EFFICIENCIES IN HUMAN COMMUNICATION
I am not an artist. Though, I draw, in order to convey where words seem to fail. Yet more often than not, the emotional link fades between the drawing and what I was experiencing at the moment. I find this deeply frustrating. Please scroll down to see my portfolio.
IS A PICTURE REALLY WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Over time memories change and even the meanings itself. In drawings and in words, I even discover things about myself later on that I wasn’t aware of originally.
The human hand connects with the ghostly hand from within the machine. It is inviting me in, as much as I seek it myself. Am I deceiving myself to seek a digital utopia? Or are machines truly the best way to be precise and understood in communications?
Part of a series to study the components in communication: the ear for listening, a bit obvious.
The Glasses With No Eyes
Series continues on communication: the glasses to help with seeing, but there is no eye to see. The hand seeks to see, which is indeed a way blind people see, through touch. Even for people with eyes and not blind, perhaps they see even less.
Sitting with the feeling of loneliness. Definitely awkward to say this to someone else. When spoken, the possibility to be understood is overwhelmed by the guilt of not helping the suffering. Though in my own loneliness, that is also a part of who I am, thus a part of me that I can learn to accept.
Exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum. Chinese paintbrush with non-Chinese neon. Or, my shameless plug for college application: “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” - Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and chair, Department of Philosophy, Princeton University.
Pot and Vegetable
Trying something highly stylized. Doing this is like me trying to be the better version of me - perfect student, perfect friend, perfect daughter. This became more of a meditation on why it is I have chosen to want those things in the past. (Study of an oil painting artist)
The gap between what is in mind and what is on paper is frustrating because even when using words, they are not perfectly expressing the thoughts in mind.
No One Likes You
Being a teenager is tough. Also hard to say it out loud. The experience gets trivialized when other people look sympathetically: just because billions of other teenagers go through similar depths of despair doesn't make it any better for me. A kind of self-portrait.
Eye and Nose
Funny thing: nostril is a pair but nose is singular. When the eye is one, we see less depth. Perhaps we become more shallow if we are not aware of both eyes when we have it.
One of the pieces I am more proud of, but still not quite sure how deep my own emotional depth is or to what degree I am able to express it.
Matching what is in my mind, but still very far from it. The pine cone is one of my joys of immigrating to the US and being in Seattle.
Another highly stylized one. If the image is a language, then being stylized is like using someone else's voice, literally.
Also stylized but a bit of fun. Actually, in all languages, I struggled with both Cantonese and English. Connections with other people were also a struggle.
A mix of most of my themes: loneliness, self-portrait, belonging, manga.
Happy Mothers Day
In my mind, a picture forms to express meaning and feeling. My imagination draws. In my mind, there are no words, only pictures. So even saying things out loud is a kind of translation.
Well, maybe pursed lips instead of mouth. Pursed lips have more complicated emotions anyway.
So cute. Like Pine Cone, my love for Seattle. But my experience with nature is complicated. I was reading "Into The Wild" with the death of McCandless after surviving 113 days in the Alaskan wilderness.
A weird feeling of control. I am a God who can create and alter the realities and world around me.
Friends think I am funny. I like that they think I am funny. Yet, inside I am a bit twisted. I like mystery novels and ghost stories. I realize myself quite complex with layers as well.
The most stylized of all highly stylized in series of studies. I am disappointed with friends who don't say what they mean. But when there are so many layers of complexity, I can appreciate that perhaps people are basically incapable of expressing themselves.
What if this is also somewhere I can belong to. What if I am also sheep.
The other kind of highly stylized. And life as a permanent vacation. I like to be on receiving end of reactions from friends. I like to delight and entertain others. By doing so, life is about as flat and one-dimensional as an eternal vacation.
I am shy. In a reverse kind of logic, I am motivated to drawing by myself, as a way to get reactions from others.
How alarming it is. The moment felt great. The photo felt great. And when I draw it out, it is all shallow and superficial.
I think it's cool to create characters and backgrounds. I want more methods to tell stories, though I am not good at coming up with original stories.
I draw on paper, while I like programming. I enjoy both for the precise instructions I can give. It does exactly what I asks it to do, when everything else in life is too fuzzy.
Playing with texture and depth. When I was painting it I was thinking about global warming and how whales and dolphins are dying in the ocean. And I did this painting with a lonely whale with last ray of sunshine on its tail, as it is dissolving into bubbles, like The Little Mermaid.
Full of teenage awkwardness, a once-in-a-lifetime feeling.
Emotions and stories are separate, where stories are a tool and starting point to express these emotions.
The first impact from experiencing such emotions came from endlessly watching anime in elementary school.
If you look closely, you can see the background is actually a wall. This is painted on the school hallway.
The drawing in the same position on the wall, before painting.
I like precision and simpler logic. That's why drawing, computers, and programming is a safe haven for me. My goal in life is to reduce friction in communication.
FINDING MEANING IN NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Since meaning itself is not fixed but changeable. I wonder if the direction and speed of this change can be altered, and become more authentic to the moment of creation, instead of fading into meaninglessness.
Below is an experiment I did in animation on waking up.
I am the President of the Manga Club, and I made some sketches to draw out my own immigrant experience.
In one attempt, I actually made a 20-page booklet in collaboration with a friend.
Flying to the US 1
Part of my sketch of articulating my own experience of immigrating to the US.
Flying to the US 2
Since elementary school, I've been obsessed with Japanese anime. Particularly I am focused on the works of Akira Amano.
Flying to the US 3
It is also a kind of stylized ideal and rejection of reality. The ideal that I can articulate at least to myself and perhaps to others as well.
This is one of the character designs of "little dragon girl".
Continuing with borrowing stylized templates. Bold lines, bold personalities. Quite unlike my own shyness.
Why is it every picture of friends becomes loneliness and feelings of emptiness. Though with manga in particular, I like that it is prettier than reality. These are the first two characters I have ever designed - I started thinking about Pearl (left) and Rina (right) when I was 12. They are best friends.
New Year's Greeting Card 1
Year of the Dog. Sent to friends.
New Year's Greeting Card 2
Year of the Chicken. Enjoying the feeling of having friends.
Flying to the US 4
Cleaning up sketches. I have this obsession with cleaning up, and I feel satisfied when I do this. Cleaning up a chaotic classroom. Cleaning up a room full of noisy kids. Cleaning up math problems. Cleaning up messy lines.