Topic: Narrative or Abstraction

Project Duration: 3 Weeks

Submission Date: 23d November 2020

Project Proposal

The topic of part 3 is Narrative or Abstraction. I understand that this could be totally narrative or literal abstract such as fine art. However, I as I want to combine two topics, I’m planning to make abstract animation which including storyboards.


Week one: 2, November 2020

Before starting the project, I’ll look through the meaning behind ‘Narrative and Abstraction’ in the Oxford dictionary. Then I’ll research optical illusion artists because I think the human senses are well related to tricks. Investigating the movie ‘Dreams’ directed by Akira Kurosawa will inspire me to imagine dreams and realize in form of visual arts. I will research the oldest known drawings. As I’m going to make animation in the second week, I will research one or more animation with artists.

Week two: 9, November 2020

I will make simple simple synopses first. Then I can make around two minutes short 2D animation. I’m aiming to make simple-story animation but deliver short strong images. I’ll have to write annotation processes by steps on my blog.

Week three: 16, November 2020

For week three, I’ll proceed the animation which I started in week two. For the last day of the week, I’ll start preparing my portfolio at this point.


The mind map is composed of the three main branches – meaning, human senses, and human nature. In Meaning, beyond the simple dictionary meaning of Narrative and Obstraction, I will describe it based on history, my interpretation. In Human Senses, I will investigate the basic five senses of a person, and how these senses influence forming abstract images. I’m planning to produce this in the form of animation. Finally, I want to find out about human desires, such as appetite, sexual desire, safety need, physiological need, and interpersonal needs. However, if there is not enough time, I will exclude human needs.

1 – 1. Abstract Art reports

I find that the meaning ‘Abstract’ can be interpreted and justified in different ways one similar characteristic of ‘abstract’ is something can’t represent something.

1 – 2. Abstract Art reports

I researched some really basics on ‘abstract art’ history. However It was hard to understand and link terminology where is relevant. For example, I researched but hard to differentiate between ‘Free abstraction’ and ‘Abstract Expressionism’.

Secondary research – Human senses

In the first time, I understand the meaning ‘abstract’ as something cannot be seen but instead feel. And I find out ‘feel’ is highly related to five basic human senses; Sight, Smell, Taste, and Touch. However, Ben told me that there are more than five human senses, I’ll consider other senses as well. I thought that the topic is ok, but there was tons of artworks treating human senses.

Therefore, I had make something new. The first idea that come across my mind is ‘tricking human senses’.

However, I had thought that ‘tricking’ is something general and hard to understand. I had to proceed researching on it. Therefore I read ‘Virtual reality’ Book by Samuel Greengard and read some parts in the article ‘Sense Simulation in Virtual Reality to Increase: Immersion, Presence, and Interactions’ by Himanshu Limbasiya.

The reasons why I research these book and article is because virtual reality is one of medias which ‘tricking’ human senses most especially through Sight.

And I got inspirational paragraph in article:

‘In the real world, our body uses all the human senses
to stay focused. All the human senses work simultaneously to give us a sense of presence in
the real world. Similarly to make the user experience more realistic in the virtual world,
stimulation of human senses is important so that our mind can be tricked’.

That means, If I use or ‘trick’ as many as human senses as I can, then more immersive contents can be made. This is an interesting research and I found similar research by National University of Singapore(NUS).

An NUS student tastes a virtual lemonade simulator, which uses electrodes to mimic the flavour and LED lights to imitate the color of real lemonade, at the National University of Singapore campus in Singapor

Image reference:http://static1.businessinsider.com/r-singapore-researchers-turn-water-into-virtual-lemonade-but-is-it-tart-enough-2017-4

This was the research example of ‘tricking taste and sight’.


1. Soak stick attached sensor into lemonade and get data of lemonade (taste, colour etc).

2. Send data to NUS – designed cocktail cup.

3. Even if I drink the normal water, the taste and sight seems lemonade.

Above research was just localized in tricking taste and sight. However how to trick more senses? This is the hardest part. Therefore I go back to five basic human senses and researched basic principles. And here is my research:

First of all, almost all human senses are deeply related to neuron which is the cell that make up the nervous system. Unlike other cells, neuron can transmit signals in an electrical manner.

1. The visual organs are responsible for converting photostimulations outside the body into electrical signals. 2. The auditory organ plays a role in converting the pressure of changes (sound) of the air outside the body into electrical signals. 3. The tactile organs are responsible for converting changes in skin pressure into electrical signals. 4. The taste organs are distributed on the tongue and play a role in generating different combinations of electrical signals. 5. The olfactory organs are distributed in the nose and play a role in creating different combinations of electrical signals depending on the chemicals in the air.


