To be honest, I did not do any research for Paint. The idea just come to my mind. However, if I were to come up with similar projects that uses paint on their body, that would be in Cycle 12 of America’s Next Top Model where the contestants used paint over their faces for photo shoot.
I mixed red paint with a little pinch of black paint. I dapped the paint, spread it across the brush before painting it on my back. I used a self timer for this shot.
I got my inspiration from Beyoncé’s ‘Mine’ music video. There was an interesting scene of a couple with t shirt written ‘Mine’ and ‘Yours’. I find the concept really interesting. Hence, I decided to adapt the idea.
It was a little hard trying to get this shot because my head is covered with the t shirt and I had to adjust the t shirt such that the wordings can be seen. At the same time, I have to press the remote control on my phone.
I was influenced by John Coplans and the style of this photography. Coplans’ work are mostly black and white series and he never photograph his face to assume anonymous identity or gender. Coplans took extreme close up shots of his own bare body to question the taboo of age in a provocative style.
I bought red strings from a textile shop and I ensure that there’s sufficient thickness so that the strings are obvious in the photo.
Final Chosen Images
To me, art is a form of self-expression.
Red is my favourite colour; It represents passion & love thus showing my fervour for painting.
I feel that whenever I paint, I’m expressing emotions that I cannot present orally.
I also feel that whenever I paint, I’m showing the world the vulnerable side of myself.
Thus, the act of painting on myself.
I was serving in 1st Commando Battalion during my national service.
Throughout the 2 years, I endured tough times with my comrades. We forged a strong bond as we climbed up steep hills, struggled through muddy swamps and fought through numerous missions.
Commando has become part of my identity so much so that people sometimes remember me as a Commando rather than my name.
The use of my hand holding on to the shirt symbolises that it’s an identity that I cannot and will not remove.
The colour of my beret is red. Hence, the use of a shirt with red ‘Commando’ imprint draping over my head to symbolise the tagline of ‘Once a Commando, Always a Commando’.
I have a penchant for piercings and I feel that it is a form of self-expression.
I feel that all of my piercings are inter-connected. Hence, the use of a red string to connect all of them together.
My piercings all meant something to me. Thus, the use of red string to symbolise that it’s something that I hold close to my heart
The tone of the 3 images are highly contrasted and structured to show the strength and toughness of each photo.
Composition of the 3 images is based on direction of the body.
In the Commando photo, I was facing to my left looking over to Piercing. In the Piercing photo I was looking over to my top right towards the Paint photo. Even though my body is facing away from the the other two photos, I was actually facing down over to the bottom left towards Commando. This thus creates a synergy within the 3 composed images thus producing the ‘certain reality’ that the project required.
Research & Experimentation
I chose to use my earpiece as my object because I use my earpiece to listen to music every single day. I feel that I’m locked in another world whenever I plugged in my earpiece. I use it for casual listening and also when I work out.
Final Chosen Images
I chose this shot because I feel that this photo is the most suitable photo to convey the idea of me wearing my earpiece. Also, I explored the idea of not shooting with a background behind me but instead, took a reflected shot of ADM’s architecture and environment.
The composition of this task is based on the process. First I place the solo close-up shot of the earpiece on the top. Followed by me wearing it and ending it with me working out with my earpiece.
I shot my world at my late grandfather’s kampong house. It is one of the last few kampongs in Singapore. It is located at Buangkok. I shot this place because it gives me a sense of familiarity. I have been visiting this house for as long as I can remember. There are numerous memories surrounding this house. My very big family usually gather together during festivals such as Chinese New Year.
Research & Experimentation
This place is usually quiet and isolated. Somehow or another I felt that the animals here are not as lonely because they form a community within themselves. My father told me that the streets here used to be filled with many people.
Some of my relatives or visitors will sit outside the house at the front yard when there are not enough space inside the house. It is quite therapeutic because the time and pace past by really slowly here. A totally different vibe from city area.
The side of the house.
My father recounting the good old days to my maid.
Final Chosen Images
I chose this image because it gave me a sense of familiarity. I used to sit here with my silbings whenever we are bored from interacting with our seniors. We will sit around here and swing our day by.
Our family is a great fan of the bamboo shoots and braised pork slowly cooked using the charcoal stove here. Somehow the food taste much more authentic and special.
Stray dogs are free to roam around the house. They became part of our family over time and I feel like they are the ‘guardians’ of the kampong house.
The composition of these images are based on the journey through the house. I deliberately add a little fade to the images to give a sense of nostalgia.
First you enter the house on the top left corner and as you walk into the house, you can see the entry towards the bedroom as seen on the top right corner. Beside the bedroom, there are charcoal stoves used to cook food traditionally. After you journey though the house, you exit the house as seen on the bottom left corner where the stray dog is looking out. The rounded swinging chair in the middle is used to complete the four images. It is also a key image to maintain the synergy within the composition.
There are boundless opportunities when it comes to using yourself, your body, the things you use and also the environment surrounding you to produce a narrative to captivate the audience. Photos can be an powerful tool to convey ideas and imagination that one simply cannot convey verbally.