GIN Saigon ’16 Conference Planning!

This year, I took the amazing opportunity to be the Head of Finance for the GIN Saigon Conference.  Don’t get me wrong — it is a lot of work. For a three-day conference of a predicted 300 people? Yeah, definitely a lot of work for the finance department.

Nonetheless, it feels really good to be a part of something so massive and important as the Conference. GIN has been a really important aspect of my life for the past two years; I even had the opportunity to attend the ImaGINation conference in Singapore last year, which actually changed my entire mindset of what was possible in the world. In a way, I’m trying to create for others what I myself experienced.

Back to this year’s conference… Initially, I didn’t consider myself especially qualified for financing. I barely had any experience with spreadsheets and accounting, certainly not as much as some others did. However, what skills I felt I did have were organization, time management, and most importantly, WILLPOWER (is that a skill?). Throughout the last semester, I managed to figure out everything from the previous treasurer through nothing but the abandoned Google files of last year’s Conference. I learned how to use a few Google Spreadsheet functions (that now make my job a whole lot easier) as well as built my communication skills. With a project in which three schools across HCMC and outside providers are involved, communication is everything. I learned how to initiate and maintain communication with catering companies, Ms. Thuy in the business office, and my fellow conference executives. It was kind of exhausting.


At times, I was definitely overwhelmed. I felt like it was all too much for one person, no less a very inexperienced treasurer like me. I managed, with the help of my co-organizers (who are now my friends!) and I’m still managing! I’m doing whatever I can to keep the many little things that I’m in charge of in order because I really believe in this Conference. For anyone that wants to be a part of something truly inspiring, the registration deadline is January 31st! And for the people that have already decided to attend, please enjoy all of the work that this amazing team has put in for you.

Official Website for More Information!


Principles of Design Video Response

Elements and Principles of Design video linked here.

What are the elements and principles of art and design? Please list them.

The elements of design are shapes, forms, colors, lines, textures, and space. The principles of design are balance, emphasis, rhythm, unity, movement, variety, harmony, and proportion.

Which elements and principles do you need to apply to your collage? How can you achieve this? Have you done it already with the compositions you have photographed? If not then what do you need to change?

To arrange my collage, I’ll have to use the shapes and colors from my prints in a way that will incorporate the principles of design. The distribution and placement of my colors are important in creating balance and harmony within my design and I can use the different shapes to create movement and rhythm. In my second arrangement, I think that I was able to create movement from the bottom center of the piece up and around in a circular motion by pointing the three circles in that direction and repeating the strips of my print at the top to go down like steps. My final collage is the third one and I think I was able to create movement by repeating similar elements to lead the viewer’s eyes a certain direction.

Digital Media and Prints

These three pieces of digital art were created using an app on the iPad to create a kaleidoscope effect. I angled the camera and arranged my prints in different ways to capture different designs and the above three are my favorite by far. I chose the first one because I wanted my collage to have some body to it – it’s good to have some large areas of solid pattern as well as smaller shapes. I like the second one because it has cool flower designs and leaf shapes that I thought really helped capture the theme of the collage, “nature”. The third design I thought was really interesting because of the way the camera distorted the white details that I had in my prints. It makes them look almost like the patterns that can be found on beetle shells.

Intro to Printmaking

Printmaking is an art form in which ink or other materials are transferred from a matrix to a material like paper, fabric, wood, or stone.”



I learned that printmaking is a very methodical process and that there are so many ways that your art could turn out different from what you expected. On the other hand, the results are often stunning, bold, and impactful. There are so many unique types of art that can be created using the printmaking method and I’m really exciting to dive head first into this unit.

Here are some YouTube videos that introduce printmaking:

Printmaking: The Linoleum Process

Shortcuts – an introduction to linocut printmaking with James Green

Reductive Printmaking (Linocut 4 colour + white)

Abstract Art

(n) –

[Art that] seeks to break away from traditional representation of physical objects. It explores the relationships of forms and colors, whereas more traditional art represents the world in recognizable images.”



This piece stood out to me because when analyzed closely, it seems like only a random collection of black streaks and splatters. However, when observed at a wider view, with every stroke taken under consideration as part of a whole, one is able to discern a vague portrait of a long-haired figure. I like it because the painting only holds meaning under the eye of the viewer.


Part of Josef Albert’s “Interaction of Color”

There’s something about the simplicity and cleanliness of this piece that has a great appeal to me. It neither pretends to be something that it is not nor tries to hide the effortless power of its composition. As stated in the title, this piece focuses purely on the interaction and contrast between the varying tones placed beside each other and that’s what I love about it.