If I ‘trick’ or ‘confuse’ some electrical signals, I can trick almost all basic human senses!

How to apply these into my final artworks?

As I’m not a scientist, I thought that I have to approach in more artistic way – through animation or illustration.

Thumbnail drawings

These two thumbnail drawings show my first ideas – there is a socket man and he can insert some plugs to his body. As far as he put plugs, he can ‘feel’ the characteristics of subjects – For example, If he insert the pizza-plug, he can taste the pizza. The reason that I chose ‘plug’ is because I though that plug can convey ‘electrical signals’ and much easier to visualise than neuron.

I think the overall idea is not bad but there was limitations conveying my ideas – narrative problems

Therefore I proceed researching some greatest storytelling film call ‘Dreams’ by Akira Kurosawa.

Narrative research

I found and researched ‘Dreams’ to get abstractive images. However some of images in the movie were just surrealism rather than abstract arts. Originally surrealism often deals with dreams like the Kurosawa’s ‘Dreams’. Actually, the first appearance of surrealism (1920 – mid 1960s) was faster than Abstract-expressionism (1940s – mid 1960s).

Difference between Abstract and Surrealism:

Abstract is a style of art where the artwork does not refer to anything outside of the artwork itself. Surrealism is a style where the artwork draws from the unconscious and the irrational. Information reference: http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-abstract-and-surrealism/

My Interpretation film ‘Dreams’:

I believe Mixture between dreams (fake experience) and childhood (actual experience) and crossing boundaries between them was the key points in this film. Breaking and recreating boundaries is also intriguing part. Because while we dreaming, we can’t realise whether it’s dream or not – It could be ‘trick’.

Animation making processes

My impressive Abstract memory – Ultraman intro

Rather than focusing on ‘contents’, I believe that we can remember ‘images’ instead.

Highest Hierarchy in Art history – Abstract Art

I think many people treat Abstract Art as form of most elegant art. And I searched to Google and checking prices abstract art furnitures whether my believe was right or wrong. Unsurprisingly, almost all furnitures which applied abstract forms was sold in expensive price. I believe this trend was starts from middle 20th.

My perspectives in interpretation of Abstract Art for commercial purposes

I personally disagree that Abstract Art have to be just for people who got authority in higher social status than simple peasant. There are reasons behind. Some people who believes Abstract Art have to be expensive are suggesting that before the existence of camera, artists described the objects as similar as possible. This could be the fact. However, if we see the oldest-known drawings in pre-history, such as cave art, we can see the born of abstract arts.

Oldest known Abstract images

Usage of abstract

Scientists say they have discovered humanity’s oldest known drawing on a small fragment of rock in South Africa.
The drawing is about 73,000 years old, and shows cross-hatch lines sketched onto stone with red ochre pigment.
Scientists discovered the small fragment of the drawing – which some say looks a bit like a hashtag – in Blombos Cave on the southern coast.
The find is “a prime indicator of modern cognition” in our species, the report says.

While scientists have found older engravings around the world research published on Wednesday in the journal Nature says the lines on this stone mark the first abstract drawing.
The article says the ancient artist used an “ochre crayon” to etch it onto the stone.

BBC News. 2020. ‘Oldest Known Drawing’ Found On Tiny Rock In South Africa. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45501205&gt; [Accessed 6 November 2020].


Thumbnail drawings

‘Experience’ will be the key points in my final animation. Before experience, people will feel nervous, exiting, scary about unexpected situations. Countless situations are happened to younger ages most especially for kids. And I want to narrative to my actual based stories when I first encountered water. As It will hard to explaining just with my actual facial movements, I’ll use abstract images through shapes, colours, sizes, moving speeds etc. The character I’ll chose will based on my actual younger age – portraits.
I considered drawing styles but I chose realistic dotted lines. And when the character jumps into the swimming pool, the dotted lines will be dis-assembled and will form the shape of water. This could be breaking boundaries between real life and dreams as Akira Kurosawa showed in ‘Dreams’.

Mood board – David Hockney

As mood board, I filled with David Hockney’s oilpaintincgs and gouache paints. He is considered one of the 20th century British artists who contributed to the pop art movement in the 1960s. Usage of abstract images to describe water currents was the intriguing part. Even some shapes in his artworks are unclear, the vibrant colour and dynamic poses catch attraction.

Concept Art for final animation

Memory of Swimming

Here is my first concept art, as I don’t have my younger – age photos, I just take photos my self in naked. In the first time, I intended to fill colour inside the outlines, but I thought that it will better to just briefly show movements using gestural drawings. Similar ideas can be seen in Pixar short animation ‘Day and Night’.

