Archives: Projects

01 May 2016
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Slytherin Common Room

OVERVIEW

This Harry Potter Redesign Project is created for my senior show at Art Center College of Design, which just happened in Spring 2016. The focus was to reimagine the four Hogwarts houses, specifically their common rooms. The common rooms were not featured as heavily in the movies, so I decided to give them a try. Part of the challenge was to create four distinct visual language that also belongs in the same world. I have always loved the Harry Potter stories, but never got to slowly analyze them. This was a practice to discover what I actually love about the world JK Rowling magically built. To add some flavors into these common room redesigns, I added some sort of mystery room/floor/space to each house, and also decided that each house is entrusted a certain responsibility in keeping Hogwarts running. (I think Hermione would agree that the house elves can’t be doing all the work)

 
Slytherin Common Room

House element
/ Water
House animal
/ Snake
House traits
Cunning, Ambitious, Resourceful, Power Hungry

Sitting on the bottom of the lake, the Slytherin common room is a worshipping shrine of its own accord. Navigating through the common room feels like a journey seeking an answer from God, and when one finally reaches the heart of the room, it is an overwhelming feeling of reverence.


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The lounges

The Slytherin common room is the largest single floor of all houses, reflecting their ambition. With a very linear path, the Slytherin common room has very limited point of view from anywhere in the room. The sitting areas are situated along the outer edges of the room.

The Aquariums & Potion counters

Slytherins are extremely gifted with potion brewing. Flanked by huge aquariums on the side, Slytherin’s common room has potions counters full of bizarre ingredients and rare collections that allow for experiments at any given time.

The Altar

At the end of the zig-zagged room is the altar, where a huge snake overlooks the entire room with the lake as its backdrop. This space is a reflection of the hierarchical system within the Slytherin house, as well as the worshipping of a powerful figure.


Slytherin_vignettes


What about…

the Gryffindor common room

Gryffindor_lettering

the Hufflepuff common room

Hufflepuff_lettering

the Ravenclaw common room

Ravenclaw_lettering

 

01 May 2016
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Gryffindor Common Room

OVERVIEW

This Harry Potter Redesign Project is created for my senior show at Art Center College of Design, which just happened in Spring 2016. The focus was to reimagine the four Hogwarts houses, specifically their common rooms. The common rooms were not featured as heavily in the movies, so I decided to give them a try. Part of the challenge was to create four distinct visual language that also belongs in the same world. I have always loved the Harry Potter stories, but never got to slowly analyze them. This was a practice to discover what I actually love about the world JK Rowling magically built. To add some flavors into these common room redesigns, I added some sort of mystery room/floor/space to each house, and also decided that each house is entrusted a certain responsibility in keeping Hogwarts running. (I think Hermione would agree that the house elves can’t be doing all the work)

 
Gryffindor Common Room

House element
/ Fire
House animal
/ Lion
House traits
/ Brave, Courageous, Chivalry and Nerve

The Gryffindors’ elements may be flame, but instead of wild fire, Godric Gryffindor was more like a glowing bright sun, full of energy and power, controlled and respected, hence the merge of planets into his house’s common room redesign.


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The main floor

With fire being its house element, the fireplace is the common room’s core, radiating its heat and energy out equally to every side of the common room. The main floor is largely divided into a lounge space and a study space. The lounge space has squashy armchairs where Gryffindors hang out, play chess, and interact. The study space are individual desks lined up along magical stained glass windows that are actually puzzles. Two stairs flank the entrance of the common room, leading to the half dome observatory, while two others that flank the dorm entrances lead down towards the floor that houses the timekeeping clockwork gears.

The Half Dome Observatory

The Half Dome observatory consist of a pipe organ with its keys embedded on the floor, and a giant half dome that can contain projections of planets and galaxies far far away. Gryffindors, being very structured and rhythmic by nature, play scores that triggers a projection of a certain planet or galaxy for study purposes. Ambitious by birth, Gryffindors look beyond planet Earth for knowledge and inspiration. Of course, like some Muggles, they believe magical creatures exist on other planets too.

