report update

*I just lost all the information I’ve typed here. So upset 🙁 Trying my best to remember what I’ve written.

I wanted to spend more time on the report because I feel that my project is driven much more by the process that goes behind making the work, rather than the work itself. Over the weekend, I combed through my notebooks to see what I’ve previously written about my project since last year. There are a lot of ideas and each one of them is still relevant to my project at this point. So the outline below is an updated ‘system’ that I made to illustrate my thought process.

I feel that my project has become more than just a mere documentation of my teenage blogging journey, but also about what the Internet and the virtual community means to me and my artistic practice during those years. Beyond this, there is potential for a broader discussion and exploration on how that virtual network has changed, and expanded. The genre of Net art is constantly evolving, especially in communities such as Tumblr, where new virtual identities, phases and trends are always emerging. I feel that this is an evolved mode of self-representation and online persona, vastly different from the kind I experienced in my teenage years, where the lines between the virtual and real life identities are slowly merging together. All of this are really something to look at, and I hope that my project will, in some way, expand the discussion on what the virtual life means for the teenage generation now.




My project is an ongiong research about understanding my art practice and how I have lived my own life so closely with this process. The key concepts that surrounds my work is looking at the source material, raw data, and the process as a form of narrative and art. This report is a conclusive summary of the ideas that influence and drive the conceptual process.


My project is an ongoing research about understanding my art process through remixing and experimenting with the source material that is my blog archive.


My project is an ongoing research and exploration of the important of self-documenting through primarily virtual methods, using the soruce material that is my blog and making sense of the raw data that is the unedited voice of my youth. My personal art practice, my attitude and perspective on life and art is driven by the need to do a personal rebranding of the self, as a way to forget/move on/heal from the experiences of adolescence. Inspired by the literary genre of the bildungsroman, this project takes on a more experimental approach in narrating the traditional coming-of-age story. The bildungsroman refers to a novel dealing with one person’s formative years, focusing on the psychological and moral growth of the character. Writing in my blog actively for the last ten years of my life makes me attached to the memories and the experience of documenting my life in this virtual journal. The act of writing compulsively becomes both a liberal feeling and a burden to my memories. As my blogging activity declines in my university years, I have pinpoint the reason to be the need to fully rebrand myself, both internally and externally, in light of the experiences of my teenage-hood, in an attempt to move forward.


The source material is an art by itself. My objective in this body of work is to present a personal truth, maintaining an artistic voice that is true to the unedited and spontaneous nature of self-documentation and journal-writing.


My approach to the project is reflective of the interdisciplinary processes of my art practice, of skills I’ve learned over the years, combining a mix of traditional and digital methods to narrate this story of personal transition and also to place emphasis on the virtual, web-based nature of my story and my art.


My project is an ongoing research and exploration of self-documenting through primarily virtual methods, using the source material that is my blog, and making sense of the raw data that is the unedited voice of my youth. My art practice, attitude and perspective on life, is emcompassed by the need to reinvent and rebrand myself, in light of the negative experiences that i have been through in adolescence. Inspired by the literary genre bildungsroman (a novel that describes the formative years of a character), my project takes on an experimental and interdiscplinary approach to the traditionally linear format of telling this story. My objective in this body of work is to present a personal truth and maintaining a voice that feels as genuine as possible to the source material – my blog which I’ve written actively for the last ten years. The act of compulsively writing becomes both a liberal feeling in helping to alleviate some of the negative emotions, but also means that it becomes a burden. As my blogging activity decreases in my university years, I have pinpoint the reason to be a need to fully rebrand myself, to change my outlook in life and the way that I present myself, such that it doesn’t suggest any past struggle. The outcome of the project is reflective of the interdisciplinary processes that surrounds my art practice, combining a mix of traditional and digital methods, and aims for a further discussion on the impact of the Internet culture on today’s youths.



This section looks at an array of interconnected themes in my project.