When I was younger, I afraid the sea because I believed the giant shark will bite me. I described my facial features based on my picture.

This time, I pictured my older sister who felt happy while swimming. Circles in the shape of a sphere seemed to linger in her head.
I have to find pictures of my baby swimming, but I haven’t found many pictures that deserve it. Therefore, I drew a baby from’bucket list family’ on YouTube as a motif. A two-year-old baby took quite a variety of moves. Among them, I drew a scene where he dips his feet in water. The moment he puts his feet in, the blue abstract lines quickly move along his body to his face.
I tried to draw a scene where air bubbles envelop the baby’s body the moment it first falls into the water. The abstract image, but one thing I felt was that the background picture surrounding the character rather hindered the concentration of the baby, the subject. Therefore, in the final animation production, the flow of water will be expressed with simple lines.

Making final animation

Simwoo ( finding cow ) and my interpretation

There is a story called ‘Shinwoo’ in Buddhism. This is the process by which a child monk loses a cow and finds it. This story has ‘enlightenment’ in it, and I want to interpret it in two ways: the child monk’s enlightenment and the cow’s enlightenment. First, I will describe the child’s realization first. The child loses a cow, follows the footsteps of the cow to find the cow, tames the cow and brings it home. It is only after bringing the cows monk finds that monk realizes the disadvantage of losing the cow. If I apply this story to a swimming animation, it looks like this: A young child has never been exposed to water. Put some water on his hand and then go into the water little by little. The kid completely enters the water and the water and the child become one. The child comes out of the water. When the child comes out of the water, he realizes that he has experienced water.

1 – 1. Story boards

I made a short storyboard based on the above idea. The animation idea is as follows: Before a child touches water, only ‘colorless’ and ‘yellow’ exist. As the child stretches, the yellow line on the chest moves to the head. When he touches water with his hand, the ‘experience’ begins. The child who has touched the water through his hand now tries to soak his feet. The shape of cold water quickly moves from feet to chest.

1 – 2. Story boards

The child, curious about the water, prepares to dive into the water. The red sphere moves actively on the chest. The child is diving! The round heart turned sharp. The body that was yellow quickly turns blue. When it comes to water, it turns blue and comes out blue as he has already experienced water.

Animatic sequence

A short and simple animatic sequence was produced using Premiere Pro. The drawback of this work is that the intermediate frames are empty, and it is difficult to understand unless the intention of the overall idea. However, it was successful in conceiving ideas for the final animation work for me.

First feeling encountering water – GIF Animaiton

Before producing the final animation, I had an idea in mind. Now, I needed software to create the final animation. Among them, I found out that I can create animation using the Rotoscoping technique with Photoshop. First, in order to create an animation, I need to check whether’Timeline’ is set in’window’. After that, I selected ‘New Blank Video Layer’ of ‘Video Layer’ from ‘Layer’. The reason why photoshop’s animation was particularly good was the disadvantage of being able to separate the outline and color by using’layer’.
A simple GIF animation was made. I’m not very satisfied, first of all, there is no impact. It is difficult to infer what meaning I was trying to convey. However, considering that it is the first rotoscoping animation using photoshop, it is also very successful.

Rotoscoping final animation

The good thing about using Photoshop’s rotoscoping animation technique is that I was able to directly draw animation for the video by pasting the video into Photoshop. For this, I needed an appropriate swimming video, but it took half a day to find the swimming video I wanted. It should be the first’experience’, so the child had to appear. I brought a video from ‘Arcadious Kul’ YouTuber. I sent them a facebook messenger to get permission (but I haven’t got any reply yet)..

In the previous work, a simple animation using rotoscoping was produced, so I tried it in the same way. However, this time, the total number of frames was drastically increased. To create an 18 second animation, I had to draw exactly 499 pictures! It took a total of 3 days to produce, two days to draw the outer line, and one day to draw the boundary line between color and water. One thing I feel is that if I really want to produce rotoscoping animation, I have to invest a lot of time in terms of ideas and start with good content. Secondly, it is difficult without the courage to draw 499 pages for 18 seconds without really patience and persistence. The Japanese legendary animation ‘Akira’, produced during the bubble economy, drew up to 81 pages per second. Respect.

What I felt: Overall, a good animation was produced. Although the motion was so dynamic that there was little time to show abstract images, but I am satisfied in that I tried to express the ‘ first experience’ of the child encountering water for the first time. If I have more time, I would like to change the color from pink to blue as the water and child become one. Besides, the color shift is too fast to recognize. In addition, I tried to use David Hockeny’s abstract drawing styles in his existing works, but it is regrettable that I could not.

