My name is Bo. Just two letters, short and neat. I am from Beijing, China and this is my third year in New York. I studied two years in Long Island and got into Parsons last year. I came with undeclared and then chose Communication Design.
Research process plays an important part in almost every courses. Especially in the studio course this semester. It makes my creation more reasonable and formal. When I got an idea of a particular theme, I brain storm first and take the initial idea into researching. I usually do not want to stuck with my first idea since it limits my creativity so that’s where research comes to play a part. It opens more avenues to myself, more possibility and even more depth of what you are thinking.
For instance, the first project we had this semester in Studio. I picked theme about Gender and focus on Gender role of female. I went through many directions, including the cliche one. Then I started to question about everything I can came up about the concept. Questions like “Is there stereotype for male?” “Does housewife actually feel happy about their position?” etc.
When I saw Laurie Simmons’ “Blonde/Red Dress/Kitchen”. I started to ask “Where’s other people?”, “What other neighbors doing?”etc. And that push me forward to make the first project.
In other courses, I learned different skills like photoshop, illustrator, editing films and analog experience like structure making and sewing. I found them very useful since each course require more than one skills. In studio, I worked a lot with print in previous projects and that required me to do a lot of things that I learned from last semester like photoshop and illustrator. For Time’s costume project, the structure making and sewing were applied, which I learned from Soft Structure class.
It’s interesting for a CD major student to learn how to sew or making something out of wood. It’s really useful skills no matter what you do for the major. I think people should not be constrained in one particular area, making something else may be inspiring.
During the studio making process, I reflected a lot on the intention. That actually how I drive myself into researching process. “What I should do for this part?” “Why?” “Does it make sense?” “Is that convincing enough?” etc.
For me, a project has unexpected outcome makes a project more expecting. Sometimes I made something without intention and that’s why you need feedback from peers. It’s interesting when people giving their interpretation of your works, and it might leads to another direction. Critique is always exciting since other people’s voice might be clearer than yourself when you dived into one project for so long.
On becoming paper in last semester’s seminar. We read a essay called “On Becoming an Arab”. The whole essay talked about the lost of identity and how people projected their impressions into one and how painful it is to be identified by others’ thoughts.
On that project, my peers and I sort of opening ourselves up to talk about all those “tags” were put on us. Letting whatever emotions we had toward that. So the project really opens our expressions with words, but I also think in making. We are be able to make whatever we want without other people’ s judging.
The first Studio piece I just mentioned. It opens the gate of researching and that makes me realized how important researching is for creating a piece nowadays. If I want to deliver a message, I have to do it in a right way. I have to tell why I made this and how much I considered for details. Each parts of a piece should not just came out of nothing.
First, I researched about Gender Stereotype and just browsing through results on the website. The majority of stereotype lands on female and usually about gender role. So I started to think in the opposite way like “Do they like being a housewife?” and think about male stereotype.
Then I thought about feminism artist and their work, what’s the background of that piece and what period is that. How they express this idea and what I could have done in that time.
Laurie Simmons’ pieces are really interesting and drew my attention. I started to think or question more about her piece.
For the future, I want to make more things. Researching process is both boring and fun especially when you make unexpected connection between two things that you thought so irrelevant. I believe the idea of making through thinking and thinking through making. Or just pursue pure esthetic, make something for only experimentation.
I think other people’s works will not be always perfect. But even though there’s one point that is sparking, I would appreciate that. And that’s how I see other people’s work and how to learn from them. There’ will always an element that you can appreciate even though it’s tiny.
I would like to learn more analog skills in the future such as print making and maybe more about painting, gilding etc.