Hyperessay – 10,000 Moving Cities

The Artist

The artist in focus is Marc Lee. He is a Swiss media artist who has created various interactive art projects, installations and performance art for almost 20 years, which is displayed all over the world. His artworks are very daring which would normally showcase cultural, political and social meanings in them.

His works have been exhibited in museums all over the world, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea, New Museum in New York and the Intercommunications Center in Tokyo, Japan.

Marc Lee also does lectures and teach in workshops about art and interactive art around the world such Shanghai Institute of Visual Art and China Academy of Art in Huangzhou.

The Artwork

The chosen artwork by Marc Lee is 10,000 Moving Cities. It is an interactive net-based installation. There is the Virtual Reality version which has a telepresence-based element added to it, and also an Augmented Reality version which has an accompanying app that would be used and plays a part in the interactivity of the installation.

Interface selection where users get to select a city or a location that they would want to see displayed

Before the installation could begin or before the user could interact with the installation, the user would have to select a location or a city from an interface by searching or selecting a blue or red pin on the interface. After the city or location is selected, images, sounds, texts and videos would be searched on the internet. These sound would then be displayed or projected at the location of where the user is at. The images, videos and content displayed on the installation itself or displayed through the app or devices, depending on whether you are viewing the installation through Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. Every time a city is selected, a new search will take place hence the experience will be different every time.

These two different platforms will be explained more below.

Virtual Reality (VR)

The version with the Virtual Reality, or VR, is viewed through devices that users use, namely high-tech goggles such as an HTC Vive or anything similar. This device will be located inside a space where sound could be projected and immersed by the user, and also an area where the user could actually move around without bumping into anything or anyone. As mentioned before, the user would select the location or city via the goggles. The visuals would then appear through the goggles and displayed on tall imaginary buildings. The user would then get to look up or down and move around the space to immerse themselves in the installation.

Below is a video to see how the HTC Vive is used and how the installation works for Virtual Reality.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Then there is the Augmented Reality version that makes use of a mobile app to view the displayed visuals. In real life, there will only be an empty space, but when viewed through an app on a smartphone or a tablet, the user gets to see imaginary buildings appearing right in front of them and throughout the space. The user would also get to carry around the device with the app and walk through and amongst these imaginary buildings to view them closer and in greater detail. What is displayed on these imaginary buildings are similar to the one displayed in the Virtual Reality version, but again, the images and the sounds played are not the same and will vary for everyone.

Below is a video that would help to show how the app and the Augmented Reality works in the installation.

Offline version

There is also an offline version where the installation does not use any apps or devices. The basic set up for the installation are real physical white cubes of varying heights spaced on in a space. Similarly, the user still selects a city or a location on an interface, but instead of appearing through goggles or mobile devices, the images will be projected on the white cubes. These cubes would then represent the different buildings that make up the city skyline. The user would then be allowed to walk through and amongst these cubes with projected images and videos as if they are walking through the city that they have selected. Sounds would also be played in the location to add to the immersive experience.

The offline version of the installation is shown in the video below.

Entropy

For this installation, entropy – the lack of order and predictability –  is seen here as the images projected on the cubes or displayed in the VR are all in a way randomized to that moment and for different people. The users in a way also would not know what would be displayed or what would appear. Even if they have a rough idea on what would appear, they can’t exactly decide on what the images will be and it will always be different for different people. Also, as mentioned earlier, every time a city is selected, a new search will take place and new images, sounds, texts, and videos will appear, creating a different and an unpredictable experience every time, hence, entropy.

Immersion

This installation is definitely an immersive type of installation where the users get to use their many senses to engage and interact with the installation. The user gets to see the images projected through the app, the goggles or the cubes. They get to hear the sounds played in the area that adds on the to the immersive experience. They also get to walk around the space with the goggles, the mobile device or even walk among and in between the cubes with displayed images.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 10,000 Moving Cities is an immersive installation by Marc Lee where users get to experience the ever-changing cityscape. The content of the installation is different every time so there is a sense of entropy for the users. He also allowed users to experience this through Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or even an offline mode where users get to walk about a physical space without any devices on. With this, he has allowed users to experience the installation with different platforms, with each of this platform similar to each other, so that the experience is similarly immersive yet different in content.

