People of New York

In my collage project I wanted to do something that would represent all the people of New York City. This is one of the things I was struck by most when coming here for the first time. I think many New Yorker’s take for granted how diverse their environment really is, and they fail to realize that most of the world is much more homogeneous. Diversity can sometimes be scary. There is a lack of uniformity, which can be perceived as something novel and uncontrollable. Most of us, myself included, like to be in control of our situation. We don’t like change. As I’ve grown since I’ve been here, I’ve learned to appreciate the differences in the vast variety of people who call New York their home.

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I wanted to do a photo collage of many small photos being used to make one large photo. There are a few programs that help artists make these “photo mosaics”. I chose to make my larger photo the statue of liberty. As a non-native New Yorker, I always believed this to be a great representation for the city. It is a symbol of American freedom to be whoever or do whatever you want. The city has so many different types of people who look nothing alike, do nothing alike, or even like anything in common. It is a place where everyone coexists and forms one large haven where everyone can do what they want and be who they want. The people of New York are New York.

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Collage Project

Collage Project By Joseph Maugeri

I begun this project with the intent of taking nice looking photos while longboarding around the city. I decided against that idea. For a few reasons.

The main reason was because it was wet and dirty… I ended up being covered in mud, which was not fun at all. But then I got to thinking, there really isn’t a big message affiliated with taking nice pictures. It’s pretty bland and boring. That’s when I ended up at Rockefeller Center. I’ve never really been there before, except when I was little, so I decided to take a look around. When I got there (with the help of my phone), I noticed a lot of police present. I wasn’t entirely surprised and started snapping a few pictures of them.

I was–once again– pulling a ‘Walker Evans.’ It was hard to take pictures of police because they normally don’t want to be filmed. I figured I’d take the risk and do it anyway. It’s more fun that way. It’s also more interesting.

As I was taking the pictures, I started thinking of the significance. The police weren’t really doing much. Some were talking to tourists, laughing, having a good time. There were the serious cops, the cops that were right out of the academy, and none of them seemed busy. So why were they there? There are tourists, shoppers, natives New Yorkers,  and many more types of people. When there is a lot of people in a small space, violence tends to ensue. However when police are present, one of two things happen: one is that people feel safe, and the other thing is that people get scared. Safety is always a good thing. When there are police, the good people feel protected. At the same time when there is police, the bad people get scared. That’s why there aren’t many violent acts committed in Rockefeller Center. Now this theory is interesting(at least to me) but it doesn’t seem to apply in similar places.

When I got that idea, I skated down to Bryant Park. Bryant Park is similar to Rockefeller Center. It’s about the same size, there is an ice rink, there are a decent amount of people, and they even have a lit tree. But, there was little-to-no police presence. I saw one security guard. That’s it.

After Bryant Park, I went to Baruch. On the way to Baruch, I remembered that there is a Christmas tree in Madison Square Park too. So I stopped by to see it. Same deal as the other two places. Christmas tree, decent amount of people, plenty of things to do. But here, there were no security guards, cops, park workers, or any authority at all.

So why is there little or no police presence at Bryant Park and Madison Square Park, but Rockefeller Center is like NYPD headquarters? Can people really not contain themselves in Rockefeller Center but are perfectly fine at similar places? It doesn’t seem to make sense. The only aspect of Rockefeller Center that is different is that there is more tourism. Is that the only reason though? I just found it bizarre.

I did this project on Prezi because I never used it before and I wanted to learn. Ben said it would be good for this project and I’d have to agree with him. It’s pretty cool.

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Gateway into Japanese Culture

I have always been fascinated by Japan and its cultures: its exquisite dishes, religious practices, environment, flowers, buildings (temples), technology (animations), and art (manga). This project was inspired by the torii I saw earlier this year in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A torii, as many might have known by now, is a traditional gate standing at the entrance to a Shinto shrine. Hence, it is the mark of the entrance to a sacred place and holds a special place in Japanese culture. With my collage project, I thought it would appropriate to use the idea of “entrance” as evoked by the torii and applied it as the “entrance” to more than just Japanese Shrines but to the Japanese Culture as a whole.

Playing off the theme of Japanese culture and idea of entrance, the torii stands in the center acting as the gate. And of course, the Japanese flag—the rising sun—is placed directly on top of everything, indicating that everything below is a portion of Japan. On the sides of the flag are koinobori, a paper kite of a koi fish. They give Japan a lively feel as shown through their movements. Then I thought the first thing anyone who visits Japan would do is to try out its great variety of food. Hence, inside the gates of the torii are popular food that can be found in Japan, ranging from sushi, udon, sashimi, tea, tempura, pocky, to things found in vending machines. Why vending machines? It is because vending machines are everywhere in Japan. It sells not only drinks and food but also (and not limited to) clothing and underwear.

