Archive for the My writings Category

My painting

Posted in My writings on October 4, 2009 by Kangyan

It’s quite different for me I believe, as I decided on my medium and subject matters first before fitting in my theme.


I settled my mind on painting without much thought. As firstly I like painting and enjoy feeling when looking at the paint spreading out across the canvas little by little, and secondly painting is one of those which can give the viewers strong visual impact (compared to small drawings).


Then I thought that I should challenge myself with painting human figures including face features, as many said painting faces is the most difficult.


Then I continued with my random doodling and researching. My first idea came from two sources of inspirations firstly the painting of the clown outside the school popular, and from one photographer (zemotion) series of photos named something beautiful.


I thought that I should do something related much to emotions, maybe a series of painting of different expressions of a same face However I do not want it as striking as the one outside popular, but a more contained emotion (like a slight smile or frown, mostly through the look of their eyes) and not shown through exaggerated facial expressions. So that when you look at them from far, they appear the same, but when looked near, they are actually feeling differently. This is soon turned down by teachers and friends, who thought it was real hard to portray those emotions especially I would only like them to be not so obvious. Well I agreed, I do not have all the time in the world to study every muscle movement of the face. So I abandoned this idea without too much thoughts but thought that the concept may work for my other artworks which I may consider in the future.


Is_this_Love_by_aNdikapatRyaThen I came across this really sweet picture of a guy kissing a girl on the cheek. Everything was perfectly harmonious and the colors and light fall just nicely in place. It immediately struck me that maybe I can explore the theme of BGR, which no one is working on yet. So I entitled my theme “first love”, as love alone can be a variety such as mother and child, community love etc.


But then I realized one problem, which is quite serious, is that I myself have not been through “first love” at all. So I had no idea of how is it like to be in that relationship. I was sort of stuck again. So turn to the internet and books for loads of images under first love. At first I was just looking for those pictures with great visual impacts especially those with contrasting colors, like red purple green blue, as I thought (from my knowledge of Romeo and Juliet, that their first love was full of passion) so my studies of mysterious colors of red and black. I almost wanted to switch my medium to photoshop as it is easier to create outstanding color contrasts and can let me explore more combinations.


But after much of those researches to force myself to look at those striking colors, and accept what others see as first love, I got a little tired, as I found that those pictures do not really capture the essence of “first love” in my point of view. The real enlightenment came to me when I was randomly flipping through my AEP notes one day and I came across The Stroll Camille by Claude Monet. It’s a woman walking in the sunlight with an almost glowing outline of her white dress. And the light falling on her and the grass she is walking on gave the painting a misty kind of feeling, that brushwork done gave the “semi-real” effect, as if the woman is there yet not quite there.


After looking through many of Monet’s paintings I really loved his portrayal of light and shadow, which made the paintings dreamy and mysterious. And his large patches of different shades of green which is very pleasant and relaxing to the eye. I was very excited, like I have found how I should do my painting. I suddenly gave up all my previous researches of what others portray first love as, and decided that I should use my own imagination to depict what is first love mean to me. So I started to think of my definition of ideal first love.


I changed my palette to natural and earthy colors, as they represent the youth and immature of first time being in love. Also, love is the most natural feeling of human.

The strong contrast of light and dark also symbolizes the hope and light in life. Those were all I thought of before I started painting. I thought I d just follow my feelings (and I dint have much time > <) oh I also got some of that idea of light from the book twilight when bella and edward were in the forest, and sunlight sipping through the branches.

And pocahontas, the talking tree. That kind of atmosphere.


I read more about Monet and got to know that he actually planted a whole water lily pond just to study and interact with the lilies so that he could paint them better. I really admired his patience and passion. So I thought that I would not copy anyone from the net and draw from them but to ask my own friends whom I’ve known for so many years to have a photo session out for me, so to let my painting be more expressive.



Many have asked me whether they are in a relationship, and I honestly answer no. However, that was part of my intention, which contributes to my whole imagination idea. I did not ask them to do the pose which I thought of, but they did it with their own interpretation of first love. With that I get two different perspectives of first love and when I combined them together, the painting became really special. And the viewers can inject their own interpretation too.


I started out painting with the rough impression of my painting, ready to make any changes when any new ideas come to mind. So when I first started with the painting, I didn’t have that certainness of why am I painting this, its just all about the FEEL I guess? It is during the painting process, and maybe afterwards when I look at the painting, did I get my idea of interpreting the painting. And they are really only my idea, just like how I always get those interpretations when I look at anyone’s work. Because I belief everyone is meant to have different views on this as a totally free and personal touch.