References

Lee, M. (1970, January 01). 10.000 Moving Cities – Same but Different by artist Marc Lee. Retrieved from http://marclee.io/en/10-000-moving-cities-same-but-different/

Hyperessay – Artist and Artwork Selection

Artist:

Marc Lee is a Swiss media artist that has created interactive art projects, installations and performance art for almost 20 years. He is very daring in his works which would normally showcase cultural, political and social meanings in them.

His works has been exhibited in museums all over the world, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Intercommunications Center in Tokyo and New Museum in New York.

He also does lectures and teach in workshops about art and interactive art around the world such as Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, and China Academy of Art in Huangzhou.

Artwork:

10,000 Moving Cities is an art installation that involves several projectors and white large boxes. The installation begins when the user selects the desired location that would be projected onto the white large boxes. Once selected, various moving images from the internet will be projected onto the large boxes. The user can then walk through and in between the large boxes and immerse themselves with the visuals projected as if they are there in the city that they picked earlier. Sounds from the internet will also be played alongside the images to make the experience for the user more immersive.

With the millions of images in the internet, every projection on each surface and also every projection by a different person will be different. That is why the installation is called 10,000 Moving Cities – Same but Different.

The Aesthetic Movement

The Great Exhibition in 1851 was meant to be a showcase of modern designs, art and technologies, especially during the industrial age of that time with its many discoveries and world explorations. However, many artists felt like the works that were showcased during the exhibition was hideous. They felt that the beauty in art was lost, as if they were made by machines (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011). This has led to the beginning of the Aesthetic Movement of which the main intention of creating art purely for the aesthetics without any political or social meanings behind it, hence the term: Art for art’s sake. It was started to deconstruct and to contrast with the Victorian traditions and also traditions of art that requires meaning behind them (Easby, 2016). They also had the idea that excellent craftsmanship should be in all forms of artwork.

Artworks created under the Aesthetic Movement goes against the norms of the Victorian era and hence the artists and the art were mocked by traditional Victorians who still held on strongly to their values (Karuga, 2017). The movement also supports the idea that art should not be just be limited to artworks but it should be applied to everyday life (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011). It could be expressed through different mediums such as metals, ceramics, clothing and even turned into furniture. This gave creative freedom to artists from different forms of art such as poets, sculptors, musicians, carpenters, smiths, fashion and interior designers (Karuga, 2017). This would, in turn, help each of these forms of art flourish and become a stepping stone towards modern art. Artists explored forms, both natural and geometric, and also turn their studies into simplified lines. Some artists even took reference and studied previous art styles, such as Renaissance art, where the beauty of the male anatomy was seen with equal importance as the female (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011). Also, since it was a time of exploration and discovery, some artists studied or even collected art from outside of Britain, such as Asia and the Middle East, such as the art styles from Japan, which has also inspired the Japonisme. (MacCarthy, 2011)

One of the more prominent artists of the Aesthetic Movement was Christopher Dresser. He believed that good taste and design would never improve until it was made available to the majority. Initially, good design was only available to those who could afford it, such as the upper class and the wealthy, due to the excellent craftsmanship. So, Dresser designed items that even the more affordable works are well designed. He made his designs cater to the different groups of people and made them affordable. He also believed that items should preferably be both useful and decorative (HeadHandHeart, 2012).

Christopher Dresser also sold items from overseas, like Asia and Africa, as these items had unique aesthetic values in them – something different from what the Victorians are used to seeing. He also made these items affordable due to the difference in exchange rates between the countries. In his design works, he took his reference of natural objects and designs, like plant forms and animal movements, and studies them. He would then turn these studies into simplified lines and forms which he would stylise and turn into his designs. After his trip to Japan in 1877, his works started to take on more interesting forms and styles, influenced by the Japanese design styles. He also started to explore and use more metals in his works, especially silverware. Another thing that he adopted from the Japanese culture was putting his name onto the works that he produced. This was also considered as an early form of branding (HeadHandHeart, 2012).