Immediately under the Japanese flag are Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka, two Vocaloids that are currently internationally famous (Miku is much more well-known compare to Luka though). In a matter of a few years after the release of the Vocaloid program of Hatsune Miku, it has become a widespread phenomenon. Everyone in Japan knows Hatsune Miku. She is not only a virtual idol but also the epitome and representation of creativity in Japan. Hence, I naturally thought it would be a great idea to put them under the Japanese flag to indicate Japan’s progress as well as introduce everyone to Vocaloid.

To the right of the torii is a beautiful Japanese garden with a drawing of a tokugawa shogunate and cherry blossom edited in. Originally, Japanese gardens are created to represent an ideal and aesthetic environment that the emperors and nobles use for pleasure. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to imagine a shogunate sitting in the garden enjoying the view and sightseeing cherry blossoms (although cherry blossoms are not usually planted near ponds). Monks also use the Japanese garden, but as a place of meditation. Instead of monks, I thought placing a few Miko (Shrine Maidens) there would look much better. Since both Miko and monks are servants of shrines or temples, the substitution isn’t too illogical.

Since I’ve include a building in the garden, one might wonder about the appearances within Japanese homes. Above the garden on the right is what inside of a Japanese room looks (although many in cities are modernized to have a more western look). Instead of elevated beds, traditional Japanese beds called futon are on the floor.

On the left of the torii is actually a variety of things that Japan is known for, other than its food and garden and shrine-related subjects. On the bottom left is a set of actors dressing up as Shinsengumi members. Above them to the left is a drawing of one of the leaders of the Shinsengumi group, Hijikata Toshizou, and to the right of that is a cosplayer dressing up as Hajime Saito (also a member of Shinsengumi). The history of Shinsengumi goes back to the end of Edo period; the group known as Shinsengumi was formed to maintain the Japanese tradition and samurai code (bushido). They fought bravely to their bitter end. Their efforts, however, was recognized and honored much later after their defeat. Nowadays, the group became a symbol in Japanese’s pop culture. And so, I include and position the different forms of Shinsengumi to show the influences on modern Japan culture. One of which is a movie, another is a TV anime series (art), and the last is cosplay. Next to the famous Shinsengumi group are Cloud from the internationally popular game Final Fantasy and a full-scale figure of the Gundam RX-78-2 (still standing today in Odaiba, Japan). Further up those on the left are Japanese brands that many of us would recognize, such as Nintendo, Uniqlo, Panasonic, Sony, and Toyota.

Since Japan’s international involvement, its cultural has integrated, modernized, and evolved away from its tradition. Hence, to know Japan, I introduced one the old and new culture that Japan endorses. The old being the traditional rituals, food and clothing, and the new being the rising popularity of anime, cosplay and collectable figures (of various sizes). The end result was like a poster or travel guide that unifies many diverse photos representing different aspects of Japan by blending them together, hence, creating a dynamic overall feel.

Initially, I had thoughts of creating a 3D collage by taping or gluing photographs into a torii to make it symbolize more than its traditional function as the gate to a Japanese shrine—it would be the gate into Japanese culture. It seemed like a wonderful way to visually represent that theme because the product would actually look like a gate. The downside to that would be the incredible amount of color ink I must use even if I did shrink the photos. I had over thirty photos, each representing some aspects of Japan (although some photos repeat the same aspect a bit differently). I didn’t own a printer and knew no one who had that much spare color ink. And so, when I started digitally using Photoshop to make a 2D collage image with torii as a base, I realized that it was much more advantageous to stick with it. First, Photoshop was very flexible in that I could change the orders of my photographs however I wanted. Second, it would save a lot of ink. And finally, it wouldn’t be as messy as a 3D model when the time comes for me to glue the photos onto it. I could blend the photos together without much trouble using the magic wand tool, feather tool, eraser, and drop shadow (for layer style). That way, the overall final image looked very clean instead of the roughness compared to a 3D model. The only negative of a digital collage, for me, would be that it wouldn’t illustrate the concept of a gateway (literally) as well as a 3D model would. However, the benefits supplemented for the detriment, which was why I decided to stay with a 2D collage.

Using the digital platform, I was able to organize the photos that I wanted easier because I could pick which photos I wanted and which I didn’t want to use without having to waste materials if it was printed. Additionally, it was much easier to move photos, figure out and execute on a design for the collage. By doing this project digitally, I was able to focus on the details and layout, thus exploring Japan digitally as I had been doing bit by bit over the years. I was able to remember much more of the traditional practices and icons of the Japanese culture because I had to refer to it again and again when I was cropping, resizing, and moving photos. This project certainly helped solidified my understanding of Japan. Just the pleasant immersion to it further encouraged me to visit Japan one day to see its beauty with my own eyes. And with it, I hope you would too.

