18\19 S1 UNTITLED-2



Lovesick:Varla-Alternative tales of romance


Lovesick: Varla is one of a series of love stories, although this is a video clip, but the effective use of music and sound effects really inspired me. I found that before the music the sound effects were already there to help the audience understand the context and the emotion of the main characters. For example, the sound effects of heavy breaths of the two characters show that they are struggling and making hard decisions. The sound effect of the wind shows that they are outside. These sound effects help to tell the story better with the video.

For my work, there is one image only with 30s of sound, it would be a really challenge to tell a story with a not-moving image, which means I need to use sound effects to tell the story from the image.


Your decision making (why did you choose that image/text? Why did you piece the various sounds together?)

I want to do some works that have social reflection, when I was in Auckland, the LGBTQ community is always something that I’m curious about and interested in. These days, it also becomes a popular trend in Singapore, I can see more and more people stand out and yell out for a more inclusive society. However, there are also some objections. Now this topic becomes controversial, I want to do a work to show such an social phenomenon.

I took this photo in Chinatown, it shows that before the storm comes, there is a rainbow flag hanging in the sky.

Recognise and explain the various categories of sound in your work.

First ringing bell-household sound

Bird singing-natural sound

Alarm-emergency sound

Snoring-human sound

Open the door-household sound

Noise in the restaurant-ambient sound

Open can-household sound

Thunderstorm-natural sound

Raining-natural sound

Raining(heard from inside)-natural sound

Second ringing bell-household sound

Surprised sound-human sound

Sigh-human sound

Running away-human sound

Close the door-household sound

Normal indoor ambient sound( through all 30s) -ambient sound


The sound effects that I picked for my work are usually under these categories, which are: ambient sound, natural sound, household sound and human sound. The reason was that I want to depict a movie-scene like feeling, showing a daily route of a gay boy.

What are the semiotics of your work? The signifier and the signified?

Contrast-The image is a rainbow flag hanging in the sky on a storm day, the location is Chinatown. The rainbow flag and chinatown creates a strong contrast, Chinatown is a signifier of the traditional Singapore society, when there is a rainbow flag there, firstly I felt really moved, when it can be seen and shown to the public, and this also makes me to think the future of the LGBTQ community, that’s why I created this work.

The flag also divided the sky into two parts, bright and dark, which implies that there is obstacles as well as hope. When I took the photo, it was about to rain, therefore I use the sound effect of the rain. In addition, although I can feel that people around me are being supportive, but consider it in a wider context, most of the society do not accept such things like this, the LGBTQ community are still under pressure and hidden in the shadow, therefore the sound effect of the rain also adds a sorrow feeling to this clip.

The red lantern- showing the context, which is in a traditional Singapore.

The road-implying that the LGBTQ will have a long way to go to be considered as normal.

The sound, the 30s was just to show a daily route of a gay boy who lives in Chinatown. Just like everyone of us, he usually wakes up with the alarm, open the door and go outside to have food, but surprisingly, when he looked up, he saw a rainbow flag. He was both surprised and panic, he has a hope that the uniqueness of him would be accept by the society, but also he was afraid that he would be found out, which would cause a storm in his family and to himself. The panic emotion won, he just ran away home and locked the door. It’s still raining outside, who knows what will happen next?

There is also the sound of the bell, and it appeared twice. The first time was to show the context, it is in Chinatown, because usually Chinese temples use bells to notify people each an hour. The second time was a warning, it’s like a foreshadow for the main character, telling him that something is going to happen.

For the first part of the story, the boy has a normal life just like us, but in the second part, he was panic and scared, but he did not do anything wrong, what makes him so afraid? Who would take the responsibility? This is some questions I’ d like to leave for my audience to think about.

This daily route of the boy implies the most of the community, they desired to be accepted and supported, but for some reason, either from the family or society, they are also living under the shadow, worrying all the time about being find out.

In addition, there is a silence at the end, this story is actually a signifier of these movement now in Singapore, what the outcome would this be? Nobody knows the answer, the ending and the answer should be written by us.