My MFA project titled, “Lantern's Diary” is a synergy of colors, tactile experiences, and reflections on change. The artwork is based on cultural influences. The physical form of the lantern is a metaphor of culture identity—in Eastern culture, paper has been used in architecture, furniture, clothing, funerals, writing materials, and lanterns. Its function as a material is to fulfill the necessity of daily life and ceremonial rituals. Hence, paper plays an important role in the Eastern society. The color spectrum representing “Change” corresponds with the western system of color organization. The gallery space plays a spatial aesthetic role in guiding one's interpretative journey through the artwork. The cooler colors were placed closer to the entrance of the gallery. Then the warmer colors were arranged and set in the furthest end of the left-hand corner of the gallery. As a result, the warmer colors would draw the viewers to walk around to the other end of the exhibit, signifying the importance of looking on the bright side of things as we go through life changes, with bright hope at the end. I was interested in the thinking and production process. I sketched a lot in my sketchbook and made some prototypes as references. The lanterns were made from reeds and handmade paper. Each of the thirty lanterns is about seven to eight feet tall and hangs from the ceiling of the gallery. The structural form of each lantern may vary a little in detail, but they are all based on the same design concept—a chrysalis. Reeds, commonly used in basket weaving were used to make the skeleton structure of the lanterns. Understanding the profound process of making the lanterns is important, as it mirrors us making sense of changes in our lives as they unfold.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Visual Arts
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Tan, Wei Zhong, "Lantern's Diary" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 2021.
Lantern's Diary, lantern, handmade paper, Eastern Culture, colors, perception, identity