A Journeyed Experience into Making Meaning Through Art.
This online exhibition of DP visual arts student work is being called “Erlebnisse” which is a German word for experiences which are both good and bad but in this is the idea of life’s adventures. The students, during this two-year course, have journeyed through an adventure of sorts that required that they dig deep to uncover creative depths that would in the end inform their collection of artworks.
Students featured in this online exhibition have identified, through their collection of art pieces, things that are common to all of us as a part of the human experience. Through this, students uncovered aspects of these common experiences that perhaps at first are not fully comprehended. The common experiences they explored developed into conceptual ideas such as the exploration into perspective whether physical or metaphysical, motion and how we experience it, light and its effects upon our visual experience and psyche, addiction and good or bad in its various forms which humans can process through, and technology’s ability to consume our natural world.
These concepts show parts of life that are common experiences for us all at different points in our lives. And as a teacher, it was such an honor to be able to guide students as they dug into the goldmine of these concepts. To also guide them in uncovering their creative strengths in how to best communicate the ideas for artworks they developed within their concepts. In addition, it was wonderful to see these students develop a critical eye that is needed to be able to effectively communicate all aspects of the visual arts experience.
Students learned to develop their ability to critically analyze artists’ works that carried a common thread to their developing concepts, they learned that demonstrating their process is foundational to arriving to a fully realized artwork, a completed artwork. Students learned to not take their processes for granted in all of this. Students also had the privilege to work alongside a well-known working artist named Kool Koor during his visiting artist time at our school recently. All these experiences led them to arrive at their fully realized or completed body of artworks.
As one student shared with me, when they reflect upon where they started two years ago in this process, this experience of DP visual arts, the depth in which they uncovered about their initial concept, how this helped them to develop even stronger works of art that clearly communicated such depth, really surprised them. The beauty in this is when you are a mentor, a teacher, you see these potential depths in each student based on their own personal strengths and so to guide them to this place where they can see this for themselves, that is why this process is so important.
It wasn’t easy for the students at many stages; it required lots of tenacity and resilience coupled with the given pandemic our world has been faced with during this time, yet these students still rose to the occasion, fought well to complete their processes and now we can present to you, our viewers, “Erlebnisse: A Journeyed Experience into Making Meaning Through Art”.
Please enjoy the experience as you view each component of the students’ art portfolios.
Congratulations WISS DP visual arts students of 2020 for a job well-done!
We Are One, We Are WISS!!
Curatorial Rationale”Lighting “will be the center of my exhibition. I’ve been particularly interested in light since I was a child. Light can’t be replaced in our lives. It can not only light our world, but also help u find focus points. These focus points often set off many beautiful things. I am a student of CP production arts. Lighting is an indispensable part of the theater and my life. I get along with lighting every day, so I want to try to describe the beauty of lighting and convey what I see in different ways. Just like designing lights in a theater, my works are all expressing different kinds of light, maybe from different angles, or from different light sources or shadows relative to light. In the past two years, I have made various different attempts, although not some failures, they have made me grow more and more, and I have also learned the beauty of natural light besides led, I even went to Huangshan (the highest mountain in China) to see the sunrise and shoot it, which shocked me. I also went to many art galleries to see many abstract works, so that I could have more ideas to depict the beauty of light and its colors through painting.
My exhibition pieces revolve around the theme of movement expressed through illusions and optical art making techniques. I was fascinated by the concept of motion, and how still pieces could trick the eye into believing the artwork was moving.
Motion especially the illusion of movement is a tricky theme to display, although there are certain methods such as Optical art and the use of mathematical systems to suggest the theme of motion, it is difficult in displaying the audience the theme of motion in such an obvious manner. In order do so large amounts or research on various artists and numerous experiments with different techniques were conducted on ways to display motion. One challenge I found when creating the art works was hoe precise I needed to be in my measurements or run the risk of the art work not conveying the illusion of movement.
My artworks in this exhibition focus on the relationship between technology and nature. Technology is a very important part of human history, it improves the living standard of our life and makes our life much more convenient. However, as humans are developing more advanced technology, it also brings bad consequences to nature, nature is being highly polluted in recent centuries. The reason why I chose this topic is that I want to catch people’s attention to this global issue, to raise their awareness of reducing industrial pollution and create a balance between technology and nature.
My initial inspiration was about how technology is taking over humans and nature. But after I combined the experience of living in China, I developed it into the relationship between technology and nature. As we know that China is one of the biggest industrial countries in the world, it has tons of industrial factories. These industrial factories making a lot of money but at the same time polluting the environment, it provided me inspiration for showing this phenomenon in my artwork.
This exhibition and the art works included focuses around the central theme of ‘Perspective’. Perspective is always around us and challenges us to inquire in miscellaneous directions about the current world that we are living in. I always find it so interesting, as perspective could directly indicate someone’s vision and it can also refer to the ideology and the way an individual think. The underlying meaning of ‘Perspective’ possesses unlimited boundaries which is the main reason that inspired me to start a long journey with this concept of the ways of perspective; which at first sight could seem vague and simplistic. The need for individuals to think in diverse points of view is vital in any situation of human’s life-time, and I always enjoyed exploring and listening to people’s own way of thinking, being amused by how different each of us are.