The Aesthetic Movement was an early stepping stone for the arts to move towards the modern era. With artists such as Christopher Dresser with his works and studies from years ago still inspiring modern artists today, it shows that works and inspiration could start from anywhere and sometimes deconstruction of an existing style is the first step to creating a better one.


References

Easby, R. M. (2016, June 3). The Aesthetic Movement. Retrieved from https://smarthistory.org/the-aesthetic-movement/

[HeadHandHeart]. (2012, October 23). Christopher Dresser – TRUTH BEAUTY POWER [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igbB8TRQnuA

Karuga, J (2017, September 16). Art Movements Throughout History: The Aesthetic Movement. Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/art-movements-throughout-history-the-aesthetic-movement.html

MacCarthy, F (2011, March 26). The Aesthetic Movement. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/mar/26/aestheticism-exhibition-victoria-albert-museum

Victoria and Albert Museum. (2011, April 7). Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 [Video File]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/22071648

Big Bang Boom

Wow, where do we begin?

Even before the first human creations on a cave wall, history if design would begin with the creation of the universe. From the design of the Earth to the stars and planets followed by the creation of human life and other living things. How everything has a reason and a place, and it all comes together in harmony.

Zine for Kampong Glam – Final

This design of the zine is to feature the two different sides of Kampong Glam – the day scene and the night scene. The zine is titled “Day to Night to Day @ Kampong Glam” to explain how the events in the area happen in a cycle — one after the other — despite the entirely different scenes of day and night.

The idea is the showcase the different prominent elements that one would notice when he/she goes to Kampong Glam in the day and in the night. From my research, I found that both the day and night are entirely different scenes, and I would like to show these 2 differences and how both of them are connected and complements each other in the zine.


The Zine

Cover

The reader will be first introduced to the day scene, which is the front cover. What better way to introduce Kampong Glam then with a prominent feature of the place — the shophouses. So I represented that using the different styles of shophouse windows.

First Spread

For the day scene, it would show the happenings that would you see during the day. Groups or tourists and tour groups would roam the streets, which can be seen on the left side of the spread. The other feature that can be seen during the day would be the retail shops selling fabric, textiles and carpets, which can be seen on the right side of the spread.

The two rectangular patterns on the top of the spread are to represent the long corridors along the shophouses and the patterns on it are similar to those that can be found on the Sultan Mosque, which is the most prominent building in Kampong Glam.

Most tourists can be found coming to Kampong Glam during the day

The many rolls of fabrics and textiles, a common sight at the shops at Kampong Glam

The patterns on the Sultan Mosque which is used in the zine

Middle Spread

The middle spread would be the most important spread as it shows the transition from the day scene to the night scene. I tried to make both the design styles from both scenes to blend as seamlessly as possible together.

The two rows of shophouses, at the top and bottom, are to show the other prominent thing about Kampong Glam that can be seen in both the day and the night, which is the shophouses. In a way, it shows how the shophouses come in rows alongside each other at Kampong Glam.

Other than the colours, the elements in the picture also form a transition. It starts off with the palm trees, which is one of the elements at Kampong Glam that has become part of the place’s identity (normally complements the Sultan Mosque), which will transform to what looks like the shape of a lamppost, another element that would appear in both day (even though it is not used) and night, and transforms again into cutleries, showing that the food scene is more active at night and is one of the more major activities that happen at that time.

There is also a sense of symmetry in this spread to help support the idea of transition and balance.

The palm trees which almost always complements the Sultan Mosque

One of many shophouses that fill Kampong Glam in rows

The food scene is more active at night.

Last spread

The last spread is the night scene. I would try to make this scene different from the day scene. The illustrations are mainly a repetition of the same illustrations, just taking turns overlaying and switching of colours. They are illustrations of the prominent things at night, which is the food and drinking scene and the many exotic lanterns that come in both circular and rectangular shapes with many different patterns on them.

Other than the entirely different colour scheme, the illustrations here overlay each other but off centre by a bit to form like a double image, which is an element I discovered at night where the lights form double shadows, most of the time coloured, creating double coloured shadows.