Source material as art


My project is an autobiographical work-in-progress that involves mining the digital terrain for source material. My personal blog is a rich source of experiential content, a database that holds not only my own personal thoughts but also nostalgic virtual memories. This is a fundamental difference between the blog and the traditional journal. The multimedia nature of the digital space means that we are able to surf for information in a variety of formats, collect them and exhibit them in a space that is more than just a diary website (mark amerika ‘what is a blog). Looking through my blog archive, I am able to find traces of what I refer to as “virtual nostalgia”, of bits and pieces of certain websites and applications that have since shut down which were used by many like me, during their teenage years.


By highlighting this virtual nostalgia, I am learning to find out what these online data and activity means for our own experience of memory. Vannevar Bush said it best in his 1945 essay As We May Think: “…trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory”. Each Internet application, website or even devices have a sense of built-in obsolescence. For most average users, personal data that holds some significance for our memories are transient in nature. Technology changes quickly to better suit our needs: web applications become obsolete quite quickly, therefore we might not find traces of our virtual past as easily. There is also a shift in conversation: a gradual, increasing need to express ourselves without words. At the heart of this change, I find a need to rediscover what conversation means on the Internet and to examine the psychological impact of instant gratification, and the arbitrary concepts of acceptance and approval that comes along with such wordless conversations.

creating my own system – part 2

march–may 2015

you say you do not sense any kind of resentment from me. i like to think that’s pretty good. comparatively, someone once told me that all she could see was that my work is so full of resentment. that’s not great. that was eight years ago.

i am very lucky to love what i love to do. it made me more aware of myself and gives me hope and courage to not be a culmulative mess of my past self(ves). i console myself with the knowledge that i am getting better at doing this.

this project is about remixing existing histories and playing on the idea of reworking and filtering to give new meanings to old identities. a massive photoshop job, a work-in-progress, a painstaking filtering of flaws, to re-present the self, to rework flaws, to conceal and reveal, to give new meanings to old identities.

it’s about being self-aware. can i stand being this fucking mess?

gifs captures moments of transitions

digital technology, data mashups

filters and edits to re-present feelings and reality in an approachable way, which is what draws the line between personal narrative/struggle/angst and wanting to be relatable (viewing work critically)

internet nostalgia and attachment, ‘to form relationships over the internet, to live life and memories over the internet where everything is immediate gratification and can be replayed over and over’

unprepared again. don’t know how to explain my mind. this paralysis is getting worse. i liken this state to being dumped at the gates that opened to the darkest corner of my mind.

due to the nature of such work, we will be conveniently categorised and classified under the stereotype of the tortured, anguish artist. it is no romance being one such artist, causing hurt and confusion to those around us.

you say that people will gradually see the bigger picture of ourselves and even we needed to do that for ourselves, and not focus on this one part that failed. i wanted to tell my best friend, but i coulnd’t anymore i guess. it’s not the same anymore. it’s uncool to harp on such things, but i’ll have to just keep these things in me. i’m going to pack up my bags, carry on moving forward, no matter how long it takes.

all of these words made sense when they came out of your lips, and they lose their meaning when i rewrite them in my book.

july–october 2015

documenting work as a reveal of my thinking, as person and artist

have faith in your audience

my process describes the work more, opening up the process, trying to see what you don’t see.

not guarding information but making it open (for what)

mark napier, the shredder

douglas davis, world’s largest collaborative sentence

my collection of personal documentation is important in allowing me to understand my artistic practice and my development as an individual. this project aims to break down my writing and documentation and use it as a form of analysis in trying to understand the value of documentation in this age

bildungsroman as a concept, a coming of age story

technology is an invasive element, a fetish in the pursuit of perfection. can be a radical gesture

intangible heritage

ten years on the internet: the blog. an activity i have been doing for the longest time. documents my teenage years actively, particular the struggles i go through as an adolescent. how that shapes my being and identity and come to my present self, my artistic self and how that changed my perspective on how others see me

creating my own system – part 1

Some writing collected over the past year that I haven’t shared yet.

