Exhibition- Diane Arbus, Kader Attia

Diane Arbus,

Hayward Gallery

The people she had photo taken are the keys, nude camp, circus, theater… Sometimes even the people on the street giving wicked feeling under her camera. Exept “A Box of Ten Photographes", which is circular format, others are similiar small size. I quite like how they display the photos. One pillar has one photo in one side and one in the opposite, it makes the photos more like individual event.




one of the photo from “A box of ten photographs"

Another artist in the exhibition " Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion

He documented transgender workers that gain his international recognition. Probably this is the main reason why he is exhibited with Arbus. They are both interesting in “unusual people"‘s life.

He applies various media: sculpture, photos, documentary film…

IMG_7034I might can go this route, for I always feel inspire when I am feel inspired and more related with unusual people.

IMG_7039A work plays with reflection. The actual object is one male and a female leather shoes. Later, he explores the politics of western museums.

This is my favorite room of his works

especially the projector. He juxtaposition many archive and objects of first world war and from Africa.



It’s interesting to see and compare the real head and the sculpture, the healing process and the fixing process


It reminds me of this Japanese method to fix bowls. The golden scars, very visualize yet beautiful.


Exhibition- Pierre Bonnard

One of the best colourists of the early 20 the Century.

No need to say they are all beautiful paintings. Just highlight some paintings related to mirror and self-portrait.

IMG_5892Although it does not specific if it’s a woman looking at the mirror, the form of the frame, it does look like we, the viewer, the woman is looking at the mirror.







Not sure if the post of reflection is so different from the woman. In the foreground the woman’s right hand is not really showing.


Nowadays it’s very convenient to paint from photos using camera or phone to insist. For capture the moment of daily life it’s different to set a model stand still for you. It’s interesting to see how he transfers the photos into paintings.


Painting, mirror, and us


Comparing to set the pose for models, he prefer to paint daily scenery. It’s like snapshot nowadays but he made himself invisible. He tried to see from his model’s angle.

IMG_5969 2Although he applied beautiful abundant colour that associate with happiness, however his expression looks depress in his self portraits paintings.

Exhibition- Klimt Schiele Drawing RA

It shows some drawings from Klimt and Schiele, therefore, there’s no large scale oil paintings that Klimt are famous for. They all like to paint on brown paper bag paper.

Klimt: Had more graceful, clean simple stroke, a bit like the fashion illustration we have today.




Fascinating by his stroke and the colour, a bit messy. However it’s lively. The expression of his models look so ambiguous,


How he used the colour is unconventional. Green, blue, bright warm colour on the skin…IMG_5691

IMG_5681One of the few print that Schiele did. He dropped it quickly because he found it too time-consuming. (which made me smile)






IMG_5690I love this textual and colouring wall.

Term5-Week10-Group crit and exhibit idea


We had a group crit

It was exciting to see many peers have great progress of their works. Alice tried new work, where she have some print of smiling faces.


was not sure why they are smiling, maybe it make them more uncanny, for the contrast between smile and black and white. If they are positioned with the words she created before, then it will remind me some communism government try to stop the freedom of conversation and thinking.


Frank’s anime. Not sure what’s the connection between the book and his drawing, but I like the anime overall. Mentioning how to present the work, I think he can tear off all the pages and present them one by one on the wall.

I quite like Ellen’s works. I think she is the most hardworking one among us, she really tries many possibilities. Very David Lynch, I can easily imagine her sculpture appear in his films. Look like some sort of organs.IMG_6468

I am still unhappy my works, but at the same time I don’t feel like I have much impulse to do them. I feel tired, overall, and don’t know why. I can’t feel much about my works.



Exhibition- Phoebe Boswell

Phoebe Boswell: The space between things

“an emotive interrogation of trauma, healing, and the poetics of endurance"

She applied various media, A series of selfportrait on the wall.


The floor mounted videos show her floating on a sea, probably referring the healing power of natural.

i was not sure why she used eyeball as main theme, until I went up to the secound floor. It was the one of the most disturbing video I ever seen, the surgery process of saving artist’s eye.



I was not able to finish it. It remind me a short film from Dali: so horrified, I think it’s because it is the organ clost to “us" the most. What we see constitue us,

Salvador Dali’s 1929 French silent film Un Chien Andalou https://horrornews.net/39235/the-art-of-ocular-violence-eye-violence-in-horror/

Filmings of two images of the artist overlapping.


It reminds me of another artist I saw in Royal Acedemy of arts

Rad Husak http://www.rhusak.co.uk/work#/mirrored-decline-triptych/

Exhibition- Dorothea Tanning


She uses doors frequently in her works, a intermediary between outside and inside. Lot’s of surrealist, fantastic element…






“I think I could like anywhere if allowed to create freely… My personal spcace is so richly furnished that there is absolutely no room in it for any feeling of exile…. Alos, behind the invisible door, another door." Tanning.

It reminds me what Claude Cahun said: Under this mask, another mask. I will never be finished removing all these faces.” They are talking different things, somehow there are still some connection. 

