I chose to take an art class for the arts course in high school, where we were given the choice between drama, art, and music. I decided to choose art because I have a strong passion in art. It interests me that many techniques are applied in one artwork to communicate a message, intention, and to express an emotion. I also like how the techniques used in the artwork can influence the viewers to have a different interpretation.
This year, in art class, we explored the ideas of using art to raise one’s status. We especially focused on the Dutch Golden Artworks and independently researched the techniques that Dutch Golden Artists, such as Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt, used to raise the status of a person in a particular subject group. Throughout this unit, I have developed many habits and practices as an artist. For example, I developed the habits of following the cycle of researching general knowledge first to further develop the understanding of the work (Dutch Golden Artworks), the purpose, before actually creating the work of my own. For my final work, I decided to raise the status of my friend, as a model subculture in order to build a higher status of her model career, gaining more respect and inspire others.
In addition, I also developed my skills as an artist in general, including proposition, foreshortening, light and shadow, pose and gesture, expression. I managed to successfully apply these skills in my final work, to enhance the figure as a high-status model, considering the 5 different kinds of techniques that are often used to raise one’s status, by catching the audience’s attention and building contrasts/ focus.
In the second unit of culture shock, I learned the connections between art and culture, and how a simple artwork can have a big influence on certain aspect regarding how one views the world. Before this unit, I used to think that art is simply a style of expressing the artist’s emotion and conveying its intention. Now that I know the importance of art and how big of an impact it can have on the society, like changing one’s idea on a particular culture, or building closer relationships between two or more cultures in conflict. I now know that art is beyond self-expression. In this unit, I have explored the concept of gender stereotypes, and expectations in Japan to change the stereotypical gender roles that the Japanese society has. Researching this topic, I learned about the variety of gender roles in Japan that I have not realised before. It surprised me how much of gender stereotypes and expectations there are in Japan that I used to think it was normal. Throughout this unit, it made me think that people should not be limited to certain roles due to their gender, as both men and women should have the freedom to make a decision of their preferences.
Throughout this unit, I have also developed a variety of oil painting skills (impasto, sgraffito, scumbling, glazing etc). With the developed techniques, I was able to apply these skills successfully in my final painting, in which I intended to change the gender stereotypes in Japan through traditional Japanese sports ‘Sumo.’ By drawing women playing sumo in the sumo arena, it successfully changed the gender stereotypes in Japan, as it is against the law for women to go to the sumo arena. This work could also raise women’s status, as sumo players are considered as ‘higher ranked people.’
Finally, I have also contributed well to class discussions, and I always look upon others and help others when needed. I think that I managed to successfully contribute to this art community, and will continue to do so in the future as well.