Key Work Selection: Bar Code Hotel

Bar Code Hotel is the work of Perry Hoberman that I have selected. It is an artworks that works around a lot of bar codes. Upon entering the room, you will be welcomed by a colourless (white) space, numerous black and white bar codes and a large projection wall. You will then have pick up a pair of 3D glasses before settling yourself behind one of the long tables covered with bar codes as seen in the images below.


Bar Code Hotel

On the tables are a few light pens or “bar code wands” where you are supposed to run over the bar codes. When done so, peculiar shapes such as a porcupine-looking sphere, a radio and light bulbs will be projected onto the big screen, spiraling around. Some of the words have commands like ‘jump’ or ‘flee’ which when scanned over, makes the objects smaller, bigger, change colour or turn 360 degree. The interesting part to me is that you are able to control the objects on screen simultaneously with multiple other participants. Interaction then expands from between you and the installation itself to you and other participants as well. Attached below is a video of the work:

Participants get to enjoy forms activated by their own actions and reactions. As most interactive works, Hoberman’s works fall towards entropy and indeterminacy as results fully depend on participants given that the bar codes can be scanned at any time. Graphics created vary between the different groups of participants as seen in a few of the screenshots here.

Artist Selection | Perry Hoberman

Perry Hoberman is an artist born in 1954 whose works revolve mostly around machines and media. In executing his works, he focuses on the interactive nature of human beings and technology.

I chose Perry Hoberman as the artist for my hyperessay as I was intrigued by how immersive his installations are. The outcome of most of his works are highly dependent on the audience to the point where the lines between the art and the audience become blurred in a sense where the audience themselves become the art.

Attached below are links to a few of his artworks that I really liked:

  1. The Elvonic Transform
  2. Empty Orchestra Cafe
  3. Bar Code Hotel

I like the fact that his works don’t only promote the interaction between the audience and the art but also between audience members themselves as shown in Bar Code Hotel. I also enjoy the quirkiness of his works.

Written Report: Design Reform Movements

When the Industrial Revolution took place, there was an increase in the manufacturing productivity which formed a pool of higher-class citizens who were economically powerful enough to acquire a large amount of manufactured products. In turn, it also led to an increase in citizens in labour. However, people in labour faced low wages and poor working conditions which eventually led to lower quality products being produced. Thus, Design Reform came about so as to create a standardization of taste and order of the manufactured products. As presented, I will be mentioning four movements involved in Design Reform, the Vienna Secession, Wiener Werkstätte, Deutscher Werkbund and the Mission Style.

The Vienna Secession

The Vienna Secession is a contemporary art movement founded by Gustav Klimt in 1897 in Austria. Secession refers to the withdrawal of a group from a certain entity which in this case is the conservative nation Austria was. It is known as Austria’s version of the Art Nouveau movement or a development of it. Alike Art Nouveau, the Vienna Secession is a movement that embraces a wide range of art mediums and styles. A lot of art from the movement also has features from the Art Nouveau movement which I will elaborate on later.

Unlike Art Nouveau however, the Vienna Secession does not have a particular style that unites the artists in the movement. This is because of the very fact that it embraces a mixture of any art styles to create new contemporary art. As mentioned, Austria was a nation that was highly-conservative and traditional. Gustav, along with other discontent artists who wanted to explore the possibilities of art outside what was conventional at that time. This art movement was essentially to push boundaries and be free from traditional values and tastes. However, the movement does not necessarily reject old traditions, it more so believes that modern art can co-exist with traditional art.

The movement was also influenced by the Japanese art and design. A lot of the Secessionist painters liked to use exaggerated vertical forms which are flattened, spatially-deep and three-dimensional, akin to the Japanese style. In fact, Secessionist painters appropriated Japanese prints on elongated posters as seen in the image below for their 6th exhibition where the whole show was dedicated to Japanese art.

Albert Berger's poster for the 6<sup>th</sup> Secession Exhibition incorporating detail of a woodblock print by 19<sup>th</sup>-century Japanese artist Eizan Kikugawa. (1900)
Albert Berger’s poster incorporating detail of a woodblock print by Eizan Kikugawa. (1900)

The goals of the movement were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, and to publish its own magazine or journal to showcase works of its members.

