When I first heard the assignment was a self-cultural portrait, there were a million things crossing in my mind. I could not set my mind on one idea because I am from multiple cultural backgrounds because of my constant traveling throughout my childhood and teen years. Something that has been close to my heart is the dandelion. The dandelion is a symbol of courage, pride, and family. Which all those three are very important to me. I constantly needed an immense amount of courage in order to move around to the places I’ve lived (Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Shanghai, Seoul, and Abu Dhabi). I am a person with immense pride, but who covers it well. Last but not least, my family has always been a part of my moves. My personal meaning behind this dandelion piece is that it represents my simple and yet complicated life. The braided dandelion seeds represent the intricate and complex parts of my present. The simplified fallen dandelion seeds represent my past memories of life that are not that do not impact me anymore. This dandelion is a self-cultural portrait of my spontaneous life.
These were the three types of wire that I used for the “Dandelion” sculpture.
9ft Galvanised Braided Hanging Wire, 18 Gauge Aluminum Wire, 20 Gauge Galvanised Wire
The tools that I used for this project was wire cutters and pliers.
This is a rough sketch of what I had in mind for my dandelion sculpture.
This is the first attempt that I tried making the core of the dandelion spherical. However, creating a sphere our of wire using 18 Gauge Galvanised wire made me realised the difficulty and need of technical skill. (as it was the first time I used wire).
Constantly struggling with trial and error, I managed to find a way to create the core of the dandelion. I first rolled the wire into a small ball, and after that wrapped the wire around until it was the size I wanted. I made the stem by combining 5 pieces of 18 Gauge Galvanised wire and twisted them together. Then I inserted the wire stem into the core to piece it together.
I cut the Galvanised braided wire so that each seed was around 2 1/2 inches long and ended up with 30 pieces. I used the pliers to loosen the braided wire and pull one wire down one by one to resemble the top of the dandelion seed.
With all the wire seeds I made, I fixed them individually into the core of the dandelion.
This is the final product of my self-cultural wire portrait.