“Aspiration”, Agnes Martin

As with the previous abstract piece, I really love “Aspiration” because of it’s simple perfection. It captures the beauty that lies in the unassuming parallel lines, made to look like they were innocently drawn with blue ink on a faded sheet of drawing paper.


This is a very interesting abstract piece that piques my curiosity immediately. I like it because it allows you to create your own story surrounding the two different sides, dark and light, and what sort of interaction they are making at the center of the painting.




The image shown above is my final concept for my Google Earth Abstract piece. I chose it because I really like the bright purple and greens that are used and the white details that give the bird’s eye map an interesting “graffitied” look. I think they work well with the wild patterns in the landscape that seem to be flowing from the top left corner to the bottom right like a river of lava. The solid white lines also provide a nice contrast to the speckles of color in the background and provide the viewer with an area to focus on instead of just having a confusing background.

In a piece of art that is not meant to capture reality as it seems on the outside, what really appeals to me is the perfect harmony between colors and shapes that can only be conceived in one’s imagination. In traditional art, the artist is limited to what can be observed and recorded, while in abstract art, artists are allowed to create whatever they feel is suitable to capture properly the feelings and concepts that they want to convey. For me, at least, this provides an extremely different and exciting experience as a viewer because this allows me to interact with the artist and the art on a completely new level.






Vietnam Inspired Conical Hat

In my hat design, I liked how I was able to incorporate some movement with the water. Besides the fish, I’m also pretty happy with my color choices because I really wanted my hat to be bright and light. Speaking of the fish, that would be the main thing that I would change if I were to do this project again because I’m not very happy with how dark my greys got and I would maybe go for more silver and white. I could even have gone for a bright orange and white fish. In my design, I mainly wanted to incorporate the feeling of life and constant movement that comes with experiencing modern Vietnamese culture. I also wanted to add some elements that I associate specifically with Vietnam like a traditional Vietnamese dessert (chè ba màu), the yellow flowers that are commonly seen around Tet, and the fresh fish that are sold live in the market. I chose to use light, bright colors because they give a feeling of youth and life. Before I started painting on the large hat, I drew up some concepts on smaller, paper models to experiment with colors and see how everything would look on a conical structure. After I was happy with my idea, I painted in the pastel background and the water before I worked in the details. It was definitely a challenge to paint on the hat because of how uneven the material was. I would often have to paint over an area multiple times to make sure that the paint was evenly distributed into the small cracks and ridges. Overall, this was an interesting project.

Digital CSI: Factory

CSI- Industrial Revolution


For the digital CSI assignment, students were meant to choose a content vocabulary word from the Industrial Revolution Unit and link with it a color, a symbol, and an image (hence the name, CSI). I chose to complete assignment with the word “factory” because factories and mass manufacturing were some of the most significant results of the Industrial Revolution. Using machinery, factories allowed goods to be produced and distributed on a national and even international scale. Not only did this surge in abundance increase the distribution of these goods all over the world, but also this allowed lower income civilians to gain access to these goods as prices were lower on account of the fuel and time efficiency that machines gave. I link the color grey to “factory” because factories make me think of metal machinery and industrial steel. My symbol is one of a factory with smoke coming out of the smoke stacks, indicating that the factory is burning fuel and is at work. That one is pretty straightforward. I chose to show an image of rows of identical clocks because factories allowed parts to be standardized and for them come out exactly the same by going through an identical production process. I also chose clocks to be part of my image because factories also gave me a feeling of a very organized and scheduled work place, with very strict time tables to make sure every machine and procedure goes according to plan.

Newton Vehicle Reflection

During this entire process of planning, designing, and testing our balloon vehicle, I learned a lot about Newton’s Laws of Motion, friction, and gravity and how they apply to everyday life. It was kind of a big deal to me when I first learned about Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion this year because I was just learning the basics of physics and motion and it just expanded my knowledge of the way the world functions around me. The reason why the ground doesn’t collapse beneath me is because it is applying an equal force to my weight in the opposite direction. Inertia keeps me gliding through the water even after I push off from the pool wall until water friction slows me to a stop. Throughout the design process, I learned through my group’s first failed design that to get our vehicle to move, we had to reduce the amount of friction between the body of the vehicle and the ground and between the wheels and the body. Also, we had to simplify our design enough to be able to build the car out of scavenged materials such as cardboard, straws, and bottle caps. Slimming down our car also reduced its air friction. If I could do this project again, I would try using a different method of accelerating our car like rubber bands because the balloon car, although it was a success, moved at a very slow speed and I would have liked it to move at least a little but faster. Also, I would try experimenting with different car shapes and structures to see which one worked the best in terms of friction. During the design process, it would be great if we didn’t have to re-design our vehicle, but I know that it helped us to improve our vehicle through learning from our mistakes. If I could extend this project, I would definitely look into how the different methods of accelerating the car compared in terms of speed and distance. Also, I would be really interested in trying to create other moving objects like some sort of helicopter or something else that flies. Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.26.00 PM