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Cover of the first issue of Ver Sacrum, Alfred Roller (1898)

Above is the cover of the first issue of the movement’s very own magazine which featured different genres of works from different fields. ‘Ver Sacrum’ translates to ‘sacred spring’ in Latin. The graphic portrays a planted tree with roots breaking out of the container. This is symbolic of the movement as it refers to people breaking away from old and contained traditions to create a new group of art. The magazine featured graphic design, illustration, typography and more from different artists involved in the movement. This very magazine gave rise to the movement and put Austria on the global art platform. However, magazine production declined in 1903 due to the lack of funds. Furthermore, the number of subscribers also eventually decreased.

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Secession Building, Joseph Maria Olbrich (1897)

Around the same time, the Secession Building shown in the image above, was built. The building is considerably the icon of the Vienna Secession and is said to be its permanent visual form. It was built by Joseph Maria Olbrich who was an Austrian architect and the co-founder of the movement. The building was used as an exhibition pavilion to display mostly artworks from the movement but also included foreign works.

The building features a range of symbolism such as the golden leaves that cover the dome above the building.

Details of golden leaves covering the domeAbove is a detailed image of the golden leaves which can be seen as ‘breaking out’ of the top of the building (the dome) which represents art breaking out of the constrained space (the building) which refers to conventional and stagnant art. This again, brings us back to the idea of the movement which is moving towards creating new contemporary art instead of being held back by conventions and traditions.

Through both the artworks, magazine and building we can see how the movement was accepting and not discriminatory towards any experimental art styles and usually utilized a mixture.

Wiener Werkstätte

Wiener Werkstätte is a movement found in Vienna, Austria as well in 1903 by Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffman. The name translates into ‘Vienna Workshop’ and as the name suggests, it was basically  a workshop where visual artists are brought together including architects, artists and designers working in ceramics, fashion, silver, furniture and the graphic arts.

Evolved from Vienna Secession, it also emphasizes on complete artistic freedom which led to the creation of many innovative products which eventually became the standard for Austrian design. -Unlike other art movements however, creators did not seek to create accessible or practical art but instead,  the group focused on the highest quality craftsmanship and materials for the socioeconomic elite.

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Sitzmachine Chair, Josef Hoffman (1905)

The Sitzmachine Chair seen in the image above is the best-known piece of furniture produced by the Wiener Werkstätte. We are able to see the function and construction of the chair without sacrificing its aesthetic appeal. At the side of the chair for example, there are slit-like openings where none of the lines end in sharp corners but instead are rounded which suggests the idea of a well oiled and harmonious machine. The chair is also notorious for being anything but comfortable which thus reflects the nature of the design movement’s practice, where function was usually sacrificed to aesthetics when it became impossible to accommodate both.

Deutscher Werkbund

Deutscher Werkbund was less an artistic movement but more of a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass-production techniques. It aimed to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States. It hoped to make Germany more competitive in global markets. Deutscher Werkbund which translates to ‘German Association of Craftsmen’ was started by Hermann Muthesius and a group of other intellectual artists who proposed for industrial crafts from the arts and crafts movement to be revived as an enterprise. 

The Werkbund’s objective was to come up with good designs and craftsmanship for mass-produced goods. The form of each piece of work was to be determined by function and had to be simple, free of ornamentation. The artists wanted to make only functional and practical pieces which is the total opposite of the Wiener Werkstätte.

Related image
Side Chair, Richard Riemerschmid (1899)
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Armrest Chair, Bruno Paul (1901)
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Armchair, Hans Volmer (1901)
IKEA armchair catalogue

As you can see in the chairs shown above, they are all very simple and functional yet still holds a sort of artistic expression. This was because The Werkbund was split into two factions, one being the mass-production faction and the other, maintenance of art form which is why pieces from that period still manage to hold an aesthetic appeal to them. They still look interesting without extra decorations or accessories.


Furniture pieces alike the ones from the Werkbund are very much evident today as seen in the latest catalogue of IKEA seen above. We have taken inspiration from the simple yet functional forms.

Mission Style

Mission style is a style of architecture created in the late 19th century in New York by a man named Gustav Stickley. It is said to be America’s version of the Arts & Crafts movement. It is basically a popular manifestation of the arts and crafts movement. 