Trying to integrate my personal voice into the formal structure of the report as I feel that having that honesty is crucial to my work.

I know it is important to be able to write about your own work critically, but I have been struggling with how I can present it in a way that’s meaningful and thoughtful. So I am trying to create a ‘system’ where I attempt to reformat some of this writing that’s a little more personal and present it in a different way, from the same perspective that I view and live my own life right now, as someone who is developing an personal identity that does not suggest any struggle that I’ve been through.

january – february 2015

i should learn to express myself better. haven’t been thinking. i continually make poor conversations.

new year resolutions 2015: 1) avoid being sad/emotional. i say avoid because it is impossible to stop, but prevention is better than cure, they say. 2) draw more. 3) make an effort to document shit, even the bad shit. 4) stop using my phone so often. nobody could be that desperate to talk to me. 5) look at more books. 6) touch more books. 7) create more stuff. 8) take more photos. 9) listen to more music. 10) save some money

‘sometimes you don’t always know what you’ve got’ – wayne white.

‘the problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. eventually you become stale. if you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. to replenish, to give away. the more you give away, the more comes back to you’ – paul arden

i am feeling so terribly right now because i know all of this is contributing to an investment that will seek absolutely no returns. how will it feel to lose your life savings at one go, same again, however little there is, losing all that yet again. i think this is a feeling i really cannot feel again, you know. i could not imaging the other reality again.

jean jacques rousseau: the romantic reaction, the general will, the development of the inner voice.

shutting down: is it possible to not feel anything? to acknowledge feelings, but not actually feeling it. yesterday for a short while, i lay crippled once again on my bed, unable to move forth with anything. i really needed to shut down. i really want to think about how i can deal with the issue of being alienated, the lack of reciprocation, and finding a place to belong.

i look back at my journals and i thought why am i not writing as much as i used to, but then i think i wrote a lot because i feel unnecessarily. there are certain traits i want to find in myself again. i used to sit at tables, writing the things that i only recently realised were the basis of me being an alien. it is kind of depressing when you discover such truths of yourself through the things you write, many years ago.

i am filled with  a million thoughts, thoughts i already had for quite some time, all making their way to this physical space. this feeling is rather repulsive, revealing. i can call it whatever i want. above all, it is this feeling of alienation. why does it consistently happen to me.

it was a melancholy humour, and consequently a humour very hostile to my natural disposition, produced by the gloom of the solitude into which i had cast myself some years ago, that first put into my head this daydream of meddling with writing. and then finding myself entirely destitute and void of any other matter. – michel de montaigne

“messy, this collection of recollections” – david levithan, the realm of possibility
year after year, i return to this book. again and again. the review at the back of the book says ‘all teenagers will find themselves, their relationships, and their attitudes toward life, love and the pursuit of happiness somewhere in this poems.” through these years i turn to this book like a textbook of sorts, turning to it for answers and for some sort of reasoning as to why things happen the way they do, why i react the way i do, and more importantly, was there any way i could stop any of these things. and the answers were the same, over and over – to forget, to let go. all these years of documenting it was a process journal of remembering while forgetting.

i wanted to ask you, you who are reading this now, how do you feel? did you feel the same way too? did things get better for you? what are the books you read, and do they speak for you the way they did for me?

this morning i thought, people cannot mourn the losses of what they have not gained. empowered by this thought, it helps me to pull through today. and tomorrow.

it’s amazing, i have been doing this for years.

the nature of personal voice


self–portrait of words

using the internet as a time capsule, an archive. specifically using my blog as a source for this time capsule project – a very long narrative

why do i use the internet? i want to examine how the internet can be used as a form of archiving – also, i have a lot of material up there. it’s also about charting emotional and character change. it is about reconciling with the negative experiences of being an adolescent.

from blast/counterblast:

– ‘loose networks/data platforms. with networks come a new meaning: entrepreneur and cosmopolitan character. people today can boast of being both an insider/DIY at the same time’ – lane relyea

– you – non-artist, artist, artist who defies labels, doesn’t make typical art, uncategorisable and nomadic. hacker of culture and poet of everyday life. you are a romantic but we need less romanticism. otherwise we look past the fact our sense of social structure.

