Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Surrealism – exploring

After being exposed to surrealism, I decided to look into the surrealistic art and explore deeper.

Surrealism is an anti‐rational movement of imaginative liberation in European (mainly French) art and literature in the 1920s and 1930s, launched by André Breton in his Manifeste du Surréalisme (1924) after his break from the Dada group in 1922. The term surréaliste had been used by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in 1917 to indicate an attempt to reach beyond the limits of the ‘real’.

Surrealism seeks to break down the boundaries between rationality and irrationality, exploring the resources and revolutionary energies of dreams, hallucinations, and sexual desire. Influenced both by the Symbolists and by Sigmund Freud’s theories of the unconscious, the surrealists experimented with automatic writing and with the free association of random images brought together in surprising juxtaposition. Although surrealist painting is better known, a significant tradition of surrealist poetry established itself in France, in the work of Breton, Paul Éluard, Louis Aragon, and Benjamin Péret.

Surrealism also attempted to become an international revolutionary movement, associated for a while with the Communist International. Although dissolved as a coherent movement by the end of the 1930s, its tradition has survived in many forms of post‐war experimental writing, from the theatre of the absurd to the songs of Bob Dylan. The adjectives surreal and surrealistic are often used in a loose sense to refer to any bizarre imaginative effect.

Examples of Surrealists:

Salvador Dalí


Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painting skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

The Persistence of Memory

The well-known surrealistic piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí’s theory of ‘softness’ and ‘hardness’, which was central to his thinking at the time. Many also consider that the melting watches were there to literally symbolize the irrelevance of time.

I think this piece is interesting. But personally, I do not this piece. I think that this painting is quite abstract and hard to understand, and i prefer paintings that explicitly expresses its theme. However, that is just my personal preference and opinion, please feel free to rebut. I do think this piece is well done and the idea of clocks being so soft and jelly is quite interesting. Staring at the whole picture gives me a serene feeling. Well, I think I can explore more artists’ works and perhaps, learn to appreciate yet another form of art.

Acknowledgements to:


Coursework (2)

During the art session last week, Mrs Tan gave me really good ideas for my composition. She suggested a dollhouse, like putting different scenarios together in the form of rooms, each box indicating one room. She also gave me the idea of portraying maturity, showing the transition of a girl growing up to be a teenager, where she starts to do ‘not so innocent’ things. So instead of “A girl’s ideal world”, I thought I might just change it to “A girl’s world” or “maturity”, showing what girls do at a certain age, and how this changes as she grows older.

The idea that I have in mind right now is putting a few boxes together, each portraying different scenarios. The box in the middle would stand upright, consisting of a little girl in her small innocent world, probably playing with her soft toys or chewing on some candy. But the other boxes surrounding that box are tilted in all angles and the direction of gravity is all wrong, portraying teenagers doing mature stuff, their ‘little girl’ life turning topsy turvy. 

However, I would be aborting the idea of inculcating MC. Echer’s Relativity, of which I was planning to use; and since my strength does not lie in drawing, I haven’t found an alternate medium to compose my work. Then again, Mrs Tan gave me this idea of paper architecture, where I can build my coursework from paper. Now that the more I explore the theme, I realise that there is so much I am unsure of, but I am determined want to get my direction right before I proceed with my coursework. Feel like I’m stuck in the middle of no where. I think I have to explore the ways of portraying my theme further and confirm my theme before I move on.

Coursework idea (1)

Initially, I wanted the theme of my coursework to be happiness, but I realise that this theme is too broad and I need a more specific topic to work on. So I came up with the theme ‘A girl’s dream world’. I’m sure everyone has a dream world filled with your happiness, dreams, stuff that you like or in other words, an ideal world that you enjoy or love. And I want to do something close to my heart: A GIRL’S dream world. Something that involves my own opinions and experiences too. Hmm. Now that I think of this, maybe I should change it to ‘MY dream world’ which is more specific, instead of making a sweeping statement generalising that ALL the activities in my coursework are things that ALL girls like or enjoy. Afterall, everyone has preferences, just like my uncanny love for doll houses and miniature objects at this age. Yet again, if this turns out too subjective, nobody might understanding my work. the theme would be more prominent if I gathered things that girls generally like.

Now that I’m more or less settled with a theme, I’m thinking of composition. My great source of inspiration is Maurits Cornelis Escher’s (M.C. Escher) work: Relativity.