The style is characterized as simple, casual and comfortable. It is best known for furniture that features geometric lines and flat panels designed to celebrate the beauty of wood grain, especially oak. Having said so, most of the furniture feature an earthy colour palette. Mission style is also steeped in the belief that good art and design could reform society and improve the quality of life of the maker and consumer alike. The creators were very much concerned with promoting the value of honesty and satisfaction in craftsmanship so to them, the process and product are equally important.

Mission style furniture feature a distinctive style that includes a mixture of Arts and Crafts, Spanish Mission and American Southwest influences. Most of them have plain surfaces and very little ornamentation. The beauty is reflected in the elegant and spare simplicity of style. It has natural aesthetics because it is mostly made of wood, with horizontal and vertical detailing.

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Chiffonier, Greene Brothers (1909)

Practical and and in a way, unpretentious, the drawer above is a great example of a Mission style furniture. Due to the geometrical formation, Greene brothers were able to fit in a higher amount of drawers in a single space which makes it more practical and efficient.

In conclusion, I believe that Design Reform continued to evolve over the years but at the same time, is cyclical. Design today does not only pull ideas and concepts from new styles but also the ancient and traditional with the intention to reinvent. Designers are constant trying to redefine the capabilities of design and we will never completely forget art of the past to be completely modern. It will always be an intertwine between the two.

Presentation link:

Bauhaus Shapes & Colour

The Bauhaus movement is one that is based on simplicity and streamlined aesthetics. It has influenced a lot of modern architecture. As such, I decided to create a visual that represents a piece of architecture. Due to the minimal shapes that I used, it can be hard to tell but the piece of architecture in the image is an escalator. An escalator at MRT stations to be specific. The yellow circles represent the heads of human beings “standing” on the left side of the escalator which is a culture in Singapore that I really admire. It is as if there is an unspoken rule that all citizens have to stand on the left of the escalator, no matter where, if you refuse to climb up or if you are a little slow. The government never set such a rule but it is in our nature to behave such a way. One of the nice things about Singapore’s groggy and angry commuters.


This piece was created on Photoshop to represent Singapore’s “kiasu” culture. “Kiasu” refers to the grasping attitude many Singaporeans tend to have. Most of the time, we are always rushing to grab the opportunity to do anything at all. In this case, it is to get seats on the train. Yes, we do queue up while waiting for the train but once it arrives and the door opens, all hell breaks loose (especially during rush hours).

Pushing, squabbling, you name it. The opened mouths and random legs and hands represent that. “TSK“, I hear over and over again as people start getting irritated by one another. I used typefaces commonly used in old Dada posters as researched. Lastly, “majulah” as in the phrase “Majulah Singapura” meaning “Onward Singapore”. This “kiasu” culture is not the most admirable but will remain a part of Singapore’s culture today and onward.

This was how I made it:


Project Social Life

Project Social Life is a performance art piece done to learn what would happen if we gave control to the public to decide how our day would go. I have always thought that it is such an interesting concept ever since I saw Yes Theory’s video attached below.

Similarly, we utilized the social media application, Instagram to carry out our experiment. We also made use of the poll function in the story to get our followers to vote for decisions sent in by them to would determine how we spend our day starting from around 11am to 5pm. Each poll ran for 10 minutes before went with what was in favour.

This idea stems from the notion that we get to construct a digital identity that may not be completely representative of our true selves because we are in full control of what we choose to display online. So, when all control is stripped away, how “real” can we get?

En Cui, Cecilia, Shu, Jocelyn and I first met up at ADM, our starting point. We then put out a poll on our collective page @projectsociallife_ asking the masses whether we should hang out somewhere near being Boon Lay or travel all the way to Bugis. Of course, if I still had control, I would surely choose what was convenient, Boon Lay. Unfortunately, Bugis was in favour. Apart from the regular activities such as having lunch, throughout the day, we received many interesting and funny suggestions such as:


However, we did not exactly do any of the above. That to me is interesting because it shows how we cannot help but still try to maintain our digital image. We just cannot completely let go of control. We deliberately chose not to do those suggestions. Personally, it is because I am afraid of being judged by people online who would be watching the stories because again, I feel like I have a digital image to maintain.

password: projectsociallife

As such, in the final trailer above, done beautifully by Shu, you can see how we depicted a utopian narrative throughout most of the video. We only portrayed the happy bits of what went down throughout the day. Also, the quirky video style drew much reference from Carla Gannis and Paula Pinho Martins Nacif.

