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.

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.




My Process & Skills (6) Twin Box


This is my product for Twin Box Project.

Build two 4″x4″x4″ boxes. Then, present 2 companion concepts using your boxes. They can be opposites, twin deities, or any pairing that you would like. The idea is to communicate your concept through these two boxes.

  • To think conceptually
  • To recognize and use the power of metaphor
  • To gain experience solving problems three dimensionally

I chose the theme “Depth/Height” by the result of a majority vote in class. Other themes are “Night/Day” and “In/Out”.

To depict the concept in three dimensional, once I tried to use popsicle sticks, and it totally failed. Then I found a pack of ‘golf pencils’ at Staples. I got cheap 200  short pencils by $15. Not so bad.


I measured the height of pencils, neatly arranging in line. Then I built them up to express “Height”. Unexpectedly, it looks like a Christmas tree, while I had imagined it’s gonna like a bonfire.


“Depth” box took so much time. I spent about four-times hours compared to “Height”. I cut them up with a saw, sharpened them by hand pencil sharpeners, and sanded them by a rough file and sandpaper, to arrange in line according to height. There are 14 pencils on one side, which means there are total 196 pencils on a box.




I was so surprised that most of classmates and my instructor didn’t believe the pencils were hand-sharpened. Yes, they were!!! I did!!! Until my fingers became swollen, and further and further!!!

They screamed “Why don’t you use an electric sharpener!?” And my answer was “It didn’t work for this kind of sensitive work. Automatic equipment sharpens too much than I desired.”


To me, it was not the 2 BOX project, but the 200+ PENCIL project. But I’m happy with it.


Better Late Than Never!

I didn’t stay on top of documenting my projects through the blog throughout the semester, so I thought the portfolio I put together would be a good way to show what I worked on this semester – basically this is like 4 or 5 blog posts for the price of one!

Here’s a link to the portfolio.

I think the photo essay book was my favorite, even though it was the one that almost made me cry! I really felt like the hard work (and it felt sometimes like a lot of work!) paid off and I am very proud of the finished product. Also, any excuse to eat Raffetto’s ravioli is fine with me.

My biggest takeaway from this class was needing to be patient about the process and realizing that you might hit a lot of dead ends before getting to what works. Each of those dead ends might involve a ton of time and effort, but you need to move on and try other things out if it’s not coming together. Definitely a valuable lesson for future work!


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.



AAS GD Type Meet up

Throughout the month of November and into the first week of December, I attended two out of the six AAS GD Type Meet up Peer Led Sessions. I met the lovely Lauren Peters-Collaer who is a third semester AAS GD student that will be graduating later this month. Since I was usually the only person there, the sessions were based around what I wanted to learn and work on. Lauren would always have some sort of activity/workshop planned and we would start from there. She is a great mentor that introduced me to many different resources such as: Fonts in UseType Wolf, and Typographic Posters.

Check out this animated video called Word As Image by Ji Lee and try creating your own!

She also introduced me to two typography based summer courses that would be worth checking out from SVA. If you are looking for something to do over the summer, you may want to check these out: Typography as Language and Masters Workshop. Typography as Language is a one month program that is based in New York. Masters Workshop is a two-week program that is in Italy. These sessions are taught by different guest lecturers.

For those that are interested in typography should definitely attend these sessions! Hopefully more will be scheduled soon.

My Process & Skills (4) Photo Board

These are my long journey of Photo Essay Project.

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.


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.



Bottle Project: Reveal.Conceal.

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For the past month (or so), our class has been dedicated to the Bottle Project. The prompt was to take two empty Fiji bottles- a liter each- and transform them using any medium or any technique to portray two companion concepts. Let the brainstorming begin as you can see above! Don’t worry those are only two pages of the six.

From there, I decided to explore the idea of Reveal and Conceal because I very quickly focused on playing with wax and melting it over the bottles in some capacity. The initial concept was to construct a candle using one of the Fiji bottles as a mold and have the wax melt over the other Fiji bottle which would conceal whatever was inside. The problem with falling in love with a technique so early on is that it is so hard to let it go when it just isn’t working!

I spent the next 2 weeks continually building candles, melting them, and getting a lot of the below over and over again!

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At this point, I was definitely having more fun with the inside bottle. I made small strips of paper that have the prompt “When I am alone in my apartment…” and had pretty much everyone I saw finish the sentence. It was great getting to interact with everyone and see the different levels of uncertainty people had with this. I then had them push the paper into the bottle themselves to keep their anonymity.


It was time to move on with the outside bottle especially since the wax didn’t necessarily enhance my reveal/conceal concept. After researching new ways to make a mold of the second bottle, I decided on paper mache to build a cast that could open and close revealing the inside bottle.

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From here, I knew that I needed to paint the outside of the bottle to make it more graphically appealing as well as integrate it with the inside bottle. I decided on staying with the black/white/grey color scheme but playing with a darker background and white typography. Therefore, I painted grey horizontal strips that progressively got darker down the bottle. While I was questioning the grey rings and thinking about changing it to just black, Carmile so nicely pointed out that it plays into the idea of people’s layers and what everyone choses to reveal and conceal to the world. Then adding typography to the outside really brought it all together and integrated the inside bottle and outside shell nicely!


Below are a few pictures of my finished bottles. Thanks for reading and enjoy!