I’m always kind of suspicious bc I think western media has a habit of sensationalizing any and all news coming from china or like they try to spin it to make china into this bizarre oppressive communist dystopia but at the same time unfortunately I don’t know enough about china’s politics to be able to discern anything for myself
it’s not really about being knowledgeable in all and every field of social, historical and political aspects so much as it is about knowing how to decode the media.
If the news piece compares China to North Korea, you can tell it’s bullshit. Same if they they mention ‘Mao Zedong mentality’ or communist utilitarianism philosophy, government brainwashing, ‘mindlessness/apathy/ignorance’ of the Chinese population, bizarre references to Confucius and/or Tiananmen or anything that seems to be pulled out of 1984…because they’re most likely pulling it out of their collective behinds. It doesn’t mean that the whole article is a complete and utter fabrication, just that it’s a heavily biased piece that shows you a very specifically orchestrated picture. This could be a Newsweek article, a CNN ‘special feature’ or just think-piece in a magazine or that fucking tumblr post going around that literally says China is no better than NK.
Media has certain buzzwords when it comes to certain countries that are basically used to code them into a narrative. For India it’s mass-poverty, for Africa-the-country it’s starvation and famine, for the Middle East it’s honour killings. Japan and Korea is usually ‘weird things from this country’ and ‘Japanese people behave strangely’, but with a mix of exotification and neo-imperialism, we’re given a very skewed, very dehumanised version of these countries.
Most of the time, we don’t recognise it because there is literally no way to piece together a coherent picture unless you’re experiencing it first hand. Not everyone has the resources, time and knowledge to correct it, but what’s important is that you recognise when the image of China (and many other non-Western countries) is being manipulated. The fact that you’re already conscious of how you’re consuming media makes it far easier to spot sensationalism.
Concerning the incident in Tiananmen; it’s often cited and exaggerated for its shock value, but I think it does have a place in discussing the protests happening in Hong Kong right now.
The protests in Tiananmen happened in 1989, less than a decade away from Britain giving control of Hong Kong back to China. A lot of HK citizens, seeing what happened, thought, “Is that what we have to look forward to eight years from now?” Following 1989, many families emigrated from Hong Kong to avoid getting caught up in any future incidents.
What’s happening now, though perhaps to a different degree and for different reasons, is exactly what a lot of citizens feared would happen when China regained control, even if it’s come years later. Comparisons to the Tiananmen protests may seem outdated and sensationalist (and it’s probably the latter, depending on the news site), but I know there are at least a few people in my family who immediately made that connection and are hoping for the safety of everyone in Hong Kong, given the Chinese government’s track record.
Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote for Chief Executive, the city’s highest political leader in 2017.
Article 45 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s own mini-constitution implemented after the handover from Britain to China in 1997) states that the Chief Executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Time and time again the Communist Party of China have dodged/shut down any democratic progress. Last month the NPC announced that they would continue using the 1200-member committee, consisting of members loyal to the Communist Party, to vote for our CE. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THIS IS SHAM DEMOCRACY AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
The sit-in of university students belongs to a movement called ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace’ and is led by The Hong Kong Federation of Students (schedule and declaration of the strike included). This act of civil disobedience consists of absolute non-violence. It consists of free public lectures offered by university professors and writers on topics like Orwell’s ‘1984’, history of Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight to end injustice etc etc. I was one of the students sitting in Tamar Park on Tuesday and Thursday and it was one of the most rewarding, educational and, I must emphasise, peaceful political activities I have ever witnessed.
On Friday, high school students led by the student group Scholarism joined in the protest. They marched to Civic Square, pleading for our current CE to come out of his offices and listen to their requests, just like he promised during his ‘campaign’ in 2012. More and more citizens joined in the protest after work.
The police started cutting off access to Civic Square, which is a publicly owned area. They used shields to form a blockade against the protestors and started pushing them back. When people resisted with umbrellas, they started using clubs and pepper spray on the protestors, who started putting both of their hands up to show they are unarmed. Many students who managed to rush in Civic Square are arrested, including the leader of Scholarism. Many of them have visible injuries caused by police brutality and some of them still haven’t been released from police custody.
THE FIGHT IS STIL GOING ON. PEOPLE ARE STILL CROWDING OUTSIDE CIVIC SQUARE AND TAMAR. Resources are running thin and the police are still threatening violence. Some of my friends are at the protest and they are continuing the struggle despite the risks. It is predicted that the police will escalate their brutality with tear gas, more pepper spray and water cannons against innocent, peaceful protestors, many of them teenagers.
You can watch Occupy Central live here: x (Apple Daily livestream)
I know tumblr is a US-centric place but PLEASE PLEASE SPARE A SECOND TO REBLOG THIS POST. Hong Kong is a tiny city. We are anything but a formidable force in international politics. The only thing we can do is raise awareness among the world and force our corrupt government to answer to our protests.
PLEASE HELP US.