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Double Happiness

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The Occupations of New York

The collage project is one of the opportunities we have in this class to really describe our point of view on a specific aspect of New York. I chose to focus my project on the different occupations of the city. It has always amazed me, what weird things people will do in general and the weirder things people do for a career. In New York, we have such a large variety of backgrounds and resumes that I wanted to capture how they all come under one roof.

While some of these jobs may be common in other cities, New York is one of the rare places where they are all centralized. It is that aspect of the boroughs that keep them so interesting. Nothing seems boring because there is always something new to discover.

One day I was in Times Square and I met a man with a sign that read “NEED MONEY FOR WEED. HEY, WHY LIE?” First I thought he was seriously asking for money with that sign and was confused to whether it was a genius publicity stunt that will help this man get money and attention or whether this person was just incredibly straightforward. After telling some friends about it I learned that many of them heard about “the man with the weed sign.” I decided to look him up and discovered that the person I saw holding the sign is a member of a charitable organization. The charity uses the sign to gain publicity and donate to the less fortunate.

It captured my attention. When we were assigned to create a collage, I knew I wanted to capture some of New York’s eccentric jobs. However, I also wanted to balance that off with some of the daily jobs we all seem to interact with on a regular basis but rarely recognize for it’s importance and uniqueness. It helps emphasize my point of how we hold so many jobs in the same city.

Throughout my collage, I’ve gathered the naked cowboy, beekeepers in the middle of manhattan, subway crews, and so many more. I even managed to include a New York Knick. Which other city will offer these icons?

One of the purposes of focusing on occupations is that many people realize that New York is diverse, and they realize it is diverse in various aspects. Yet, no one pays attention to the different jobs in the city. I was hoping my project could help put a focus on that and help others appreciate it when they next come across any such people.

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So Common that We Don’t Notice it

For the collage project, I chose to photograph the different types of headwear in New York City. People wear things on their head for many reasons, whether it is to stay warm, religion, or some sort of sports affiliation. In my experience, a large amount of New Yorkers sport some sort of headwear. The different reasons why New Yorkers wear headwear are interesting though.

All of these photographs were taken at night, some indoors or outdoors. I tried to gather a wide range of photographs, capturing many different types of headwear. Some photographs were taken in Central Park, some on the subways, and others in the more suburban areas of New York City, such as Lefferts Boulevard in Queens.

The inspiration for this collage comes from within. My religion requires me to wear a turban, and thus I tend to notice different types of headwear people are wearing wherever I am. I like to think of different reasons why people wear the headwear they do, and why what they chose is the best for them. For example, if I see someone wearing a beanie, I think it serves them the purpose of keeping warm and making a fashion statement.  If someone is wearing a simple cap, I think t symbolizes one of his or her favorite teams or organizations. I am not right all the time in my assumptions, but it is still fun to think of the different possible reasons.

This collage is organized in a very simple manner. All the photographs that have the same “reason” for why the person in them is wearing that specific head covering are grouped together. Going counter clockwise from the top left, the reasons go from warmth, religion, support for an organization, and jus plain old fun. These are the most prevalent reasons for people to wear headwear that I have found.


Headwear is something that many people own and wear on a daily basis. However, because it is so common, it is not noticed that often, and my goal was to simply point out the ordinary in order to show exactly how extraordinary and unique it is.



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My Collage Project

New York City is already diverse in its culture. But what is culture? How broad could the term “culture” be defined? No one would think of typography as a subsection of the dissimilar cultures in New York City, and this is why I chose it. Typography comes in all different shapes and forms; I figured Serif, Sans Serif, and all the rest should be considered as distinctive cultures.

Typography in itself involves the selection of various aspects, such as: typefaces, point size, line length, and spacing between letters. And where else would perfect examples of the diversity in the art of typography be but on storefronts all around New York City.

My Collage Project therefore focuses on multiple typographic designs found all over the Big Apple. To make things interesting, my collage is on Prezi and each frame zooms into a letter of the alphabet, each with an example of a word that begins with that letter. I faced some minor challenges in choosing one picture over another of two different examples, because they both display amazing artwork. In the end, I had to go with the more unique one.


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A Traditional Chinese New Year

My collage takes different aspects of a traditional Chinese New Year and puts them all together in a way that shows the range of things that apply to the holiday. Everything on the board has a meaning and is used during the celebration of the New Year. My cultural encounter came when I first celebrated the holiday. My family is Chinese-American so when we first celebrated Chinese New Year, I learned many new traditions and customs about the holiday that I shared on the board.

The board itself is the backing of a calendar. The word fook (the red marking) means prosperity and can be seen all around during the New Year celebration. But with the way I arranged my collage, the word is actually upside-down. By hanging the sign upside down, it symbolizes that good fortune will fall into and stay here in the house.

