Unit 7 Reflective Journal

28 - 29

by ?AOI?



Above table is a comparison between the words my interviewees associated with the onomatopoeia, and what non-Japanese speakers thought each outcome (photographs) was meant to translate. I can see that I was actually quite successful in translating most of the words through visuals, as many of the words associated initially by the Japanese speakers have been guessed by non-Japanese speakers after seeing my photographic outcomes. One unexpected response was towards the onomatopoeia 'Churu Churu'. From the words associated to 'Churu Churu' by Japanese speakers, I was meant to develop an image of happy, bright high schooler's youth and puberty. However the things I leant out of the research for Churu Churu became a little more dark and sinister than the initial plan as I started remembering what puberty was like for me. What's interesting is that even though the actual photographic outcome didn't feature any literal signs of depression or confusion through puberty, so many people who saw my outcome associated the image with a girl who's depressed, on drugs, has very confused mind and even thinking about self harm. Not one, but at least five people associated the 'Churu Churu' outcome with subjects like that, which was really strange since although I hadn't made the image to be associated with such things, that is exactly how I was remembering my puberty to be like while shooting and directing it. 

The name of my project for unit 7 was 'Is visual language the ultimate universal language?'.

According to this table, I think my series of outcomes were successful in terms of translating the overall value of each onomatopoeia; and therefore I believe I can say that in this case, visual language is the ultimate universal language.


20 / 04 / 15

download.php?file=1173577&view=121866&embedded=1&textbox=1138335       download.php?file=1173586&view=121866&embedded=1&textbox=1138335

The assessment criteria questionnaire (filled in, above, click to enlarge) was very helpful as I was able  to re-consider what I had to improve in my sketchbook or workflow to achieve a higher score. 


tutorial- briefing on what I have to do over next 7 days (check assessment criteria, annotate sketchbook and make sure everything is clear, print portfolio, print A2 posters for exhibition, print publication). Also during class my tutors picked out the strongest images from our portfolio for us to print in A2 as a poster in the upcoming exhibition. They selected four images, all of them being just one side of the poster I had made with two photographs placed next to each other. Initially I had made this poster to be presented as a whole (set of two photos in one poster), but I quite liked how they wanted to present just the 'prop' side of the poster with the name of onomatopoeia printed. This is because I thought that rather than giving all the aspect of my photo shoot away in the poster, presenting only the title and the prop shoot and not feature the models might drive more people to be interested in what the project is about, and look at my publications.

Today I also went to ABC printing to hand in my unit 7 publication. For some reason I thought a magazine I had previously made was B4 sized, so I had made my inDesign document set up as B4. It turns out B4 is much bigger than my previous magazine, and at the last minute I had to re-scale everything to fit the true size I wanted (230 x 295). Luckily all the photo links in my inDesign file was still active so re-scaling was done without causing any pixilation. 



23 / 04 / 15


Today I received my Unit 7 publication from ABC printing. This meant that it was time for me to literally draw on top of the 'Shito Shito' pages, do complete illustrations that goes on top of the photographs. For this process I used Liquitex paint pens, because I thought their 'light blue violet' paint went very well with the colours used in the 'Shito Shito' photoshoot (black, coral nude and light navy blue) and also because despite being colour paint pen, it's very opaque. As I have mentioned in the sketchbook pages I took my inspiration for the 'Shito Shito' illustrations from artists such as Gert and Uwe Tobias, Francis Bacon and Joan Mir.  These artists work using abstract shapes and disfigured subject matters to create a unique dimension and discomfort in their artworks, and I thought that related well to the distress and sadness that I tried to express in the photo shoot. 


18 - 19 / 04 / 15


Today I spent more time working on the publication about Brussels. The brussels publication is more laid back, since it's about travelling and when I'm travelling I don't have everything done perfectly. Unless I have something I'm particularly interested in, I swing by places and enjoy the whole atmosphere of the environment I'm visiting. I want to represent the same relaxed mood through this publication, and that's why I decided to pencil draw most of the illustrations by hand and scan them in without digitally manipulating the lines. I have two spreads dedicated for each of my onomatopoeia, including photographs and illustrations that is related to the words associated with. Some parts of the illustrations where it overlaps with the photo is left transparent because the photographs represent for the texture / colour / atmosphere that is associated to each of my onomatopoeia, so I'm using it as the filling of the illustrations.


14 / 04 / 15

download.php?file=1171946&view=121866&embedded=1&textbox=1124782After the change (final poster)


Before the change (with boarders)


Was suggested by Tim to stop 'scanning in' illustrations then adding it on photographs, but to literally draw on top of final works to really demonstrate the touch and the tone of my drawing. Therefore I am going to do a final photo shoot on Thursday for my uncompleted word 'Shito Shito', with simple white backdrop and very little props and make-up so that illustration drawn on top will be the main focus and part of the art direction of the shoot. Also, I got feedback from the tutorial group saying my series of images with two photographs from each photo shoot put next to each other would look better without the boarders around it. I was scared that without the boarders the posters won't look coherent as a series, but I came to realise that they already have a few things in common (same font and same layout (object/closeup on left, actual model on right)) so I did get rid of it, and agreed that it does look more sophisticated and smarter without them.