Building and Designing the Newton-mobile

So, after we decided on the concept of a balloon car, my group set out to design it. We decided on using a water bottle for the body of the car and bottle caps as the wheels, attaching them using straws. This design is shown as the uppermost car in the image. We gathered the materials and built a model, but for some reason, we couldn’t get it to move no matter how much we inflated the balloon! This was a big problem, so we immediately discussed alternatives and how we could improve upon the design. We inferred that the reason it wouldn’t move was because there was too much friction in between the straws that connected the wheels and the body of the car, which we threaded the straws through to allow them to turn. So, we went for a simpler design that involved connecting the wheels with skewers and then inserting them inside straws that would be attached to the body. This allowed the wheels to move much more freely and easily. After that, we tested the vehicle again and this time, the car was able to travel more than a meter from its starting point. This design is shown as the bottom design in the image. As with the original vehicle design, our car shows Newton’s First Law by not moving at all when no force is exerted on it. It will also keep travelling when force is applied to it until friction eventually slows it down to a stop. Also, by travelling a further distance when the balloon is inflated with more air in comparison to less air, our vehicle shows Newton’s Second Law because it shows that if the mass stays the same, but the net force changes, the acceleration of the object will change. The way the car uses the balloon to propel itself shows Newton’s Third Law because when the air inside the balloon is forced out, the air behind the vehicle applies an equal force to the air being expelled in the opposite direction, causing it to accelerate. Screenshot from 2014-12-12 16:41:30

Planning the Newton-mobile

For this assignment, we’re meant to design and build a car using scrap materials that demonstrates Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion. First, we discussed the assignment and brainstormed ways of using Newton’s Laws of Motion in our vehicle. We decided on building a car that would propel forward using a balloon and Newton’s Third Law, which states that when you apply force to an object, the object is applying back an equal and opposite force. By blowing air into the balloon and then releasing it, the air exerts a force onto the balloon and the balloon exerts an equal and opposite force onto the air. The First Law (aka Law of Inertia) explains the tendency of objects to not change their motion unless a force is exerted upon it. We didn’t know if not putting any force into the vehicle and it not moving would be enough to show the First Law because the vehicle would not be changing it’s motion, so we decided to put an object loosely on top of the vehicle. Then, when the car moved and then stopped, the object would keep moving, causing it fall off of the car. This is also called inertia. We then moved onto Newton’s Second Law, which states that an object’s acceleration depends on it’s mass and the force exerted on it. We chose to show this as inflating the balloon first with a large amount, and then a small amount of air so that the car, retaining the same mass both times, would travel further the first time. Newton’s Second Law also explains why it takes much more force to move an object with a greater mass in comparison to an object with less mass. This is crucial if we want our car to go as far as possible because a car with a smaller mass will accelerate easier in comparison to an object with a larger mass with the same amount of force.

Our vehicle will also have to create enough force to overcome the static friction that it has with the ground. Friction is the resistance that two surfaces make when they touch. It acts in the direction opposite to the direction of the object’s motion. We learned previously that one of the factors of friction is how hard two surfaces are pushed together, so it would be to our advantage to make our car as light as possible. Gravity is the force that pulls objects together; there is a gravitational force between any two objects, but some are stronger than others. The strength of a gravitational force depends on the distance between the centers of the two objects and their masses. Earth’s gravity could be used as a force to move our car if it was on a ramp slanting downwards; gravity would pull the car down the ramp.

One topic that would be useful in designing our car would be friction because it’s something that could very well stop our car from being able to move at all. We’ll try to use smooth materials that will cause the least amount of friction with the floor and design it so that it has the least amount of surface area that will come in contact with the floor. Also, as mentioned before, Newton’s Second Law is another topic that is very important to keep in mind if we want our car to go as far as possible with the same amount of force applied. This means that we will have to find light materials to decrease the amount of mass that the car will contain.

Screenshot from 2014-12-08 07:59:03