Starting from the upper right corner, the red envelopes are called lai see and are given traditionally to unmarried children by married relatives, usually with money inside. Being married or single is the dividing line deciding if you get or give red envelopes. You give from the prosperity you have had in the past year and it will come back to you many times over in the New Year. Even among the Chinese, there are different customs for lai see giving. The first one displays a small Chinese zodiac, important for knowing what animal the year represents. The Chinese follow a lunar calendar so it does not match up exactly to the American calendar, but as of late January 2012, it is the year of the dragon. Each animal has its strengths and weaknesses and you are associated to those characteristics by the animal year you are born on. On February 10, 2013, it will be the year of the snake. The other zodiac is just a bigger version so that the viewer can clearly see al the animals.

We use the firecrackers and the noisemakers displayed on the board to scare off evil spirits. The tradition is that the loud sounds these items make drive away any bad spirits, which may cause us bad luck. The bars of gold on the top of the page show the wealth and good fortune that we hope for in the New Year. The incense on the board represents the tradition of paying respects to the ancestors. Traditional Chinese people have shrines in their homes and burn incense and light candles there. Others will visit the cemetery before Chinese New Year, burning incense and candles at the graves of their loved ones.

The foods displayed all have meaning to the Chinese as well. The noodles are supposed to be uncut, but I had to cut them to get them on the board. The length signifies longevity and long life. The whole chicken symbolizes togetherness and completeness and it must be served head, tail and all. The spring rolls represent gold since they look like gold bars. The scattered Swedish fish play a dual role in the collage. One, they are red, a lucky color for our culture. And two, it is a whole fish, symbolizes prosperity and surplus. The red “Now and Later” candies are just an example of they kind of things that would be in the traditional candy dish laid out for a “sweet” New Years. The picture of the oranges is there because people give each other oranges as gifts on the New Year for good luck.

Making the collage by hand, there are plusses and minuses to the form. The plusses are that you can see the vibrant red and gold colors that are traditional for the celebration. The elaborate textures and overlapping can be felt and seen close-up and the items seem to pop out at you. Another plus was that I could rearrange items any way that I wanted to, reducing the amount of background space that was left. Some of the minuses involve transporting my collage. It will be harder to bring it to class. It was also messier to make with hot glue and tape, even though I tried to use as little tape as possible. I think that making it by hand gave me more creativity, because I could display the whole project and visualize the final product in front of me. I could rearrange items in the slightest bit so that everything would end up exactly where I wanted it.  Overlapping and bringing texture and vibrant colors out are also important to my collage. To accomplish that, a hand-made creation was better. I also felt that because I was physically interacting with all the pieces, the whole project was more intimate and I got a better sense of the meaning behind my cultural encounter.

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NYC Call Box

We walk past at least one every day. They are always there when we need them for an emergency. They never move and they stand out in their red coats. I am not talking about a British Royal Guard. I am talking about call boxes!

Call boxes are remarkable. During the middle ages of America when no one had an IPhone, people used this to get into contact with police or the fire department and the response was almost instantaneous.

But where does one get this inspiration to make a collage for a simple city utility? Well, one day I was reading up on the murder of Kitty Genovese and in the police report, it mentioned she tried to go to the call box. That lit an incandescent light bulb in my head and I was inspired. I walked a five-block radius around my house and saw how many call boxes are still there. Some were working, while others were broken. It didn’t matter. I took pictures of both of them.

Viola! I get my collage. Instead of the central image being that of a call box, I have it of a street light with an orange bulb on top. The bulb was on at night and was used to let someone know that on any of the four corners of the street, there is a call box. With that in mind, I made the collage design with four corners in order to show the same idea.

In the first corner I have pictures on when call boxes were practical. I honor Kitty Genovese because she is the reason I am doing this project. I found pictures of a man in the 1950s, but the point of the picture is to emphasize on the call box in the box. The last image in this corner is a functioning one two block away. I always walk on that avenue to get to school, but I never really paid any attention to it.

In the second corner, I focus on the decay of non-functioning call boxes. It was rather sad. Some of them had garbage stuffed into them, but the day I went to take pictures, it was cleaned out. Still, there is extreme paint damage, graffiti, and rust on many of these structures. I found one with the number 1929, the year when it was established. To know something this old exists in my neighborhood and that it is going through such negligence, really did tell me that we should preserve the history that we have.

In the third corner, I have images explaining the cause of this decline in call boxes. First I have a functioning call box with the sticker “False Alarms Kill”. That was always an issue with call boxes. A lot of pranksters would call for help and run away. The police couldn’t just ignore them. It was common protocol to check if everything was okay. Doing this diverts emergency resources from where actual emergencies were happening. The second image is that of a cell phone. Honestly, I believe that the cell phone killed the call box. A cell phone in a sense is a miniature call box. The final image is the side picture of the call box with the sticker. Why I picked this picture is because it looks as if there is a noose around the “neck” of the device and it reiterates my belief that the call box is dead.