The circular features in the background and the background itself has a gradient element to it to show the down-up lighting that can be found on some of the buildings at night. So here I make the gradient in a way that is lighter from the bottom to help express this.

The overlaying circles at the top and bottom, however, are the lights that I find lining some of the buildings and arches of some restaurants and shops.

Double coloured shadow formed on the wall at night

Down-up lighting on the buildings at night

The many different styles of exotic lanterns

The drinking culture, and the rows of lights lining the arcs at a bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back cover

So what comes next after the last spread? The reader would normally flip to the back cover, which is also the night scene. The back cover is similar to the front cover only with the elements of the night.

Wait a minute…

Something looks funny on the back cover. It looks like the design for the night scene decreases or lightens up towards the right.

If you open up the back and front cover into a spread you can see that it forms another transition…

There is another transition here, hidden if the reader does not open up the cover and back cover into a spread. The night scene transforms back to the day. This is how it goes back to the title and the idea of the day and night scene is in a cycle, how one comes after the other, even though both are of almost opposite styles.


Styling

Design Style

I chose to do flat illustration as it would allow me to create a clean style that would be easy and simple to understand. It would also allow me to do a clean overlaying of illustrations which is what I did for half of the zine to show the night scene.

There are also line works used in the design as it would help to lighten the spreads, in a way giving the reader a breather while flipping through the pages. It in a way prevents the spreads from looking too cluttered and filled.

Colour Scheme

I used the main colour blue which is consistent throughout the zine. I used blue as it is a cool and chill colour, in a way to represent the pretty chill culture and vibe the Kampong Glam has in both the day and night.

In the day I used its complementary colour — orange. It also helps to make the day scenes look bright like the day and also to represent the warmth during the day.

In the night, however, I used one of the blue’s triadic colours — a hue of purple. The other triadic colour was a hue of yellow which I did not find suitable to be used for a night scene. The hue of purple helped to support the night scene more. It gives a sort of mystery to the illustration too.


My Thoughts

The first challenge would definitely be trying not to make the zine look like a brochure for Singapore Tourism Board. The location I got is Kampong Glam. It IS a tourism spot. So no matter what I do at first, it would definitely look like a tourism brochure for the location. So it took me a while to find a direction that would be away from that. It took me 3 weeks actually and I was still unsure about my idea.

Closing in to the actual supposed production time, I finally got my idea for the zine. With not much time left, I got to the production and sketches as soon as possible. The next challenge for me was laying out of the zine. I found it hard to make the illustrations into a layout since most of the laying out that I am used to involves the use of images and photographs. I had to consider laying out and experimenting with design principles and colour theories. It took me a lot of sketches and ideation to get to the final one that ended up in the zine.

Then the illustrations took a long time to design and illustrate. When alot of my friends actually tested prints and are done with the layouts, I was still attempting and trying to complete my first spread. So I panicked abit but I still tried.

The end product is not my best. I know that. If there was more time I would definitely attempt other layouts. Maybe more detailed illustrations and experimentation. But I was definitely still happy with the comments and remarks that I got from my peers.

Zine for Kampong Glam (Part 6 – Developments)

(Disclaimer: Here are only the developments that went digital. Most of the other developments are in the Journal)

The feature image of this post is the mood board that I have created for the zine.

As we only have a limited number of spreads and pages to work with, I tried my best to compress a lot of the elements into those few pages. Also, I tried to connect and design the pages as a spread rather than individual pages so that I could show my understanding of spreads and in a way making use of the pages more.


First spread

This was actually the second-last spread that I worked on as I was finding it hard to attempt this and I actually left it last.

There were some main elements I plan to feature in the first spread. It being the day scene, I would definitely want to feature:

  • tourists
  • fabrics/textiles
  • shophouses
  • Sultan Mosque

So the following are the layouts I did for the first spread.

I wanted to have a balance between the tourists and the textiles, making them almost equal. So I tried putting them side by side or even on the same page.

As this was the last inner spread that I worked on, I have trouble trying to show shophouses here since I have already featured the shophouses in the middle spread. So, I decided to make it into the corridor arches instead.