Given that we were shown performance art pieces by Blast Theory prior to the project, of course we took inspiration from their works. I’d Hide You gave much influence to this project. We were interested in the way the team gave control to the mass public to make decisions for them to create an outcome that could turn out in many different ways.

To be honest, before it started, I was so afraid I would have to embarrass myself in public because that is really the last thing I would want to happen. Surprisingly, nothing major happened but I had fun nonetheless.

Overall, I personally think we succeeded in exploring the social in this project by deliberately allowing followers (some strangers) to curate our day. We communicated through the DMs (direct message) to receive/accept suggestions. No doubt, there was a form of interaction. However, to accentuate that, I feel that we should have done an activity that forces us to interact with real-life public to make the project more interesting. Nevertheless, a fun project with fun people.

Locale – FINAL


And here’s my final Changi zine! YAY.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project. Honestly, my favourite project to date. It made me appreciate zines/magazines or any type of publication at all. The process behind making one is tougher than I expected. Every little detail is so important, from the arrangements of the pictures, the sizing of the fonts, the colours and so on. For this project, I had to make an abstract piece that still holds a narrative. That frustrated me so much. I kept questioning all my friends “How can an abstract work have a narrative?”. However, Mimi cleared a lot of my doubts and was a massive help to the ideation of my zine. Thank you so much.

I also struggled with Indesign quite a bit. I did the whole zine on illustrator. I think if I had more time to dabble with Indesign and actually learn how to use it properly, the zine would turn out more crisp. Nonetheless, I like how it turned out. The printing was exceptional (shoutout to Ben Quick Print Services at Sunshine Plaza), even a few of my classmates commented on how nice the ink looked! However, the paper had mixed reactions. Some people liked it while some don’t. I personally felt that it was a little bit on the thicker side. I would totally get a thinner paper if I had another chance.

As for the concept and graphics, I got mostly great comments which I am really thankful for. This project made me really happy.  To produce a zine from the design to the texts and everything by yourself is super satisfying. 3 months holiday: I’m definitely going to try making another one!

Check out how this zine came together on my research & process posts!

Locale – PROCESS

For this project, I began by hand-drawing the buildings and figures on sketch paper before scanning them onto my computer and then refining them.

page 1 & 8 (changi prison)


Above is an outline drawing of Changi prison and a ghost which is going to end up a spread in the zine. That is why I made the building symmetrical.


I edited the building before I did for the ghost. I added dots using photoshop to the building to give it a little dimension as it looked pretty flat before. Emulating Ruth Allen’s style, I coloured the building without filling every gap. I also coloured it outside the lines.

I ended up not liking the colour I placed as I felt it was not eye-catching enough so I removed it. I added the ghost that I edited. I overlapped two layers of the ghost, one of it being black and the other, red. It creates an almost 3D illusion which I really liked.

I settled with a bright red in the end for the colour of the building as it  fits my theme really well. It also looks pretty pleasing to the eyes. I wanted to still emulate Ruth Allen’s style which was why I purposely did not align the colour to the lines exactly. If you did not notice, I also changed the font of the title to a rather child-like handwriting. I think it gives a more creepy feel.

page 2 & 3 (changi beach)


I sketched an image of 3 decapitated heads as a reflection of an actual image I saw as I was researching on the massacre that occurred at Changi Beach. It was a pretty unforgettable image ( try searching on google for it!) which I thought would be impactful to add to the zine. Of course, I didn’t exactly copy the real-life image since I wanted to emulate the style of Karolina Koryl. Thus, I distorted the faces making them look “melt-y” and added more eyes.


This page was quite simple to execute. I did not hand-draw the beach but used illustrator as the it only consisted of mostly lines. To make the zine consistent, I used about the same colours as the previous page.