The last corner represents the first step of urban renewal. It is only one picture of a call box in Woodside where someone painted over it.  Sadly, I didn’t get to see this work of art. I found a blog and copied it on my collage. As a result of this mysterious painter, he or she created something aesthetic. This represents a hope that one day the local government would recognize the important of these devices by sponsoring artists to re-paint them. Thus, creating something pleasant to the eye as we walk on the street.

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The Real NY Burger

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Street Art/Graffiti

If I went around asking people what “art” was to them, I would receive an array of diverse answers.  After taking this course, I have been exposed to many forms of art that I never would have thought to explore.  IDC has opened my mind to the various forms of art that exist in our world.  With that being said, I decided to delve into an often forgotten form of art: Street Art and Graffiti.

Street Art and Graffiti does not always have malicious intent.  Often times, street artists use their art as a means to express their ideas about a certain social or cultural issue.  Because there is an infinite amount of graffiti all over the city, I decided to limit my collage to one specific location. “5 Pointz” is located on Davis Street in Long Island City, Queens.  For ten years, it has housed the creations of countless adept street artists.  It has been a place for artists to go and express themselves, without having their work filtered by a museum, or a gallery.

Street Art and Graffiti is often overlooked because of the negative aura associated with it.  The purpose of my collage is to show that different forms of art have unique ways of displaying their beauty.  I wanted to shed a positive light on these disregarded paintings.  I photographed all the images in my collage; however, 5 Pointz holds all rights to their original paintings.

Starting this project digitally ultimately changed my thoughts on the actual structure of my collage. When creating it, I decided to use Prezi.  I figured an online collage, rather than an 8×11 handmade one, would be more effective in the classroom.  With Prezi, I am able to show the collage as a whole, in addition to focusing on each individual image that I took.  With a handmade project, I would probably have to pass it around for everyone to see each individual picture.

There were, however, downsides in choosing to make this presentation through Prezi.  As a child, I made many collages by hand but this was the first one I’ve ever made on the computer.  As a result, this may have limited the potential of my presentation, particularly because I’m not familiar with the program.  Another problem I faced with the online presentation was the amount of creativity I was able to incorporate.  Other than transitioning from picture to picture, I was very limited with my visual effects.  Even though a handmade collage would have been more appealing, I think creating it digitally better suits this assignment.

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Body Language

Prezi Presentation

When someone is speaking to a group of people, it is important to look confident. Not only will this give the person more credibility, the audience will also be more willing to listen to the presenter. In completing this collage, I explored a culture that is not apparent—body language. Body language consists of small, slight motions that portray our inner thoughts. For someone who is presenting, it is important for he/she to look confident. Knowing the body language of a confident person allows one to “fake it till they make it.”

In this collage, I analyzed each part of the body, specifically the face, arms, hands, legs and feet, of a confident person. Each category consists of two to three photos that illustrate the position of the body part. In the first slide, I focused on the face. A confident person always has a smile and keeps eye contact with the audience. Nodding shows that an idea is approved. Because it is related to positive emotions, nodding can also boost one’s confidence. In the next set of slides, I focused on the positioning of the arms. When a person’s arms are taking up space, the person is dominating his/her surroundings. This is why it is natural for athletes to raise their arms in the air when they win a race. Our hands also reveal how confident we are. When giving a handshake, one should have a firm grip. In the second photo of this set of slides, the man is sitting with his hands behind his back. This is the sitting version of hands on hips. This position portrays the person as someone who is ready for anything. In the final sections of this collage, the positioning of the legs and feet reveal even more about what the person is thinking about. The natural position of the legs is when they are staggered. Although crossed legs may be comfortable for many people, it shows that the person is defensive. Finally, the direction of our feet reveals where we want to go. A confident person should have their feet pointing at the inside of the circle to show that they are engaged and interested in the conversation.

I chose to use Prezi for this collage because I can zoom in on each photo using different frames. The template looks like a stick figure with several arrows pointing at the center. This is to depict how all of these small details combine to form a confident person. One major difficulty I came across when creating this collage is how Prezi is unable to support .GIF files. For example, I could not show how someone would nod during a conversation or how people shift their stance slightly when their thoughts change.

Although body language is silent, it plays a part in our conversations. Most importantly, it shows how confident we are with what we say by revealing our inner thoughts.

All photo credits to their owners.

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The Holding of Hands

The Holding of Hands on Prezi

All photos credit to their owners.

With the theme “bonds”, I was having a hard time putting together a collage that can represent all the different aspects of my theme. So when my professor suggest us to choose a specific topic, I immediately apply it to my project. I thought to myself: what do people think of when I say ‘bond’? I immediately thought of marriage. Then I thought of the ring changing process. Well, people have to hold hands to do it, right? That’s it! My topic is going to be “The Holding of Hands”.

