Wk 5 – Activity – Ethnography

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This weeks activity was definitely on the more difficult side. This week we were told to go one night without using any electricity at all, to the best of our ability. I chose to do my night of no electricity on Thursday night. I chose Thursday night because I still had school the next day so I didn’t have plans to go out that night anyways. And I would’ve much rather finished my night of no electricity on a night that I was going to spend at home rather than a night that I wanted to go out with my friends, which would practically make the whole ‘no electricity’ thing impossible.

So I chose to stay in my room for the night because I felt like that would be the easiest place where I could control having no electricity. At first I considered staying in my living room because it’s more spacious, but then I realized that it would be too hard not using electricity if my family members were constantly roaming around and using electricity in the neighboring rooms.

I began my night in the late evening when the sun was still up so I could still get some stuff done. I spent my time working on homework and readings for my other classes. This was easy to do while the sun was still up, but when the sun started setting I just lit some candles and placed them around my room. Luckily I’m a big candle fanatic so I had plenty. Homework kept me occupied for a couple hours but after I finished my work I was a little stuck on what I could do next. Without any electricity my options were very limited, so I started to clean and organize my room. This was also able to keep me occupied for at least an hour, and by the time I finished it was around 9 o’clock PM. I was actually pretty satisfied looking around at my newly cleaned room. It’s not very often that I get the chance to deeply clean my room, like wiping down tables and the floor. But now that I finished cleaning my room I was once again out of things to do. I was pretty bored for a while and I just sat down on my bed with my dog, still trying to think of other things that I could do. I was pretty stumped at this point and decided to just call it a night. I already usually go to sleep pretty early, around 10 PM, so it wasn’t that strange or hard for me to fall asleep.

This assignment made me realize how much our world depends on technology and electricity today. Attempting to go a night without electricity left me with pretty much nothing to do. Before I started the activity I already knew it would be a difficult one, and after I started it I realized it was even harder than I imagined it to be. I found myself missing my phone and wishing I could check my messages or my social media. I found myself wishing I could click on my tv or listen to some music. But I guess overall this was a pretty good activity because it forced me to get my stuff done, such as homework and cleaning my room.

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Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Kiyomi Fukui

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The art gallery that I chose to observe this week is the artwork of Kiyomi Fukui. Kiyomi is an artist originally from Japan, but she currently lives in Long Beach and attends school at Cal State Long Beach. She is finishing up her last year at school and also teaches a class for lower division.

IMG_0524I especially took an interest in Kiyomi’s artwork because as soon as I stepped in through the doors I was intrigued as of how she created her pieces of art. At first glance, I thought she was trying to recreate some sort of display of the universe with colorful planets. However, I was very wrong. As I continued to listen to Kiyomi speak about her artwork I learned that these were actually place mats that she had used to hold tea parties. The pieces up on the walls were sheets of paper that were created by various spills of tea, or just some markings that the teacups had imprinted. Some pieces were made by spilling juices on it, such as orange juice and beat juice. The orange juice was used to create the orange markings and the beat juice was used to create the pink color. Another really cool touch was that some sugar cubes had fallen on the pieces of paper and hardened to imitate a sort of crystallized look.

Kiyomi even demonstrated how her art pieces were created by having a separate table in the middle of the gallery where she poured tea that she had made herself to share with the viewers of her gallery. She asked viewers to try her tea and when they had finished they placed their teacups back on the table and then you could see right away the marks that the teacups leave on the sheets of paper. I really enjoyed the fact that she made her art gallery somewhat interactive, and actually displayed just how she made her art. So it was sort of a two in one, we were able to view beautiful pieces of art while also watching how those specific pieces were made at the same time.IMG_0521

Kiyomi’s art gallery was so unique because she even stated herself that most of her pieces of art were pretty much made by accident. None of the pieces were created with a plan, they sort of just happened when going about with the tea parties. The pieces ranged of different shapes from circles and rectangles, all different sizes from small to large. She said that her pieces were these shapes solely because of the reason that those were the shapes of the tables she places the sheets of papers on.

Another cool fact that I learned from Kiyomi is that she made all of her sugar cubes herself. She displayed a variety of different shapes and sizes of sugar cubes on the table. She talked about how she made the sugar cubes by using natural molds that she found, such as peanut shells and sunflower seed shells. The tea that she made was hibiscus tea with lemon grass and mint leaves.

IMG_0522Kiyomi’s inspiration for this art gallery was from personal loss and wanting to be able to share her personal experience without having to actually directly talk about it. She stated that the personal experience has always been a difficult subject for her to speak about, so she wanted to be able to express her emotions on the topic without having to literally verbally talk about it to other people. She wanted to emphasize empathy and faint traits of loss in her artwork.

When asked the question, “What swims around you?” she responded with the answer that she wants art and life to be in unison in her life. According to Kiyomi, art tends to be removed from real life but she wants to join it together.

Wk 5 – Classmate Conversation – Jenna Le

My new classmate friend from this week is Jenna Lee! I had a great time getting to know Jenna because she was so outgoing and easy to talk to. I actually got to know Jenna because my other friend, Judy Phan, had actually met Jenna the previous week from the classmate conversations and she told me about how cool Jenna was and that I should go and meet her as well.

Jenna is currently a second year and is majoring in business accounting. She commutes to school from Cerritos, which is fairly close to Cal State Long Beach. When I asked her about what her hobbies were, we both had a laugh about how there’s not much that neither of us like to do. However, she did say that she enjoys hiking, shopping, and baseballs games! I thought it was really cool that she likes baseball because I actually don’t know that many girls that are into sports. Another interesting fact that Jenna told me about is that she’s really into fashion, and she actually won the ‘Best Dressed’ title at her high school. She also told me about how she has a cat and two dogs, and she favors her cat a little bit more over her dogs. So she’s more of a cat person than a dog person which I think is another unique trait about Jenna.