The Clockwork floor

Gryffindors are entrusted with timekeeping within the Hogwarts grounds. Time runs a little magically different within these grounds as opposed to the Muggle territory. When done right (most of the time), classes bells ring when it is suppose to be, meals are served and mails are delivered on time. To achieve these, an assigned group of senior Gryffindors attend to the clockwork gears every other week. With teamwork, all gears are turned and tuned with accuracy. A little planet in the middle of the clockwork floor glows bright when the gears are done right.


Gryffindor_vignettes


What about…

the Hufflepuff common room

Hufflepuff_lettering

the Ravenclaw common room

Ravenclaw_lettering

the Slytherin common room

Slytherin_lettering

01 May 2016
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Ravenclaw Common Room

OVERVIEW

This Harry Potter Redesign Project is created for my senior show at Art Center College of Design, which just happened in Spring 2016. The focus was to reimagine the four Hogwarts houses, specifically their common rooms. The common rooms were not featured as heavily in the movies, so I decided to give them a try. Part of the challenge was to create four distinct visual language that also belongs in the same world. I have always loved the Harry Potter stories, but never got to slowly analyze them. This was a practice to discover what I actually love about the world JK Rowling magically built. To add some flavors into these common room redesigns, I added some sort of mystery room/floor/space to each house, and also decided that each house is entrusted a certain responsibility in keeping Hogwarts running. (I think Hermione would agree that the house elves can’t be doing all the work)

 
Ravenclaw Common Room

House element
/ Air
House animal
/ Eagle
House traits
Intelligent, Knowledgable, Witty & Curious

Ravenclaw’s element of air naturally brings in more light. Sitting on top of a tower, Ravenclaw’s tower is a lighthouse to all knowledge seekers.



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The main floor

Ravenclaws enter the main floor by answering a riddle. A brass eagle knocker then transform into a crystal eagle, revealing the common room behind it when the riddle is correctly answered. A crystal farm sits in the middle of the room, with counters for experiments and studies. A fireplace made entirely of crystal sits on the opposite end of the room. When lit, the crystal eagle seems like it is ready to take flight. The high ceiling of this room gives it excellent ventilation and natural lighting.

On Top of the Tower

A giant chandelier and mobile hangs off of the top of Ravenclaw tower. Ravenclaws gather here for meetings, meditation, or just to hangout. Refractions of light through the crystal windows and chandelier help create a magical space. This room is accessible via a spiral staircase that surrounds the inside of the main floor below. Held up by charms with crystal bits, the stairs transform into a slide when needed. Ravenclaws often have fun sliding down this giant slide.

Study Terrariums

Ravenclaws are known for their introverted sides, often spending time alone with books. Study terrariums of various sizes float in the study area, where Ravenclaws can study in peace, while still having company of their peers.


Ravenclaw_vignettes


What about…

the Gryffindor common room

Gryffindor_lettering

the Hufflepuff common room

Hufflepuff_lettering

 

the Slytherin common room

Slytherin_lettering

 

 

01 May 2016
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Hufflepuff Common Room

OVERVIEW

This Harry Potter Redesign Project is created for my senior show at Art Center College of Design, which just happened in Spring 2016. The focus was to reimagine the four Hogwarts houses, specifically their common rooms. The common rooms were not featured as heavily in the movies, so I decided to give them a try. Part of the challenge was to create four distinct visual language that also belongs in the same world. I have always loved the Harry Potter stories but never got to slowly analyse them. This was a practice to discover what I actually love about the world JK Rowling magically built. To add some flavors into these common room redesign, I added some sort of mystery room/floor/space to each house, and also decided that each house is entrusted a certain responsibility in keeping Hogwarts running. (I think Hermione would agree that the house elves can’t be doing all the work)

 

Hufflepuff Common Room

House element
/ Earth
House animal
/ Badger
House traits
/ Dedicated, Loyal & Just, Patience, Values fair play

Hufflepuff’s element is earth. To stay true to their low profile nature, but still showing their highly underrated talent and kindness, the architect decided that stepping into the Hufflepuff common room should feel literally like stepping into more magical worlds.