However, I didn’t want to make it all about lovers. So I did a little research online, and realized that there could be many different meanings for a simple gesture like this. The subtext of “two or more hands coming together” could vary from a show of love, to regret, to success and much more. So in my collage, I tried to include as much of these as possible. Also, from my research, I realized that many cultures had their own meaning for “holding hands”, so I wanted to include them as well.

It wasn’t until I finished the project that I recognize how powerful something as simple as this could be. I’m glad that this collage project brought me such an epiphany on people’s body language.

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Dear Arts in NYC students:

A couple of reminders about next week and a comment on the Collage Themes. First, the Collage Themes. Your ideas were lively. I encourage you to aim for originality and creativity. Although I did say that the collage did not have to be on a cultural encounter theme, do consider weaving in a theme since it might strengthen the work. There are two creative arts projects this semester, the collage and the street photography project –which can be on any subject. The collage is based on the notion that the sum is greater than its parts, that the mixture/tension/friction of parts creates a greater, more meaningful whole. The street photography project is a series of photos on a given theme. But the collage is a chance to turn things inside out!

For Tuesday, October 2nd, please bring in a dance performance review and be prepared to discuss the challenges faced by a dance critic.  Remember that we are scheduled to see Fall for Dance on Tuesday evening at 8 PM at City Center at 131 West  55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues).

On Thursday, October 4th, we will have a class visit from Jody Sperling. I also asked that you upload your reviews of The Train Driver by October 4th.

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The Occupations of New York

What makes New York so unique is the diversity that surrounds the city. From its food to its clothing, New York is known as the home of vast ideas, peoples and cultures. Another aspect where New York is rather diverse is in its occupations. The five boroughs are home to job titles such as beekeepers, undercover restaurant testers and even artists like the naked cowboy.

By displaying new and unordinary positions, I believe the class and I will benefit from gaining a new perspective of the city we live in. We will have the opportunity to learn about interesting experiences and maybe even take a part in them some day. I would like to capture all the eccentric and unconventional professions in one collage to showcase them and reveal that there is more to New York than just corporate America.

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Collage Proposal (Hitting the Nail on the Head)

The theme I have chosen for my collage is different headwear in New York City. Headwear speaks volumes about a person, whether it represents religious beliefs, or even a sports team they like. I feel that since NYC is such a diverse place, it is important to think about the various beliefs and preferences that exist.

Looking at headwear is an interesting way to study beliefs, as I believe that it is not paid enough attention to, and the subtle differences that exist between religious headwear is often not recognized by an average New Yorker with an extremely fast paced lifestyle. The people who we see as a blur offer us clues as to their past and background simply by what they wear on their head, and this is what I intend to explore through this collage.

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I <3 Faces

It’s true. I am so fascinated by faces. It’s my favorite thing to draw and paint, but this time I’m going to explore a different facet through photography. Except I’m not going to take any pictures of human faces. Instead, I’ll take a picture of anything man-made that looks like one. Every day, we walk by still-life that is a caricature of the humans that made it. Eyes don’t have to be round. They can be square, triangular, star-shaped, etc. Mouths don’t have to be depicted with a line. I’m going to capture every “face” that has some sort of expression. The more dramatic, the better. I guess you can say it’s my spoof on “face-recognition” technology, which is not always accurate.

Oh, and if faces start appearing on the street on your way to school, don’t blame me.

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Collage Proposal

For my collage, I would like to document the transportation aspect of the city. But, not in the traditional like trains, buses, taxis, or cars. I longboard to school most days, and I see many other people skating as well. Taking pictures of the different—and in my opinion more fun—means of moving from one place to another.

Taking a bus or a taxi can be mundane. Most of the time it is the same as it was last time. When skating, every experience is different. I would like to board around the city with my camera and take pictures of/with different bikers and skaters around the city. In October, there is an event called the Broadway Bomb. In this event, thousands of skaters from all over the tri-state area come down and race most of the length of Manhattan. This year, I was planning to go and I would be stoked if I could incorporate the event into a school project.

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Collage Proposal

My collage theme is to look at the infrastructure of NYC. I am not talking about the bridges, highways, or parks. Instead I will look at the things many of us walk past on a daily basis (utility covers, manholes, etc.) or things we rarely use (call boxes, mail boxes, even the old parking meters) The whole point is to show how many of these underrated things lasted over the years and represent a time we didn’t before. For example, who uses a call box.

I will also want to do it digitally. One of the most important things is to have a side-by-side shot. For example, looking an older street sign compared to a new one. Looking at antique streetlights compared to the new ones. Even looking at the old subway cars compared to the new ones or the old parking meters with munimeters. This project in a sense will get the audience involved in the fact that NYC is a huge city with huge electrical, sewer, water, and transportation demands and that most these utilities that have been here for many years still function, they provide art (intricate designs on call boxes, manholes, utility covers), and even can provide a history of NYC.

