagesandros. When she described that sculpture, she first gave the listeners a general description and then started to analyze each figure following the sequence from right to left. I was impressed with her description of the boy who is standing with one foot on the right. Without her introduction, I could not have noticed that the boy has an ideal adult man body. From her visual analysis, I realized I need to observe artwork more carefully because I might overlook some interesting details.
In Sam’s exhibition, there are close relations between the artwork she chose. We can make connections and comparisons between Shen Wei’s Connect Transfer II, which applied Chinese and Western philosophy in performance, and Pina Bausch’s Vollmond (Full Moon). For example, one goes really slow and smooth while the other is fast and enthusiastic. I also enjoyed Grace’s space design, because she used software to imitate the real scene in the gallery, which helped listeners easily understand her idea.
Besides learning from my peers, I have also learned very much from my professor’s comments. If Katherine did not ask me about the sequence of my artwork introduction, I would never have noticed the importance of a logical sequence. From Professor Sadler, I learned a new word, “Palimpsest”.
These are what I have gotten from today’s class. I had to say even though for this project I had had less than 4-hour sleep everyday for over two weeks, I have truly gained a considerable amount of improvement on speaking, drawing and creativity. I applied into this project everything I had learned from different courses that I am taking. For example, when creating my maquette and poster I used different materials and colors to emphasize the meaning behind each artwork, a useful tip that I had learned from Visual Thinking class and Professor Beidler’s presentation. I chose the artwork deliberately to reach the unity that Professor Ruby mentioned in her lecture, Elements and Principles of Design. Base on the theme, I focused on each artwork with specific purposes, which made them appear more useful than simply sitting their asses in the museum, as Katherine mentioned in her presentation. Making a connection with my math class, I also used artwork to prove my argument–art and math can make our life beautiful. What’s more, all my designs for the maquette and poster were based on accurate calculation and basic theorems. Overall, this project was the one to which I dedicated the most, and I found the creating process very rewarding.
Today, Professor Sadler gave us a professional formal presentation on her research on sculpture. Even though I had read the required materials and tried my best to listen to the class, I had to say today’s class was probably my most puzzling experience because I understood almost nothing. It was difficult not because of the theories Professor Sadler wanted to deliver to us, but because everything mentioned in the presentation is connected with Christianity, which I am totally unfamiliar with. I knew nothing about the stories and figures Professor Sadler mentioned and the terminologies she used in the presentation. This would be the first time for me to understand what my aunt told me–if I wanted to adapt well into the life in the U.S., I should read the Bible and be familiar with Christianity, an significant religion in this country. Without a Christian background, I felt like I was totally alienated in the class.
Even though I did not learn the core ideas Professor Sadler tried to express in the class, I still learned something after looking at the pictures Professor Sadler had shown, guessing the methods from the concepts I could understand, and reading my peers’ process logs. During the presentation, Professor Sadler showed many sculpture groups with a same theme that describes the figures’ different reactions when Christ was released from the Cross. Even though the theme is same, all the sculpture groups looked different because they were created at different times and installed at various places. I guess, what Professor Sadler wanted to show was how the style and design changes based on the location and how those sculptures functioned in different places.
From Hannah’s process log, I learned how the choice of medium provided different feelings to the viewers. For example, wood sculptures can be more lifelike because we can “add real hair, real cloth, moveable limbs, and other details.” [Hannah Plank] This reminded me of my Tiny SuperPower Animal project that I did in ART 160. For that project, I used trash to create my tiny animals. Because of the limitation of materials, I changed my plan many times to provide a soft and three-dimensional effect to the wings. In the end, I chose multiple mediums including leaves, fabric, and golden cards, and I stuck them together. These the combination of these materials, I successfully reach the effect I expected.
After spending my entire afternoon in Dana, I finally finished my main figure in my poster. I felt so excited to get this final version after several failures. In the process, I tried both water-based ink and oil-based ink and decided to choose oil-based because of its texture was easier for me to create the illusion I want. In order to create a effect that the mask was covered on Mona Lisa’s face instead of a part of the face, I cut the mask off and then stuck it on the top of Mona Lisa. Since the texture of rice paper was so thin and the color is so light, I also cut the Mona Lisa off and stuck the whole figure on another rice paper to make it look deeper and get the oldish feeling I need.
Today, we moved our class from lecture room to the printmaking studio located in ground floor. Professor Beidler showed and explained to us different types printmaking through an old poster. She talked about relief, etching, lithograph, collagraph and serigraph. From her introduction, I knew the lithography was always used by pop art artists and Rauschenberg is one of them. What impressed me was Etching. This technique can produce delicate lines, this reminded me of the Käthe Kollwitz’s Self-Portrait and Thomas Hart Benton’s Untitled which Hannah and Sam presented in gallery talk. Both of them are works that use etching. Compared with the lines in Self Portrait, the lines in Hart Benton’s Untitled are more delicate and organized. Before I knew it was an etching work and etching technique, I would wonder how much patience and effort the Benton put in that artwork so that each line is so beautiful, thin, and clear.
Besides impressed by etching, I felt so happy to see the relief. In the class, Professor Beidler showed us Chinese character relief and also talked about Chinese Movable Type which made me feel so excited. Growing in the family with a calligrapher grandpa and living in Tianjin for 18 years, I am very familiar with reliefs. For me, my grandpa’s seal reliefs are the toys in my childhood while to others the Tianjin Yangliuqing Relief Painting is the representation of Chinese New Year. If it were not required, I thought I might use relief to make my poster instead of monoprint because that is what I like and familiar with.