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The main floor

Hufflepuff’s common room is located right beside the Hogwarts kitchen. Described as the most homely of all four common rooms, it is equipped with squashy armchairs and a cosy fireplace that are nest to fireflies. These fireflies are born from fire and glow like their Muggle counterparts. Books and snack jars can be easily found everywhere in this room. A family tree nest in the middle of the common room. Its chopped off trunk serve as a tabletop, while its roots extend to the bottom floor where the house ghost feeds it with stories.

The Story floor

The Hufflepuff ghost sits in the rocking chair underneath the roots of “the family tree”. Every day at bedtime, the ghost feeds it with stories, often attracting Hufflepuffs to gather around and listen before going off to their beds through tunnels from this floor.

The Tropics & The Mountains

A water column shoots out from underneath the room, forming a perfect habitat for tropical plants, vines, and parasitic vegetations in this area. Hufflepuffs venture “into the wild” to study these plants at every stage of their growth. Likewise, the snowy mountain on the other side is the natural habitat for high altitude plants. The ice caves serve as storage vaults that keep rare plants/ plants with shorter life span for study purpose.



What about…

the Gryffindor common room

Gryffindor_lettering

 

the Ravenclaw common room

Ravenclaw_lettering

the Slytherin common room

Slytherin_lettering

01 May 2016
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Harry Potter Panoramic Timeline

Overview

The Harry Potter Redesign Project’s focus are on the common rooms redesigns, but I also wanted a piece to sum up the Harry Potter story, hence this timeline in monoline graphics below. The initial idea was to do a loooooong painting, that did not happen (which also means I am working on it), but this came out instead. The silhouette shows the story’s up and down, as well as its visual language. The same goes to the bottom patterns — each section has a different pattern to it. I had a little glass case dedicated to Snape and Lily’s childhood, try finding that if it interests you?

Things that did not work out

This was printed as a 150 inches long matte print, with the initial idea of having invisible ink on some parts of this timeline which, when revealed with blacklight, show little writings and graphics. This explains the use of neon green in this piece against a dark background. I wanted it to glow. (The revelations were supposed to be the little graphics that were callouts in this piece below.) This idea also did not work out due to my carelessness of not trying the ink out on dark matte paper. My goal next is to find a printer that prints UV ink, and realize the initial idea. If this work, I will definitely share this 😉

HP panorama timeline-07

 


Click on the arrows below to scroll through the timeline

HP panorama timeline-01

HP panorama timeline-02

HP panorama timeline-03

HP panorama timeline-04

HP panorama timeline-05

HP panorama timeline-06


Check out the main redesigns for the Harry Potter project,

the Gryffindor common room

Gryffindor_lettering

the Hufflepuff common room

Hufflepuff_lettering

the Ravenclaw common room

Ravenclaw_lettering

the Slytherin common room

Slytherin_lettering


 

11 Mar 2016
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Witchdoctor’s Lair

 

I translated the brief of designing a witchdoctor’s liar literally into a witch who is also a doctor. She is heavily misunderstood as an evil old witch, hence lives as a hermit in an abandoned ship frame which was washed up on a tide pool.

Instructor / Khang Le

 

 

Qing25 Qing26 Qing27 Qing28 Qing29 Qing30 Qing31

11 Mar 2016
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Once Upon a Big Bad Woof . Prototyping

Instructor / Javier Palomares

Modelled in / Solidworks
3D printing / Starch, Objet printing

Once Upon a Big Bad Woof started coming to live, ironically, in a Rapid Prototyping class. I thought I wanted to learn modelling in Solidworks and still have a story to build on so it won’t become too dry. From here on it spun into a Children’s Book Project (still W.I.P), and a made-up collaboration project with Virgin Atlantic. At the moment, I am having some thoughts about redesigning the children’s book, and potentially build a visual development project out of it. We’ll see where this go.

