4D II Project 1: Release

Warning: The following art project deals with heavy issue and may cause discomfort.

Depression / Suicide / Release
Project 1: Alter Egos. The central issue. The aim of this project.


For the project 1, I wasn’t very clear about the project at first so I just dive head in with the 4 lists.

List 1:
1) Merlin (The Sword in the Stone)
2) Blaine Anderson (Glee)
3) Private (Madagascar) ✓
4) Castiel (Supernatural)
5) Evie Frye (Assassin’s Creed Syndicate) ✓

List 2:
1) Darren Criss
2) Ellen DeGeneres
3) P!nk
4) Vincent Van Gogh ✓
5) Anne Hathaway ✓

List 3:
1) WO Hong (Army Superior) ✓
2) Mr Ng (Sec School Form Teacher) ✓
3) Ms Clyda (Polytechnic Lecturer)
4) Ean (Friend) ✓
5) Avion (Friend)

For my 4th list, I picked Vincent Van Gogh. Some traits includes depressive, talented, artistic, anxious, sad. He is a Post-Impressionist painter that sees the beauty, emotion and colour of everyday life but struggles with mental illness and was thought to ultimately succumb to it with a suicide of a gunshot into his chest.

I felt inspired by Imagine Dragons’ ‘Demons’ as the emotional basics for this project. Since usually depression is depicted as our inner-demon.

After that, I went to do a simple reading on Vincent van Gogh over at biography.com. I also viewed a few short videos on Vincent van Gogh over at YouTube.

As someone who also suffers from mental illness (I am currently seeing a psychiatrist), I can relate to Vincent van Gogh.

I guess it helps to understand more about depression in this case with the videos above. The BuzzFeed video in particular uses an interesting concept of personifying depression.

Also a side note is a text-adventure narrative video game that explores depression: http://www.depressionquest.com/

Not really related, but I came across this artist, Toby Allen, and he did a project on mental disorder by personifying them into character design. I thought it is useful in how you can personify intense things by making them into something else that is easier to relate to. Link: http://zestydoesthings.tumblr.com/post/61131470551/the-real-monsters-are-reborn-upon-getting-so

In this Assassin’s Creed video game, I find it interesting the slain villain talks back to the protagonist via a ghostly projection. Combining this idea of personifying depression formed the concept of how I am going to do my video.

Narrative Theme using Visual Motifs and Dialogues



In the first shot, you can see a dead potted plant. That is the exact same potted plant that I used for my first 4D I assignment. The dead plant was to symbolized the end and dread. The medication scattered around is called Fluoxetine and is used as antidepressants. This is my actual medication for my anxiety disorder.


In the next shot are crumpled paper and pencils and they symbolize artworks and things to create artworks.

The theme of this project is depression and suicide and Depression is personified by a similar looking person donning a black hoodie who is inside the main character’s mind, telling him things to make him feel horrible until he reach his limit and end his life. The penknife was chosen for the rustiness and red color to further dramatize the scene as red is a strong and dangerous color.


At the end, I feel like this project can be viewed as either a dialogue or a monologue as it can be viewed as Depression talking to the main character or that Depression is the main character. I guess what I am trying to say is that the voice in our head might not always be the best guide to help guide our lives and actions but it is still part of who we are. A part of us that we can help to change and make our life better if we accept the darkness inside us and bring it out to the light.

1 comment

  1. Hey Merlin! I thought that this short was very bold, considering the heavy topic that it discusses. I feel excited, because we’re getting to see more of your visual “voice” such as the artistic struggle and depression. This was a huge and dark contrast as compared to your previous project (which can I say, I enjoy!)

    Perhaps the “struggle” may not be that obvious, but the little moment where he pushes out the blade slowly really struck a chord in me. I feel like, your strength is in content and I hope you’ll never feel too afraid to explore and express yourself visually!

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