Relativity by Maurits Cornelis Escher (M.C. Escher)

Relativity by Maurits Cornelis Escher (M.C. Escher)

The irrational idea that gravity exists in all directions within one house is intriguing, just like how unreal yet interesting a dream may seem. What I have in mind now is many girls on different directions of gravity doing the things I enjoy or holding the things I like.

Escher is a graphic artist. During his lifetime, made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. He is most famous for his ‘so-called’ impossible structures, such as Ascending and Descending.

Ascending and Descending by M.C Escher

Ascending and Descending by M.C Escher

As I was searching around on the internet for mediums to express my theme, I stumbled upon this: Andrew Lipson’s LEGO® Page at This guy managed to complete the relativity structure in using lego:

Relativity lego structure

This is the complete structure he has made. The website also shows the building processes, methodology etc. Not only that, he has also succeeded in building many other structures of famous paintings (not limited to M.C. Escher) and statues using lego. It’s worth a look!

Other than that, I also found a 3-D software figure online here:

In this website, the painting recreated in the form of 3-D structures using a special software, allowing you to examine the figure from different angles.

The last method I found, is photography, an idea I gained from United World’s College art exhibition.

series of photosindividual photos

What I like about these series of photographs is the way each individual photo is being pieced together into one. It gives the dreamy effect just like how a dream comes in bits and pieces that might not match exactly.

Yep, and that’s all for this post.

Clean toilet campaign

This is the art review that Priscilla and I came up with for the shoe exhibition :)

CLEAN TOILET CAMPAIGN: Which do you prefer?

The clean toilet is over there! It’s clean and white with polished toilet bowls!

The dirty toilet is over there! It’s dirty and brown with matching footprints!

We all play a part in keeping the toilets clean. Here is a contrast between heaven and hell. Nobody would want to enter a dirty toilet at the ‘crucial moment’ right?

25 objects and Greek art museum



I read some people’s reflections, and looks like I’m the only one with a negative experience :/ Oh well. Bear with me for a while…

9th January 2008
  I was not ready to draw 25 objects in two hours at a go for my very first art lesson and was rather shocked when I was told to do so. I realized that I have never drawn things with a target in mind (finish drawing a certain number of pictures within a certain time) and was quite upset with the limitations (time and objects provided).
  As I started on my drawing, I was feeling stressed. All the girls around me seemed to be so good. Thinking back, coming to this new environment so unfamiliar to me also made me very conscious of myself. Being easily distracted by movements around me, I eventually took on drawing things which are simple instead of interesting. Time seemed to be crawling. As a pictures formed on my drawing block, I began to reconsider my choice of taking up art…
  After around an hour an a half, I was exhausted! I have never gone through such ‘intense’ training and my head ached. Thoughts of giving up began flashing in my mind. Nevertheless, I pushed myself on.
  At last, two hours has passed. The lesson is over. I flipped through what I have done in shame. Other girls have done their drawings so nicely, I did not manage to edit them nor give them some shape. It was easy to see the contrast between my work and theirs. I decided to reconsider my choice of taking up art seriously when I get home.
(I thought it over for a week, thinking of the pros and cons, and decided to continue with art :D. Even though I may not be the best in class, I will still try my best to do better.)

Yep. That is the end of my first art lesson. Don’t ask me why I’m so negative, I was reallyreally tired then. And because the reflection writting really slipped out of my mind, I could not hand it in on time. So to make it up, I wrote reflections for the art museum trip too. Here it is…

16th January 2008
  Upon arriving at the Greek art museum, I could not contain my excitement. This is the first time I would draw still life in a museum. We were led to the sculptures ground in a group. The place was dim and I was starting to feel nervous. As we walked around, I saw many beautiful sculptures, replicas of the Greek sculptures made long long ago. The originals must have been even more magnificent.
  Then I came across this sculpture. It was beautiful beyond words. The expression of this lady was so peaceful, so quiet. Her head tilted to one side, her dress hung to her feet. I settled down on a spot at an angle to this sculpture and started drawing. Eventually, I got use to the dim light and felt rather comfortable in the dark. The two hours there flew pass so silently, so quickly. In the middle of my drawing, a group of people crowded behind me, their guide was explaining about the sculptures before them. I suddenly felt very uneasy. I could feel many pairs of eyes staring at my work. But this uneasiness eventually faded as they left.
  This experience at the Museum was truly a great one. What a pity I did not manage to start on another piece and look at the rest of the sculptures. If I am given a chance, I would really like to go to the museum again!

This shall be the end of my post. Do tag!