For the colours and style, I was very much inspired my Malika Favre’s work. I realise I was following too closely to it that it is starting to look very much like it too. So I had to change things up abit and change the colours too.

Initial sketches

One of the first sketches I did

One of Malika Favre’s work that I was inspired by

One of my attempts on the spread. It started to look very close to Malika Favre’s work, especially the colours.

End result

I was not too satisfied with this spread as it still looked too solid and heavy despite my attempt to make it lighter by changing some of the illustrations into line works.


Middle spread

This was the second spread that I worked on. All this while I would know the importance of the middle spread as it is the transition spread and would balance out both sides of the zine.

Some elements that I would wanna feature in this spread is:

  • palm trees (for the day)
  • lampposts (as it can help to show the transition and looks close to cutleries and palm trees)
  • cutleries (for the night)
  • shophouses

I tried to make it more dynamic for this and this page was particularly important to show the transition from day to night. So I spend alot of time on this to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Initial sketches

An initial sketch for the middle spread

My first digitalised work for the middle spread. I realise that there were still too much space in it and it was not dynamic enough

I tried to make it more dynamic. Almost there…

End result

I settle down with this as I think there is a right balance and dynamic movement in the spread. I think that the transition from day to night is seamless too, like there is no sudden change.


Last spread

This was actually the first spread that I worked on as I really wanted to show the overlaying and the double shadow effect in the zine.

Some of the main elements that I wanted to show in this spread is:

  • exotic lanterns
  • down-up lighting
  • food scene (plates and drinks)
  • lights

Initial sketches

Can’t really see much here as I mostly worked out the shapes of the illustrations digitally

End result

I was satisfied with the layout of this spread as it was very close to what I had invisioned. The space on the left page of the spread was actually for text, but I decided not to put it in because i wouldn’t want it to affect the mood and feel the illustrations had conveyed.


The cover and back cover

This was actually the last page that I attempted as I was mainly focusing on the contents, and would leave this last so that I would know what the content is already like so that the cover page and back cover would be the design layout that holds all the contents together.

So what would be the better way to hold everything together and represent Kampong Glam? By using shophouses windows! (Since the shophouses have already been used by the middle spread)

Initial sketches

I wanted to make the windows of different sizes, but I decided not to as I think it would make the spread look too messy.

End result

I was pretty satisfied with the outcome of this spread as it also has a smooth transition as the middle spread.

Sousveillance

The term sousveillance derives from the word “surveillance”, where sur means above while “sous” means “below”. Putting it together, the word basically means to see from eye-level, no longer from the “eye in the sky” perspective which is from the lampposts and ceilings. In a way, surveillance is used by people with authority on different occasions such as a museum security, police car, or even a taxi driver, but with sousveillance, it gives the power to the people. The normal average people. Whoever that has a camera or a recording device with them would be considered as sousveillance. So this time, the museum visitor can record whats happening in the museum. The civilian car could record a road incident.

Now that anyone can record anyone or anything, there is the issue of interfering with the privacy of others. It would be really rude if one records someone else without his or her permission. It is an invasion of privacy. However, with this aside, it is still useful in ways to get different perspectives of the same situation. For example, someone could use sousveillance to prove that a person of authority is misusing power. Someone could even get different perspectives on an incident such as a road accident, on angles that maybe surveillance could not reach.

In conclusion, there is the positive and negative side of sousveillance. But as compared to surveillance, sousveillance has given the power to the average citizen which could be useful in certain situations.

The Bag Project – Soft Goods Assignment

For this assignment, we are to create an object out of soft material, like fabrics, but make the prototype using paper. So I had the idea of creating something that would be useful for my profession as a designer.

Deciding on the product

Before actually getting into the technicality and the actual making and sketching, I would have to decide on what to make first. I would want to make a bag, but there are many types and for different purposes.

I thought of making a box-shaped bag as that is a common type of bag that I see being carried by designers.

Another common bag that I see is the tote bag, which is convenient for designers, but when it comes to weight, it gets a little heavy on the tote bag for one shoulder or one arm to carry.