This exhibition’s primary focus is addiction, within that there is an aspect of the psychology behind addictions. The inspiration behind this is the idea of every individual being addicted to some substance or another, no matter how harmful or healthy it may seem; I find that very fascinating. My objective for this display is to bring different points of view, other than that I would also like the audience to have a chance to interpret and somehow relate to the pieces of work in this exhibition. I wanted my art to not only portray the “ugly” side of addictions but to show the good side.
For my first piece in class, I was very focused on how trapped one may feel in the addicted state. That is when I started exploring mazes and connecting it back to my own culture with the Panamanian Molas that are made to protect people from evil spirits, this inspired me to make maze-like patterns to enforce my pieces such as “High.” and “Stockholm Syndrome.”
I have explored many different media during the past two years. Because I think through different artistic style will bring the viewer different feelings and better understand my theme of the relationship between technology and nature. I have also inspired by many unwell-known artists on the internet, looking through their artworks I learned some technical skills that could be used in my own art and develop into deeper conceptual ideas for my theme. Overall, I have tried mediums like acrylic on the canvas, collage, digital, carving on the rubber, ink painting, oil painting and different type of sculpture. Most of my exhibition pieces are digital because after different experiments I felt that it is easier to express my ideas through the digital piece. These digital pieces are created in Photoshop. Images in these digital pieces I got from Pexels.com as it provides royalty-free images. Through exhibiting all of my pieces together as a single showing, they have come together in coherence with my theme.
My intention for the exhibition is to create people’s impression of the relationship between technology and nature, realize the problems technology brings to nature. This will be done by presenting a combination of technology and nature. I will arrange my artworks by paying attention to the sequencing, and I will organize artworks that have similar art styles next to each other. For example, I will put my collage pieces together in the middle on a wall, put my digital pieces together in the middle on another wall. These two groups of artworks were chosen to be in the center of my exhibition is because they strongly fit with my theme, and will make the viewers better understand what I am trying to express through this exhibition. In between these two major groups of artworks, I will find some suitable spaces to place my other types of artworks such as carving on rubber, acrylic painting, and ink painting. The reason why I chose carving on the rubber is that it was my initial inspiration that came from my theme, I want the viewers to know that how I transformed my theme from initial ones to now. I wanted to have more art style in my exhibition that expresses my theme not only digital pieces and collages, so I decided to put the ink painting and acrylic painting in my exhibition.
I hope my exhibition can make a deep impression, so in addition to classifying according to the painting style, I will also adjust the position according to the size of the work, to achieve a balance of the overall vision.
I want to display 9 works in total. Although they are all light related works, they are mainly divided into digital works of art, abstract works of art and photographic works of art. I hope to display them in such a classified way, and my abstract works of art are the most and my favorite, so I will put these works in the most central and prominent position in my exhibition area, Let others feel the art that I want to express at the first sight. And digital art works or photography works will be placed on the left and right sides of abstract art works, because in fact, these works are some unexpected or special ideas or creative ideas in the process of my creation, and my original intention is still to record the beautiful light.
In addition to furnishings, I also thought that I need some spotlight with 45-degree angle, because I think that the whole work can not be well presented as I used to use light above the work in the past. I hope to show the best color rendering index. I think this will become one of my characteristics!
Starting from my very first artwork, I mostly focused on my perspective. It came to me that it would be significant for me to explore and share my own perspective with the audience first, before challenging them to share their perspective. With this in mind, and after a long ponder, I decided to start off with the basics: discovering and sketching an unusual perspective that anyone could possibly come across if they pay a little more attention to their surroundings. It was as simple as that. Following this art work, vast majority of the works created in the beginning of the process centered around my own perspective. Then I took a big jump to investigate something wider than just myself- which was the perspective of people on our current society. I have also tried my best within my ability to try to create an interactive piece. What this means is that the art work will require the audiences to inquire and feel engaged with the artwork. The interactive piece I have made is: <The Birth of 21st Century Marionette>. In this piece, I tried to take the most out of an ordinary 2-Dimensional oil painting. I have intentionally left the top and bottom borders of the canvas blank, so that the arm of the marionette could look like it has popped out of the canvas.
Although, I now know that ‘perspective’ is a highly versatile topic, back then I did not acknowledge it. For this reason, at one point there was time in which I felt completely lost. This is when I started to directly headed into creating new artworks, excluding the planning processes. During these processes, I was able to encounter the fact that I was actually continuing to do artworks that were somehow related to perspective. Hence, I was able to learn that it is not necessary to stress oneself on being restricted to one routine and concept. But rather explore from farther view to have an entire view on something, not just part of it.
