Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Tribal Belly Dancer

India Ink & Watercolor
61 x 40.6 cm
Mar 2011

          Belly dancing has been a part of tribal cultures for a very long time, to express emotions and to celebrate certain rituals. It focuses on movement of hips, arms, and waist, and the dress wear is different for each culture or occasion. This piece focuses on tribal belly dancing and the movement of the dancer and the beauty of it. I used less intense colors to make the body and dance seem more intimate and personal.

The Stages to Forgiveness

Acryllic Paint & Ball Point Pen
153 x 121.5 cm
Oct 2010

          This piece is based on my personal experience and how I coped with it. The first piece on the left represents my initial anger and how I was blinded by vengeance and  frustration with the situation. The center piece shows my progression from anger to disappointment the person I was mad with, and how I was confused by their reasoning. And the final canvas represents my reconciliation with this person and how my feelings progressed to this final peaceful stage.

          This piece focuses on movement of color and lines to keep the three canvases connected and unified. This was my first attempt at utilizing a abstract background to represent my emotions. Although it was difficult, I believe that I was able to show these emotions well. The center figure gives this piece a stable and more concrete image to connect the entire three pieces.

Arachne's Curse

Ball Point Pen & Watercolor
57.2 x 30.5 cm
April 2010
          This piece was largely influenced by Arachne's Curse, how she was hung and transformed into a spider because of a jealous Goddess, Athena. It focuses on contrast, line, and value, creating emphasis and a focal point on the spider. The dangling feet in the background give the piece a more eerie tone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

India's Perfect Wedding

Color Pencil
55.9 x 40.6 cm
Jan 2011

          This piece focuses on the beauty of traditional Indian weddings, which are normally are performed by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Muslims. Bright colors, beautiful fabrics, and grand decorations are always present. I chose to focus on the traditional flowers used and the specific henna that the brides wear. The specific flower chosen was a pink orchid so that it's femininity would contrast with the darker brown of the henna. Each henna design was combined and used specifically for these wedding ceremonies. The significance of the bride wearing henna on her wedding day is to signify the strength of love in the marriage.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Pen & Watercolor
43.2 x 52.7 cm
Nov 2010

 Tradition: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc. by word of mouth or by practice. 

          For my concentration piece, I decided to focus on the tradition of the American past time of glorifying or idolizing celebrities. They were viewed as icons and role models and their old glamorous Hollywood appeal (fashion, practices, hairstyles, etc.) are still still, to this day, reminisced on and used as inspiration for other projects.

          I chose to emphasize on the past time belief that smoking was glamorous and alluring. The old Hollywood starlets and movies all portrayed smoking as beautiful and alluring activity, unknowingly harmful to the body. Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe were used as major inspirations for this piece, with their fashion, makeup, and hair style.

Let My Dreams Take Me Away

Pen & Inktense
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Sept 2010

          The concept for this piece was dreams and what we miss and like to reminisce about. Through a list of brainstorming, I came to the conclusion that what I missed most was my innocence: the toys I played with, being able to eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry my weight,  and playing dress up and pretending to be on perilous adventures. This idea took me to the idea of dreaming of the past and what bizarre things you experience when you dream.

"I Am Your Opus"

Acrylic Paint
40.6 x 50.8 cm
May 2010

This piece was inspired by Sylvia Plath's poem, "Lady Lazarus" (1962).

"...Them unwarp me hand and foot - -
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone...

I am you opus
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby..."

          The piece focuses and embraces the tone of this poem (playful, angry, and proud) and the common theme of stripping away layers until one gets to the barest of states. This was also largely inspired by the fashion and theatricality of a strip tease. This reminded me of the movie, Nine, where Marion Cotillard's character sings the song "Take it All," emphasizing how her husband has taken everything from her (simultaneously, striping away her layers for the crowd, putting her words into a physical and theatrical performance).

Scarification's Gift

Pencil & Inktense
25.4 x 34.3 cm
Apr 2010

           This piece focuses on the beauty of tribal African culture. Aspects of this culture that I focused on were the jewelry and scarification. Scarification is the puncturing of cutting of patterns into upper levels of the skin, lifting the skin with fish hooks or thorn yields, and then when the cut heals, scars are left. Scarification, although considered torturous and strange to outside cultures, is part of Sub-Saharan African cultures' cultural system and religious beliefs. They believe that scars are beautiful and make a person apart of the community. Scars showed a the maturity and growth of a person in tribal African culture.

Give Me Your Tears and Let There Be Rain

Pen & Inktense
36.8 x 36.8 cm
Feb 2010

          Aztec tradition and history tells us that sacrifices (along with many old civilizations) were a large part of their culture. Sacrifices were grand ceremonies that lasted for days or weeks that would give the peoples respect to the Gods who would in return give them protection or other goods or benefits. Tlaloc, the God of rain, demanded child sacrifices, and in return he would give the Aztec civilization rain for plentiful crops. It was believed that if the children cried when going to the shrine, it would bring them imminent and abundant amounts of rain. Children were dressed in gold pendants so that they would be taken by the Gods. This piece portrays these ideas. Although this is at first seen as a sad part of Aztec culture, it can be viewed as beautiful, and this traditional practice must be appreciated and understood by the viewers as well.

Gluttney's Revenge

Color Pencil
27.9 x 33 cm
Mar 2010

          This pieced was influenced by the seven deadly sins and the consequences in hell that one will face if they succumb to them. I focused on the sin gluttony because I thought that its consequence, demons force feeding one snakes, rats, and toads, was brutal and intense. Gluttony's color is orange so i chose more orange and yellowy skin tones to compliment this idea. I really liked the idea of a snake wrapping around the sinner's neck, forcing it's head into the mouth of the sinner.

I Am American

Acrylic Paint
40.6 x 50.8 cm
Jan 2010

          This pieces' assignment was to respond to culture shock and when I have experienced it in my life. I chose to do a personal example. I am adopted from South Korea and often find myself forgetting that I'm a different ethnicity than all of my friends. It's not that I'm neglecting or ashamed of my culture, but since I wasn't raised in South Korea, my heritage and culture is different than it would have been if I were raised there. I used this idea to focus on the idea of losing culture and heritage as generations pass, such as religion, traditions, or in my case becoming "Americanized". Since I was raised in America, my clothes, my hairstyle, and my make-up is based on American trends, which strongly contrasts against the traditional Korean dress and style. I researched traditional Korean culture and dress and used the idea of mirrors reflecting what one normally doesn't see.

Gourd Still Life

Mixed Media (Color Pencil, Ink Tense)
24.1 x 19.7 cm
Nov 2009

          This was a study of real gourds and to experiment with new media. Using ink tense for the base and foundation of the coloring, color pencil was utilized to amp up the values of the hues. I really like how in this study I was able to loosen up my line control, which has helped influenced my artwork as an artist now.


24.1 x 19.7
Nov 2009

          This was a landscape study done in watercolor. I really wanted to focus on the sunset and how the light diffuses throughout the sky, juxtaposing from the dark trees.

Leaf Study

15.2 x 22.9 cm
Oct 2009