Bridge 3: Trust Me I’m Lying – 3 Iterative Collage Artworks

Based on our site visit in our Studio Class (Link: https://portfolio.newschool.edu/luolinqin/2017/10/15/group-documentation-from-site-visit/), we are required to write a piece of fake news (Luolin Qin Fake News-275j82u), and then create three iterative collage artworks.

I set up some key words when I think about what I will present, including Tong Gangster culture, death, unicorn, and Chinatown. When it comes to choosing materials, I picked up goof off and transfer pen (which is not useful at all) that our professor recommends.  I then pick up some cheap materials including acrylic paper and masking fluid (which is on sale, and I have never used it before).

I start first two artworks at the same time. Besides acrylic paper, I use a leftover piece of plywood (it is not a rectangular shape since the up-left corner has been cut out) from my Space and Material class, and I cut my acrylic paper to a same-sized rectangle. I am initially thinking if I should do the first one on wood or on regular paper, and I text how well goof-off can transfer printed images on these two textures. Wood win this battle since it has a better effect. I use a normal black pen to add some details on the wood board. After finishing it. I feel something is missing, so I cut a piece of thin wood board to fit in the up-left corner, and draw a unicorn skeleton on it. The different layers make the skeleton similar to an ancient specimen underground. After finishing all the pen work, I decide to fill the artwork with one more watercolor layer. Purple and red are applied on the sky and certain parts of the images to create a more gloomy and bloody atmosphere to match up my fake news.

At the same time, I use masking fluid to draw the general shape of the street, the unicorn skeleton, and the mandarin letter “Tong” (堂). They are organized in an abstract way. I then cut some printed images into irregular strips, and use goof-off to transfer them onto the acrylic paper. Next, I use an ink brush to add some abstract figures beside masking fluid (I want to to draw gangster members, hanged people, and beheaded people, but at last I cannot tell what they are). Since they are composed together, they have an obvious relation in between them.

The third one does not have such a strong connection with the previous two, since it is made 10 days after I finish the previous two. I cannot decide what I am going to do since I almost use all my inspirations/ideas in my first two artwork. At last I decide to use charcoal and color pastel. I draw a bloody moon which I really want to do, and add red lines that match up with the previous two artworks by positions. Finally, I use cotton (the white “spider net” people use for Halloween decoration) to create a smoky atmosphere. Even though it has a strong contrast with the previous two artwork, I am still satisfied with its artistic quality. I really like how it comes out to be like something else rather than a moon. It is horror but funny how others view it as an eyeball, a dragon ball, or a virus.

This is the most challenging assignment I have done so far in Parsons, due to the difficulties of integrating concepts. I am using materials I have never used before, and I need to combine them into a whole unit. I find it extremely hard when I am doing my first work. It is my first attempt of using Goof-off, and I have no idea what image and media I should use to present my ideas initially. I change the color of one image to purple and red on Photoshop, print the image out and test on wood and paper respectively. It is a huge risk for me to continue working on wood, since the image is not transferred well on it (there is still a lot of empty spaces even I pour a half of bottle on it). After fixing the image by hand drawing (which I am good at), I decide to take another risk of using watercolor on wood. I really cannot afford to fail at this point since this work has taken me 5 hours, but I don’t want to play it safe. I am completely satisfied with all three of my works, not only because of  the outstanding final qualities, also because of the effort I put and risk I take for exploring different materials and organizing them together step-by-step.

I feel slightly confused to keep receiving feedback saying my third work is not related to my previous two works. I guess the reason it happen is because people have seen the previous two in the criticizing class before, and they have had a strong sense that “this is the right formula for Luolin’s project and she should follow this pattern to do her third work”. I do not find it necessary since all three of them are like planets surrounding a star (the story I create), not “my third piece is a natural satellite around the binary star”. The previous two are also very different on materials, textures, colors and presentations, so it should not really be a problem for my third one being different from them. What is more, in the third work, the direction of red lines is similar to the structures of previous two work, and my three works are presenting different scenes and themes of my story,so I don’t think it is unrelated. In a word, it is okay for me to listen to the critiques, but I don’t have to accept them and make changes unless I agree with them.

To continue with the previous paragraph, another reason people feel my third work unrelated to the whole is probably because of the tools I utilize. Goof-off are applied to the previous two but not the third one. Again, I don’t regret for my choices on materials, but the learning outcomes make me think about how I can construct my works in future so that they are more tightened. Using a metaphor, this three works are team members; I allow them not to be assimilated, but they should still be grouped as a whole team. I then compare my previous two works. They share some commentaries of grey-scale (not black) and transparency (effects of watercolor and acrylic paper respectively), whereas my third one is higher-ly saturated. Charcoal, however, concentrates more on covering and blurring the image. Therefore, constructively use of materials is something I should pay more attention next time.

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