In this project we were supposed to converge two cultures together, using Photoshop. I converged the Korean and Chinese culture together. The title of my converging culture piece is called, “So Close Yet So Far.”
I am a third culture kid, I’ve lived in Beijing for 14 years; however, I am a Korean citizen. I’ve never lived in Korea before so the message I’m conveying is that I want to live in my home country. There are five important things that needs to be observed in my final art piece. First of all, the hand represents my present life, in Beijing, which is the Great Wall in the art work. The art piece is “night time” because that is when everyone seeks for hope. The lanterns on the sky represents my desires. This is because in the Korean culture, there is a festival called The Lantern Festival, where everyone writes their hopes on the lantern and wishes it to come true. Not only that, but the moon also has a very deep meaning. The development of moon is also well known as the analogy of human development. So the crescent moon symbolizes youth. To sum up, the hands and the Great Wall is showing that I’m living in the “hands” of Beijing; however, I’m looking away to the crescent moon, which is Seoul. To me, Seoul seems so far away, just like the moon. However, there are lanterns (that look like stars) flowing down towards me, from the crescent, showing the path I want to go through right now. The surreal devices I used was scale, and levitation. The photo of me standing in the hand is showing scale. Because it’s truly impossible to have a person standing in a hand. Levitation was used because of the place where the moon is located. The moon is shown as Seoul. So it gives the audience a bit of fantastical mood of a floating city. My work was inspired by an artist name Herri Susanto. I found him through an Instagram post by Photoshop. I was inspired by the idea of a crescent moon, and him standing on a rock. I got a mood of hope in this art. So I wanted to create something similar to this. So I “borrowed” the idea of a crescent moon, and the person standing on a rock, to me standing on a hand, and the crescent moon of Seoul.
To begin with, we learned about the surreal devices such as; transparency, scale, juxtaposition, levitation, dislocation, transformation, and elongation. Then we learned about four different artists; Maggie Taylor, Jerry Uelsmann, Erik Johansson, and Kristy Mitchell. We also did a total of 5 media testing’s. The first one was the basic, Fruit Face, the second was Kaleidoscope, the third one was Geometric Reflections, then Double Exposure, and finally and Inception Effect. We watched Youtube tutorials and Ms. Z’s example in class, to test these new tools out on Photoshop.
I had many different ideas for my Photoshop. And my final plan ended up looking completely different as my drafts. My first idea was to combine the modern and ancient culture in Korea. So I was planning to use a photo of my grandpa and I holding hands, and walking down the two very different streets of Korea. However, it wasn’t possible to take a photo with him. The next idea I thought of was a photo of me, having two hands opened, one hand with Seoul, the other with Beijing. And combining the two with a bridge, showing how they are both important in my life. However, I struggled to find the right photos for these pieces. So in the end I came out with what I have right now. I remember watching a video about Geometric Reflections. So I incorporated that idea into my project. This is how I formed the crescent moon of Seoul. I also learned how to create the crescent moon more “three-dimensional.” I first layered it with a photo of the moon, and added shadows onto the moon. This way my moon didn’t look so flat. I also used the lasso and the quick solution tool on Photoshop to crop all my layers. Another challenging thing was blending all my layers together to make it more natural. I used many of the brush and eraser tool to blend in the layers. This project was especially challenging for me, because I am not use to Photoshop. I enjoy doing hands on art project, rather than computer-based. This was very hard for me because I didn’t know all the “short cuts” and tools on Photoshop. However, after watching many videos I was able to end up with my final piece.
3 Artists habits of mind
Engage and persist is the first artist’s habits of mind I chose. It is my first time actually trying to create a finalized product on Photoshop. I’m more use to painting or drawing. But in this unit, I had to learn in a different way of thinking in order show what I want in my art piece. I’ve thought deeply about how each object in my piece will show and symbolize to the audience. Specifically, the lanterns, moon and the hand. Nevertheless, the art piece I tried to show my personal story about being a third culture kid.
Observe is the second artist’s habits of mind I chose. My art work has very little things that needs to be noticed. The stars in the sky are actually combined with lanterns. Symbolizing hope and wish of wanting to be living in my home country.
Express is the third artist’s habits of mind I chose. This project was a very personal project. I was told to express the cultures in my life. Like I mentioned before, I conveyed an idea of a third culture kid. I am standing in the hands of China, but looking at the moon, Seoul that is so far away. This is an international school, and I believe, many students can relate to this topic.