As my concept deals with wide range of aspects, I thought it would be significant to have the audiences to have a clear understanding of my concept when stepping into my exhibition space. Hence, I have decided to have the <Perspective!> as the first art work that the audiences could view. Followed by this, I have displayed art works that involved my own perspective. Especially the large Kool Koor inspired painting is positioned in the center of the wall along with the other works surrounded by it; as if the complex lines are separate branches leading to the individual artworks. Having these artworks come before the other artworks, involving more larger scale of ‘perspective’ aimed to act as an introduction to the exhibition and myself. I believe that this arrangement could leave the audiences to constantly challenge their perspectives, and widen their vision by viewing my perspective, and some satirical artworks that could raise awareness of our perspectives. All artworks are hung on the wall within the boundary of the audience’s eye level, as I wanted each one of the artworks to be viewed carefully. As well as the color combinations of the artworks placed beside one another were importantly considered to give the exhibition space some dynamics and balance.
In order to incorporate the culture from my Indian half, I decided to look into henna patterns or Mehndi. The henna and Mehndi patterns made me think of mazes as it has intertwining lines and usually layers outwards multiple times. However, I wanted to make it my own by creating my own designs and connecting it to how addictions are tied to a person once they become uncontrollable. In most Indian culture weddings, the bride is supposed to have the soon-to-be husband’s name onto their hands with henna in the middle of all the other designs. With that idea in mind in mind, for “The Eye.” I made my designs, including social media symbols, cigarettes, drugs, and other addictive substances, as well as the word addiction in Hindi “लत” (lat). I very much enjoy using objects to make a piece more original. For “An Addict’s Dialogue,” I used cigarettes and tobacco and burned cigarettes to form the letters on the piece and for “Illusion of Truth” and “Glass Box,” which are lens-based pieces where I used pills, poker cards, and poker chips as the main elements in these pieces. Lastly, for the “Not Trapped”, I made flowers, a delicate, beautiful thing, with metal wires, making it look rough and intensify the feeling of being trapped between the sturdy metal wires and to show how we attempt to justify the addictions like something as nice as flowers.
The colors I incorporated into my pieces contributed to the meaning and the impact of the pieces. Black, red and white seem to be the reoccurring colors in my exhibition because of the idea of when an individual is addicted. Their thought processes are very “black or white” which implies there are only two extreme answers with no in between, this seemed very interesting to me as many people tell addicts that if they feel like it then they should stop. However, it is hard for them for that reason in particular. The red between these two colors is an inspiration from Keith Haring, as he used a pop of color to draw the eye’s attention. Along with that, another inspiration from Keith Haring bright pink by Keith Haring’s “Crack is Wack,” where he used a bright orange.
I want the audience to be able to interpret these pieces themselves, to relate to them in a way, and give their own meaning to it, as I feel as if every individual has some sort of addiction, no matter how small or grand. Lastly, I want this exhibit to bring awareness of how an individual’s mental state may be if addicted to a substance.
The artworks are arranged in a particular way to suggest motion. The “Fluid Metals” would serve as an introduction piece to the overall exhibition and gain the views attention. It is put as the first art work as viewed seeing it for the first time would be left wondering the possible themes of such an art work.
This is where the second artwork “Glitch” comes in. The artwork acts as a hook with its vibrant colour and flamboyant display. It is also a piece of work that strongly conveys the ideas and theme of motion allowing the viewer to have a beginning idea of the theme that is displayed. The third work, “All Roads Lead to you” much like the second piece, strongly convey’s a sense of movement through patterns and repetition. When looking at the work It draws the viewers attention to a certain point. It should also be noted that the second piece has a high contrast between dark and bright colours, this allowed it to stand out against the first and third piece where as they have white bright backgrounds.
The forth piece “The Boastful Jellyfish” acts as a filler piece, it is placed next to the the third piece due to its natural colour scheme responding well to “All Roads Lead To You”. Another fact was the nature of the forth piece, it uses repetition with a twist of layering allowing the viewer to see the theme of motion.
The next piece selected was “The Swirl”. Like its previous counterpart it was chosen due to its colour scheme being blue and purple overall. This allowed for an strong contrast between the two art works. This effect of contrast is then made obvious in the next art work. “Vasasely’s Boxes” has a strong contrast of the rough background with the smooth colours of the boxes. This allows the viewer to understand the sense of layering and the idea of how a contest in style can enhance the illusion of movement. This should in turn make the view reflect on the previous pieces they had scene and view how the composition of contrast work.
The next peice “Dance of Cubic Pawns” is similar to “Vasarely’s Boxes” in that both are used a mathematical expression and complex pattens to convey the theme of motion. This time contrast was not used to suggest the theme of motion, as the two art works where similar in colour and the way it operates the illusion of movement. The 8th piece “Pipes”is similar to the previous two pieces as it operates on the same techniques and similar colouring scheme. It also creates a link to the forth piece with its similar technique in using drips of paint. This makes the viewer reflect on the placement of the art works once again, and creates a effect of “motion” where I guide the viewer to look back and forth at the artworks.
The final three pieces were put together as the all were created with the acrylic string technique.”Hell or High Water” served as the last finishing piece as it is the least obvious on showing the illusion of movement, however by now the views should have a detailed understanding of my theme, therefore allowing the viewer think and pick out the
details on how motion is portrayed.