Reflective Journal Week 9, 24 Nov – 30 Nov 2019

Week 9, and very likely the following week will reduce my attendance to an extremely low result. A pop-up show will be arranged in two weeks, and the Christmas holiday will deny access to campus facilities until January. I will need to work out writings in these two weeks until I push this project to the “manufacture phase”.

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Ideally, the writing will reach 5000 thousand words for each part due to the planned equality between writing and painting. I want to experiment and practice the capability of assembling elements into the most effective format for stating artistic ideas; taking advantages of obtained skills and resources is also another primary objective of unit 1.
My father pointed out the Chinese version of the writing was hard to read due to the complex structure as well as the uncommon vocabularies. He commented, “the writing was difficult to be examined for readers, and I only read one part of it.” Considering his ability in the professional field and his shiny, well-cared paper certificate of his degree that he often used to throw in my face during arguments, I suppose his opinion made some sense.

Meanwhile, I have found the only affordable hard-back book binding service in London requires the book contains at least 87 pages so that it can be printed on 160g silk paper. Thus the word count will directly influence the number of paintings I need to produce, the bookbinding cost as well as the possibility of saving times for doctor application. I really don’t want to stick for another year for two years were already wasted before this MA course. There are two feasible solutions: to bind the book myself and to cut the writing and bind the book myself. The tricky part is that the bookbinding workshop in Camberwell only serves book art students. Also, my skill is quite rusty for the last book I made was in 2015. Nevertheless, I have to start on the writing task. Spending time on worrying problems I have not run into is stupid.

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The final version of Chinese literature counts 3300+ words in Cuckmere part and 3500+ in Cordoba. I suppose the English translation will be the same. However, the project is more complicated than translating it into English. I have been working as a reader, translator and teaching assistant for students who write essays, commissioners who require fluent speaking. But the writing of the project is more close to English literature, which I did not dare to apply for BA despite my enthusiasm stimulated me to. I never wrote in this manner, I have only read novels in English.

The first thing I tried is to establish a collection of vocabularies I gathered from writing works with similar themes. I have been studying the structure of the sentence, the tone of writing and other technical details for the project. I have found the book written by Paul Theroux, The Kingdom by the Sea especially helpful to the project. The writer wrote about his journey along the English coastline in 1983 (It matched another project that being planned by me, to illustrate scenes along the British coast as well). The book was written in an amusing tone with detailed records of different things he has found during the journey. Although the book was in the traditional linear structure of writing journal, it can still enhance my vocabulary for the writing.

I have thought about the length of each paragraph. In order to maintain some sort of poetic atmosphere, I won’t consider structuring long descriptions that used for driving the audience for specific directions. Explanations of theories would still be long and complicated, for they are inevitable for the whole project.

According to my reading amount, I believe the rhythm of the sentence also matters to maintain the mood and improve the effectiveness of passing mood to readers. Despite the fact that it is not poetry or lyrics, an article with fancy words but also easy to read would leave more strength for my audience so that they can further explore the elegant structure of the book.

I have put the link below if you are interested in the original edit of the Chinese version. They demonstrate a totally different perspective and explanations comparing to the English version.

Part 1 Cuckmere Valley

Part II Cordoba

On Friday morning, a tutorial was given by Tim Johnson regarding materials and painting methods of the project. He made some interesting (Not the British interesting) advises on the current painting format of mine. Also, he gave a free board to me for framing watercolour papers on. The kindness kept me running high for the entire weekend, although it was too heavy to be carried home. Only confirmations of hypothesises I have been experimenting were asked during the tutorial, so nothing special can be written here. I just want to record and tell you about this move of kindness.

I still have a detailed written instruction of making pastels at home that taught by him. Indeed his skill and knowledge at painting materials are valuable.

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.