– art is for empathy – empathy is for the reduction of suffering. that’s why we always justified being artists.

– perpetually arrested adolescent dream. is it because i am able to hang onto moments of my adolescent keening that i can still at least occasionally find some company and solace in this circles of confusion? – mike hoolboom

the thoughts of 2am are so horrid, sometimes do not wish to entertain them at all. the moment they end up as a word, whether on paper or virtual space, they become branded onto the cruel face of reality.

from e-flux journal, what is contemporary art:

– the vacuum created by the sudden arrival of freedom and the possibilities it seemed to offer. hans richter, dada artist/historian on the experience of dada

– disbelief: from comrades of time by boris groys

when we begin to question our projects, to doubt or reformulate them, the present becomes important. it’s because the contemporary present is constituted by doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, indecision, by the need for prolonged reflection.

– mass art consumption: practice of self-documentation has today become a mass practice and obsession.

– as time passes and we grow more into the contemporary, the reasons for remembering other times grow, while the ability to recall them weakens. memory straddles this paradox. we could say the ethics of memory have something to do with the urgent negotiation between having to remember (which sometimes include the obligation to mourn) and the requirement to move on (which sometimes include the need to forget). both are necessary and each is notionally contingent on the abdication of the other, but life is not led by the easy rhythm of regularly alternating episodes of memory and forgetting, cancelling each other out in a neat equation that resolves itself and attains equilibrium.

it can be crazy and shit, but it’s okay, because it’s all in my head. then the written, physical record is the censored version, the one i am allowed to put out there.

how long will i take to document my documentation? i think it will take a real long time. taking into consideration that i must be at times overwhelmed with the wave of nostalgia and loss. not sure what i lost, actually. time, maybe. i am sure i still keep whatever that keeps me going, and kept me writing.

if you had to put a timeline of your life how would you do it?

reading journals is a pretty scary process, sometimes tapping into things i may not want to know about myself

i also discover things i wrote since young that i still believed in (i am a person with a really weird character. i really doubt i would have any relationships when i grow up)

music and books influenced the way i think, adding on my already negative perception of myself.

things do get better

alone is my partner, an apt companion for me. you must think i am too good for anyone or to be with anyone. that’s not it. again i must stress, the alternative isn’t all that great for me.

a stranger-girl said to me just now – why do you write in your journal? don’t you think by archiving, by recording, you aren’t really living in the moment?

i spent so much of my time writing about people and things, observing, obsessing but in reality, i don’t know anybody at all.

i think i also spend a lot of my time reasoning, it seems there’s nothing i could do or say without having a reason.

to be honest i don’t know how to describe the feeling of going through my archives. it does leave me more quiet than usual. thoughts are busy and have not found their way onto the pages. did i cry. no.

we are often not aware of the changes we go through until we read our archives.

how is this ten years worth of digital documenting important? what did i truly cared about? what am i actively purging now, and what did i feel?

i was drawn to the word ‘alone’ written in your book. lol, alone. i decided i couldn’t hate you anymore. you and your stupid book and stupid pen and overpriced analog camera and the way you tap on her shoulders. she says to me a few days ago, “sometimes, i forget that you are still a student”. i know right. i am so resigned to the fact that i am an alien.

overwhelmed by the writing of years before, i was unable to do any reflection for a while. i have no choice but to look at it from a different standpoint. as unemotional, humourous and objective as possible.