Height and width: is the ideal height of an Asian guy: 183 and that of an Asian girl: 158


Mood: happy relaxing and mysterious dreamy (also something like, not being afraid when one has each other, as such dense forest is usually portrayed as scary/strange)

Subjects: guy: real, black and white—represent reality (closed eyes, as if turning his blindness to reality, to all reasons, and purely following his feelings.)

The wander between imagination reality and semi reality


Girl: semi real, floating, blending into the background (flowy lines of the dress depicts the sweetness and gentleness of girls) something that is there but not really there, like the feeling ( I think) one would have when first crush on anyone, as it’s the kind of feeling which you don’t really know how to describe.


Posture. When I chose this picture to paint, it is 2/3 my friends’ interpretation as they posed for it. I chose this to be my combination as it has again the feel. The guy standing almost in a rigid position shows his carefulness of not disturbing anything beside him, even when the girl is pointing to shoot him. As if sometimes we feel that something is too perfect, it may just disappear if u make a sudden move or something like that.

The girl, is portrayed as a playful child, who enjoys the company of the playmate, I got this idea from…when I first did the researches many pictures came out to me little, really little 5 year olds kissing or stuff. However, I think although its cute, a teenage would be more suitable for the theme, so I captured their childishness in the form of childhood games, and insert it into the painting of 2 teens instead.


Strange creatures, they are just there to represent all other people who are looking at them, with sad or happy faces, to show that there are always ups and downs in a relationship, and that relationship is really not in a world of two.

But these people in love do not acknowledge their existence at all, just following their heart and feeling again.


Rose something that the lovers actually take notice of. They’d notice those which fit into their feeling of happiness, those that symbolize them but not the rest.


Piet Mondrian and Mark Rothko

Posted in My writings on September 28, 2009 by Kangyan


Mondrian, Piet’s work are mostly with bright primary colours, e.g red, blue and yellow or noncolors of black, gray and white. In most of his later work, squarish shapes rectangular planes or prisms started to be the signature style, also a significant component of the Neoplasticism which he founded. (like The Compositions.) In his artwork, there is seldom or no symmetrical compositions or shapes, an aesthetic balance is to be achieved and is done through the use of opposition. He was very precise about the accurateness and pureness of the colours and lines, thus straight lines and clean colours are commonly found in his works.
> From the cube-like and gagged-edged style of his painting, we could see influence of cubism on his works. He was influenced by Cubism to the point of taking art studies in Paris at the late age of about forty. Had previously been acquainted with artists influenced by Fauvism and Pointillism, thus the daring bright and pure primary colours in his works, abstractness is also resulted. But these schools of thought in art were left behind at he developed his own doctrine of art, called Neoplasticism. The work Broadway Boogie-Woogie portrays best represents his developed style, being so abstract, that the subject matter are not clear to the audience, thus leaving great rooms for imagination, with balanced composition, bright colours, precise lines and shapes.

In comparism of Mark Rothko’s later works, also his signature style, the are some significant similarity and differences. Example of obvious differences are firstly the colours used is not as bright and basic as Mondrian, Piet’s works. Also, the lines and shapes are not as straight, precise or accurate as Mondrian, Piet’s works. But rather, colours are muddied and mixed.
> The main similarity between the two is probably the use of geometrical shapes and compositions in the artwork. Although both artists are similar in terms of using rectangular planes or prism, the works of Mark Rothko seems much more expressive than that of Mondrian. This may be due to the earthy colors, the not-so-precise lines and shapes and the more expressive brushstrokes.
> Both artworks of the 2 artists are mostly towards the fields of influence under abstract art or cubism, thus appearing not able to relate to subject matter, leaving rooms for imagination of the audiences.
> Because Rothko was in New York, he was in an environment in which he was able to learn a lot about different types of art such as German Expressionism and Surrealism. finally he found inspiration in mythology and philosophy. His later works are influenced by Clyfford Still, and his work start to became less surrealistic and mythological, and more abstract. Thus leading to his later works like Untitled [Seagram Mural]. Where 2 different shades of red (dark red and reddish brown) are used to make the composition of 2 squarish shapes.

