25th and 30th September, 2013: Work Placement at the Wollongong City Gallery

25th and 30th September, 2013: Work Placement at the Wollongong City Gallery

During those two days, I have been involved with many different tasks. What I find useful with volunteering is that I get to learn a lot of new things. I feel really grateful that most of the staffs at the gallery are able to rely on me and my peers to perform complex tasks such as sourcing out original artworks, operate machinery, moving and clearing out spaces. Although, there have been a few challenges along the way but I sincerely feel thankful for this rare opportunity. Volunteering at the Wollongong Gallery certainly offers me a unique and rewarding opportunity to gain deeper knowledge of the arts industry.

Workplacement at Wollongong City Gallery

Since 10th of September, I have been participating in the work placement program at the Wollongong City Gallery as part of my CAVA 361 Assessment. My tasks as a volunteer involve checking the condiditons of the exhibitited artworks, arranging artworks into a chronological orders (alphabetically), learning the proceess of hanging the artworks (this includes measuring the width of the allocated space and wearing a pair of gloves when lifting the artworks) and painting the white walls. I was very nervous on my first day of my work experience but as a couple of days went on I became more confident. I now realised how much I enjoy volunteering at the gallery. I feel very priviledged to have this rare opportunity. It gives me an insight of what it is like going to work, and to work in a gallery. I get to meet people and help them with their work. This certainly has been helping me to boost up my confidence.


Rayon (Screen Print on A3)

Rayon (Screen Print on A3)

In this work, I use a screen-printing method to represent Rayon. This idea to incorporate the method of screen-printing derives from my inspiration of Andy Warhol. Personally, I think Warhol was the complex personification of the collapsing interrelations between art and fashion in queer culture. I am inspired by his screen prints and the way his works reflect the nature of commodity. In this screen print of Rayon, I want to resemble some of the visual qualities in Warhol’s works. I think that my depiction of a transgendered woman, Rayon in particular, provokes questions not only about one’s gender identity but also about how we as human beings living in the age of techno science can experience and understand our world where there is so much confusion of sexual difference.

Rayon (Stencil on Stretched Fabric)

Rayon (Stencil on Stretched Fabric)

In this particular work, I set out to experiment with different techniques. I stretch a cotton fabric on an A3 size canvas. Firstly, I transferred an original image using a tracing method and traced the image onto a tracing paper. Then, I began cutting out the lines that I traced onto the tracing paper. However, I found this process to be extremely time consuming. For the final stage, I used a spray can (I chose a pear green colour) and sprayed the cut out image onto my canvas. I like the use of fluoro colour onto a darker background. With this work, I use a fluoro green colour to accentuate Rayon’s appearance. I consciously draw upon the ideas of cyborgs and post-human figure in this stencilling piece. I consider the topic of cyborgs to be a core element that challenges our understanding of gender. I want this particular work to be viewed through cultural lenses of techno science. It is a stage where the body ends and technology begins. It is a reflection of the time when humanity begins to question what is nature and what is machine. I want to encourage viewers to look at new ways of thinking about gender and its representation through my visual depiction of a cyborg.

Oil Painting of Rayon (Full Figure)

Oil Painting of Rayon (Full Figure)

This is a large-scale oil painting of Rayon. In this painting, I want to capture Rayon’s character through her body movement and her clothing. I feel that these elements define the deconstruction of the traditional binary categories of masculine and feminine. I want the viewer to see how one’s gender can be produced on the surface of their body. Rayon’s zigzag dress, a fur coat and her blue tights certainly illustrate a means to denaturalise and deconstruct dominant definitions of her own gender identity by revealing her contingent and constructed nature. I feel like this painting certainly obscures the question of identity. I want Rayon to reflect the notion of identity that can be transcended beyond gender.

My Pencil Sketch of Rayon

My Pencil Sketch of Rayon

By portraying ethical and personal aspects of transgender, I consider clothing to be one of the most visible forms of intriguing performances which dictates a major role in the social construction of gender identity. In this smaller scale drawing, I want Rayon’s figure to speak of the notion of the bodies. I want to visually exemplify a configuration of a sexually ambiguous body. It is a body that cannot be understood as strictly male or female. I also depict a dress and a headband as a form of gendered symbols which define Rayon’s construction of self and the way in which the ‘self’ inhabits her body. This portrayal of clothing as symbols certainly suggests a possible paradigm for understanding sexual fluidity. In reference to my personal experiences, moving from a different country and trying to find a new home in Australia is unspeakably challenging. As I have always felt like an outcast, not feeling like I belong to a new home or a new group of friends, this makes me empathise with the transgender’ experiences. In a similar way, transgender people do not often feel like they fit into their own biological sex as they always seek to obtain a new body.

Rayon as a Man

Rayon as a Man

I presume that cyborgs in a way are the definition of gender complication. They complicate the ability to locate the truth about their gender identities. I suppose my topic of cyborgs and post-gender imagery examines the production of gender through its form of representation. Through this drawing, I encapsulate a male version of Rayon. Most of my works, I depict her to be as a third gender person who exaggerates her flamboyant appearance through her dresses and make up. I want to mark a sense of androgyny in this drawing. In a similar point of view, when we ponder upon the notion of cyborgs, it is clear that they are considered to be hybrid beings. Therefore, their bodies and their overall appearances only exist outside the distinct categories of male and female. Similarly, the idea of androgyny and borderline figure is something I want to address through this drawing.

The Experimental Collage

The Experimental Collage

This artwork that I created is presented in a form of collage. I like the idea of using cut-up images and parts of my drawing. In this work, I want Rayon’s eyes to signify the notion of identity. Thus, the eyes are essential elements in my collage. To me, representing Rayon in this manner, I feel like there is something so outward, almost like a hyperbole of what an imagined multi-gendered post-human could be. I certainly set out to speak of vivid elements of the human conditions through this collage. I assuredly feel like I have told a story which has been drawn through my lived experiences in this work. I believe that I have expressed myself and my world through the depiction of Rayon’s gazes. This particular work has come out of my personal narrative, not observations. I want to reinvent the need for the viewer to face their own emotional response. I use ‘the eyes’ as symbols that distinguish one’s identity or lack of identity. In a way, most people tend to view gender as something that can only be understood through visual language. But I believe that there is much more to it than being just a cliché.

Rayon on Watercolour Paper

Rayon on Watercolour Paper

This particular work using watercolour pencils, I decided to delineate a life-like representation of a transsexual woman named Rayon. At the beginning of this year, I was reading an article about the AIDS drama that has been made in New Orleans and I totally felt really intrigued by the narrative behind this film, Dallas Buyers Club. I then became inspired by one character in particular, Rayon, a transsexual woman who was battling with full-blown AIDS. I intend to allow this work to directly speak to the viewer through visual representation of the subject matter. The use of heavy make up on her face critiques the social parameters of gender identity. In regards to the subject of cyborgs, I feel like this particular work defies the natural order of human bodies because Rayon displays both male and female persona.