Artist Study: Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw was born in Calcutta, India, and brought up in Kashmir until the long-standing conflict in the area forced his family to flee, moved to London in 1998.

His gloriously opulent paintings suggest a fantastical world full of intricate detail, rich colour, and jewel-like surfaces, all masking the intense violent and sexual nature of its imagery.

This priest-looked monkey reminds me of Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.

His works are erotic and making audience uncomfortable simultaneously, which is unusual.

Inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s fifteenth century visionary triptych, Shaw’s series of works similarly titled ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ celebrate a society free of any moral restraint.

Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw
Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw
Raqib Shaw. (Indian, born 1974). Garden of Earthly Delights X. 2004. Synthetic polymer paint, glitter, stones, crystals, rhinestones, and gems on board, three panels, 8 x 15′ (243.8 x 457.2 cm). Gift of Adam Sender and George Lindemann, Jr. © 2008 Raqib Shaw


Indian Goddes Kali

Research Study: F64

F64 is a photographic group founded in San Francisco. The term f/64 referred to the smallest aperture setting on a large format camera. The aim was to secured maximum depth of field and rendering photograph evenly sharp from foreground to background. Their styles characterized by sharp-focused on and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western  viewpoint.

Carleton Watkins (1829–1916) was an American photographer of the 19th century. Born in New York, he moved to California and quickly became interested in photography. He focused mainly on landscape photography, and Yosemite Valley was a favorite subject of his. His photographs of the valley significantly influenced the United States Congress’ decision to preserve it as a National Park. He documented the rise of SF at19th Century. He doesn’t regard himself as an artist but an artisan. He has influenced f/64 a lot.

Imogen Cunningham at that time was the most experienced member and enjoyed an established reputation.

Willard Van Dyke gives his home at Berkley to talk about founding the group.

People that knows a little bit of art history may think Van Dyke is the most famous member, but this is another Van Dyke and he is not famous because of the beard.

Edward Henry Weston was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers… and “one of the masters of 20th century photography.” He was the first photographer that got Guggenheim Fellowship.

Weston’s Works:

Ansel Easton Adams (SF!) was an American photographer and environmentalist. His black and white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park. I believe that he inherits the spirit of Watkins.He developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterized his photographs.

Adams’s works:

Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 03

Step 07: simplify models


Tested in an auto rigging tool

When I was re-designing the armour, I struggled a lot, it always looked bad, and then I realised skeletons always look good, therefore I used ribs as reference.

Re-modeled face

Light testing: scattered light in maya

Step 08: design other characters

However I have not actually got a chance to use this model.

Step 09: Stage design

I attended a course called Wabi-Sabi: into the emptiness, which was to go for a trip in Tokyo and Kyoto, and then create works from the experience, I learnt a lot from the trip.


Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 02

In the mean time, I was using sculpting class to build up this character.

Step 04: Designing based on characters I like (The Predator)

Combining the features from different characters

“Final Decision”

Modelling the mask and 3D printed it

First time entering the dungeons and dragons stores to get equipments to paint on the mask.

Final Sculpure

Step 05: Asset Design

Abandoned designs for masks

Actual armour design

However, it is nearly impossible to run armours in this kind of details in actual animation, therefore I needed to simplify them. But before that:

Step 06: Sound and Music

I used Protools to make the voice of my character, and the background music in the Sound for Animation class.




To be continued…

Analysis of Senior Thesis: Character Design 01

The aim of my project was to design 1-2 characters and the background story of them, and then build the world up and animate.

Step 01: Looking for references

I looked up mythologies from four different countries: China, India, Indonesia and Russia, found 11 gods/evils from them:

Mahāmāyūrī (The Peacock King) from Tibet (Buddhism)

Vajra Krodha Mahabala Ucchusma from Tibet (Buddhism) 

Mara-Papman from India (Buddhism)

Garuda from India (Hindu)

Kali from India (Hindu)

Rakshasa from India(Hindu)

Rangda and Barong from Indonesia (Bali)

Koschei from Russia

Leshy from Russia

Viy from Russia


Step 02: Start Doodling about the world I want to create:

Step 03: Start Modeling

First one was not that successful

I liked the second one better.

Also sculpted some skulls as references as well.

To be continued…

Study for Background Story 01: Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction, featuring the mixture of “lowlife and high -tech”, and the fear of the development of technology, unlike Steampunk (I will also write about this in future).

Tokyo and Hong Kong are the most popular city in reality for Cyberpunk fans to recreate. Tokyo is a city with top-class advanced technology in many areas, due to their large population, even the little branches of needs has people to study and fulfil. Therefore both of the robot, automatic and automobile industries in Japan are well developed. Also, they will never face the situation of lacking talented architects, Tokyo has many skyscrapers and buildings in avant-garde shapes. On the other hand, Japanese citizens also cherish their traditions, they kept ancient temples, palaces and even restaurants with generations of great reputations.

Akira (1988)

Ghost in the Shell(1995)

Cars 2(2011)

The reason that Hong Kong became popular in Cyberpunk is because it has some similar features with Tokyo, like neon lights, the combination of modern building and ancient styles, but most importantly, is because of the most unique slum in the world: kowloon walled city.

Cyberpunk is such a exhilarating topic to research, therefore  I will also post some new founds that can be great references .

As one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, the President of the former Yugoslavia opposed any form of “colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism” in that year, so naturally he would not submit to the expansion of the Stalin regime of the Soviet Union. As a result, the relationship broke down. It was not until 1955 that the former Yugoslavia and Khrushchew were involved. After the reform, the Soviet Union resumed normal diplomatic relations. After the Hungarian Incident in 1956, the relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia deteriorated once again.
In this political game, from Yugoslavia’s many symbolic monuments of socialism, it is not difficult to see Yugoslavia’s struggle and efforts to get rid of Soviet aesthetics. A relatively unique abstraction and barbarism made it a certain distance from the Soviet aesthetics of the same period.
There are some meaningful sculptures in the are of the former Yugoslavia.