My Process & Skills (7) Human Rights, Human Wrongs

This is my eighth and the last entry for this semester.
Our class had a final assignment called “Human Rights, Human Wrongs”.

“Human Rights, Human Wrongs” is a poster assignment that allows the student to chose and interpret a social issue of interest to him or her. The student will voice their opinion in the chosen topic by creating a visual, conceptual statement using the juxtaposition of type and image.
The poster is directed at the general public and it’s aim is to create awareness for the issue and invite the viewer to question or consider his or her point if view on the topic. To achieve this, use the medium to your advantage. The poster is a medium whose intent is to grab the attention and draw the viewer in. It can be a powerful medium when designed and executed successfully.

 

The topic I took was child labor abuse in apparel industry, especially in brands so-called “fast-fashion”.

The other day, one of my ESL teachers said, “You fashion-conscious students must buy the fast-fashion clothing wisely, because it’s cheaper than the high-end brands and as fashionable as them! haha!” — I couldn’t believe what my ears heard. Of course, my ESL classmates majoring fashion design never agreed with this teacher.

And I noticed that many American people like her never think of what a fast-fashion means. They never care the reason why fast-fashion brands can sell their products in such a low, too much low prices. They can’t imagine what has happened in the opposite side of the earth, they don’t pay attentions to that kind of news or documentary films.

Shame on us. It reminds me an article about the Tazreen factory fire that killed 112 garment workers, and the Rana Plaza building collapse killing 1,129 people. No, honestly, I totally forgot the names of the buildings and the numbers of killed workers in Bangladesh. All I remembered is this featured image of the article.

http://jezebel.com/whats-the-solution-to-the-worlds-sweatshop-problem-511688272

Well, well, I never say that I’ve never bought fast-fashion clothing ever and forever. Sometimes I do buy their cheap products, as you do. But when I saw the store is filled with tons of cheap mass-products and it looks like mountains of garbage, it hurts my heart every time. I feel so guilty to buy a T-shirt in $9.99. Am I a wise customer, indeed?

So I went to “fast-fashion districts” at Fifth Avenue. You might know where it is, very close to our University Center. I took some spy photos (again! I’m quite good at it), and designed an opinion poster concerning child labor abuse.

 

 

The more cheaper we buy clothing, The more younger sweatshop workers become. Someone should stop this bad loop, and it must be us, customers. We can be more and more ethical.

You can use this poster to your social activities. For example, a protest against demonstration on the street like this.

 

 

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TIME Picks the Best Magazine Covers of 2015

By David Schonauer   Thursday December 17, 2015

Magazines fired back with photography in 2015.

“Today we continue our look back at the year that was by featuring Time magazine’s choice of the best magazine covers the year.  “Our selection of the top 10 covers of 2015 displays an exquisite use of photography, notes Time Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise Kira Pollack.

Her staff compiled its list after looking at a range of magazine categories, from news and sports to celebrity and fashion, and then interviewing the people behind the covers, including photographers, creative directors and top editors…”

Read and See More at AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY’s site: http://www.ai-ap.com/publications/article/16143/the-year-that-was-time-picks-the-best-magazine-co.html

My Process & Skills (5) Photo Book

This is my product for Photo Book Project.

(I don’t know why but I couldn’t upload my photos on this blog, so I posted them to my site and linked to them below.)

 

For this Book Project, our class had the same theme as Photo Essay Project. Since I finished my Photo Essay with “Texture”, my book naturally has the same theme.

I named this book “You can’t touch this”. There are no captions for each photo, I only put this statement inside of the cover, as an introduction.

More than twenty years ago, a certain hit tune of M.C.Hammer had hailed around the world. A Japanese little girl also loved it, and interpreted the lyric; “Anything essential coolness is untouchable to your hands, because it’s always intangible.”

Since then, I have been fascinated to release a shutter to it. Something far away, something over the fence, something only visible in a finder. Something tactile but not touchable. All photographs in this book were taken in New York City 2015, and have a kind of texture. Unkempt plants, stickers placed by hands, or old trodden lacking pavements. We can see some patterns and orders in them, but it’s not with a computer-measured neatness. An error attracts us to touch it, just like a hole in a hand-knitting sweater.

But you, and even I, can’t touch this. These are all tactile things that you can only feel its beauty through printed pictures.

 

I used a technique of accordion folding, and chose red and black cardboard to the cover page. All I focused on was “Texture”.

These are some of mock-ups, which were made by recycled paper, small sticky tabs, a cardboard which picked up from the refuse room of my apartment.

 

 

Project #3 – Photo Essay

Since I grew up with a father who was a firefighter in Ohio for 25 years, I’ve visited a firehouse or twelve in my day. There they are—their own separate entities—normally free from sharing walls with any other business or buildings. Sometimes in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in an urban area, but still standing free. I figured this is just how it was until I moved to New York City in May of 2010 and basically lived above a ladder company.

