Converging Cultures – So Close Yet So Far

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.



Saving Banksy

The documentary I watched was called Saving Banksy. This documentary was about street art and money. Street art, also known as graffiti is art for the public. Not art where you sell them. And Saving Banksy talks about the clashing conflicts between the museum curator and graffiti artists. ​The curator is trying to sell Banksy’s art work, and the artists are trying to stop them from it. This documentary gave me a clear understanding of money in the art world. The art world is not all about creating art freely, but there always seems to be money having to be part of everything in life. The public artwork doesn’t belong to anyone. Even if everyone knows that the graffiti art is from Banksy, but Banksy is still remaining “hidden.” So I think it’s reasonable for the curator to try and sell his artwork. However, I disagree with selling Banksy’s work because the beauty of graffiti art is to make the plain streets more appealing, and its intentionally created to be viewed by the public. So, from this documentary, I will remember that art should remain where it is now.

Valentine’s Day Card


This card is for my best friend who’ve I’ve known for 8 years. She is very special to me because there’s no one on earth, who knows about me more than her. She’s still in Beijing, but she goes to a different school as me, so through this card, I wanted to show her how special she is to me.  I used the principles of design: balance. I tried to center everything in the middle, so the card looks neater, and its eye-catchy. By being creative and adding humor to my design, I tried using a pun to emphasize “better” as “butter.”


3 Pros and Cons about The Way I Used To Be

  • The novel,  The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith includes pros and cons of women’s strength. To begin with, the con is that, men have more power than women. The novel begins as the protagonist, Eden McCrorey getting raped by her brother’s best friend, Kevin. Eden goes to sleep, and once she wakes up, she sees Kevin. Eden’s body was all bruised from getting raped by Kevin. Because of Kevin’s strong power and force. Eden wasn’t able to move. Kevin whispers to her ears and says “no one will ever believe you. You know that. No one. Not ever (Smith 5).” Smith created a vulnerable female character being sexually assaulted by a male character. However, a pro is that Eden gives the readers hope in the future, hoping that things will get better. And she learns how to survive and gain power throughout the novel.


  • The second pros and cons of this novel are that it is too graphic. This book has much sexual content that it can be difficult for some readers to read, especially young readers. However, these contents strongly support the theme of the novel, gender disparity because it shows the unfortunate reality of women’s vulnerability.


  • The third pros and cons about this novel are the language. This novel includes many strong languages where some readers, especially young readers may not like to read. The author includes many f-words (eg. page 193) to express the feeling of the characters panicking. The expletive language Smith uses strongly emphasizes the protagonist, Eden McCrorey’s mood throughout the novel.


Time is Precious

“Time is a mystery and not even a thing, and no one has ever solved the puzzle of what time is, exactly” (158). The novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a mystery novel written by Mark Haddon set in Swindon, England. It begins with a dog Wellington being murdered by someone, and Christopher is trying to solve this mystery. As the mystery is resolved, the story reaches the climax of the novel, and Christopher faces tragic events.

The protagonist Christopher Boone is a genius, his “memory is like a film” (76), his brain works like a video recorder: “rewind and fast forward and pause.” Christopher, he is a math genius. He is taking the maths A-level and said he is going to get an A grade, “and in two years’ time [he] is going to take A-level physics and get an A grade” (220). He plans everything out like a mobile device. He knows he’s going “to go to university in another town” and “get a First Class Honors degree and [Christopher] will become a scientist” (221). Christopher says, “time is not like space…if you put something down…you can have a map in your head to tell you where you have left it” (156). And a “timetable is a map of time” it keeps track of time, and it helps you stay on the right path. Time is valuable, it is more precious than gold, it is impossible to buy. Within 8760 hours per year, some people will probably be wasting time, “lost in the time it is like being lost in a desert.” Time is not controllable, and it passes so fast. And I like to use a timetable like Christopher to use the time wisely and not get lost. Organizing your time makes you realize how much time you’ve got left, and helps you think about how wisely should use your time. Christopher sets a direct goal in his life, and I do too. This way, I will know how I am going to achieve my goal and treasure the time I get.