Layers of layers, discovering and discovering… Doors and masks are all surealism symbol.

door 84
“door 84″ used actual door as element in her painting
Eine Klein Nachtmusik

Another work used door element. The sunflower looks like creepping from the stairs like some sort of monster, and the kid is gathering some sort of magic to try to attack it or communicate with it. The door behind it opened, revealed outdoor scenery. Maye this scene more like a cinema playing inside artist’s brain.

Children’s game.

I like this one. Children don’t care about what they do might destroy things, they do things because they have natuaral power inside them.

IMG_6875I like this one as well. I feel like I can relate to it. The daughter sit still gracefully on the seat, look ike if she has no personal charactor, and the father is a huge silent exist, almost transparant but some how make you breathless. The status of mother is so humble, like a servant, as her value is just serving the family.

In this stage she painted lot’s of table and dinner to represent a family, home looks surrealistic in her works.

The Mirror

Her sunflower looks like monster, but also like human.

In this painting, it looks like a sunflower is looking at herself by using a sunflower mirror, and all of this is a reflection from another mirror.

Some printmaking(litho?)

Later her painting is more abstracted.

“In the first year, I was painting on our side of the mirror- the mirror for me is a door- but I think I have gone over, to a place where one no longer faces identities at all."





IMG_6903 Feel like her intention is shifted to colourful combination. For me they are beautiful, but less interesting.


The room echos her earlier paintings. The human part is crossing inside and outside.




Exhibition- Tracy Emin


in Whitecube

The first room is full of her selfie while she is on her bed, sleepless. She is suffering from insomnia(coincidently, it happened on Dorothea Tanning, the exhibition I went yesterday ). It was not a pleasant feeling watching her face, the photos of her face are enlarged, giving pethological feeling. IMG_6957

Following are many paintings she has done. Her pen stroke are quick, intritive and chaotic, a shape of woman repetive apprears, some painting has red dripping on it, looks like blood.

“the Bed" probably her most significant work, and shows her private life. People look for something to look for satisfaction, for example: sex. It sometimes result more complicated problems. In another room, is her short documentary film of her narrative about abortion. She can clearly remember what happen during her found out she was pregnant, told the doctor about her decision, and the pain mentally and physically. Because she had doctor checked that she will only have 0.05 percent possibility to get prenant, that’s why she did not pay much attention. She regreted like most of us, and I believe this deeply affect her that why the image keeps appear in her works.


“People always want to have something small, so they can control them" She said.

The female body in her works looks all twist and painful, most of time lay down. The texture of schulpture remind me some of Sam’s works, and the text remind me Alice’s.IMG_6970



“She came to the revelation that art could not be made for art’s sake it had to be intrinsically bound up with her own life. As she described it:’the essence of creativity, that moment of conception… the whole being of everything….it had to be about where it was really coming from"(Statement of exhibition, white cube)

Term5-week8-How To Be an Unprofessional Artist & Seb Thomas

Reading Group:

Resource: How to be an unprofessional artist

The subject today discusses a big question I am thinking of all the time in my life. In brief,  How do we, as an artist, to live our life?

We discussed how artists are different now and in early times, in the article it describes how “professional artist" look like, and question should we to be “standardize"?

Few questions for reflect:

I was asked if I feel I am an artist?

To be honest, sometimes I feel so, sometimes not. I told that while I am working as a portrait painter, I don’t feel so, because there are too much compromise. While in the article, it gives an example."You dealer tells you to make more with red, those red ones are really selling. Maybe, she says, you make only the red ones for a while?" I think it is compromise as well.

From this paragraph, I can see there’s a indicator of what artist is:“Everyone can be an artist, not because they have a degree or they sell, but because they live life artfully, with skill and imagination, freedom and awareness."

This compromise, is the lacking of the freedom.

It also mentions “Unprossionalism is asserting our right to be human against the machine.”

“Unprofessional most literally means “below or contrary to the standards or a paid occupation"."Who makes the standards? Is everyone paid? Fairly? Is being an artist a job or something else? who sets these starndards? “

I think is based on how audiences’s reaction

Well , maybe pure art could never be something to trade, or at least, as starting point, when making it, never thinking of to selling it. Trading means the sellers provide the product the buyers need, buyers buy it because they want it or need it. To produce something for people to have it, understand it, like it, probably it is not the primary goal of art should be?

These standards probably are set for buyers and viewers. We need to present ourselves to let them understand how good we art, so we set the website, social media, cv’s. We use those “successful artist" as standard, learn how they make it, and probably become who we are not.


Sebastian thomas Artist Talk

Exhibition- Bill Viola Michelangelo

Jo recommended me to see his works, and here comes his exhibition. When I saw his works on youtube I did not feel much, but the exhibition was quite impressive.

