Last week (15th September, 2016), We went to Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) to get some Primary research and learning about the Fiji culture. SCVA is located in the University of East Anglia in Norwich, the architecture of the building was designed by Norman Foster during 1974 – 1976. It was commissioned by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, who gave their art collection for display with an idea of comfortable art gathering place for people to enjoy looking at the art pieces.
Apart from their own Family Collection, we looked for some permanently exhibitions, such as Fiji and Masters of Japanese Photography. First, I want to look inside the Fiji exhibition.
SIRITI (CLUB) – late 18th to early 19th century, L 152.5cm (wood)
There is a possiblility that this colossal club is the largest and heaviest one. It is not assumed that this was use to fight according to the weight. It was like a power represented item for the chief in Fiji, and it was used in ritual to be blessed with protection for future fighter. The beautifully and detailed craft can be seen on the surface of Siriti. Some similar pattern will be found on the barkcloth.
DARI VONU (TURTLE-SHAPED BOWL) – mid-19th century, L 30.5 cm (wood)
As Fiji island is surrounded by sea, many tools were inspired by the sea creatures. Dari vonu having a sea turtle shape, implicating that the art sense of the people in Fiji. Not just making tools for using, they made them in a more beautiful appearance.
GATU VAKAVITI (BARKCLOTH) – mid-to-late- 19th century, 287 x 228 cm (paper mulberry inner bark, pigment)
There are many use of Gatu vakaviti, such as wedding and decoration. The pattern can be different in variety of region in Fiji. The geometry shape could be represent different natural things, like stars and sea. This kind of pattern can be an inspiration in different sector of deign, fashion, which is the same that Fijian people also use them as clothing, indicated the wide range of usage of the barkcloth.
The whole Fiji exhibition inspired me a lot on pattern and colours which I can use in illustration when I manage some themes alike to these cultural design. Also, it can be used as experiment.
Charles Maussion — Portrait 1974, 71 x 53 cm(arylic on paper)
One of the characteristic of Charles Maussion’s work is the blurry scene. The painter likes to reveal his art piece in this kind of form. The highly contrast colour black and white with slightly blurry figure can show more emotion compared to colour painting people usually do. Also, his works reminded me an impressionist Monet, how he did was focus on the whole image instead of detailed small parts. It shows more on the emotion expression of these to human figure holding each other, some kind of intimacy between human being. For illustration, this style can contrast with the solid line objects, which can express a more solid emotion with a blurry object.
Indian School — Maharaja Ram Singh II of Kotah at the Gangaur festival c. 1850, 45.9×66.4 cms (Watercolour, gold and silver on paper)
Despite the fact that the whole piece is small in size, the piece is detailed even when your look at it closely, there is not any blemish on it. And people can see the action of the character inside the picture, what they were doing. With the addition if the gold and silver which can shows the flourish during the period and the festival. The use of gold and silver for the artwork can also show different perspective with visual addition (the reflection of the gold and silver). So in my further work, adding some gold or silver paint for addition decoration in my design can be an experiment.
KIKUJI KAWADA — Artificial Moon Trial 1969
Within the Japan photography exhibition, the cosmic natural photograph was the most fascinated piece that I want to look more into it. Although I do not know much of cosmology. The photographer presented the Moon Trial in a artificial way, which means the shape we see is more unnatural. And that also a point that make it intriguing. I cannot say that illustration or graphic design have any natural element, but make things from nature is a project that can be invested, especially I want to explore more into the endless sky.
Overall, this trip gave me different aspect of inspiration to develop my specialist. Or even experiment in my own learning and develop my own project.
FIJI (the book for the Fiji exhibition in Sainsbury Centre for Viusal Arts)