Installations and sculptures

Posted in My writings on September 28, 2009 by Kangyan

The main difference between installation and sculpture is that installations focuses more on the arrangement use, use of space and surrounding environment within the artwork, artwork is seen as a whole together with the site the work is set in. While sculptures usually focuses on the main subject and interpretation of the vieweres while looking at the sculpture itself. Sculptures thus is not site specific, usually are not seen with surrounding environment as a whole.

article-0-0549EDDA000005DC-601_634x422As portrayed by Field of the British Isles, which is a representation of installation, the arrangement of the different figures is essential in fullfilling the intention of the artist and to convey his message. with 40000 little figures of 8 to 26 cm tall with eyes arranged side by side which packs up the exhibition hall. the eyese looks hollow and as if directly staring back to the viewers. The figures each with a unique shape and unique pair of eyes are all different, but their similar colors makes them look as if they come from a same community. Space taken up by the figures is very big, giving the viewers great sense of being confronted, as the artist intended. A single figure from it would not create the same impact. when looking at the field, vieweres usually look at the 4000-figures installation as a whole and are generally not particularly interested in individual ones.


More installations includes the Antoerh place by Antony Gormley on the coasts, 100 human figures spreading themselves into the sea and towards the horizon. It is, in this case also the numbers, arrangements and scale of the art that has the huge impact on the viewers but not individual human figures that resembles models in a cloth shop we see everyday. Thus in this case, most of the facial features are omitted to represent those metal casts as the general humans, and not any individual.

lh191_0However, in the Recumbent figure, the main focus is on the sculpture itself.  It resembles a female half sitting half lying down, face features depicts her  gentleness and motherly characteristics. It is in one piece, thus although the environment of where the artwork is placed matters but it is not as important as the sculpture piece itself. The sculpter conveys his emotion throught the individual sculpture and not the arrangement. The viewers’ gets the calming, loving motherly feels for the sculpture from the curvy lines, rounded edges and earthy colors of the sculpture, and not how special the sculpture is presented or arranged.

Migrant Mother

Posted in My writings on September 28, 2009 by Kangyan


Migrant Mother, Nipomo Valley

Dorothea Lange 1935

Gelatin Silver Print

The photograph that has become known as “Migrant Mother” is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. In this photograph the mother cradles a baby in her lap while a pair of young children cling to both sides, their faces turned away from the camera. Although the woman faces Lange’s camera her eyes are averted to look at a point beyond. Her face is gaunt and lined, reflecting the hardship she faces, but her right arm and hand symbolize her inner strength. All three are poorly dressed with simple and dustry clothings. The facial expression of the mother is the focus of the photo which conveys her anxiety and worry. Wrinkles on the mother’s face is also very clearly shown and the deep frown on her face attracts the attention of the viewer, as it forms great contrast with her lighter colored face. Her eyes gives the feeling of hollowness and also shows that the woman is thin and tired, eyes sinking into the socket.

The woman, besides her simple dressing, seems that she did not care much about her appearance even in front of the camera. She had her shirt loose almost showing her chest, and worn out threads at the end of her torn sleaves. That probably shows that she has to worry about many other more crucial issues than her appearance.

The children, althougth facing away, seems to be very tired as both are lying on their mother’s shoulders and seems as if they were asleep. This conveys the close relationship between the mother and children, also showing the responsibility and role of a mother. All above draws sympathy and respect to the mother, for her bad living condition, and her motherly love for her children.

The setting of the photograph is not clearly shown as the photo is mainly focused on the subject. However, from the lighting, dull, dark colors and lines on the wall, we can almost interpret that the place must be somewhere abandoned, or in bad condition. Also, the fact that the family stayed so closely together shows that the place is a small one.

Feng ZhengJie

Posted in My writings on September 27, 2009 by Kangyan

” It’s very easy to change one’s appearance or pick up a kind of fashion.”– Feng Zheng Jie




Feng’s works are mostly concerned with the inner state of people today, showing the tension betwwen the inner self and the trapping of being fashionable and trendy. His best-known work is his Portrait of China series, very large Warhol-style oil portraits, in a red/turquoise palette, of glamorous faces of Chinese fashion model faces with vacant diverging eyes. their eyes change and follow the artist’s transformations year by year, with different thoughts, loking towards and within his country’s history and culture.

Feng’s paintings has the look of polished fashion imagery with his signature streamined style and airbrush techniques. His paintings has gotten increasingly “eerie” as his subjects’ irises and pupils have shrunk to little dots on largely white eyes, giving them a artificial, glassy, doll-like look, which probably represents a critique of contemporary consumer society, in modern China.


I totally agree that women in the paintings are representing the contrast between exterior beauty and inner trap of today’s world, raising the question of the definition of beauty. A “perfect” woman today must have, like those in Feng’s painting, silky hair, porcelain like skin, luxurious clothes and beautiful lips. The dreamy and bright colors were used to refine the beauty of charming women, adding to the sense of perfection, making them so beautiful, yet so unreal The rims of light around every woman creates an effect that seems to make them glow like aliens.