Jenna’s answer to the question of the week was that she “swims in the money.” Great answer!

Wk 4 – Activity – Painting

So far this has been my favorite activity of the semester. Being able to use spray paints for the first time was already fun in itself, but going to Venice Beach to do the activity made it even better. I’ve only been to Venice beach one other time, and it was actually pretty recently too. Visiting Venice is always such a fun experience because there’s always so much to venture around to. Just walking down the boardwalk is so interesting because there’s so many different little shops that vary from clothing stores, little booths of artists selling their handmade pieces, to little clinics selling medical marijuana! Not only is the environment an interesting place but so are the people.

Of course my painting isn’t perfect and there’s some changes that I wish I could fix but for the most part I’m still pretty happy with it. I was a little nervous of the outcome because I’ve never drawn anything in such a large scale where I couldn’t exactly see the whole picture at once while I was working, so that was another first for me. 

Looking at all the other paintings around the art walls were really intimidating because there were some really amazing pieces. Coincidentally, right next to the spot that I chose to paint my name was some sort of mural of a woman’s face. It was done so well that I was actually pretty stoked to realize that it was right next to my painting, which meant I could take a picture with it! It really boggled my mind to think that someone was able to create such an intricate painting using spray paints.

Wk 4 – Artist Conversation – David De Mendoza

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David De Mendoza was one of the artists that worked on the art gallery displayed in the Gatov West gallery. The other artist that collaborated with David on these paintings was Vanessa Gamboa. Unfortunately, she wasn’t present at the time of the artist interviews so I was only able to interview half of the artists contributing to this art gallery. I would’ve loved to be able to ask Vanessa questions about the art and hear her perspective or insight on their paintings but Mendoza was still able to fill her place quite sufficiently. David used oil paints to create these particular paintings. It took him nearly the entire summer to finish them. As it can be seen in the style of the paintings, they were heavily influenced by different sorts of horror movies that David has seen throughout the years. Many of the paintings are shown depicting some sort of typical fear that people have or different sorts of nightmares.

Although the paintings are meant to depict different types of common fears that people have, the paintings display a large variety of bright and vibrant colors. Some of the paintings involve colors such as bright yellows, oranges, and pinks that really stand out on the canvas, contrasting to the dark shades of purples and greens beside them. I really like the fact that the artists used a variety of different colors ranging from dark to bright. I feel like it really gives the paintings that pop to catch a viewer’s attention. The paintings also display a lot of different shapes and unique visuals that I believe contribute to the fact that these paintings are partly based off of dreams and nightmares. The artists did a splendid job of giving these paintings that dreamy feel.

IMG_0388I actually really enjoyed viewing these art pieces because I thought each painting was really intriguing. Each painting that I viewed, it gave me the desire to learn about what the meaning behind the painting was. Each painting was so unique from one another but still was able to relate to each other in a way that tied the whole art gallery together. Although I did enjoy the pieces a lot, I couldn’t personally relate to any of the paintings very much. When I viewed the pieces there weren’t any personal experiences that came to mind that made me feel a connection with the pieces of art.

Wk 4 – Classmate Conversation – Rachel Garcia and Tabita Astorga

For this week’s art gallery I got to meet two new classmates, Rachel Garcia and Tabita Astorga.

Rachel is a 3rd year and is majoring in hospitality. I originally didn’t really know what hospitality was exactly and she kindly informed me that it’s basically the types of jobs that people who are in charge of businesses such as hotels, amusement parks, restaurants, etc. She said that the reason she chose to major in hospitality is because in high school she took a quiz that gave her results in suggested careers for her and one of the options was hospitality. However, initially she didn’t know what hospitality was until after she researched it further and realized it was something she was interested in pursuing. Another interesting fact I learned about Rachel is that she’s been working at Knott’s Berry Farm for 3 years! She’s also involved in working at the horror nights.

Tabita is a 4th year and is a psychology major. She specifically wants to become a youth therapist and wants to continue her schooling to get a masters degree after she graduates. I thought it was really interesting getting to know Tabita because I actually want to change my major to psychology so it was really helpful for me to listen to her experience in the major and get to know how she plans to carry out with her major. When I asked her the question of the week, I thought her response was perfect! Tabita said she believes art matters because it’s a form of a positive outlook on topics that can sometimes be seen as negative. For example, David De Mendoza and Vanessa Gamboa’s art gallery of their paintings that depicted different types of fears and nightmares, were painted in bright colors and when a viewer looks at them, they don’t really see or feel actual fear within themselves but more so a beautiful piece of artwork.

Wk 3 – Classmate Conversation – Maria Leon

At this weeks art gallery I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Maria Leon (http://leonmalena.com/). She is a 2nd year at Cal State Long Beach and is currently majoring in hospitality management but she plans on changing majors to health science instead. However, she still plans on keeping hospitality management as a minor because she doesn’t want to put all of her previous efforts into that major to waste, which I totally agree with! She also commutes to school from Hawaiian Gardens. We talked about the different art galleries and she told me her favorite gallery was Nick Bamford’s with all of the large sculptures. She said her favorite piece of Bamford’s was the sculpture of the guy holding the guitar.

When we talked about our personal meanings of art, I stated that I viewed art as an outlet for people to express who they are through a variety of different aspects. I feel like art is a very broad title that can fit into almost anything. Art is a way for people to express how they feel or to show things from their perspective. Art is truly interesting and unique because each individual can view things in a different way. For example, a person can simply tell a group to draw a picture of the sun, and the results could be a various amount of different drawings of the sun. Every single person will most likely have at least a little differences among their drawings, and that’s the amazing part of art.