It also exhibits some small scale Michelangelo’s sketches, but the main focus is on Bill Viola. His trademark probably human in water, similar effect he uses repetitive in his works, as a metaphor of “Life, Death, Rebirth", which is the title of this exhibiton

The first work “The Messenger" is a guy fall deep into the water, float out to the surface. He opend his eyes promtly as he floats onto the surface, could indicates “rebirth, wake up". The part of the skin is warm and normal skin colour, but when he sinks, it’s light and cold blue colour image. By the deeper he sinks, his image becomes vague, distorted, broken, hard to reconize a shape of a human being. I direcly think of dream and hypnosis. What is our shape while we are in a dream? Is it not whole anymore? is it untouchable? What is the message this messanger want to tell us?


I wept a bit while I was watching the second work. “Nantes Triptych" consists three videos, the first one is a woman giving birth. She spreads her legs and show us her circular belly and genitalia, her partner supports her on her back. This part probably most strongly catches eyes, for it shows physical pain from her moaning and crean. On the right it was an old woman is on her deathbed. The image is quiet, the lens surrounds and seems like observing her. Beside the stressful sound from the mother-to-be, there is stable sound of breathing in the film, probably from the artist’s dying mother. The breathing ends when the mother hold her new born baby, open it’s eyes. These two videos are pretty documentary.

In the between is a person floating and sinking with a sheets ? in deep and dark water (a bit similiar to the previous work). While watchin, I was not sure what’s the meaning of the middle one, I was thinking maybe it could be some time lapse of some people’s ramdon life? Just remind me the ending of “The six feet under" one of my favorite TV serious, it briefly shows the charactor’s continuous life and how they end. Later I found out this work’s statement:

“In between a figure floats, at times calmly and at others in turmoil. It is an ethereal image of life, floating outside of time, suggestive of inner dimensions that are not bound by our mortal, corporeal presence." (Andrea Tarsia)


Slowly Turning Narrative

Personally I quite like this work.

It’s a large and dark room, with some sort of whispers. In the centre of the room there is a spinning monitor and mirror surface on it’s back. There is projector on two sides so the image is projected on the screen in the centre. While the mirror is facing the viewer, the viewer can see themselves clearly, and when it comes to the video, there are some image on it such a black and white human face. I am not sure much about the image means, but when the three colour project on the mirror, there are some beautiful rainbow project on the floor. It is very impressive in present. IMG_5575

This work and “the Sleep of Reason" is one of my favirite, too. It is a set up interior room, and there is a usual bedside carbinet with lamp, clock, vase and a small TV on it.


In the TV, there is a woman sleeping. For few minutes, and the room becomes totally dark and the woman’s image disappears, some images are projected around the room, such as train turnnel, underwater, X-ray for 2 seconds, and everyone comes back to light. It’s like waking up and sinking into subconcious in dream. However, no matter it’s in the dark or light, she is all sleeping, therefore maybe it’s not correct to say it’s wake up and fall in sleep, more it’s like status of sleep and fall in deep sleep, and those fragment it’s like a dream, there’s no logic between each fragment.

This work is consituded by two vertical images, onw man and a woman. They have grief expression, they even drop tears. When they bend their waist their images become distorted. Then we realise the image we see is the reflection of the water. Their tears obscure them. Does “Surrender"shows how they react when they have reach the limitation?


Overall, it’s very impressive exhibition. It looks kind of nothing on streaming, but it has power to watch it in the gallery. He led us to enter a dream.




term5-week4-A phenomenology of whiteness

Lithography-finally done the drawing part, did two drop of acid.



Reading Group- A phenomenology of Whiteness

We read the essey about white people, it’s bit hard for me to understand most of it, but there are something interesting(and it’s one of the few content I can understand, there were five asians student in the group, but today just me, I was the only yellow in this group, there’s no black neither.)

“I want to suggest here that whiteness could be understood as “The behind".White bodies are habitual insofar as they “Trail behind actions: They do not get"stressed"in their encounters with objects or others, as their whiteness’goes unnoticed’. "

I am in a facebook group which theme is right-wing politics, they seem like have issue with femilism, ecological group, they think they are a force to shake the balance of our society, therefore, when I come into this paragraph, then I realize they don’t like this probably because they never have to conquer these problem.

We also watched this talk on TED

Can art amend history?

and my peers talk about Tate, which was build by slaves, and Britain museum, showcase the arts were raven from other countries. There are only few percentage of female artist in our art history, (but it definately changed after..Guerrilla Girls?)

We have same problen in my country. One of our formost president “Chiand Kai-Chek" has temple build in Taiwan, and in our childhood, we are taught that he was a great man. However, now new government is trying to change it, to tell us the truth. Althought he had credit building our country, he also killed many inoccent people, which is always ignore in our history.

we can’t erase the history, but we need to understand the truth.

few question for us to think:

47: I would like to give shape to the “amorphous uncomfortable."

2. We have to change the narrative in our heads that doesn’t acknowledge that “segregation now, degregation tomottow, segregation forever" was part of the ideology that reared us and put in place the institution in which we were taught and in which we teach.


trying more combination with colour and composition.