I made this page into a spread upon Mimi’s feedback. I think it looks really cool and actually like it better as a spread.

page 4-5 (old changi hospital)


Most of the ghost stories that I have heard regarding Changi was about the infamous hospital. Thus, I wanted that page to have the most amount of ghosts which explains the sketches of many different ghosts above.


I added one of the heads on a drawing of the hospital which I drew on illustrator. I initially planned for this to be a single page but ended up making it a spread as well as recommended by Mimi.

I could fit in more heads into it which is better. I spilled over the building drawing over to the next page as well to kind of create a better flow. As you can see, I also applied Ruth Allen’s style to the building.

page 6-7 (changi airport)


I sketched a group of uniform figures towering over and surrounding the airport. I made this the last page as I wanted it to be in a way, unexpected. I rarely hear ghost stories about the airport but it exists. That is why I made the figures less obviously scary-looking. I accompanied the drawing with a poem I found that I really liked.


This particular spread went through a lot of editing. I made so many variations of it because it was the last page which I think is very important. It should leave an impact.

It does look pretty consistent with the rest of the pages. However, it was not shocking or as interesting as I wanted it to be. Thus, I made it very different from the rest of the zine.

Besides the red, I inverted the colours making black the dominant colour. I really liked the vibe that this spread gave off. I consulted Mimi and showed all the variations I made and she also preferred this colourway.

I also ended up changing the poem. I removed the poem completely and came up with something on my own. Mimi commented that my zine lacked narrative. So, I wrote something that would tie the whole zine together. The last line goes “…and you are…” which would then continue to “not alone.” on the first page.


If you noticed, the silhouette of a flock of birds flying is a recurring motif in most of the pages. I wanted something to connect the pages together thus I added the birds which represent ‘travel/movement’. It is as if the viewers are following the journey of the birds to the different places in Changi.

Check out my final post to see all these pages come together!


The location that I was tasked to make a zine on is “Changi”. When I hear the name “Changi”, I think of ghosts and all things haunted due to the countless ghost stories that have been fed to me. Thus, I wanted my zine to have a creepy/scary theme.

To start, I decided on the colours of the zine. I wanted the zine to not look too “busy” in terms of colours hence I decided on only three colours: red, black and white. I chose red as the dominant colour as it is found in most horror films/images. Red holds connotations of death/blood and danger. It is also linked to a sense of fear which is what I would like to invoke in this zine. Black and white are also incorporated in the zine upon learning that black and white actually represent death/mourning in different cultures. They also stimulate the eyes and excite senses which keeps the zine interesting. These colours would thus enhance and intensify the “fear factor” in the zine.

I was inspired by the colours of these popular horror movie posters where you can see red, black and white heavily used:

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A Nightmare On Elm Street
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In the zine, I think I would lay unique “ghosts” around on the different landmarks of Changi such as the prison, beach and hospital which are more famous for ghost sightings. As I have presented, these areas are ridden with deaths having been a place of war and massacres.

10_S_doodles - Lars Henkel ||| (*d*)
By Lars Henkel
Recently came across German illustrator Evelyn Hahn. I totally love the quirky characters and weird proportions. So cool! Can someone do her a website though? :-) See more on her MySpace.
By Evelyn Hahn

Inspired by these artworks, I think I am going to go for a crowded look in the zine where the drawings are close to one another and perhaps big/vary in size.

While looking for inspiration on Pinterest, I chanced upon two artists who I think I would like to emulate their styles in this project:

  1. Karolina Koryl

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Image result for karolina koryl

Koryl purposely disfigures the human figures in her drawings. I liked the idea of drawing what are human beings but not exactly. She would pull/connect different parts of the face or body and even add additional parts which makes the figures disproportionate. I want the “ghosts” in my zine to still be identifiable as a human being despite looking distorted and quirky as in Koryl’s drawings.

2Ruth Allen

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I like her sketchy style of drawing. It looks so quick and simple yet very eye-catching. Mostly, she uses a single colour on the buildings and does not fill them in fully. In fact, she colours out of the lines. Maybe I will emulate her style in my drawing of the different buildings.

And here’s my really ugly and rushed first sketches. I swear it gets better in my next post (I hope).

I begin figuring out the placements of the figures and buildings in the sketches below.

Check out my process post to see me make my ideas come alive!