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Collage Proposal

When the collage project was first introduced, I knew I wanted to make something related to Japan. Then I remembered something I saw in Brooklyn Botanic Garden and also from many anime that I saw – a torii.  A torii is a traditional Japanese gate to shrines, most commonly found at the entrance to a Shinto shrine. Hence, it is the mark of the entrance to a sacred place and holds a special place in Japanese culture.

I thought it would be fascinating to make a torii out of the many Japanese stores, places, events, flowers, and items that are in New York. Together, it would be a sort of “entrance” to Japan-in-America type of cultural encounter; and the torii would be the perfect symbol to link everything in New York together back to its origin in Japan.

Since I have already been to a few Japan cultural events and stores, I have a lot of resources and references to work with, and I will collect more by visiting shops that I have never been to before, such as Kinokuniya (a Japanese bookstore).

For this project, I will be using prezi as advised by Ben so that I can learn more about photo editing and have fun with it. The other unfortunate reason would be that I don’t have color ink to print out the photographs and mess with them.

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Collage Proposal

The theme of my collage will be, “Body Language.” I see body gestures as a universal language where people are not separated because of language barriers. Simple gestures are able to convey emotions and ideas effectively. These gestures are also connected to the subconscious mind, whereas words are able to conceal one’s true emotions. I also see it as a form of art. The spoken language is often decorated with adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc. Words are stringed together to form a complex idea. However, body language portrays only the most fundamental ideas. When two people with different cultural backgrounds meet, I believe the first form of communication will be through body language.

For this collage, I will be making a digital collage with pictures of various gestures and descriptions of what these gestures imply. I will be doing research on the connection between body language and the subconscious mind. I’ll also be taking pictures around NYC’s neighborhoods where cultures are constantly clashing. Some of the most obvious body gestures are evident when people come across a new culture for the first time. I will be capturing these emotions and natural body gestures. Together, the collage will depict a culture of unspoken words.

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Collage Proposal

As we explore the world, it becomes almost impossible to avoid the various forms of art that surround us.  Some types of art are more obvious than others, while others are regarded as most profound.  For my collage project, I would like to explore a genre of art that is often forgotten and disregarded as art: Street Art and Graffiti.  Street artists use various methods of creating their art, and a social, or cultural, issue often inspires them.

While countless delinquent children take a mischievous approach to street art and graffiti, many artists do not; often they are hired to create such works of art.  Often times their main objective is to get their ideas expressed publicly and have people notice them and relate them to their own lives.  For this collage, I will travel throughout New York City and photograph some of the most renowned street art and graffiti.  I will also include some images from the web to compliment the various photos I will be taking.  To create this collage, I will use digital media to help portray the various issues that street artists tend to explore.

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Collage Theme

For my collage I want to do something dealing with the number two. I want to show how frequent the number two comes up in our lives. My collage will deal with things coming in pairs along with things that are separate, but are connected to each other. The idea came to me as I was brainstorming. I looked around my room and noticed my pair of jeans lying on the floor. I stopped and thought of the word pair for a second. The word pair brought me to the Chinese saying that “good things come in pairs”. I decided that I wanted to see if the saying rings true by choosing this theme for my collage.

I am not quite sure if I want to do it by hand or use a digital presentation for the presentation of my collage. The only downfall to the presentation is that I feel a handmade collage is stronger and more powerful when it is tangible. In order to have that same mindblowing effect in a digital representation would require flashy effects and transitions that would in itself require more work for me since I am a person who is essentially technologically challenged outside of browsing the internet and checking e-mail. However, I feel that I will most likely use the digital presentation because I have the perfect song to accompany my presentation. By having so, I will also invoke the element of sound in a presentation that would otherwise be mostly visual.

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Collage Proposal

In a city as grand and bustling as New York, there is always something to do. Because people’s lives shouldn’t only revolve around school and work, they take up other activities and hobbies to do during their leisure time. There are so many things to do and see in the city, and I have decided to make a collage of the things New Yorkers or even tourists do during their free time. With so many diverse and multifaceted cultures, there are always millions of different things going on at once, whether it’s sketching something they see, going row-boating, shopping, or even simply taking a walk around Central Park.

I think I will be creating my collage by hand, with a bunch of different pictures that I will be taking around the city. These pictures will portray all the different things that people in New York seem to enjoy doing during their free time.

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Collage Proposal

For my collage, I want to focus on the various street vendors across Manhattan. I want to explore what “wares” they are selling, and the different techniques they employ. There are food vendors, clothing vendors, book vendors, and thousands of other varieties of street carts. Different types of carts are concentrated in different areas in the city. I think that the products that vendors sell says something about the culture they identify with or what they enjoy. I think that Chinatown would not be Chinatown without all of the vendors selling Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Channel. The Greenwich Village has hundreds of small eclectic street vendors selling anything from tie dye t-shirts to odd antiques.

