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Block Test 2008 (Part 2) September 14, 2008

Posted by Sun Ran in Writings.
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Liu Kang, Seated Model (Figure 2a)
1953, Oil on canvas


Hendra Gunawan Bandung as a Sea of Fire (Figure 2b)
1972, Oil on canvas, 117 x 197.5cm, Collection Ir Ciputra Foundation

(a) Describe the subject matter of these paintings.
In seated model by Liu Kang, the subject matter is a woman wearing a long red skirt and naked from the waist up. She is seated on a black wooden chair, with her right arm resting on the back of the chair, and holding a flower with her left hand.

In Bandung as a Sea of Fire by Hendra Gunwan, the painting is divided into two portions. The foreground and more prominent subject matter are two dead man lying on the ground, covered in blood. In the background, numerous people, some carrying children and big bundles, are running up a hill, seemingly fleeing from the raging fire behind them.

However, the atmosphere of both are drastically different. In Liu Kang’s painting, the woman looks relaxed with her eyes closed. Her hair is combed neatly, and she wears flowers in her hair and earrings. Her surrounding appear calm and peaceful, with trees, flowers and a building. Overall, with the calming and naturalistic colours, the whole painting and the subject matter, the woman, appear calm and composed.

In Hendra Gunawan’s painting however, the people appear shocked and scared. Dark colours and bright reds are used contrastingly, suggesting blood and fire. Overall, the people are aroused and appear nervous, running for their lives and the painting gives a dark atmosphere of life and death and destruction.

(b) Analyse and interpret the artists’ intentions.
Liu Kang is a Singapore pioneer artist. Having been trained and studied in Paris and been under the influence of post-impressionist such as Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, he is also influenced by Chinese Ink Painting. Known for combining Western and Eastern painting techniques, many of his paintings revolve around carefree subject matters such as village life and leisure activities such as ‘Artist and Model’.

Hendra Gunawan, on the other hand, is an Indonesian Artist who has painted political themes and caused controversy and had been jailed. His paintings mostly revolve around darker themes such as death and separation. Compared to Liu Kang’s paintings that depict leisure life and activities, Hendra Gunawan’s paintings are darker and more serious. Seated Model, is another one of Liu Kang’s paintings, perhaps of a Balianse woman, is seated relaxed and casual, holding a flower, and although modeling for the artist, she does not appear to have any deep worries of the moment concerning matters such as life and death. Liu Kang probably only wanted to depict the woman dressed traditionally, seated in her own natural surroundings, appearing carefree and relaxed. He has done a well modeled painting of the woman, having her being the emphasis instead of the background, thus his intention might largely be on doing a proper human figure study.

In ‘Bandung as a Sea of Fire’ by Hendra Gunawan however, the artist does not seem to be concerned about painting realistically nor blending and modeling. He has used warm colours of express blood and fire, suggesting a dangerous and uncomfortable mood for this painting. The fire could well represent threats such as war and conflicts that causes death and destruction among people and villages. They have to flee for their lives. Based on the artist’s background, he might be suggesting the destruction caused by the politics, as well as the hardships suffered by the people.

(c) Discuss the impact the two paintings have on you.
Seated model by Liu Kang gives me a feeling that the traditional way of life is relaxed and happy. It has made me wonder if living in a quiet, natural surrounding is a better way of life than living in the city. It suggests how peace and nature seen in the painting can reflect relaxed people, free from worries and constraints. However, it also reflects that the traditional way of leisure life has disappeared, replaced by the busy city life. The painting impacts and raises awareness of the disappearing surroundings, tradition and culture.

Bandung as a Sea of Fire by Hendra Gunawan depicts the misery of the villagers, living a life of fleeing and anxiety. Certainly, whatever that caused the ‘fire’, be it war and conflict or the government could be helpless against harm and destruction. The painting relfects how destruction can cause death and unhappiness.

While I would have liked to live a relaxed life as depicted in Liu Kang’s painting, I sympathise with the victims in Hendra Gunawan’s painting. It is only through peace that people can be happy and relaxed and enjoy life.


