The Singapore Diary: Research

Honestly I was torn apart because I wanted to do both on Marine Terrace, which I had lived in perpetually my whole life (or as long as I can remember before I moved 2 years ago), and Chinatown. However, I had already went back to Marine Terrace during my last semester for 4D I so this time I decided to work on Chinatown instead.

Why Chinatown? It recently dawned upon me that although I do have some Chinese blood in me, I had never really gone to Chinatown before. I knew nothing about the history of the place, nothing about what they had there whether was it the things they were selling or the people that went there, nothing. I only knew how to get there. So I dedicated this trip to just walking around and experiencing the atmosphere there.


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Of course, there were some things I found really interesting:


This was some Chinese calligraphy drawing incorporated into English alphabets, which was really interesting as you can tell that the modern age is slowly taking over traditions.


At first when I saw this I didn’t really knew what it was until I saw the sign and I was like “OH okay so you could buy one and get the seller to carve your initials for you and it acts like a seal.”

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Apparently my friend told me that the hanging fake fruits and vegetables were Chinese New Year decorations….okay. Also one question that kept haunting me when I was at Chinatown was: What do tourists even buy here??? Most of the things sold here were all in Chinese and are the non-Chinese tourists even able to read them?

And I found my answer:


I guess they were more attracted to things that they couldn’t find in their own country, whether or not they understood it, the ability to appreciate culture and beauty is something that is naturally instilled in us.

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(Also this is NOT candy even though it’s called “Bing Tang Hu Lu”. The ‘tang’ (candy) got me there. Sorry but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I prefer it sliced like the one I had when I was a kid.)

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Yay to childhood snacks!!

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The bottom slippers looked like something I used to wear when I was a kid.


Overall the trip there was good, I was able to pick out some items that I could relate to, but at the same time some of the items gives me question marks. My family is never one to celebrate Chinese festivals, or own things that relates to the Chinese tradition so going down to Chinatown myself and seeing new things and food makes me curious of the history of my roots.

Final Pieces

So after much contemplation and adjustments, these are the final 4 pieces that I’ve chosen and done.

For this project I focused more on the techniques and the way the typography was done and how this shows the different qualities of myself.



I adapt easily. Using just a single sheet of paper and slicing my name out shows how my name is part of it’s surroundings.




As someone who likes to construct, this was the one piece that I needed to spend a lot of time and energy doing- from cutting the wood, to nailing and threading. It is constructed layer by layer.




I get confused easily and so I decided to incorporate my name in a confusing way, where if you look from far you won’t be able to make out anything but if you look closely, my name can be found.




I am a wanderluster, which means that I have a strong desire to travel and I feel that pop ups look best if done on a scenery. Also, I love to travel to the countryside, where mountains and nature makes me feel relaxed and happy.

Typographic Portrait: Process III

After finalizing my ideas on my sketchbook, it is time to do a hard copy of them!



The string art turned out really nice! (During consultation Ina pointed out that this was good too.) However this looked a little too plain for me so I might add more colours for the background during my final piece.


After sketching out different objects, I decided to go with the swiss knife (K), camping tent (A) and marshmallows on twigs (Y) and it turned out quite good, just that I might need to do a little amendments because the cutting wasn’t so good.  (Ina pointed that out too.)


I wasn’t really feeling this after seeing the outcome, it looked a bit too simple, and it was probably because of the material I used.


This came out pretty good and it’d look best if pasted on another plain white paper. I really like how the letters are not alphabets as it is supposed to look like and how even though it looks plain, the shadows formed is becoming part of its aesthetics.

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Ina really liked how this was done- simple, using just brown string. The effect of this came out pretty well too, at first glance it may look confusing but if you take a closer look you can actually see the letters of my name.

Typographic Portrait: Process II

So after researching and brainstorming for ideas, I wrote (or rather, vomited) all my thoughts onto my sketchbook. Some pages were quite blank because I thought that it’d be easier if I were to start making them straight away so that I could do some troubleshooting if anything were to happen.


Here are the pages of my sketchbook:

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new doc 2_1

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(I figured that the golden ticket wasn’t going to work because I felt that although it looks okay to me, I didn’t really feel like exploring into this because I wanted to do something more adventurous and exciting.)


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(I added some more detailed sketches as a means to explore out different variations and types of objects you see when you travel out in the wild. Also, during consultation Ina suggested I come up with more stylized illustrations for my swiss knife.)

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(I really like this series because I usually am a sucker for minimalistic pieces. Might choose to do the one on the right though.)

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Typographic Portrait: Research

As someone who loves Pinterest, my research is mostly based on the interesting pins I’ve found. (Seriously, Pinterest is the best)


(To view source, click on the picture)

These are some of the string art I’ve found. It is very interesting how a simple technique is able to play with both negative and positive space. I really like the colourful ones!

string art




Also, some optical illusions typography:

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(This is my favourite and I think this would look really good with string as a medium)


Some paper cut out typography:


I like how although the letters are not complete, we are still able to read the letters normally.


I think that this is another interesting approach for “adapting easily”


I like the idea of using a single piece of paper and just cutting my name out to show how I adapt easily to my surroundings. 😀


Here are some research for “I am very messy”:



Using the concept of pasting scraps.


Here are some cut outs that I find beautiful:



Really love how cut outs can make you feel peaceful and relaxed when you look at it, just like what travelling does to me.

Typographic Portrait: Process I

Hello my name is Kay (for short), and I

  • like to work with my hands

As someone who is kinesthetic, I learn best through carrying out physical activities and it is also because of this trait that I began to love making/painting.

The technique I would like to use for this is string art, something that I’ve wanted to try for the longest time.

  • am easily confused

It usually takes a while to understand things that are not straightforward.

The technique I am looking into for this is making use of optical illusions, creating confusing typography yet at the same time is able to be read.

  • like chocolates

I think this is pretty straightforward. I like chocolates.

And because chocolates remind me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, having a golden ticket to express this would be nice.

  • like to travel

Travelling is something that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child and I especially love car rides to the countryside.

I would like to venture into paper pop ups in this case, because I feel that this technique will bring out the best of the layers of mountains.

  • adapt very easily

I adapt to my surroundings easily so the technique that I would like to use for this is simple- paper.

  • am very messy

Being someone who’s messy, I would like to create a typographic portrait that is made from scraps, things (or rather, rubbish) that can be found in my room.

Walking Home

Task 1

5 Things That Makes Me Feel At Home

Images: Prints on textured paper




Home to me is a place of freedom, where you can lie anywhere to read a book and have your own bed to sleep on.

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It is like a nest where you can decorate however you like, and at the same time it hold memories.


Home is where you come home late at night, and even though you’ve had your dinner outside, your mum insists you eat more.



Home is where you are fully sheltered and showered with care and provision.


Home is when you come back, you see your family’s shoes, and your heart is full because you know that you are home.


This was an in class project that we did to get to know each other and I really enjoyed this!



Typography: English letters typography inspired by the Thai alphabet, the Thai flag at the background and the Singapore flag inside the outline of an elephant (Thailand’s national animal). Yes, I am Thai-Singaporean!



Conceptual: I love to eat sushi. That is all.



Abstract: Like how you feel when you see colourful rainbow bubbles, I am perpetually always happy!