Ling Toh

Self Portrait: Beyond the Visible

Class of: 2026

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Adobe Illustrator

Faculty: Colin Mclain

Prompt: Students create a self-portrait using the pen tool in Illustrator in which they depict themselves, while revealing something that cannot be strictly gathered by their appearance. Attention should be paid to how stylistic decisions affect the viewers perceptions of them. Concerns of representation, distortion and narrative should be addressed. The color palette must remain in black and white (this includes the full range of values between those as well). Students should consider which fills to utilize to convey the conceptual content of the piece. Students may look to world events, social issues, and personal interests to help guide their formal choices as well as the mood of the portrait.

My project is an examination of my roots and an exploration of my identity, impacted by changes I have experienced over the course of my life. Through the use of the traditional Chinese seal stamp, I addressed the shifting ideas of home and family (Singapore, Shanghai, and New York) as well as a play on my Chinese name. The background is inspired by the game of Mahjong, where I redesigned the traditional tiles to fit my personal identity, particularly food that is close to home.