What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word 'culture'?
That was the very first question I asked myself before I began sketching. Almost instantaneously, 3 human figures ran across my imagination. And so it begins...
Playing on perspective and distorted lines, I decided to draw the most obvious form of intercultural difference which can be seen in Malaysia - traditional costumes.
I then began to wonder what other forms of intercultural components are there to represent the fusion of culture in a single drawing. And I thought of the different kind of traditional and unique weapons used by the 3 main races in Malaysia - Malay, Chinese, and Indian.
To make it more interesting, I began to thought of ways to make the initial idea less traditional and more abstract. I began practising the principles and elements of design used by my reference - Lyonel Feininger by highlighting the focus of the drawing with triangular forms, using different shades of black.
With close reference to Feininger's work, I tried to infuse mountain drawings of different culture into this piece. The feedback I got was not positive as it's too abstract. I decided to ditch this idea and move on.
I began to brainstorm other forms of designs that may depict 'intercultural' at its best. With the many colour theories we learned from class in week 5, I decided to play around with them. I tend to also utilize many light-dark contrasting colours, different variations of colour value and saturation to achieve the desired depth of field. Placement and variation of sizes were used to create a visual link between the elements.
The culture tree.
Playing on gravity, I reversed the gravity of the subject matter to instigate curiosity and wander.
Two different coloured hands caring for the world.
Intercultural fabric design.
These masks portray the distinct make-up technique commonly used by the 3 different race - Chinese, Indian, and Malay.
An improvisation of the above drawing.
After experimenting with the colours, I realize that my favourite colour concept is triad.
Most of the designs I came up with are based on improvisation. I enjoy taking different elements of culture and integrate them into a whole using the Gestalt principles - Proximity and Similarity (using triangular shapes). Take the few drawings below for example.
This is the final result of the abstract cultural lamps I want to achieve. Similar to Feininger's work, the colours used here are mostly cold colours. It creates a sense of tranquillity.
Here's another example of my work through improvisation.
In the first piece, I used the water reflection to create the illusion I want to achieve, which is the image of 3 cultural buildings.
Next, I improvised it and drew an obvious image of 3 cultural buildings side by side. This drawing is called 'The Cultural Buddies'.
To make it more abstract, I utilized similar principles and elements of design used above to create the improvised version.
Here is another version of 'Intercultural' with cultural architecture as the subject matter.
From what I gather while working on this assignment, one's art work can actually make more sense and can be perceived to be more 'matured' after implementing the principles and elements of design taught.