Jane, 16, an avid super fan of Adam Levine, studies at Paya Lebar Methodist Girl’s school. Unbeknownst to her, she has fallen prey to the stalking of a retrenched security guard in her school, who gets photos and information of her interests and whereabouts from her social media platforms. Jane went missing after going to collect a suspiciously good deal for tickets of an Adam Levine concert, leading us to the room where her fate was sealed.
- Perfect Blue (1997) – animated psychological thriller film
The movie, directed by Satoshi Kon, follows a member of a Japanese pop idol who decides to retire from music to pursue an acting career. As she is subjected to the stalking from an obsessed fan and difficulties in her first acting role, her sense of reality starts diminishing.Reference: We referenced the plot and character development of the stalker in the film, where his obsession with his idol led to scary consequences. His acts of communicating with her fake online persona and his illusions and convictions about her served as main points in developing the stalker character in our story.
- Lolita Novel (1955) & Film
The classic novel, by Vladimir Nabokov, narrates a controversial story of a middle-aged literature professor called Humbert and his obsession with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, whom mother he married to retain a relationship with his “step-daughter”. “Lolita” is his secret nickname for her.
Reference: In the story, Humbert starts a diary in which he records his obsessive and imaginative sexual wishes about Dolores. We referenced Humbert’s obsession with young girls between 9-14, whom he refers to as nymphets and his affection for his “Lolita”. We made Zhi Yu see Jane as his possession and present, where he calls her “baby doll” and uses a doll motif to represent her. We tried to represent his “innocent” and “pure” love for Jane in a warped and twisted manner.
Aim and Viewer’s interaction
The installation aims to convey the creepiness and intensity of someone’s obsession with a taboo subject, in this case an adolescent girl. Our space mimics a room of a stalker that reveals his obsession with Jane and the eventual result of her careless use of social media and his psychotic nature.
Choice of space
Initially, we wanted to use the staircase exit for a room but it was not approved due to it being an emergency exit. We found a convenient space with a window to construct the room. To establish a confined and dark space, we used string and garbage bags to create a boundary and roof.
References (Space – Room of a stalker)
- Perfect Blue – Scene of the stalker having a “conversation” with his idol in his room
Reference: Cluttered, messy room with bare necessities. The room revolves around the table with the computer and the photo wall with pictures of his idol above it. We also incorporated the clutter in the room – newspapers, filled plastic bags, hung and strewn clothes.
- Stalker Room by Eleanor Bull
Reference art installation capturing someone’s excessive obsession
Reference: We referenced this work for our photo wall of images and cut-outs of women, use of photo frames, etc.
- One Hour Photo (2002) – American psychological thriller film
The main character, Sy, is a photo technician working at a one- hour photo store. He lives a solitary existence and is shy and socially inept, and has grown obsessed with a family that are loyal customers of the store. His obsession grew to the extent of enshrining them in his home with their photos that he copies in secret. The movie demonstrates how traumatising and terrifying being monitored through the camera lens can be, inflicting psychological harm on its victims.
Reference: We wanted our space to reflect how scary and creepy someone’s obsession with an unrelated person can be through the bombardment of images. We referenced the photo wall shrine Sy made of the family for our room.
COMPONENTS OF THE ROOM
Photo-wall and Table
Components on table: Laptop, calendar, lamp (main light source), mirror, empty food containers, trash and cup noodles, papers and documents
Bed and Window
Bed consists of a “doll” of Jane’s pink sweater wrapped over a pillow, Jane’s bloodied uniform, messy blanket, dirty clothes
DETAILS AND ELEMENTS
Chinese newspapers with jobs circled out – his unemployment
Notes of his desires towards Jane – mild level
Notes of his desires towards Jane – Higher intensity and level of danger
“You’re my birthday present”
“I will be with you forever”
“You will be with me forever”
> Implying what could have happened to Jane on Zhi Yu’s birthday, 15 November
Aim and Viewer’s interaction
We wanted to create a link between the images in the room and the information the stalker has about Jane with Jane’s social media outlets.
- Jane’s Facebook: Many posts ranging from different time periods about her interests, whereabouts, schedule, photos, conversations and wants.
- Zhi Yu’s Facebook: Account of unknown background, Facebook friends with Jane (She accepted due to her ignorance)
- Carousell exchange between Zhi Yu and Jane: Zhi Yu offers Jane tickets to Adam Levine concert that she is desperate for, ask for meet up at the house on 15 November, 2017 for collection
SOUND & LIGHTING
Lighting – Our main source of light comes from the table lamp as we wanted a tight and dark space.
Sound – The sound was a recording of the stalker singing a birthday song to himself over the sounds of a girl’s (Jane’s) muffled cry for help. We recorded it with an ambience noise. The sound clip was looped for the entire span of the installation.
INSTALLATION SET UP – DAY 1
INSTALLATION DAY 2