self portrait.jpg


The genre “self-portrait” truly annoys me not as an art subject but as an art assignment. For some unknown reason, every beginning art course has a self-portrait assignment. My best guess would be that the true purpose of the assignment is to allow the artist-want-to-be to develop the ego of an artist.


My hatred toward self-portrait assignments is mainly due to two reasons. When I looked around the room, my classmates and I were mostly in our early twenties. What profound self-acknowledgements could we possibility have? We mostly spent our lives in peaceful yet boring existence. Obviously, I am speaking from my behalf and reflecting on my own dreary life. If we did have some opinions about our lives or ourselves were most likely to be immature and dull. Moreover, disclosing personal feelings to a crowd of people who I did not care for and vise versa was plainly awkward. I usually twist the topic a bit and create an art piece about the human nature or humanity, which again through my inexperienced life it always fell short.


Recently, I have once again encountered this dreadful topic. Even though I am a bit older now, I still have literally nothing intelligent to say or maybe I am just not an intelligent person period. Revealing my personal life in public and reflecting on the dullness of my life is still a pain in the ass for me.


This piece is the closest reflection to who I am and what I feel compare to all the other “human nature observations” pieces I made in the past.


The red wax seal in the middle is scattered and irregular. It is a seal of my fingerprint, which is an apparent signifier of my identity. The wax seal refers to something that is enclosed and personal, since private letters in the past are enclosed by hot wax and a family seal or crest. Moreover, from an Eastern perspective, a seal in Chinese culture is a signature, a sense of approval and again a proof of existence.  As from a scientific point of view, what can be more me than a fingerprint…well maybe my DNA. I am pretty sure there is a piece of burnt flesh/skin on that seal. Note to all: never put any body parts into boiling hot wax unless you yearn for excruciating pain.


The linear stripes of background draws and leads the viewer’s attention; however, the simplicity of the lines is interrupted or disturbed by the water in the glass container. The enclosed space of the glass container is the embodiment of my identity. In other words, the container with my fingerprint is simply an abstract version of me. The water in the glass container causes the distortions of the lines. The viewers may notice that the glass container is only half filled with water. It refers to the age-old question: is the glass half full or half empty?


This is an honest commentary of my life where I am neither content nor discontent.


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