Understanding my own work in context of other artists

Currently in sculpture I’m working on combining everyday objects with aspects of human anatomy, I have mainly experimented with plaster, silicone and liquid latex.

Contemporary artist- Xooang Choi

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Xooang Choi – The Islet of Asperger Type, β…₯, 2009, photo via koreanartistproject.com

Xooang Choi is a hyperrealist sculptor, who is based in South Korea and obtained his postgraduate in sculpture from Seoul National University in 2005. His sculptures made from a mix of clay and resin and painted with fleshy tones combines hyperrealism as well as surrealism.

He takes body parts out of context to create disturbing and thought-provoking pieces


I felt like Choi’s work inks very well with my own current practice as I am also trying to push the boundaries of preconceived notions and boundaries of human anatomy. After looking at his portfolio I was particularly inspired by the way his sculptures are painted.

Historic Artist – Alberto Giacometti

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Alberto Giacometti with his sculptures 1956

The swiss sculptor, Alberto Giacometti, created work inspired by the human condition. Said to be one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century his strong and distinctive style makes his work feel cohesive and it is almost like they have a familial bond.

Standing Woman
c.1958–9 – image taken from the Tate website

Although my work and Giaometti’s work do not share many similarities visually, I find his philosophies very interesting and inspiring. Giacometti used his work to raise questions about the human condition which is something I also strive to do through my work.


Xooang Choi | Widewalls

Alberto Giacometti 1901–1966 | Tate

β€˜Standing Woman’, Alberto Giacometti, c.1958–9, cast released by the artist 1964 | Tate

Tate Modern to Display Rarely Seen Giacometti Sculptures | artnet News

Untitled Bone Painting

CPS Week Nine

Untitled Bone Painting, November 2021, Acrylic on black A5 card

As part of a painting project with the focus of human anatomy and bones this smaller piece was created to cause the audience to question the subject matter of the painting. The painting itself is a close up image of a shoulder bone although, during a group critical people stated that the image could be some sort of sea creature or extraterrestrial being. The painting was complimented as it caused the audience to stop and question what the image might be. Different audiences would react and interoperate the painting in different ways depending on their own background. The use of a less commonly recongisable bone as well as its disorientating positioning adds a level of mystery around the painting. The use of acrylic paint allowed for many layers and a textured finish as well as smooth blending of the colours. The positioning of the subject matter allowed for more detail to be added. The black background allows for a dramatic contrast of the yellowing bone, allowing the highlights of the image to stand out.

The subject of focusing on human anatomy was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomy studies and the dark background and heavy brush strokes were influenced by Van Gough’s Skull of a Skeleton With Burning Cigarette.

In development of this piece, sizing up the piece would allow for audiences to see the detail properly. Also, pushing the proportions and distortion further to make the original subject matter even difficult to identify.

A photograph I took as a reference image. The angle of the image makes it difficult to identify what the subject matter is.

Professional Studies – Art Director

An art director has variety of roles working throughout many artistic industries. Often working more than 40 hours a week an art director is responsible for the overall aesthetics of a product or project and managing groups of other creatives. There is no set number for the size of the groups an Art Director may be overseeing. The particular aspect of art direction I’m interested in is art direction within TV and film.

To become an art director there a multiple different paths. Firstly you will need to finish a bachelors degree within an art related subject. From this point you can either search for internships or chose to continue with education and get a masters degree in art direction. Personally I hope to go down the route of continuing with education and study the MA Design for Art Direction at University of the Arts London. After this point it is finding work within the field of art direction.

Chae Kyung Sun is the art director behind Netflix’s popular 2021 Korean drama, Squid The entire atmosphere of the show relies on its aesthetics. In watching interviews featuring Chae Kyung Sun it is fascinating to hear the amount of attention to detail. There was not one aspect of the set design, costume or props that were not thought about.

I think I focused on the mind of the person who came up with the game. I imagined he’d think he gave the contestants a chance as if he’s a god.