Unit evaluation

Through ‘Climate change, ‘Style’ and ‘Narrative or Abstract’, I was a lot of potential for development. Moving from the stage of producing characters to the process of producing my ‘story’, despite the many challenges to overcome, I was able to produce great works based on philosophical thinking and scientific facts. A lot of research has been conducted-especially research that crosses the times, places or beliefs (religions) has been of great help in developing the ability to interpret the world more subjectively.
Each project consisted of 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 2 weeks, which was insufficient time to do dense research and work in a short period of time. Still, I did my best.

Part 3 peer assessment

Peer assessment for meruyert:

  1. Ballet: I can see some beautiful researches that she proceeded. Interpreting a classical ballet called ‘Giselle’ was the interesting part. She find out the that the story of ‘Giselle’ was came from a prose passage called Heine’s L’Allemangne and the poem Fantômes from Victor Hugo’s Les Orientales. Besides, she researched medieval clothes and designed in her own style.

2. Schoolchildren’s one of problems: When it comes to the second project, she deeply researched schoolchildren’s problems at home and showed how lack of income affects their mental health and education to their children. She designed some characters who react differently in different social status. She wrote bibliography well as well. I personally think the topic is very great for both researching and making them into form of artworks.

Developmental feedback:

  1. About two different projects: Even she done some great research for both ballet and schoolchildren’s problem, It was bit hard connecting relevant points between them.
  2. About ballet thumbnail drawings: I can see some ballet thumbnail drawings. For more requisition , I want to see the original pictures that she inspired.

3. School children: The character’s facial features and body features which she drew at school children was too similar so that hard to distinguish whether she or he is being stressed or not.

4. For extra requisition: Drawings are nice. Therefore I want to see them in bigger sizes.

Evan’s assessments for me

He recommend me to ‘put reference images of my swimming illustrations.’ Positive comments:
evan’s positive comments: The concept of abstract art is well organized in blog Various types of abstract art were expressed through various media. He said there was a lot of explanation for where I got his inspiration and how the end result would be produced.

evan, thank you so much for giving me feedback with your unique illustration.

Part 3 bibliography

01. Tate. 2020. Abstract Art – Art Term | Tate. [online] Available at: <https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/abstract-art&gt; [Accessed 7 November 2020].

02. Youtube.com. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fh0Fq0jWMQ&gt; [Accessed 6 November 2020].   

03. Bach, M., 2020. Hermann Grid. [online] Michaelbach.de. Available at: <https://michaelbach.de/ot/lum-herGrid/index.html&gt; [Accessed 6 November 2020].   

04. Commons.wikimedia.org. 2020. File:Egyptiska Hieroglyfer, Nordisk Familjebok.Png – Wikimedia Commons. [online] Available at: <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Egyptiska_hieroglyfer,_Nordisk_familjebok.png&gt; [Accessed 6 November 2020].     

05. Terms.naver.com. 2020. 蹺鼻嘐獎. [online] Available at: <https://terms.naver.com/entry.nhn?docId=895112&cid=42642&categoryId=42642&gt; [Accessed 7 November 2020].

06. Clare Barry’s FE Contextual Studies – Week 4 (Unit 1) Abstract Expressionism 2020 

link- https://csvpa.instructure.com/courses/335/files/22768?module_item_id=14478

07. Stockwell, M., 2020. Portrait Of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures): Hockney, Love, Loss And Profit. [online] Singulart Magazine. Available at: <https://blog.singulart.com/en/2019/09/18/portrait-of-an-artist-pool-with-two-figures-hockney-love-loss-and-profit/&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

08.  (David Hockney: Experimentation and Evolution, 2020)

Your Bibliography: Phillips. 2020. David Hockney: Experimentation And Evolution. [online] Available at: <https://www.phillips.com/article/53754636/david-hockney-experimentation-and-evolution&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

09. Pacegallery.com. 2020. Pace Gallery | David Hockney. [online] Available at: <https://www.pacegallery.com/artists/david-hockney/&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

10. Cristea Roberts Gallery. 2020. David Hockney. [online] Available at: <https://cristearoberts.com/artists/74-david-hockney/&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

11. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/david-hockney-the-diver-74-c-a9747c58c1&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

12. 嘐耀“蒂 望菟檜朝 寞徹. 2020. “掖 褐僥. [online] Available at: <http://www.hyunbulnews.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=292326&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].

13.  En.wikipedia.org. 2020. William Laud. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Laud#/media/File:William_Laud.jpg&gt; [Accessed 23 November 2020].


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