15 -16 / 04 / 15



I've started constructing layouts and selecting photographs for my unit 7 publication (not Brussels publication). I am struggling to create a layout that isn't just about placing photographs as they are page after page, but something a bit more playful and unique.


Photo shoot with my model Yusho for the 'Shito Shito' shoot went as planned, I was a little worried about the photoshoot looking too plain even considering that I will be putting illustrations afterwards. However, ideas that I had planned in the sketchbook developments, small juxtapositions within the photo (the rather 'boring' blue dress worn by male model with lots of piercings, 'punk' style jewellery, wet hair and garment) turned out much more visually powerful than I expected it to be, so I was very relieved and was able to confidently play around with the styling and posing. Some of the photographs possessed a strong 'Japanese' visual aesthetics, since I featured the Japanese 'geta' shoes I had made for my previous projects(click to read more), and the Japanese method of 'Kinbaku' (Japanese Rope bondage) I played around with using a blue ribbon. which was really the only prop I had. If I could do this photo shoot again, I would probably try out more complicated method of Kinbaku, but since I knew that illustration was going to be the main focus of the 'Shito Shito' editorial right now I'm very happy with today's outcomes.



21 / 04 / 15

Today I received my four A2 posters and my portfolio from Archi print. 

At campus, because I wanted my Brussels publication to have a casual, hand-made and laid back feeling, I printed it myself using the MFD printer in the printing room. It was my first time using the MFD printer to print a publication, and at the beginning I had technical difficulties figuring out how to manage page layouts in order to print them in order like a book. I had a help from one of the staff member at the desk to figure out what print settings I had to apply. While the printer was printing my magazine, I went off to talk to a friend, and when I came back it turns out that somebody had taken out my paper and had something printed for them. Therefore I had to export the inDesign file with the print layout settings as a pdf file and print from half way where it was cancelled. Finally when I had printed all the pages, I had help from one of the staff to crop down the paper and bind it using a large stapler. The outcome is nicely put together by hand, and because it doesn't use any special binding process or coated paper, it looks very casual like how I wanted it to be. 

Also, I created a dust cover for my Unit 7 magazine. This is because originally I wanted to have the credits on the back cover, but since the photographs on the back cover looked very nice I asked for feedback (in person and on Facebook) considering if I should have the credits on top of the photos at all.


Responses: (facebook)


In person

- the writing looks nice on the photographs, but I like seeing the photos by itself as well

- the credits looks good in white, not sure if you should print with the words on the photos.

Considering these feedbacks, I decided to put the white credit writing on the dust cover. This way people can look at the photo without the credits, but will see the credits whenever the dust cover is on. 


17 / 04 / 15

Worked on publication layouts and scans all day.

I was able to figure out the 'playful' means of magazine layouts, which was something I've been struggling with. Rather than just presenting photographs as they are page by page, I thought of incorporating fabrics / materials / props I've used during the photo shoot next to the photo, and also to collage some of the less visually powerful works altogether through the spreads, rather than by themselves. Photographs which I believe to be more visually powerful / successful than the others (personal favourites and through feedback)  will feature by it self per page. My publication won't have any writings inside because the whole purpose of this project is to express the onomatopoeias without using any written text or words to describe them. For inspiration of layout of publication I've looked at how Monica Mogi collages and frames her own work in magazines such as NYLON.JP. For the size of the publication I've chosen So-En Japan as a example because of it's unique sizing. So-En Japan stands out amongst other magazines as it's not sized with international paper size, but 230x295mm which is more like a square than a rectangle.

-Feedback for 'Shito Shito' photoshoot-

What words, textures or atmospheres does this photo shoot remind you of?

Cold water / Ice / Trapped and Tired / Cleansing of sins / Naughty / Distress

I was successful in portraying the 'wet' texture and the overall sad atmosphere which is described here in the feedback as  'tired' and 'distressed'. I was very glad that my classmate thought of the phrase 'Cleansing of sins' when looking at the photographs since 'cleansing' also in some way associated with water, ( because you wash things down with water) and because it's the cleansing of sins it means that the model looks like he's regretting something, and therefore is in a sorrowful mood which is exactly what I wanted to translate through this photo shoot. 


12 - 13 / 04 / 15


I edited the video snippets from each photo shoot do create a short film, following the same process I took when I made it for 'Nyoro Nyoro'. During each of the photo shoot I took short videos of models performing different actions, or even just a motion of props to edit later on. In the actual film, each snippet is up to 1 second long, and jumps from different scenes really quickly. This is because I didn't want to create a particular 'story' in the film, but wanted the viewer to feel the meaning of the onomatopoeia through intense colours, movements and textures shown on the screen. Also, I personally find film works that stays on the same scene for a long time a little boring (maybe because I'm impatient) so that is also why I made my film to be very skippy and quick in changing scenes. The video outcomes are a little rough in quality (reason being it was handheld + my camera's max image size something a little larger than A3 + the lighting was too dark in some of the locations outside) and they aren't as refined as my photographic works, since I was more passionate about art direction and photographing during the shoot. In other words, my short films support the photographs by showing the viewer some of the movements and actions associated with the onomatopoeia, which can't be represented through still images.


Printed draft works for portfolio



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