Reflective Journal Week 7, 10 Nov – 16 Nov 2019

The week started with producing a basic preparation if the human figure will be added into the project. The character design finished quickly, and the scene in the background was chosen and sketched. 


I specifically looked into works of Steve Hanks for gorgeous, naturally composited female figures. Works of Jacob Schikaneder and Abbott Fuller Graves provided me inspirations for both ambiguous and charmingly colourful scenes involve with characters. Also, an old tutor of mine Jasper Goodall’s mysterious plant and landscape photographs demonstrated me a series of highly twisted natural objects. His master of chiaroscuro motivated to apply one of the planning experiment on a finished try-out. 

Although the book will be composited in a nonlinear structure, the illustration within would show a sequence of change. I would like to make a transition that pale, simple painting transit to colourful and complex arrangements. I reviewed the very original source of this painting series, and could not help to notice a painter named Petro Koublis shares a similar exotic, simple style of drawing. 

The development will be a long term’s work, and I must prepare for all chances of presenting my work, not only in front of the class. School opening day, pop-in visit and regular self-promoting activities on social media are equally critical if I would like to, quote the similar this week, “Survive and Shrive in the Artistic Field”. Evaluation regarding my achievement in the profession so far suggests a very disappointing shortage of the amount. 


A list was made stating potential factors may help my career under the instruction of the seminar. As the saying in Chinese culture, “start with something small, and you can achieve something great”. (Although the possibility was apparently not considered in the context)

  • Working with galleries
  • Opportunities in other regions not only China
  • Hiring small galleries for exhibition and promoting 
  • Research and residency opportunities around the world
  • Support galleries that I would target
  • Looking for fundings and exhibitions from culture event
  • Human network
  • Open competitions
  • Start local, think globally
  • Using social media effectively 
  • Art fairs 
  • Working in relation to sites and display space
  • Renting works to displayers 

I have been working on some of them already. The seminar stimulated me to reevaluate the laziness generated from the lengthy process. 

The lecture of the week looked into the term Ontology. The lecture was extremely valuable as my constant obsession with utilisation and mixing various materials. It introduced me a new perspective for thinking about the relationship between my work and the stuff I used. 

Two slides of the presentation I found quite inspiring. Here I put the text below:

– Overwhelming an Object

Social Relativism — Things are valuable only insofar as they are manifested the mind or by an event the effects other objects. Nothing exists that cannot be explained by human society, particularly the complex evolutionary forces of culture and language. 

– Undermining an Object

Scientific Naturalism — The reduction of things (birds, snowflakes, plastic cups) into something more basic, like atoms. A belief that the nature of fundamental objects and how they form the world can be discovered, documented and solidified through scientific processes. 

The theory that introduced by the first slide explained the question regarding a painting’s assigner of its value, and the perspective of evaluating the essence of material that described in the second one partly marched with my method of viewing world based on the second law of thermodynamics. 

I started to consider the entire world as the sum quantity of heat early this year. I believe every behaviour of living things is both the consumption of heat and mostly the collection of heat. I think animals located higher on the evolution tree has a higher efficiency of collecting heat. Leaving the complicated process of explanation and exemplification aside, the new world view of mine had turned my behaviour logic into a very precise mode. Previously, I refuse to waste time on actions that unlikely to improve my personal value; now, I would refuse to act any behaviour that may lose heat that I have collected. At the most extreme scenario, generally thinking of irrelevance would be forbidden. Anything activity that may consume calorie will be redistributed to new assignments. 

The world view was formed by a series of disturbing incidents that I choose not to talk about. However, I believe it can be used to analyse the behaviour patterns of individuals and supply a fascinating view of my artistic perspective. 

If we consider painting is the sum of heat that distributed to all relevant actions that happened during its production, audiences gain a mental stimulation from viewing it. Intrigued thinkings and influenced the emotional status of the spectators would impact on their behaviours for a period of time. Positively speaking, if an audience was encouraged or inspired by the artwork, the improvement of his/her mood may ultimately increase one’s efficiency and effectiveness of social/labour performance. From the large scale, it is how an artist could impact on the word. Via the ideas spread out, a temporary influence on the efficiency of collecting heat can be caused by the artist. It is a leverage work in a high entropy system.

I do believe this perspective, however, yet a briefed discussion with no reference and data support may stand a chance of solving an interesting question: What is the ultimate purpose of art?

Another primary progress of the week was the painting, For Ninety-nine Million Times Have I Told You This. The painting was based on the idea of trails, displaying a scene in which human activity twisted the landscape with strangely natural shapes of paths. I consider this physical impact could form a spiritual connection between the landscape and its visitors. Trails that left by earlier hikers can look natural to subsequent visitors; the latter may be unconscious about they actually saw not only a landscape but also fragments of unrecorded lives of other individuals. It establishes a connection beyond time and space.


The development of the painting has lasted for two weeks. Its process was complicated; paint has been washed off several times and repainted on. Textures and colours were rendered on repeatedly to ensure the most desired form. The painting is one of the individually present works of the project.


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