HSS8123 Creative Practice Project – The Contexts

Romance of the Three Kindoms (1385)



The author of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong, lived in the chaos of the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties. At that time social unrest grew and peasant uprisings came one after another. After many years of war, Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Yuan Dynasty and established the Ming dynasty. During this period, many people were homeless, including Luo Guanzhong who wrote Zaju and scripts for story-telling. Because he lived at the bottom of society, he understood and was familiar with what people were suffering. Hoping for social stability and people living and working in peace and contentment, he created this historical novel using the historical facts of the late Eastern Han Dynasty.




Journey to the West (1558)



The author Wu Cheng’en lived in the late Ming dynasty. At that time, the social situation was very different from that at the beginning of the founding period. Political contradictions, national contradictions and the internal contradictions of the ruling class were intensified and sharpened. After the ideological and cultural enlightenment thought expanded and the liberation of human nature increasingly flourished, and fiction and opera creation entered a period of full prosperity. In terms of the economy, capitalist started to bud.

“Journey to the West” has a pantheon of gods and demons: One of the gods in the pantheon is lead by the Jade Emperor. This hierarchical system, which is in fact a political system that reflects the reality of the Ming dynasty. In this system, the ruler living a privileged life, and their status is tenured and hereditary.

The demons in the book are a reflection of the common people, who can be divided into three categories: The first one is from within the ruling group, who made a mistake and were relegated to the lower realms. The second one is the good citizens and the third category is composed of purely bad people. This series of characters mirrors ‘a good deed begets good and an evil deed yields evil’, which reflects the author’s notion of the boundary of good and evil which can not be blurred.




Romeo and Juliet (1595)



‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the first mature tragedy that Shakespeare created. Because the work is filled with a “spring and youth” atmosphere, it is a called romantic love tragedy. This work was written in the late 16th century, when the Renaissance began to sprout. At that time the United Kingdom was in the heyday of Queen Elizabeth’s rule, the regnum was steady, the economy was prosperous. Shakespeare was full of confidence in the achievement of the ideal of humanism in society. Thus the work is filled with optimistic mood. The emerging bourgeoisie as a new social force on the stage of history not only meant that the economic base, class structure changed, but also the superstructure changed.

The bourgeoisie brought its own outlook on the world into history, and during this period it focused on humanism. Humanists advocated the “people” as the center, strongly opposed to the dictatorship of theocracy and the authority of the church, and demanded human rights and dignity. The basic conflict in the book is not only the contradiction between the two feudal families, but also the contradictory struggle between the two social forces, which were the social roots of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.




Hamlet (1601)



At the turn of the seventeenth century, Britain was in the transitional period of the feudal system to the capitalist system, which was a great turning point in British history. During the boom of Elizabeth’s rule, the bourgeoisie supported the monarchy, and the monarchy used the bourgeoisie. As the political situation was relatively stable, social productivity saw rapid development. Although the development of these emerging capitalist relations of production accelerated the collapse of the feudal society, it still relied on the brutal exploitation of the peasantry. During the reign of James I, the autocratic monarchy was further pursued, and the resistance of the bourgeoisie and the working people was vigorously suppressed. Social contradictions further intensified, it fundamentally shook the feudal order, and the prepared conditions for 17th century British bourgeois revolution.

‘Hamlet’ is the ‘epitome’ of this era. The struggle between Hamlet and Claudius is a symbol of the struggle of the emerging bourgeois humanists and the reactionary feudal kingship.

The Renaissance movement brought Europe into the awakening of the ‘people’, and belief in God began to waver. This is the great liberation of thought which promoted the great development of social civilization; the other hand, especially to the late Renaissance, followed by the spread of desires and social confusion. Faced with such a chaotic era, the middle-aged Shakespeare, wanted to show the hidden trouble behind the ideal and development.




The Outlaws of the Marsh (1630)



The Outlaws of the Marsh is the first book in the history of Chinese literature that directly describe the main contradiction of the feudal society – the peasant class and the landlord class contradictions on a large scale. The work depicts a vigorous peasant revolutionary struggle, showing a magnificent scene of struggle for life. The novel exposes the darkness of the feudal society, the evil of the ruling class, and reveals that the social roots of the peasant uprising are cruel feudal oppression and exploitation, praising the justice of the peasant revolutionary struggle. The novel describes the representatives of the ruling class from the Gao Qiu to Zhenf Zhu, they formed a dark ruling network, which brought great disaster to people. The novel also shapes the heroic image of Li Kui, Lu Zhishen, Wu Song and Lin Chong, and praises the rebellious spirit of the peasant uprising heroes.




Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (1690)



Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio is a series of classical short stories which is unique and artistic. Most of the stories are tell of ghosts and monsters, but the content is deeply rooted in real life, and euphemistically reflect the social contradictions of that time. The stories can be classified into 5 categories. The first one is the stories which reflect the social darkness, expose and oppose the feudal ruling class oppression. The second one is against the feudal marriage, criticises feudal ethical education, and praises young men and women pursue pure love and fight for freedom and happiness. The third category is to expose and criticize the corruption of the imperial examination system. The fourth one is to praise the oppressed people with the spirit of the struggle against authority. The last one is the stories which educate people to be honest, helpful, hardworking, etc..

An interesting phenomenon is that in the Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, there are many female roles. Even though the female images is shaped from the perspective of maleism, not completely divorced from feudal thought, it gives the female image new connotations.




Gulliver’s Travels (1726)



The author of Gulliver’s Travels is Jonathan Swift. During the period of 1710 to 1714, he was appointed as a public relations officer of Robert Harry and Henry St John’s Tory Party. But later, the parties alternated, the Whigs came to power. Swift wrote the book in order to reflect the social contradictions of England in the first half of the 18th century, criticize the decadence of the British ruling group, expose the exploitation of the bourgeoisie at that time, and sharply refute all attempts to defend the social system at that time and oppose the wars of aggression and colonialism. Later, the author also went to Ireland to teach. Ireland was subject to the high pressure of England rule, so that the author reflected the decline of Irish agriculture through the third island travels in the book.




A Dream of Red Mansions (1791)



‘A Dream of Red Mansions’ describes Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu’s love tragedy, and the declining process of four big families, reflecting the feudal society brutal class oppression, exposing the darkness and decay of the feudal system, showing the inevitable trend of collapse of feudal society and proposing the ideals with the hazy democratic thinking. Besides, the praise for the girls and the sympathy and respect for the weak in the book laid the foundation for the later liberation of the women, marriage autonomy and today’s feminist movement.




Pride and prejudice (1813)



Austin was unmarried and lived in a relatively wealthy family in a rural town. So that in her work, there are no major social contradictions, just a peaceful life of landlords, pastors and other people. From the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century, ‘sentimental novels’ and ‘Gothic novels’ filled the British literary world. However, Pride and Prejudice was anomalous and shows the daily life of the British middle class in a country who’s life had not yet been hit by the capitalist industrial revolution.

The work is perhaps one of the greatest love novels in the world, and it ‘tells you that women have the right to live better, and should not think of what the women should take.’




Wuthering Heights (1847)



Emilie Bronte lived in thirty years of social turbulence in Britain. Capitalism was developing and increasingly exposed to its inherent flaws. There were sharp contradictions between labor and capital and the unemployed workers were poor. Besides, a large number of child laborers were cruelly tortured to death and the British government restricted the democratic reform struggle and the workers’ movement. People’s spirits suffered from the intense oppression. Humanity as twisted without mercy. Another feature of the time was patriarchy. At that time, the Victorian period, the noble class were enormously proud of their success. Status is first, money is god and women’s marriage, to a large extent, determines their fate.

The work is mainly carried out to explore human nature for people to realize that if there is no humanity, the world will become ugly, shrill and painful. The grotesque love story exposes the evil of patriarchal society and criticisms toward disrespect of the female.

HSS8123 Creative Practice Project – Making Process

Step 1: print out the pie charts

Step 2: cut them into pieces

Step 3: make ten cone-shaped bases

Step 4: stick the pieces on the bases respectively

Step 5: stick stamen on each 3D flower-shaped object

 Step 6: paint the plinths

 Step 7: Finished


HSS8123 Creative Practice Project – Ten Pie Charts

HSS8123 Creative Practice Project – Initial Thinking

It took me a long time to figure out which field should I research, which I’m turely interested in. Even thought I’m not an advanced English speaker, I still wanted to explore the relationships between Chinese and English, which leads me to study the field of Comparative literature. Besides, the collaborative project – making a dashboard in order to visualize the data that we did during the class inspire me to discover more about information visualization. After the initial idea generated, I did some research in terms of these two field, and think about how to integrate them.

After that, I aimed that my project would focus on one of the earlist diagram to illustrate data – pie chart, researching the potential of it.

