Integrated Cultural Self-Portrait in Tile

Integrated Cultural Self-Portrait in Tile

For this self-cultural tile assignment, I wanted to represent my current cultural state. The reason why I decided to have my concept all white was because I wanted to represent a blank slate. The white is an accurate representation of my emotional state. Also, aesthetic was one of my main focuses as well. This assignment had six requirements: a vault, a mirror, a door, a shelf, a window, a pocket, and a drawer. I splattered white paint onto the mirror to show a tainted reflection of myself. On the shelf, there is a green glass bottle because when I was young I used to put a secret/message in the bottle in the hopes of someone out there of picking it up from the water. It was a big part of my childhood because moving around has always made me left feeling of hope. The reason why I did not put my secret in the bottle because it is in the vault that nobody can see. For the window component, I put cotton balls inside and sealed it with the a piece of glass and added my broken camera lens. The window represents my past in Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, I used to hide behind a camera and was very anti-social. The only possible way for me to approach people was for a photo, unlike now. The cotton balls were used to show my comfort behind the camera. Inside the drawer under the mirror, the object that was inside was my evil eye key chain. This is a representation of my religious values that I have been struggling to understand. I was born into a Christian family, and raised as a “faithful” Christian. At one point in my life, I questioned my religious values. Always being forced to go to church was also a factor why I did not feel as if I believed in this religion. I believe that there is a greater power in the universe, yet I do not want to limit nor stick to one religion. Personally, I see religion as a big tree. All the religions are in different branches, but in the end they all connect to one root. Inside the ironed plastic bag pocket, I put a Arabic date which stands for the sweet and good times of my experience in Abu Dhabi. From the outer appearance, the door I made seems as if there is nothing much going on. Once you open the door, you can see a box that is unfinished and raw embodiment of myself. Inside the door, there is a photo with a list of destinations on Grand Central Station. And one of the locations on it was Connecticut, my first home. All I want sometimes is to go back to a home (place), and Connecticut is a place where I was born. This self-portrait tile assignment personifies the good and bad of my life.


This project was integrated, so as a class we had to collaborate to come up with an idea how to integrate all our tiles together. We came up with multiple designs, and ended up with a final idea of grouping our tiles in smaller group than as a one big one. The problem with joining all out tiles together was because it was very unstable.

The tools that were used for this assignment was the following.

  • Chisel Set
  • Drill
  • Japanese Saw
  • Exacto Knife
  • C-clamps
  • Drill
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Combo Square
  • Awe
  • Iron


Process, Brainstorm, and Ideas for Self-Portrait Tile


The Vault

For the vault, I used a dowel and a rectangular prism. I first marked the area that I wanted to drill with an awe. Then drilled a hole into the tile, and rolled up my secret and put it in. Then closed it off by inserting the dowel that joined with the prism.


The Mirror

The mirror component I used a piece of rectangular reflective glass and splattered white acrylic paint. I used wood glue to stick the mirror onto a piece of wood so there would be a relief.


The Door

To create the door, I used a black foam presentation board and yarn to create the hinges. Inside the door, there is a photo of a destination board on the wall of the Grand Central Station Terminal.


The Shelf

For the shelf, I used wood from my previous wood joint assignment. The joint I used to create the self was the miter joint. For aesthetic, I glued a thin shaped piece of wood as an accent to the shelf. On top, I placed a green glass bottle that represents my childhood.


The Window

To make the window, I used chisels, a rubber mallet, combo square, and exacto knife. I marked the outline of the window, then with an exacto knife cut around the edges so it would be easier to chisel the piece of plywood. I chisled 5/16 of an inch and then stuffed it with cotton balls. To seal the window, I used a glue gun. For aesthetic purposes, I put screws around the corners of the square as an accent. Then placed a camera part of my broken lens with glue as well.


The Pocket


I made the pocket from plastic bags that I have collected from Target and H&M. I used an iron to fuse the plastic bags together, and duct tape to put my bag together. The plastic bags that I gathered for the pocket, I cut the top and bottom to have big pieces of plastic. I placed a piece of brown paper over the plastic bag to fuse three plastic bags into one. And to create the actual pocket, I used tape to piece it together.


The Drawer

The drawer was made out of all wood scraps that I collected from the wood shop. Inside the drawer, I placed my evil eye chain where I get a sense of comfort having on me.


The Tile As A Whole


After I placed all the seven components onto the board, I used wood glue to fixate them. Then I used white spray paint for the back of the tile, and white titanium acrylic paint for the front to paint all my wood to unify the tile as one cohesive piece of artwork.





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