Articles on Occupy Central (English): x (The Economist), x (BBC News), x (Mail Online), x (Newsweek), x (CNN), x (Right Now I/O), x (NY Times)
Updates (Chinese): x (Campus TV, HKU), x (Apple Daily), x (Amnesty International Hong Kong), x (InMedia HK), x (926政總現場消息發佈)
Just curious on how you approach composition and perspective. I feel as if sometimes I think too hard, not really about what to draw but how to draw it and make it look interesting. The comic panels you have been doing are amazing. Any tips/references on improving my knowledge of composition and perspective? What do you think about as you lay your pencil on the drawing paper? what goes through your mind?
*STANDARD DISCLAIMER* I’m not handing down life lessons or trying to assert that there’s a ‘correct way’ to draw. I’m just trying to make perspective more approachable for thems that want to tackle it.
Okay. Let’s do this.
1. Understand what perspective is and what it’s for. Stay away from rulers while you get comfortable.
Everyone struggles with perspective because 1. it’s not well or widely taught and 2. artists tend to see linear perspective as a set of rules rather than a set of tools.
Linear perspective is a TOOL we use to create and depict SPACE. That’s it. That’s all it is. Your goal is not to draw in ‘accurate linear perspective.’ Stay away from the ruler and precision for as long as you can. Your goal is to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Perspective is just a tool to help you construct and correct that space.
2. Know in your bones that you can ONLY learn to draw in perspective through physical practice. There is no other way.
Grab some paper and draw with me. If you match me drawing for drawing you will be more fluent in linear perspective and spatial drawing by the end of this post. Unfortunately if you don’t, you won’t be.
3. Sketch around in rough perspective. NO RULERS.
So let’s make some simple space. let’s start with a two dimensional surface…
K. We have a flat, 2D surface. Let’s create some depth by putting a vanishing point in the middle, and having parallel lines converge towards it. Make a gridded plane inside that space.
Good. Let’s make that space meaningful by adding a dude and a road or something. (Again, parallel ‘depth lines’ will converge into the vanishing point along the horizon)
And now we have the rough illusion of some space. I didn’t use any rulers, and it’s not perfectly accurate, but we got our depth from that vanishing point right in the middle of the page. And since we have a little dude in there, we’ve got human scale, which allows us to gauge the size of the space we’ve created. Gives it meaning.
You need people or cars or some recognizable, human-scale THING in there as a frame of reference or your space won’t mean much to your viewer. Watch. We can make that same basic space a whole lot bigger like this:
Same vanishing point in the same place, completely different scale, and a totally different feeling of space. Cool, right?
3. Sketch around in rough perspective MORE. STAY LOOSE.
See what sort of spaces and feelings you can create with vanishing points and gridded planes on a post-it or something. Super small, super rough. Feel it out. Pick a vanishing point or lay out a grid in perspective, and MAKE SOME SPACE. Do it. Draw, I don’t know, a lady and her dog in a desert. I’ll do it, too.
Good job. LOOK AT YOU creating the illusion of space! This is how you’ll thumbnail and plan anything you want to draw in space. All of my drawings start this way. I think about how I want the viewer to feel and then play around with space and composition until I find something that works.
Once you have a sketch you like, and space that you feel, THEN you can take out the ruler and make it more accurate and convincing.
4. Draw environments from life.
I cannot stress this enough. Draw the world around you, try to draw the shapes and angles as you see them, and you will ‘get’ how and why perspective is used. Use something permanent so that you’ll move fast and commit. I usually use black prismacolor pencil.
You’ll learn or reinforce something with every drawing. I learned a lot about multiple vanishing points from this drawing:
Learned from the receding, winding space I tired to draw here:
Layered, interior spaces:
You get the idea.
Life drawing will also help you develop your own shorthand and language for depicting textures, materials, details, natural and architectural features, etc. Do it. Do it all the time. Go to pretty or interesting places just to draw them.
Take a second and just draw a quick sketch of whatever room you’re in.
5. Perspective in formal Illustration: apply what you’ve learned.
1. I always start with research. For this particular location I looked at Angkor Wat.
2. Once I had enough reference, I did a bunch of little thumbnail sketches with a very loose sense of space and picked the one I liked best.
3. Scanned the thumbnail and drew a little more clearly over it. Worked out the rough space before using formal perspective.
4. Reinforced the space with formal perspective. I dropped in pre-made vanishing points over my drawing. If I were drawing in real media here’s where I’d get out the ruler to sketch in some accurate space.
5. Drew the damn thing. Because I do my research, draw from life, and am comfortable drawing in perspective, I can wing it. I just sort of ‘build’ the ruins freehand in the space I’ve established, keeping it more or less accurate, experimenting and playing with details along the way. I erase a lot, too, both in PS and when drawing in pencil. Keeps it fun for me.
And that’s what I know about composition and perspective. If you want more formal instruction on perspective and it’s uses, you can use John Buscema’s How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Or If you want to get really intense about it, Andrew Loomis can help you.