 


 

XiaoQing Chen_wk04_tricycle.4

 

XiaoQing Chen_wk04_scooter.2

 

XiaoQing Chen_wk04_3 pigs 3 cars

 

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11 Mar 2016
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Rayman Legends + Les UX

 

This was a result of a class brief to design rooms for an existing game IP. I chose Rayman Legends, reason being I am a huge fan of Aymeric Kevin’s art. He worked on these worlds. I then combined a real underground legend of our world — Les UX , with Rayman, creating stories that Les UX members are characters in Rayman Legends. The results are two rooms — a Les UX headquarters, and a Pantheon interior, the latter one based on a true story of Les UX secretly restoring the Pantheon’s broken clock for a year without any guards noticing.

Instructor / Luc Mayrand & Daren Dochterman

 

 

Qing6 Qing7 Qing8 Qing9 Qing10 Qing11 Qing12

11 Mar 2016
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Mike’s Fort

Instructor / Khang Le

Mike ran away from an evil orphanage, into the woods of Oregon. He found an old abandoned locomotive. Being a resourceful and handyman teen, he built himself a fort out of it.

Qing14 Qing15 Qing16 Qing17 Qing18

30 Apr 2016
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Harry Potter Redesign . Letterings

Overview

This Harry Potter Redesign Project is created for my senior show at Art Center College of Design, which just happened in Spring 2016. The focus was to reimagine the four Hogwarts houses, specifically their common rooms. The common rooms were not featured as heavily in the movies, so I decided to give them a try. Part of the challenge was to create four distinct visual language that also belongs in the same world. I have always loved the Harry Potter stories, but never got to slowly analyse them. This was a practice to discover what I actually love about the world JK Rowling magically built.

Letterings

I decided to also expand the visual language into some typography and graphic layouts. Here are some letterings done for the Hogwarts founders, each with their distinctive personalities as described by Ms. Rowling. I started with pencil drafts, and lots of refinements, then ended up with these four drafts below. To be honest I should have refined them even more, but did not because I was running short on time on the main environment drawings.

calligraphy_gryffindor_pencil wip

calligraphy_ravenclaw_pencil wip

calligraphy_hufflepuff_pencil wip

calligraphy_slytherin_pencil wip


postcards & stickers

Gryffindor

 

House element / fire

House traits / bravery, courage, chivalry and nerve

Instead of wild flame, Godric Gryffindor is more like the Sun — a huge energy source that is powerful and respectable. Being more of a leader of the group, his bravery, courage, chivalry and nerve is depicted in more formality than the rest of the houses — written in small caps, sitting on a perfectly horizontal baseline. However, being a daring person, Godric Gryffindor is not limited by the structure he created, thus the flourishes that extends out from the letters but not overpowering it, in other words, he takes necessary risks when needed.


postcards & stickers

Ravenclaw

House element / air

House traits / intelligent, knowledgable, witty, curious

Rowena Ravenclaw is depicted here as a bright graceful person. She’s a rare gem, hence the literal use of gemstones hanging off the letterings and flourishes. With her knowledge comes her slight ego. She could be too edgy and sharp for some, and definitely not the easiest to handle.


postcards & stickers

Hufflepuff

House element / earth

House traits / dedicated, loyal & just, fairplay, patience

Helga Hufflepuff is very nurturing, gentle and humble, hence the more minimal use of flourishes in her spencerian sort of script. She is a leader of her own house, but always happy to step back and play a more supportive role whenever needed. She’s a good sport, and always brings calmness to a team.


postcards & stickers

Slytherin

House element / water

House traits / cunning, resourceful, ambitious, power hungry

Salazar Slytherin has ambitions beyond his world, shown through the extensive use of flourishes around his name. He takes risks to achieve everything he wants. He is aggressive, and confident in manipulating people in getting things done.