HSS8121 : Reflections on HSS8121


At the begining of this moudle, I was like ‘Research? Research is all about study things that I don’t know.’ And I also thought there would be no different between traditional research methods and what I would learn. But, now, in my opinion, research is not only about studying knowledge that we don’t know but also about investigate and study the fistory. Moreover, I also think doing research may help us to generate new ideas and criticize the initial idea through the research by using those innovative methods, like media archaeology, ethnography and walking and field recording.

Media archaeology :

Many notions look new and innovative, whereas they are all can be attributed to some conceptions with long history. We should go back to history, to the time that human first time recognized sound and light. In that historical period, we can find the ideas, techniques and communication theories that affected today’s. Even many of them seems to be shocking and unrealistic, we can not ignore the spirt of discovering the unknown.

Media archaeology intends to enlighten us to carry out a wide range of search campaigns to find some ideas, conceptions and practices. Which involve actions that impossible to become an object in the past or were forgotten and rejected by people or even still not cognized by people nowadays. Resulting in these actions, a large number of exciting discoveries will emerge, which will provide a kind of constructive diversity to the development of the media. The main role of the technology is not only in order to eliminate people’s fears, but rather to contribute to imagination.

Ethnography : From my point of view, ethnographic study is based on participatory observations and non-structured interviews to obtain first-hand information. Because it requires researchers do not take their own idea or notion for granted toward a phenomenon and consider this notion is agreed by study objects. For the outcomes, we should analysis them objectively and try to summarize new theory instead of determining the fact by using the existing theory. Through that way, we can supplement and modify the original theory.

Apart from these theoretical lectures, we had a practice based lecture by Serena Korda. which was amanzing – Serena Korda and us set up a radio telescope which would pick up these planetary frequencies from Jupiter and this may included sounds of radio storms and sonic emissions. After back to classroom, we edited these sounds and used it to proform together. This showed how technology combine with the art prefectly. More that this, the idea is creative but at the same time, it includes the knowledge of history, music astronomy and so on which makes an artwork not just an artwork.


How to establish an enterprise?

From Tess Denman-Cleaver’s lecture and her interesting ice – cube activity I learnt :

  • Be creative
  • Using Internet resouces
  • Always work with people
  • Seize the right time

From Yossarian I learnt :

  • Study the existences – critical thinking – create new
  • Thinking in a different way
  • Interactive design is about user-friendly
  • Brainstrom all the time
  • Find the underlying connections can make you think further
  • Rome was not built in a day,an enterprise should be built step by step( which inculde get idea, research into industry, get funded)


HSS8121 : Research Proposal Documentation

Step1 : Background and motivation

In my opinion, I think the first step to write a research proposal is to explain the background and the motivation. By this I mean are there something relate to the research field in literature or some examples about this field.  For my research, I think the background will well explained by William Moritz’s words below, University of California, Berkeley’s experiment and Neil Harbisson’s example. Besides, the motivation is why you would like to do the research in a specific field. For me, I want to improve my project and do more deep researchs in colour – sound correspondence field.

The dream of creating a visual music comparable to auditory music found its fulfillment in animated abstract films by artists such as Oskar Fischinger, Len Lye and Norman McLaren; but long before them, many people built instruments, usually called “color organs,” that would display modulated colored light in some kind of fluid fashion comparable to music.

— William Moritz
Step2 : Research Questions
We always have to know what we want to research. To be honest, it is hard to figure out all the questions in a field, so we need to focus on predominant questions, the most important and influential ones. The three questions in my research are go forward one by one. First I need to know what’s the public’s opinion toward this field today and then, how to make a colour – sound correspondence artwork. Lastly, what’s the concept this kind of work can convey and what’s the social impact.
Step3 : Aim
A good research proposal needs a clear aim. For mine, the aim of the research is to investigate the uncertainties in the field of colour-sound correspondence and to create colour-sound artefacts in order to use this type of artworks to give audience a different experience.
Step4: Methodology
Media archaeology : In terms of this research, media archaeology is going to be a direction to guide me to find the forgotten designs which were related to colour- sound correspondence in the history and conclude a family resemblance of the colour-sound concept. By summarizing and sorting through these colour-sound correspondence artworks, I can indicate the merits and drawbacks in these cases and what causes the drawbacks, then start thinking how to solve these problems to improve this field.
Ethnographic : For this specific case, I will interview the audience in the several art galleries across the country, asking them what kind of format of artworks they are prefer and why. In addition, carry out an observation of present media correspondence artworks is required since the result can be used to analysis how media correspondence artefacts are made and what elements in the artworks appeal audience.
Step5: Outputs
Outputs are the outcomes of the research. Consider mine is a practice-based research so that the outputs include both physical part and theoretical part :
  • A analysis report of the preference between correspondence media artworks and conventional artworks
  • A better version of electronic colour organ – which can show the interval shade between two colours
  • A piece of colour – sound correspondence artwork – a device which can show abstract image by using 360 matching colours when user play with the sound, in order to give audience a different experience.
  • An analysis report about how the notion of colour-sound artwork can contribute to the field of advertising and media player (windows media player can only choose the colour randomly to match the sound currently).