After introducing different types of printing. Professor Beidler showed us the steps of making a monoprint. In order to make the process easier, we use water-based ink to make our monoprints. Since we only have a few colors, Professor Beidler showed us the way of getting the color we want through mix three prime colors with black and white. After a brief introduction, we started our practice. Making a monoprint is not as easy as what it looked like. I had to finish painting on the glass quickly before it became totally dry and I had to control the brush carefully to get lines in different thickness. From practice, I realized it was so hard for a beginner to add delicate texture on the mask in short time, so I finally decided to use golden and silver markers to draw the texture after it turned dry in my final work.
Today Professor Beidler gave us a professional practice presentation to talk about her life and career. After graduating as an anthropology major student from college, Professor Beidler became a member of Technician-Digital Imaging Project in University of Chicago. After becoming a wife, she went to Yale with her husband and became an assistant in Research-Electron Microscopy in Department of Cell Biology. Professor Beidler told us that the research in Yale was also an image-based research and her professor believed that only an art student could better assist him by making and choosing better images. Her experience of involving in a science research without a strong scientific background surprised me and also let me feel more excited to take art as my major. I think as I take more art courses, I could develop a stronger aesthetic ability so that I can draw beautiful and clear graphs for Geometry and build beautiful mathematical models for advanced math problems.
The experience of being a research assistant in University of Chicago and Yale motivated her to finally go back to college to learn printmaking. Most of the artworks in her early art life are large-scaled printings of human bodies, but after adopting two daughters from China, she started to create mix-medium artwork. Professor Beidler shared with us how her adoption of two daughters influenced and changed her artwork. She said that even though she never knew the biological mothers of her daughters, they were always “the ghosts” for her. Those two girls let her become more interested in Chinese culture and she added those Chinese elements into her artwork. In one her artwork, I can see the bodhisattva “Guan Yin (观音)”, the red strings in the printing, and her younger daughter’s face, which are all interconnected. The Guan Yin’s face is similar to her younger daughter’s face, while Guan Yin aids with the fertility of couples and protect and bless their kids. The red strings across the paper are the representation of the destined romantic relationship in Chinese culture. The whole art piece expressed her interests in Chinese culture, her love to her daughters, and the appreciation of amazing fate that connected them.
Her work enlightened me to design my poster for collection project and add connotation into my poster. Since the theme of my exhibition is “The secret beneath beauty”, I want to provide viewers an attractive, and mysterious feeling when they see this poster. Among my chosen works, Mona Lisa is the portrait with the most mysterious smile. Inspiring by the word “beneath”, I think about using Italian Venetian mask with Golden Spiral decoration to cover Mona Lisa’s half face. After doing a deeper research, I found my idea can work and it followed the chronological sequence. I’m excited to find that Mona Lisa is an Italian and this painting was painted in 1503 while the tradition of Venetian mask started in 1162.
At the end of her class, I asked Professor Beidler why she used so many red color in her artwork. She told me she loved red because it is the color of life, and it provides people an energetic and warm feeling. Her response reminded me of Sarah Emerson’s talk. In her artwork, Sarah Emerson uses a lot of black, the most important color in her work. For Emerson, black is the representation of danger. In ART 160 class, Professor Ruby also taught us how to use color and materials to emphasize the meaning of artwork in Graphic Thinking Project. So in my poster and space design, I will choose color carefully to show the charm of Golden Ratio.
Today was the day Professor Ruby instructed us to make a maquette for our exhibition. At the beginning of the class, Professor Ruby let each of us talked about our progress and our concerns on our projects, Through communicating with each other, I found each of us was stressed out because of this project, most of us did not know which artworks we could choose and how to make our projects work. For example, Jiawen talked about she wanted to change her original idea “music in art” to something else because she did not know enough artists and artworks she could pick. Grace told us she could not find any articles about the theme of waiting. Based on everybody’s problems, Professor Ruby gave us different suggestions, for example, she recommended Mondrian’s artwork to Jiawen and suggested her to meet Professor Sadler to ask for advice.
Besides talking about concerns, we talked our plans for our exhibition space. Lauren was originally going to do a peristyle type space, but she just decided to make visitors feel like they were in a virtual reality by using some sort of headset. Grace was thinking about installing all the artwork to seem like an airplane cabin so that people can walk through and see those artworks. My plan for this space design is to create a golden spiral space so that people can not only enjoy the beauty created by golden ratio but also walk through the golden ratio. Also, inspired by Lauren and the Goethe House I visited in Germany, I would chose digital tour guide so that people could enjoy the exhibition slowly with audio guide without following the real tour guide.
During the half class, Professor Ruby took us to the third floor to show us the maquette made by the previous student s. I was deeply impressed by the train maquette. People walked through the train to appreciate the artwork as the train driving to the destination. Even though I did not know the theme of this exhibition, I could assume it was related to the trip or traffic and I was totally attracted by it. The unique space created a totally different visiting feeling which reminded me the exhibition of Las Vegas curated by Robert Ventri. He imitated the scenes of driving in Las Vegas as if visitors are also driving there. Also, the train reminded me the “Duck” architectures. If the exhibition were really related to the traffic or trip, the train would be a perfect choice because the space and theme reach a unity and the exhibition on the train is compelling enough to attract people.
At the end of class, professor Ruby showed us different kinds of boards and the skills of cutting boards. We chose specific type of board to make our maquette based on our space design. For example, even though matte board would be the best choice to create space because of its strength and texture, it might not be the best choice for me because it is almost impossible to make a curve without leaving creases if I used it. This reminded me the “tiny superpower animal” project which I did in ART160. From that project, I learned how to emphasize the concept through materials. So for building maquette, I will also choose materials deliberately to show the concept of beauty, art, and math.