 

11 Mar 2016
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Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Instructor / Thomas Bertling
Medium / Chalk, Prismacolor & Copic markers + Photo

mad hatter_merge
Marker + Chalk + Prismacolor
Xiao Qing, Chen_wk05_03
Photo for rendering to match with



11 Mar 2016
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Architecture Sketches . 2

The queen mother watches silently as the king warmly welcomes home the long lost daughter of their old knight
The queen mother watches silently as the king warmly welcomes home the long lost daughter of their old knight

Pheonix Valley
Pheonix Valley

Metropolitan
Metropolitan

Gaudi inspired Cotton Candy city
Gaudi inspired Cotton Candy city

11 Mar 2016
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Architecture sketches . 1


XiaoQing Chen_1.1_Ancient_tone

This was a practice to draw a classical architecture piece. I was heavily referencing a lot of Roman plans, and thought maybe they had parades too, like the Macy’s Parade, with huge Hercules’ “balloons”.


XiaoQing Chen_1.3_Ancient_tone

I’m still pretty bad adding figures into my drawings. I just had to with a marketplace scene. Bear with me, I’m trying to improve.


XiaoQing Chen_2.1_Medieval_tone

This one was a lot of fun, trying to build Gothic cathedrals where a little protest takes place down in the square.


XiaoQing Chen_2.2_Medieval_tone

Just an idea, what if Gargoyles were alive, and they guard a top secret underground vault sealed with Rose patterns, living in upside down Gothic towers.


 

 

 

 

11 Mar 2016
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knot magazine . Issue 02

Instructor / Annie Huang Luck 

Close size / 9in x 12in
Open size / 18in x 12in
Cover Stock / Sandstone paper
Interior / Strathmore 400 Drawing paper

Hand credit / Caroline Choi

knot magazine is a bilingual magazine that simply shares important but often overlooked aspects of urban life that helped humans thrive better in an urban environment. We hope to continue the spirit of using simple knots as records for important events or trading sums in the ancient times.

In this issue, we dip our toes in — urban amenities.

Flip through the book here ↓

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Urban Amenities_Page_01

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Urban Amenities_Page_02

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11 Mar 2016
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knot magazine . Issue 01

Instructor / Annie Huang Luck 

Close size / 9in x 12in
Open size / 18in x 12in
Cover Stock / Chipboard
Interior / Strathmore 400 Drawing paper

Hand credit / Caroline Choi

knot magazine is a bilingual magazine that simply shares important but often overlooked aspects of urban life that helped humans thrive better in an urban environment. We hope to continue the spirit of using simple knots as records for important events or trading sums in the ancient times.

In this issue, we dip our toes in — rights.

Flip through the book here  ↓

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Rights_Page_01

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Rights_Page_02

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Rights_Page_03

Xiao Qing Chen_Knot_Rights_Page_04

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11 Mar 2016
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Once Upon a Big Bad Woof . Children’s Book

Big Bad Woof started as an idea three years ago, but I never got around to doing it. It is adapted from (I think you guessed it) from The Three Little Pigs, but a different point of view, told from the Wolf’s side.

 

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11 Mar 2016
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Julia Child Cookbook redesign

Instructor / Chesley Nassaney

Open size : 18in x 12in
Close size : 9in x 12in
Illustrations by : qing
Typography & hand letterings by : qing

Again, this was classwork, but it was fun to be able to set type and illustrate for a single project. Chesley‘s class is awesome.

 

 

Xiao Qing Chen_Julia Child_cookbook_cover

 

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Xiao Qing Chen_Julia Child_cookbook_backcover

 

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11 Mar 2016
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Invisible Cities . book cover redesign

Here’s a starting point for a project I have always wanted to do — redesign the Invisible Cities, a classic book by Italo Calvino. I did this for a 2 week class project, but let’s see where this will lead to. It’s just a simple blacklight trick.

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Concept

Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino, is a compilation of cities that Marco Polo visited and told the Sultan. It was not clear if the cities are made up or real, but the Sultan enjoyed them anyway.

Since it is titled Invisible Cities, I struggled a lot on how to portray the idea of “invisible”. I started experimenting with white on white. From embossing, debossing, painting white on white, then slowly came across the UV ink, which are widely used in theme park dark rides. These are really fun to paint. I was holding a blacklight flash light in one hand, a paint brush in the other.