‘you are so different’ is the one phrase i do not want to hear again ever in my life. having been to the darkest corner in my world and back, nothing fazes me anymore.

to remember is to impede being fully in the present and to thwart moving forward. to pause over the past is to be intolerably encumbered, to dwell on yesterday is pointless indulgence and to think historically is to sink into pitiable paralysis – tk sabapathy

In order to talk about the biggest, most defining things, one may need to return to the smallest of situations. They say that youth is about increasing one’s territory, a search for vastness, while adulthood is about sieving out the expanse, and returning home.

loss of idealism

talking to my online friend reminds me a lot of mark whom i used to write about many years ago. we certainly have the same things in common. bounded by our longing for real-life friends and for that virtual life we lived voraciously in before. i could hardly think now that can exist in my life again. tired of building shit over an invisible line. or any live, really. it’s so easy to hide under the blanket of critique that surrounds our social habits today. being the social alien that i am/could be, i am perhaps mistaken for my dedication to my virtual social life, that stops me from participating actively in real life social situations. they will possibly not know i already lived a large part of my life that way. the virtual life is not like the way it used to be.

forward. met an acquaintance from my past a while ago. what a coincidence. to reacquaint yourself with histories is not easy. the only way to live is to move forward and never looking back.

perhaps many many many years later i may bump into you again on the street, in my grandmother dresses, that it may occur to you at last that i am a girl.

defining my online self (heroine’s descriptions)

how all of this is a progression and development of self. reinstates the idea of an ever changing self-portrait and life as a process journal.

why do i choose bright colours for my publication> it is letting go, a celebration

this project also examines the concept of nostalgia in a virtual form (physical relics vs virtual relics)

alienation sums up my whole project, i am a perpetual loner and because of this i had all the time in the world for this work that i’ve produced

rework these emotions into something worthwhile. to make sense of darkness, of nostalgia. a presentable melancholy, a celebration.

internet ephemera.

glitch art, embracing errors as part of the virtual experience. the fleeting nature of these short lived faults is similar to the experiences noted in my journals and blogs.

the feeling of saturation and overwhelming and translating that in neon colours. as part of a distinctive identity that does not suggest any struggle. as i mature as an artist i find myself able to form a vocabulary and aesthetic that hints at the opposite of all i have suffered.

an endless, irritable, pathetic pursuit that makes me churn out these writing.

the sadness i had when i threw her table out of the back door in the container class, the times i sat outside the room with all sense of self, all dignity and self respect down the drain, unaware, uncaring, of the general public that is subjected to see that self, infinitely uglier than i perceive myself to be. the good thing is that i learned early. all of this is past, and you will no longer look at this again one day and remember anything, except that you have moved on.

invisible monsters – chuck palaniuk:
– now, you are going to tell me your story. just like you did. write it all down. tell that story over and over. tell me your sad assed story all night. when you understand that what you are telling is just a story, it isn’t happening anymore. when you realise the story you are telling is just words, when you can just crumble it up and throw your past in trash can then we will figure out who you are going to be.

– you have to keep recycling yourself.

can we live by screenshots and let a nondescript typeface by the mouthpiece for our thoughts?

web visuals + timeline

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 12.08.52 am Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 12.09.00 am

Some sketches for the digital part of my work. It will be a longform scrolling website.

For the rest of February, I will be working on the written part of my work and begin production on the visuals from March to mid-April. As the report is the work itself, I will be working on the sketch of the visuals at the same time. Much of my process revolves around looking at all my source material and moving things around to tell a story, while keeping in mind the base concepts of my work: the bildungsroman as a framework and the tree as a metaphor for growth (visualisation).




installation update



Idea 1


*update, idea 2.

I’ve opted for a combination of B+D.

With the wall space, I intend to have a print out of my visualisation (of which i am still working on…). I am also going to remake the calendar project I did last year, in a more refined manner, and am thinking of integrating it together with the print out of the visualisation. I will be designing the work with the calendar project in mind. I will be including QR codes in my work as well, to make the work more interactive. An iMac will display the work in virtual, animated form.

*Update for idea 2:

After doing a little research on paper installation, I think I would rather have the physical visualisation as a hanging installation. This makes for a more impactful artwork, and also technically easier to install.

I will be working on a prototype of the updated calendar project, and bringing that in during the next meet.

life in pixels

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.14.04 am

acceptance childhood


Worked on some digital illustrations over the past week. These are some visuals to go along with my visualisation, highlighting some significant moments in my digital life.