There was also an idea of making a form of the bandolier, which is something that the military would use to carry bullets and ammo, but instead of carrying those, this bandolier would be carrying designer or artist tools, like drawing pens or pencils, and a compartment for the smaller stuff. But then I would think that it could be a bit over the top and unnecessary.

So I decided to stick to the first idea which is the box-shaped bag as I think that would be the most practical to make.

Getting started

Now that I have the idea of the bag in my mind, I would then start to list the things that could be featured in the bag design. These things would be useful for the user of the bag – useful for the designer using the bag.

Parts of the bag:
  • laptop slot
  • EZlink card holder/slot
  • thumbdrive slot
  • A4/A4 sketchbook size
  • A2/A3 roll holder
  • penknife/cutter slot
  • pen holder
  • bottle slot
  • ruler slot

(These are just initial ideas. Some of these ideas get scrapped over time)

I also started to play around and reconfirming the main shape of the bag. How it is closed and how it is going to open up. So I decided to make the main body of the bag able to open up bigger for easier accessibility of the user.

Exploring the different parts

After listing down the different compartments needed, I start working on them.

Laptop slot

The biggest and main slot would be the laptop slot. Here I try to list down and sketch out the different ways the compartment or the laptop could be kept in the bag.

I chose to stick with the inner laptop slot compartment as it would be safer for the laptop.

Bag flap and closure

With the box-shaped bag in mind, it comes with the flap. So here I try to explore the different types of closure for the flap, like magnetic snaps and hook & eye.

I decided to use the hook & eye method as I would think that the magnetic snaps would wear off after a while and it would be hard to connect the snaps together under the flap.

Straps

Here I was exploring the bag straps, with my horrible sketches. But it is mainly to see how it would look like.

A2/A3 holder

Here I try to see which is the better way to place the A3/A2 paper holder. I was taking into consideration the fact that the bag’s main body can be opened wider. So when that happens, the sides are affected, so the material of the holder would need to be stretchable.

Re-finalising the final look

Now with most of the different compartments and parts finalised, I would redraw the final look so that anything that I was to add on from there is based on this look.

More compartments and parts

With the final look refreshed, I added in more compartments and parts

Additional slot & EZlink card holder

These ideas didn’t make it to the final look, but it was some of the initial ideas I sketched out.

Stationaries slot

Some other slots that I included are sketched out.

Final look

With all the compartments checked off the list, I finally came up with the final look for the bag.

I do keep in mind that the look of the bag might change as I am making the bag.


Making the bag

With the final look sketched out, I can finally start making the bag.

Smaller-scale prototype

Before I make the prototype out of the real intended material, I made a simple paper prototype of a smaller scale to see how I am to make the bag if it is in a fuller scale, see if the different parts of the bag can actually work when put together and also to have a physical feel of the model in my hands.

The “real” prototype

I would finally get to start making the prototype using the intended materials, which is black recycled paper. I chose this material as it has a similar matte look to the REAL material that would have been used which is black leather.

I would start off by making the main body of the bag. However, the paper material is still much thinner than the synthetic leather so I had to double up the paper so that it will be much stiffer and stronger.

I would cut out the main shape of the bag first. As the bag can be opened wider at the top for easier access of the contents, the sides of the bag are cut slanted where it gets wider towards the top.

For the width of the bag, I just used the measurements of a 15 inch MacBook and added a few centimetres to it so that I would know that it could fit such a device and also that there is no problem when it comes putting in a 13-inch version.

Initially, the bag was too thick when I put all 4 sides together and it looked like those bags carried by the food deliverymen. So I disassembled the bag and trimmed a few centimetres off for the sides.

With the main body of the bag confirmed, I would start adding the different compartments of the bags inside before I seal off all 4 sides of the bag. There was also trial and error for this as the first compartments that I made were too tight for the objects so I had to make the compartments thicker or wider. Some compartments also have a similar method with the bag itself where it can be opened wider at the top so to have easy access to the contents.

As for the straps, I find this the most challenging as the straps have to be easily wearable compared and at the same time won’t look too floppy or long when being worn. Since it is only a prototype, the mechanism of the bag is not implemented yet.