PPT of the research proposal : https://www.dropbox.com/s/zdu79dep1t9g98x/Colour%20%E2%80%93%20Sound%20Correspondence%20in%20Design.pptx?dl=0




Another interesting project – A Hidden Order : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=080aWdyf1tc


HSS8121 : Talking About Enterprise Throuh Artistic Tank

Artistic Tank project is the proposal that I made to respond to the call of Seven Stories’ Late Shows. Basically, the Artistic Tank is a structure designed for Seven Stories’ studio on the level 1. This project is based on a science phenomenon – water can transform into different shapes when it affected by various tones. The first time I kewn this phenomenon was from a YouTuber’s video which called ‘5 Amazing Water Tricks’ . Inspired by this wonder, I got my initial idea about how to present the Artistic Tank.

But, I think the most important thing before the idea for a project proposal is responding the commission accurately, effectively communicate the work and interest to the communities that I with to engage with.

In my another moudle, the tutor told us that it’s important to know how to ‘sale’ your film. By ‘sale’, it means how to attract aduience and how to let investor think the documentay is worth to invest. So we have to know who are the target audience, how the content will attarct them and how much will the film cost?

For Seven Stories’ proposal, similarly, I considered since the studio is a dedicated space for artistic practice and a suitable area to create an artwork with paint or water etc., this structure is supposed to provide water for public to wash their painting brushes when they creating artworks. Besides, the representation of the water and the sound that it play may inspire artists and writers who work at Seven Stories to develop their creative thinking and practice. Moreover, in order to interact with the visitors and make sure it will appeal to a wide age range, when the Artistic Tank first time placed in the studio during the Late Shows, audiences can come and paint what they want or even just make a mark on it. The painting or mark maybe inspired by the programming themes at Seven Stories in May 2017 or a character/scene in the book that they read recently – which respond the ethos of Seven Stories – have creative responses to books they love. After the idea built up step by step, in order to make Artistic Tank within budget, I researched the prices of the materials that I need for making the Artistic Tank to make sure the cost within budget.

With the preparation works was done, my idea become more clearly. Now, the last step is write down the idea specifically and draw a sketch of the ideal Artistic Tank.

HSS8121 : Walking and Field Recording

Hegel indicate in his ‘Aesthetics ‘ that hearing is the most pureful thing and he takes the sound as the most ideal stuff among the senses.

Walking and field recording is a very interesting and innovative way to carry out a research. Because walking configures our relationship between the body, space and time. Which makes people think some of the suppositions of research methods. More interesting thing is, in fact, the way we walk is influenced by cultural norms. Which means that walking itself  can be an ethnographic technique for understanding space through people’s motion.

I think soundwalks and acoustic ecologies are both creative research methods. Soundwalk is a walk to focus on listening to the environment.  Hildegard Westerkamp defines soundwalking as “… any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are.” Likewise, acoustic ecology is a discipline study, which is about research the relationship, mediated through sound, between human beings and their environment.

Here are the sounds that I recorded during the class :

1. people talking, car and wind

2. Street

3. In the elevator

4. The quietest room that I can find

5. Going upstairs


DMS8013 : Further Development

By recoding the processing programme, the electronic colour organ can become a device which present the colour-sound correspondence in a different way. To be more specific, each button match a particular colour or shape, player can easily turn a song into a painting.

Here is the song ’Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ looks like:

DMS8013: Finished !

After coding the programmes in Arduino and Processing, the electronic colour organ finally finished!

Final look of the ECO:

Here is the annotation:It works like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fjn7zjkyci8tb21/Electronic%20Colour%20Organ.flv?dl=0