To showcase these firehouses to those who live outside of New York City, I chose to have this be the topic of my photo essay. My main goal was to give my book the feel of some sort of walking tour, where the leader goes from firehouse to firehouse across both Brooklyn and Manhattan. I even stopped along to way to take photos of the more overlooked markings of the NYFD—cones, fire hydrants, trucks parked on the street, etc.

First Half of Book
Second Half of Book

Bottle Project

In our Process and Skills class we just recently wrapped up our 4-week Bottle Project, focused on coinciding or contrasting themes.

Initially we had to start off by putting together 50 thumbnail sketches of what idea we would like to have and I can confidently say that the large majority of my sketches were absolutely ridiculous and infantile. However, this allowed me to get the silly ideas out of my system and focus on those that were more interesting. I ended up deciding on “Nature vs. Nurture.” My idea was to create a curved DNA band with beads and a curved band to represent nature (flowers, leaves etc.) to intertwine to the DNA to reflect how much both pieces take part in a person.

 

Next I set out to get my materials and start putting the project together… yarn, wire and glue, and then thicker wire, then shiny beads, then some more yarn, then decided to go with thread, then gold wire–too thin-then bought some shiny round things don’t know what they are–too small-glue didn’t stick so decided to go with the glue gun- ran out of sticks-bought more- tried to paint the shiny beads-CATASTROPHE-beads all over my living room floor-paint won’t dry-paint all over my hands-super glue won’t come off-decided I might need to change up my game plan for the DNA-on the other side the yarn was too unrealistic for the greenery so-went to Central Park-discretely took some leaves, berries and branches-hope no one saw…- Back to the DNA: tried finding wood beads-sold out-tried another store-wrong size-tried online-will arrive in February from China…eventually found a store that carried them and successfully completed the DNA! As for the greens, I took the making a wreath approach and added little by little real greens to heavy wire and twisted it to look like DNA..not too bad!  Took about a million tries and a ton of visits to the store, but it all eventually came together and I am happy with the final result of the project.

bottles_blog

My Process & Skills (4) Photo Board

These are my long journey of Photo Essay Project. https://processandskills.com/2015/10/31/my-process-skills-2-photo-essay/
https://processandskills.com/2015/11/08/my-process-skills-3-photo-editting/

And, this is my final presentation board of Photo Essay Project. 12 pictures on a 15 x 20 inches light-gray board.

As writing before, once I lost the theme. And it was found at last, with reviewing hundreds of photos I took. These two photos became my key principle.

I’m not sure what these are, though I myself took pictures of them. The one is a discarded vase on the roadside. It has been thrown away as a trash, because of its crack. But it’s beautiful. The other is a lighting covered with a mesh net, at the entrance of Vera List Center (6 E.16th building). I took this for killing time while I was waiting for the elevator (Yes, the most frustrating one in our school).

“Texture” — that’s what I found from these 2 photos. So I chose and edited 12 photos, through exploring the texture of them. My eyes caught abstract pictures, and lost meanings on it. Finally, human-beings have totally disappeared from my choice.

IMG_9554.jpg

12 photos were selected as 3 each by 4 sets of similarities: “Something litten”, “Something fragile”, “Something dotted”, and “Something to be palpated”. I made my rough sketches with thumbnails on my notebook. And shuffled them for putting on the board. You can see the difference between the sketch and the final board.

I cut all of my 5 x 3 photos into squares. Seeing a picture in the typical photo size (such as 3×5 or 4×6), your eyes naturally seek “What is seen? What did the photographer take?” because the size has meanings. However, I just wanted to let them be as collections of “Texture”. I must fit them into the exact same size in flat, so that they become more and more abstract.

IMG_9594.jpg

 

Pallet Magazine: What a Beauty

Are you a fan of both drinking and beautiful print magazines filled with everything from Breaking Bad-inspired label artwork to the history of Zamrock? Of course you are, so I hiiiiighly recommend picking up issue one of Pallet Magazine—a brand spankin’ new print quarterly magazine that is a collaborative effort between Dogfish Head Founder, Sam Calagione, and the founding editors of Smith Journal, an Australian men’s quarterly. I’m not one of their sales people, I promise. Much like Calagione, I’ve never read a book or magazine on a tablet or mobile device, so I also appreciate the little things like deluxe uncoated stock.

If anyone is still working on their photo essay and needs some inspiration, you should head down to any of these places in NYC to pick up a copy. Eataly has a bunch of them on a rack by the front door if you’re in the Flatiron area. There’s a great photo essay on America’s big rig trucking culture that you should check out. Enjoy!