Cross-Course Reflection

Cross-Course Reflection

My name is Jing Xu. I’m a freshman at Parsons School of Design, majoring in Fashion Design.During this academic year, I learnt to create art pieces by using 2-dimensional and 3D techniques, which include Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, prototype making, drawing, and laser cutting.

After a year’s study, it came to my realization that surrealistic is the style I want to pursuit in the future and gender and social inequality tends to be the main theme of most of my work during my first year of studying. Laser cutting and video editing I learned in first semester’s studio course and time course, these two skills are practical and helpful when it comes to work in this semester, for example, I created acrylic earrings in Laser Cut Lab and made conceptual video for Visual culture project.

In seminar2, I did research about beauty pageants, specifically in China. How the contestant are chosen, how the staff are arranged, how the settings and event are going on all reveal the current status of Chinese female as an objectified and restrained image. The way of looking at the essence through the phenomenon really helps me understand what am I doing in Studio2’s final project about uterus and women. It gives me a chance to look back and see what happens around me. For I take things for granted when I grow up in a context that was so familiar. But when I step out, I notice that the gender restrictions towards women take place every instant.

I chose Typography this semester although I am not a communication design student. The different ways of seeing fashion and typography made each typo projects far more exciting. Since typography is an art full of details and regulations, it is like doing maths sometimes. The design we made need to be in standard but go beyond these rules. The whole process is a new experience for me and now I have a totally different way in seeing both typography. Now the each type is more than a letter but a design element with beautiful curves or silhouette.

In ESL1800 Course, we touched on public art and street art. By writing essays which analyzed different artwork, we form our own understandings toward public art and street art. But I think more research about street art is needed since lots of those graffiti artists are anonymous and it is hard to find information about them. So the deeper research about street art would help me understand both art work and this art form better.

Highlight 1:

The video I made in Time course is about pink. The professor asked us to create this video only using static images and to find a trace in our own life. The trace I chose is pink.  When I looked through photo album, I found that I have taken lots of pictures about pink. There were pink skies, pink shoes, pink ice cream and so on. At first, I thought I just like the color of pink. But when the memories behind these pink photos jumped out, I found out that pink was a kind of excuse, or a cover for me. For example, when I was at graduation, I was rebellious and did’t want to take normal group photos like everyone else. I turned to shoot people’s pink shoes and pink ties instead to mark that moment. Also, when I was at a funeral, the atmosphere was so sad I chose not to take any picture for I didn’t want to remember that sad moment. But when I walked out and saw the pink sky, I felt a sense of relief and took a picture subconsciously. These pink pictures are kind of trace of my escape from reality. They look emotionless but the memories behind them are still joys and sorrows of daily life which I can never escape thoroughly. When making the video using these pink photos, I chose the vhs effect which looks like the screen in old televisions or old video cameras. And the background music is from a vaporwave style musicians who creates music that are sound like 80s and 90s. These help me create a retro and lazy feeling just like the dazed memories. I really like this vide I made since it transformed my abstract feeling into visualized things. And I have a deeper understanding of myself, of who I am and why am I doing this.

Highlight 2:

The specific content I am exploring in Studio2’s final is about the relationship between women and reproductive rights in China. Being a mother seems like the only role for women. No matter as a student or a high-paid professional, fertility is a topic follows their whole life. The women who had not gotten married or haven a child would be considered as living a unsuccessful and incomplete life. I used acrylic paints drawing on canvas to make three paintings as a series. The using of acrylic on canvas will have a different texture than a flat print photo. Also the acrylic paints has a feeling of thickness and purity, which helps to convey a creepy and heavy atmosphere that I want to pursuit. The content of a female student, a high-paid professional, a bride, they are at different state as a woman but are all bothered with reproductive pressure. I came up with the name of this series called Chinese Red. Red is an essential color for the Chinese people. It represents festive atmosphere. Couples wore red on wedding days in the old time. People hang red lantern, red couplets to celebrate new year. Parents give red packets to their children at spring festival. The Chinese red represents joy and celebration. But when this kind of red is used as a uterus symbol surrounded with grey tone things, the meaning of red changed. The red now is cold, creepy and ironic. It is a “celebration” of reproduction. This is actually my first time using acrylic paint to make drawings in order to speak out my own idea. When they are hanging on the wall as a series. I felt the power of visual image. They created a own language when they are put together. This is the most interesting part for me  and I am glad that my drawings can have a conversation with the audience.

In the future, I will keep developing my own style and visual language which means I need to follow my thoughts and trust myself more, and at the same time touch more areas in order to find my true interests. And through this year’s learning, I love the way in combines diverse subjects and skills. So the future project might focus more on cross-disciplinary combination. If I have a chance to learn 3D modeling that would be the best.

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