Chae Kyung Sun

I think Squid Game is a perfect example of the importance of art direction. The visual impact of a show is usually the most memorable aspect of the show and responsible for setting the tone. It is an art directors responsibility to ensure all the pieces come together to create a cohesive narrative.


ArtReview – ‘Why now, man?’

ArtReview October 2018 by ArtReview - Issuu
The cover of the October 2018 Issue of ArtReview

ArtReview founded in 1949 is one of the world’s leading art magazines. ArtReview touches on a wide variety of article types such as commentary of the art world, reviews, and interesting takes on artists and their bodies of work.

The article I decided to focus on was ‘Why now, man?’ written by Jonathan T.D Neil from the October 2018. The article focuses on Bruce Nauman, failure, trauma, race, and privilege.

Walking in an Exaggerated Manner around the Perimeter of a Square | IMAGE  OBJECT TEXT
A photograph from Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square by Bruce Nauman

The article begins discussing the contemporary artist Bruce Nauman and his infamous work and the fact ‘no other artist has so consistently defied the pull of a recognisable style’. Included in the article is a still taken from Nauman’s Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square. The inclusion of this piece within the article was very deliberate, it epitomises Nauman’s work, making it a good starting point to discuss the artists fundamental believes and practices.

Bruce Nauman. Walk with Contrapposto. 1968 | MoMA
Walk with Contraposto (1968) – Bruce Nauman

What is trauma except failure by another name – failure to represent, failure to incorporate, failure to work through and to sublimate.

Why now, man? Jonathan T.D. Neil

Neil brings up the point of Nauman’s privilege and the advances he has being a white male. The American choreographer, company director, writer, visual artist and conceptualist, Ralph Lemon addresses the politics of Nauman’s 1968 Wall-Floor Positions video. Lemon did his own take on the piece Wall-Floor Positions but with two black live performers instead. It also should be noted that Neil is a white male author so even though he was able to reflect on the privilege Nauman has he would not be able to relate or truly understand the struggle and weight of the work by Lemon.

Why now, man? - ArtReview
Ralph Lemon’s take on Wall-Floor Positions (2003)

In conclusion, I found Neil’s take on Nauman very interesting. Neil almost questions Nauman’s position within the art world and highlights points that are often overlooked especially by Nauman’s fans. It was intriguing how Neil’s choice of language often seemed to be abrasive and dismissive of Nauman’s beliefs.

Yayoi Kusama Studio

Week One – Condensed

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist whose focus on dots made her infamous and her work easily recognizable.

“My art is an expression of my life, particularly my mental illness.”

Yayoi Kusama

Kusama’s studio is located in the Shinjuku district in Tokyo. Her studio is decorated with a collection of her own personal belongings including her own collection of books and magazines to childhood photographs. Kusama also keeps photocopies of her auction sales within her studio as well. Stacks of her large-scale brightly coloured paints are organised around her studio. The majority of images from Kusama working in a studio shows her sitting in front of a large table with her canvas laid flat in front of her. Kusama now needs to sit while she creates her art because of her age but using a chair with wheels she’s able to quickly move and continue to work on her art from all angles. From photographs, large windows can be seen allowing large amounts of natural light to flood her studio. The feeling Kusama’s studio gives me is that it is very personal to her and is able to reflect her own personality to anyone walking through.

Yayoi Kusama's Art and Life Blurs Lines Between Fantasy and Reality | COBO  Social
Image of Kusama working in her studio from tate.org – Β© YAYOI KUSAMA. Photo: Gautier Deblonde

In 2017 Vice’s Dexter Thomas was banned from entering Kusama’s studio(1). Thomas was banned as Kusama had problems understanding his questions and reached the conclusion “[Thomas] did not understand her work”. It is also hinted within the article that Thomas was not allowed to come into contact with Kusama because of her unstable mental state and that she might have felt too uncomfortable to even finish the interview. This was very interesting to me as it made me consider if an artist’s studio could be considered their “safe space”. The more comfortable an artist feels in their studio the more venerable they are able to be with their work.


(1) – https://www.vice.com/en/article/ywnqxx/japans-most-famous-avant-garde-artist-banned-us-from-her-studio