I started with the floral illustration on ‘acceptance’, which is more of a symbolic piece on what blogging means to me. Throughout the past month of making such a personal work that involves me to sieve through writing I’ve made in weird, difficult periods of my life, I feel that acceptance is something that I’ve been trying to achieve. Accepting others, having others accept me, and accepting myself. I feel that this is a very important realisation, but I might not want to just make one illustration about it. Maybe small drawings that add up to this concept.

I am not sure if I want to be very explicit in expressing the significance of these illustrations. I feel that a lot of meaning is taken away if I say everything clearly and I would also like to give audience space to form their own meaning and experience when they see the work for themselves. That said, for clarity’s sake, I will include a brief essay on the significance of these illustrations in my formal report.

I have also decided to cut down the entries that I am looking at. Realistically, I can’t do them all. So I will be selecting a fraction of entries that I feel are more important.

I have been behind work for a few weeks because I was feeling stuck, but I think that now I have a better idea of how to work things out. Some things to accomplish this week:

– FYP Report (draft)
– Selecting entries
– Visualisation drafts
– Share more updates and reflections

on interdisciplinarity


I find it important to my practice as a visual artist to be always on the lookout for interdisciplinary collaboration. Nothing is more inspiring to work with other artists. You are open to their process and their vocabulary, which will all bounce of you in good ways. Art is a constantly changing field, and it’s not good enough to be good at what you do. Always be open to new learning, and often the best way to do that creatively, is to look at what others are making.

wordpress theme update

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 6.05.42 pm

Over the past week I’ve been working for long hours on WordPress. I think it’s safe to say that I am able to put together the functions that I need to create my virtual work later next year.

This theme is created for my personal website, as a practice. These are some progress screenshots of many trials and errors of creating the layout. I jumped from 2-column, 4-column, before settling on a 3-column layout, using a basic table structure.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.36.29 pmScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.35.42 pm

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 7.29.13 pm

Had plans for a fancy looking theme, but settled on an imageless/simple theme to look professional. The typeface is Roboto, a Google Font that I installed in the theme. It’s quite a basic and lovely typeface that I might continue to use. I realised that adding a custom font instantly makes my site look less dated, after being used to my standard choices of Georgia and Courier New.

The middle column are WordPress pages – I used a code that generates the pages in a list format, according to the order I specified in WP dashboard. The homepage displays a static page (my bio), defined by this character (·̇·̣̇̇·̣̣̇·̣̇̇·̇). I didn’t want a line of text like ‘home’ to appear there. Having a special character gives the layout an accent.

For links, I created two classes of links: one for body text (pink ones) and a dark grey one for the navigational links.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 7.44.02 pm

For content, they are all WordPress posts. I removed all the functions that comes with a typical post so that it showed the title only.

Still in the midst of getting everything up, and will share the completed theme soon.

visualisation concept


Photo 18-12-15, 6 48 28 PM

This was my final work for Facts & Fictions. I made this booklet on the day of the exhibition… it was a really packed month for all of us. It’s not the most refined piece of work I’ve ever made, but I am quite happy with the concept for visualisation and this is something I will work on next semester, after I am finished with making the dataset.

A group critique made me consider a lot more about what would best capture the nature of my blogging journey. I have also received comments that it would be great if I can incorporate some illustrations too. I came up with the germination process as a metaphor, not the most original, surely, but the concept is pretty basic and there is a lot of room to play with.

Photo 18-12-15, 6 48 40 PM

Photo 18-12-15, 6 48 45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.47.41 pm

This page was made using the sketch I created on Google Sheets, using a radial treemap as a reference. (Google Sheet is able to generate a treemap chart too – very cool)Photo 18-12-15, 6 48 53 PM

I think having this overarching concept to go along with the visualisation will make my work more relatable and meaningful to others, rather than being this abstract data vis-y thing that people just look at with no clue what it is about.