For the hook and eye method, I double up the hook and eye so that it will be stronger. but the read material for the hook would be using metal.

Final Outcome

Even though the final bag looks a little different from the sketches and has its minor flaws here and there, I am still pretty happy with it. I actually had the intention of making into a real bag with real materials, but I think I would just ruin it as I don’t think I have the right skills for making a bag. Would be cool though!

Zine for Kampong Glam (Part 5 – Early Concepts)

To show the transition of the day to night in my zine, I would pick out elements that stand out during the day and the night so to narrow down on what to show in the zine before even actually deconstructing it into graphic forms.

Things that stand out during the day:

  • retail shops (fabrics, carpets, perfume shops)
  • eateries – not too many people except during lunchtime
  • more tourists & tour groups
  • graffiti (particularly stands out in the day, vibrant colours, tourist attractions
  • shophouse windows (colours and patterns)
  • palm trees

Things that stand out at night:

  • pubs & bar
  • eateries (more people compared to during the day)
  • signboards (colourful and bright, LED, alternating colours)
  • lamps (exotic patterns, middle-eastern look)
  • multiple coloured shadows on walls (see more here)
  • lights from surrounding buildings
  • ground-up lighting

Things that stand out throughout the day:

  • the Sultan Mosque (a prominent feature in the day, lit up through the night)

Moodboard & Artist Reference

Since we are not encouraged to do photography style, I figured that I could use illustrations for the graphic forms of the zine. As for the type of illustration style, I would think of flat vector-based illustration as it would help bring out the play with colours and would also allow me to do overlays and layerings without it being too messy.

Artist Reference

Malika Favre

One particular artist works that captured my attention as an inspiration for the zine is the works by Malika Favre. I loved how she used flat vector illustration and minimal use of colours and details but could create a variety of graphic shapes and forms.

La Documenta by Malika Favre (http://malikafavre.com/la-documenta)

I loved how even by using 2 colours (not including the white) the artist could form a crowd and many different people with minimal or very minor details.

The Traveller by Malika Favre (http://malikafavre.com/the-traveller)

Part of the 3 illustrations under The Traveller series, I liked how the artist has used a similar pattern for the floor tiles as the patterns I spotted on some of the exotic lamps during my night visit to Kampong Glam. I could attempt to do something similar for my zine maybe.

Part of the Christmas in Bologna series (http://malikafavre.com/christmas-in-bologna)

Part of the Christmas in Bologna series (http://malikafavre.com/christmas-in-bologna)

Part of the Christmas in Bologna series (http://malikafavre.com/christmas-in-bologna)

Part of the Christmas in Bologna series (http://malikafavre.com/christmas-in-bologna)

For this series, Christmas in Bologna, I could easily relate how the artist illustrated the windows, patterns and walkways with the many shophouses, walkways, and windows at Kampong Glam. I could possibly try a similar style for my zine for this.

Adam Koon

Another artist work that I was inspired by is the works by Adam Koon. I particularly liked how he used irregular shapes to make the works look more fun and not rigid. His use of colours even though is also minimal still manage to make some of the elements in the works stand out more, hence, visual hierarchy. He has also added some textures and minimal line works in the works, making it stand out more and have a more overall impact.

Moodboard

Adding on to the artist reference, I have also created a mood board for the zine. As mentioned earlier, I plan to use flat vector illustration + use of vibrant colours throughout, which are the colours that can be seen in the graffiti and the shophouses at Kampong Glam. For the night scene, I plan to use a similar style but with a darker background. The illustrations will also begin to overlap and overlay each other, the effect which I found on the walls which is the overlaying coloured shadows. The colours would be more saturated and bright to contrast with the dark background.


Laying It Out

Before I would actually deconstruct the content into graphic forms, I would lay out the content first.

Front and back cover

Since it will be a day and night zine, the front and back cover would be bright and dark respectively. So the readers would know that the book is about day and night, respectively. As for what is on the cover, I would plan to put what would be easily recognisable as something very Kampong Glam – the shophouse windows.