Besides all the potrayal of perfection, one must have noticed their pupils of the eyes lined with long and curled up lashes were shrunk so small that their expressions become difficult to read, appearing empty. This gives the women an acidic tone, and a sense of unease. As if because they no longer act as windows to the souls, as if no one in the world would care more about their inner than their exterior perfection. This however is ironic as those little dark green or black pupils attract most attention on the bluish-green or bright hot pink monotonous painting, making the viewers look deep inside the eyes, not able to find a focus point, and only to get a sense of uneasiness. Revealing a strange far away look in their eyes that introduces a weird, enigmatic, quality to their pictorial presence.

The eyes of his portraits evoke a condition of vacuity, the women’s beauty is undermined by an apparent separation from reality into an artificial world, becoming both enigmatic and an empty shell. Eyes are indeed the windows to one’s soul, then the women in his painting seems like they are trying to hide their souls by looking away, not daring to focus. these actions of hiding their inner selves forms a dramatic contradiction with their proud and charming appearance that eveyr man and woman yearns for. 

Generally, the images of women that Feng portraits are cold, icy and alien. Their level of perfection were nearly unachieveble in reality, however, as if no life, they look like they were only tools for modern days’ entertaionments, without a single trace of unique individual.



Lotus sound 1992

Posted in My writings on September 22, 2009 by Kangyan


Montien Boonma
Thailand  1953-2000
Lotus sound 1992
Terracotta, gilded wood
300 x 350 x 300cm (approx.)

Montien Boonma’s belief that an artist must have a sound understanding of his own place in relation to religions, cultural conditions resulted in his works having a great influence from the national religion, Buddhism. His works usually comment on the cultural and religious identity of modern Thai.  In the work of “Lotus Sound” (1992), we can see influence of Buddhism in various areas, such as the material used, intentions, symbols chosen, installation and presentation of the work.

“Lotus Sound” consists of a semi-circular wall of stacked tarracotta bell-shaped structures which, when installed, corner off a segment of a given space. Behind the screen of tarracotta structures, gilded wooden leaves are attached to the walls, suggesting the falling petals of a lotus flower.

Materials used in the work are made with the used of simple local materials such as gilded wood and terracotta. Besides the commonness of the materials in Thailand, representing the native of Thai art, terracotta and gilded wood are popular mediums through out history used in sculpturing of wooden statues of Buddha and other spiritual forms. This suggests the long-live of the religion Buddhism.

Boonma’s work expresses his concern over the decline of cultural identity.  This piece, also concerned by the receding importance of Buddhist practice in daily Thai life, he sought to re-create the inspiring and resonant sounds of bells in temple sanctuaries. Boonma was inspired to make a structure of bells after listening to bells in the tranquil gardens of a Buddhist temple. Then he found that imagining the sound of a bell relieved his stress, suffering and pain and he visualised the temple melody in his stacks of terracotta bells. In this installation, the structures of bell provokes the audiences’ imagination to the ring of the bells. However, as the bells does not contain a clapper to make them ring. Entering this space of quietness provides endless possibilities for the mind, creating peace and calm to the viewers. This is also related much to the teachings of Buddhism, to gain inner peace and harmony.

Also, the structure of the installation, draws its inspiration from both traditional symbolism in Buddhism—interpreting the walls of bells as at once permanent but perishable, solid but fragile. From the sculptural operations of minimalism—repeating the same sculptural object over and over again to build a wall, this suggests the routine Buddha worship practiced by the Siamese on a daily basis, reminding the viewer of their religion practices.

For the same reason of creating inner peace for the viewers, the symbols chosen are carefully considered. Lotus is a symbolic flower in Buddhist thought and is associated with the birthplace of Buddha and enlightenment. It is also a coveted plant with many medicinal properties. It symbolizes purity: it blooms out of the mire but is itself pure. The petals, stems and budding flower represent different spiritual levels. Lotus buds and flowers enhance statues of the Buddha in temples throughout Thailand. This again reminds the viewers of their religion. The way the petals of lotus are arranged, suggests the holiness of them, as if angels, from the heaven above. However the fact that they are falling may suggest that decline of the religion identity. Or on another hand, as the resemblance of holy water being dropped, it suggests that Buddha is sending forms of protection and blessing (in the form of holy lotus) to the people. The terracotta bells are part of the installation also because bells are very frequently seen in the worshiping temples.

From the above areas we can see significant influence of Buddhism over the work of Boonma.