Aesthetics Department Logo Design September 14, 2008

Posted by Sun Ran in Designs.
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Actually I was quite at a loss of what to do, and i tried to think of how to put music/art/cooking together, but can’t seem to do it. And at the end I had a big headache and drew this up, just putting together all the words. I admit this isn’t anything great, but at least it can really be carved into stone!

Block Test 2008 (Part 1) August 31, 2008

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1. Montien Boonma, Two Buffaloes

(a) Explain in your own words, the meaning of ‘Installation Art’.
Installation Art is an artwork where different elements are pieced and assembled together to create a visual effect or the idea the artist wishes to express. It can make use of the surrounding and be site specific, or it can involve the assembling of different materials, images and sculptures or both. Installation Art can involve videos, sculptures or an assembly of paintings arranged by an artist in an environment. It is a modern way of expressing art and themes by the artist. Most of the time, each element or item of the installation would be related to each other and interacting with each other to produce a effect or voice and express ideas. Examples of installation art works include Two Buffaloes by Montien Boonma and Bicycle Wheel by Duchamp.

(b) Describe the subject matter by Montien Boonma, highlighting the significance of the materials used.
Montien Boonma is a Thai artist who has gained world recognition. He is interested in expressing the ideas of the spiritual and transcendental, being a devout Buddhist, many of his works explore Buddhist beliefs. He has also been involved in expressing issues regarding the environment and traditions, as it is up to an artist to express his views and raise the issues to others around him.

Two buffaloes is an assembly of found materials. Two rice sacks are placed on top of two four-legged stools. Although the two stools do not taouch each other, the rice sacks appear to be side by side, or connected. A horn protrudes from one rice sack while a bundle of straw resembling another curved horn protrudes from the other sack.

The whole assembly of materials is mainly in the shades of browns and earthy tones, giving it a primitive down-to-earth look. The lines and shapres are sinous and natural. Due to the ‘horns’, the assembly can be depicted as two buffaloes, with the four legs of the stools being the legs of the buffaloes, the sack of rice being their body and the ‘horns’, being horns. The materials used are all natural, primitive, found materials assembled together, with no use of metals or technology items, giving the artpiece a primitive and ‘farm’ feel. The materials suggests that the buffaloes are ‘natural’, ‘brown’ and earthy, perhaps the artist is encouraging more awareness of the nature and animals around us.

(c) With reference to another work by the artist, explain why the subject matter appeals to you as an installation, as opposed to a painting.
The subject matter in Two Buffaloes appeals as an installtion as opposed to a painting because it is not painted and done on a mostly flat surface. Two Buffaloes is three-dimensional, much like a sculpture, however, it is constructed with an assembly of items, such as those of Installation Art. The subject matter can be viewed from all angles and directions and each element of the artwork in Two Buffaloes are connected, and only when properly assembled do they resemble buffaloes.

Another work by the artist is Lotus Sound. It is also an assembly of materials, this time, of overturned vessels much like ‘cups’ and ‘containers’ that resemble bells and other materials that construct together to form a lotus. This work is influenced by Buddhism, and like Two Buffoloes, it is also a piece of installation art. It requires the proper assembly of elements to interact and express the artist’s ideas.

Both artworks are not done on flat surfaces like paintings. The artist has not drawn nor applied paint, but mainly assembled different elements together.

Generation NY February 22, 2008

Posted by Sun Ran in Designs.





 This is the design, I forgot to submit the hard copy.

Actually I didn’t really attend the lesson where we were told this, I was only given a very abstrat idea of what to do, and that is, it should be able to be used with different colours. I have to admit this is a really bad design, with no drawings and all, because I really have no time to use photoshop in school. It doesn’t represent anything either, just a bit of something simple.

Graces Logo February 2, 2008

Posted by Sun Ran in Designs.
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This is the graces logo design, I think it’s rather common, so I don’t have much comments about it. Hopes its okay :/
I’m just quite stuck with the idea that graces means dancing, probably because a few days before doing this design I was drawing different poses of dancers.