First spread

The first two pages would be to show what goes on in the day. So as mentioned earlier:

  • retail shops (fabrics, carpets, perfume shops)
  • eateries – not too many people except during lunchtime
  • more tourists & tour groups
  • graffiti (particularly stands out in the day, vibrant colours, tourist attractions
  • shophouse windows (colours and patterns)
  • palm trees

It would showcase what is prominent during the daytime.

Middle spread

The middle spread would be most important as it showcases how the place changes from day to night, which is the transition of Kampong Glam. The content would feature some of the elements from both day and night, in a way blending both together, hopefully seamlessly.

Last spread

In contrast to the first spread, the last spread would be showcasing what is prominent in the night. The pictures will be overlapped in a way to show the double imagery mentioned earlier.

  • pubs & bars
  • eateries (more people compared to during the day)
  • signboards (colourful and bright, LED, alternating colours)
  • lamps (exotic patterns, middle-eastern look)
  • multiple coloured shadows on walls (see more here)
  • lights from surrounding buildings
  • ground-up lighting

Comments on the first draft:

  • give a thought about pacing & breathing space
  • pages too cluttered and filled
  • allow the reader to stop & rest
  • front and back cover too minimal as compared to the inner pages
  • include some design principles for the layout of the pages (middle spread is a good example/attempt)
  • have direction and flow for the spreads

Links

Zine for Kampong Glam (Part 4 – Night Adventures and … More Ideas)

So my earlier ideas got rejected because it was too “touristic” as if its a promotion or publication for Singapore Tourism Board. So I decided to think it through again.

Idea 4: Silk Roads

For this idea is a play on the fact that previously Kampong Glam used to be a place where people do trade, selling different items to make a living. Another thing that stands out during my visits there is the number of streets there is, how they criss-cross each other and forms like a grid system for the area. So I could play with these 2 elements to create the zine.

However, I would think that the idea is not deep enough as a concept.

Idea 5: A Fictional Destination

So there is a palace. Many shops that sell different made things. Many shops that sell items needed to make stuff. A mosque. And food outlets, restaurants. An idea struck me in a way that it looks like the elements that can be found in a game. Castles, shops that sell items, a place of prayer, and food shops. So I could create a form of promotional content for a new in-game area that just opened. The design concept would be pixel art, like those Pokemon-top-view games.

However, I would feel like I’m just literally making the place into a game, and not really exploring much of the graphic forms and visuals.


Kampong Glam at Night

So after rejecting my own ideas, I decided to go back to Kampong Glam. but this time I decided to go at night, to see what is there, and what are the differences, and to my surprise, it was actually quite different.

(Sorry for the bad images! I have really unsteady hands)

Eating and chilling

At night, there seem to be more people there to eat, drink and chill, and more food shops open at this time too.

Neon lights and signboards

The things that would stand out the most would be the neon lights and the signboards that would only be switched on at night. In the day it would appear as just a plain signboard. Some signboards would even change colours!

Lamps of all sorts

At night, the lamps that you normally see along the streets will be switched on, hence creating and displaying all these different patterns and colours that you won’t normally get to see in the day.

A barbershop that operates into the night

Bottoms up!

Not only referring to the drinking culture in Kampong Glam at night but the lights at some of the buildings at Kampong Glam also does it too. The lights shine upwards on the buildings creating a unique look and also making the buildings look different.

The lights on the minarets of the Sultan Mosque changes colours too!

Other findings

A friendly resident

Lights from the nearby buildings, such as this Duo offices and residence, has a unique look too!

The lights shining in between the window panels make it look like an opening book effect

The many different lights caused a layering effect on the walls, which is really interesting!

The lights also caused some of the seen patterns during the day to be hidden, creating an interesting look to it.

So after all these findings, I came out with another idea that hopefully works.

Idea 6: Day to Night to Day

After all the research and visits, I could see that there are different activities that would stand out during the day and also at night. In the day, most of the retail shops would be open, and the place would be crowded with tourists groups. In the night, however, the retail shops will be closed and the bars and pubs will open. The lights from different signboards and lamps will be switched on creating an entirely different vibe to the area. All these would be interesting to explore and put in the zine.