 

invisible cities cover

 

 


11 Mar 2016
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Rainforest World Music Festival

Here’s a 4 week branding project for Rainforest World Music Festival, a culturally rich and diverse music event that takes place annually in Kuching, Malaysia. Not only is this an event that gathers musicians and music lovers, it is an awareness event for the ruthless and illegal loggings in the Borneo rainforest, in which certain higher authorities are very much involved in the politics of this.

Instructor / Chesley Nassaney

Rainforest World Music Festival link

 

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11 Mar 2016
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Vixen Project

Vixen was a project with Richard Keyes’ Entertainment Graphics class in Art Center. Richard developed a story with three corporations/ organizations, and we were to each pick one on which we design the branding for it. Vixen was a news broadcasting company that was siding a pharmaceutical company (somewhat equivalent to the Apple of our world), broadcasting the “truth” as the see it.

Instructor / Richard Keyes

 

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10 Mar 2016
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Hansel & Grethel

Instructor / Thomas Bertling
Medium / Chalk, Prismacolor & Copic markers + Photo

Xiao Qing, Chen_wk13_04_Original Drawing_SMALL
Chalk + Marker + Prismacolor rendering
Xiao Qing, Chen_wk13_06_Crop Environment
Photo for rendering to match with



10 Mar 2016
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Portland

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First time in Portland, Oregon, and I fell in love with this city. The lush vegetation in the wild, independent book stores, the quirkiness of nicely curated stores, great food, friendly people, and the best part is that, it’s bike friendly!

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10 Mar 2016
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Seattle

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Malaysia currency got really weak starting end of year 2014. My parents decided that instead of flying home, I could go travel within the USA instead. I chose Seattle and Portland. I honestly don’t really know why. I turned 26 in Seattle. It was also a really nice experience exploring Seattle alone. I love the drizzle, and the very convenient public transportation. It was too cold to sketch for long, which actually forced me to sketch faster, make quick decisions. I need to go back there someday.

 

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10 Mar 2016
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Feeding on Design

Feeding on Design is a fun compilation that combines basic principles of Design with food. It was supposedly just a compilation of work done in class throughout the term, but then I thought it was a little too dry as a book to keep. I decided to research design theories in food and nature, and of course, silly me, it all made sense. Who else could have started designing this world other than Mother Nature herself? Thanks Bruce, for letting me take the risk and complete the book. To this day, I still think these fundamentals taught in the first few terms of design schools are actually the hardest to understand, let alone master. Design students don’t appreciate this class enough. It isn’t until application stages later in the design education that I realize this. Looking back on these topics now, I think I am starting to grasp a little of it. I need a lifetime to master them in my design work.

10 Mar 2016
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Kuching . Malaysia

Side A of sketchbook

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Side B of sketchbook

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The oldest chinese temple in town, Tua Pek Kong temple.

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Little pieces along the way to Main Bazaar

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I was very attracted to the bilingual/ trilingual signs on the old shops.

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Old tin smiths hard at work, still crafting utensils out of pieces of tin.

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More shophouses. Ann Lee Restaurant was one of the oldest restaurant in town.

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Somewhere near the end of China Street, sits the old Courthouse from the Brooke era.

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Colonial Buildings from the Brooke era, now repurposed to be places such as a post office, textile museum…etc.

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Sarawak Cultural Village, a place I thought was purely for tourist. Ashamed to realize I actually don’t know that much about the rich cultures of the different tribes in Sarawak.

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More longhouses!

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I got sunburned doing these.

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Siniwan, a heritage town painstakingly restored by Architect Mike Boon and his team. It’s now a quaint little town with night markets on the weekends.

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Padungan Street. I was picking certain shophouses to draw, some for their facades, some for their different proportions, the windows…etc.

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That bicycle belonged to a bicycle shop, which an elderly uncle ran the shop. He was listening to the radio while I walked in and asked if I could sketch his bicycle. He agreed happily, and quickly added that I could draw anything, as long as he is not in the picture.

 

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This small shop sits right next to “Lorong Sempit”, an extremely narrow alley that connects this sidewalk to the next street by the India Mosque.