The techniques vendors use vary from very aggressive to more relaxed. I will use photographs as my primary source of media. I will create a digital collage using Prezi or some other software to create my project. I believe that the diversity among street carts mirrors the diversity of the city’s many inhabitants and cultures. Coming to the city for the first time, I was amazed at all the merchants selling food or clothing on the street. I think that the act of selling to passer-by consumers is unique to New York and big cities in general. The foot traffic supports a large customer base for such vendors creating a convenient, but real an up-close cultural encounter everyday.

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Collage Theme

For my collage about a cultural encounter, I want to do a collage on my first traditional celebration of Chinese New Year. I realize I am Chinese and that at first it seems like it is not much of an encounter, however I learned a lot from this experience. I always thought of myself as very American growing up so my first real experience learning about the New Year and its customs was an eye-opening experience. In my collage I want to use many aspects of celebrating the New Year from the food, the customs and the zodiac. The food obviously plays a significant role in Chinese New Year since each dish represents something like luck or good fortune for the next year. The customs involve the parade in Chinatown, the dragon dances, and the red envelopes. The zodiac represents which animal the following year will be whether its dog, dragon, rabbit, snake, etc.

For my collage I plan to do it by hand. Finding pictures and doing it digitally may be easier but I feel that one loses out on a lot. If done by hand, I can incorporate more texture such as the ruffles on fans or the embroidery on red envelopes. Obviously I can’t paste cooked foods onto the page but I can put dried foods on the collage such as the ones placed in the traditional candy dish around the New Year. This helps bring the culture to life by having it pop off the page towards the viewer. I also think that by hand, the viewer can vividly see the colors and brightness of the decorations and dragons that are used to celebrate the holiday. The personal effect of a handmade collage also appeals more to me than one done digitally. The disadvantages to a handmade collage are that it is harder to transport, stuff may fall off, and that it may get messy. However I think it is worth it because it will give a better story of my cultural encounter to the viewer.

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Collage Proposal

Even though I have lived in New York City all my life, nothing about my strides on the same streets of New York bored me, because there is always something new and fascinating to me. My collage project will portray the urban streets of New York City through my daily encounters in my commute to school, to clubs, to hangouts, and back home; specifically what I feel makes New York the magnificent city it is.

My presentation will consist of a mostly a variety of photos: from grandeur and infamous architectural masterpieces to miniscule details on the side of a building. My photos will be edited, and may be manipulated to depict my theme and carry the message across. I suppose I will try out Prezi as well for my presentation. With its zoom-in ability, I will zoom into the details of things to show how art is everywhere: from a far-away point of view, to an up-close and clear point of view. Either perspective, this collage will represent the aspects of New York City that stand out to me.

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Collage Proposal

One of the most beautiful things about New York City is its diversity of people. This city represents nearly every country and its customs. Personally, I learn to appreciate a foreign culture by trying out its foods. It’s interesting to see how different we all are, just by comparing our tastes and national dishes. Although analyzing the food that each nationally consumes may seem trivial, it is a huge indication of that people’s history and culture.

My collage project will be based on the different ethnic neighborhoods of New York City. I will include pictures of grocery stores, restaurants, and shops, with a specific focus on how different cultures sell their foods. I will primarily use a photo-editing app to crop the pictures and then Prezi to create the collage. I will use a map of the five boroughs as a template and paste pictures of neighborhoods accordingly. During the presentation, I will initially show the “map of foods”. Although it may first look like a chaos of different colors, I will then zoom in to each neighborhood to show its unique details.

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Collage Theme

For my collage, I want to use the theme “bond”. However, I want to expand this idea to not only the bonding of human, but also the bonds between cultural, to natural and the world. Therefore, I want to use different kind of symbols and pictures to express what I think “bond” is. Some people say in today’s world, it is hard to make a true connection, but in my opinion, I think it is even harder to not have connections. All human beings are born into a blood ties, and as people grow up, they make different kinds of relationships and connections. After all, human being is a social animal. I know it is a very abstract idea, but I think I can make it work.

I want to use this theme because I think it represent a part of myself. Personally, “bonds” are very important to me, and I would like to express this importance through the making of this collage. Moreover, since this class is about cultural encounter in NYC, the theme “bond” can also relate to the theme of the class in a way. I mean, while making connections, especially in NYC, many people encounter different aspects of different cultural. I want to also include this diversity in my collage.

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Artistic Endeavors

Not content to merely consume the arts in New York City, we set out to contribute something of our own. Through these projects, we discover that we are ALL artists!


In the Street Photography Project, each student will shoot 10 or 12 photos on a theme of their choice. Each photo will have a caption. Accompanying the images, will be a first-person essay describing how and why you shot the images –a narrative on your experience.

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