4D | Project 2: Before it’s too late

This is my second project for 4D and we are doing a stop motion project. 90 images  portraying a storyline. Both the start and end images will have to show me sleeping. 

When I was planning what I could do for my stop motion, the first thing that came to mind was, would music enhance my entire idea? Then, I planned out my story board. I only planned the first 60+ images. After which, the reminding ideas suddenly came to mind. 

This was quite a challenging project for me. Usually, taking photos would be just to compose, shoot and edit. It wouldn’t be a series of 90 images joined together in a project to tell a story. I didn’t know how to transit well, or what would make a good transition. Several ideas popped up in my mind. But I didn’t see how the ideas could sit well together. 

In the end, I have two main scenes for the project. Light and Dark. 



This scene was fun, but it felt like I was burning my feet because the sun was shinning directly on the wooden planks and it was very very hot. 

My idea behind this scene is that the character is very fond of calm and dream-like state. She likes flowers and likes all thing good. Thus I wanted to go for a clear and crisp colour tone of this scene. In this state, she’s ignorant and just goes with what she wants are thinks she already knows. 

She then walks and gets transported, as seen in the stop motion. In the next scene, there are several more changes. 



One noticeable change is her clothing. She dons a black dress throughout this night series. This represents the darkness of the world and the ugly things that are present. Sometimes, these are the things we so evidently choose to ignore. 

I had a tough time with trying to shoot this. It took awhile to get used to night photography. To get the settings right, to have the right light balance and to compose the right photos, it took two nights of practice. Thankfully, I had a friend to help with the later days of night shoots. 

In this part of the shoot, the music helps to intensifies the stop motion and it speeds up rapidly and ends abruptly. All these details mean something. As it speeds up, the situation gets more dramatic and serious. Even the lead character gets sucked into the dark world and falls prey to it. There are scenes of poverty (not very well portrayed), deformities and suicides. This directly portrays the darkness in the world which is a very evident in the world but we choose not to see. In Singapore, we have homeless people that line the streets of Bugis and other places at night. Though we rarely see deformed or bodily impaired individuals, they exist. Just that they may not have to mobility to travel and neither do they want to be seen (I presume). 

In the end, the main character goes crazy after being hit by the state the world is in, the scarring things she has seen in contrast to what she thought her reality was like. She finally falls back into sleep and lingers there. The music at this point is at its peak and it ends abruptly there. I wanted to portray that, such things can happen and we know not when it’ll happen, the trap of depression we can fall into. Also,we can be any of the individuals that are in the same plight of the characters that I have tried (but not succeeded well) to portray or we may have people we know, or in future, people that we’ll come across. We can suddenly be caught and there’s nothing left for us to do. 

But what we can do is to step out of our safety nets of knowledge. There is much of the world that we can pray for and plan what to do so that we can all contribute to those suffering with true intentions. It’s not too late to find out more or do more. Let’s not wait until it’s too late.

So take a look at my final video!

thank you


Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.


From what I’ve tasted of desire 


I hold with those who favour fire.


But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know of enough hate.


To say that for destruction ice is also great
And would suffice.

Jiaman and Amadea

4D | Props as Signifier

The Object as an Icon.


The Object connotes a new meaning.
propsassignifier1 propsassignifier2 propsassignifier3 propsassignifier9

What does it mean?

I had fun doing this exercise and thinking of how my object (an apple bowl) can be a signifier. Soon, I’ll be updating on the connotations behind it!

4D | Project 1: Picture story – Curating Self

This is my first 4D project. This post expounds on my journey, my whole thinking process and the outcome.

Task 1:

Who am I? Sometimes i think to myself: what am I made of, what can I do with this body (i believe created by God) and what’s the purpose of my body?

One thing that i’ve been doing (and loving) since young, is dance. Dance, to me, is a way of expression, of release, and simply, a fun way to move my body (and also to keep fit). Never have I done a dance photoshoot as I haven’t been very active in recent months. Attempting to do this shoot was a challenge.

First, it was a physical challenge. The muscles involved in such a work out must be one that is well developed and warm. So after not dancing for quite awhile, it was a bit strenuous. Secondly, trying to express myself in different poses and angles in front of a camera and keeping the pose for a longer time than usual proved challenging (as dance is fluid and has to follow through). This was a stop-capture motion that felt a little unnatural as compared to dancing. Still, it was a fun experience.

So, here I am representing myself with a few snapshots of me as a dancer. These are some of the common moves that i’ve used over the years.

1. This is a full body image that captures a turn, balanced on demi pointe. I chose a long shot as the essence of the turn and body anatomy would be better captured.

IMG_3864a 2. The second image is a mid shot of a stretching pose commonly used during dance warm ups (which I used the parapet as a barre here). The mid shot could capture the angles, and it focuses directly on my action.
IMG_4088a 3.
My last image is a close up of my feet. The feet plays one of the biggest role and it holds all the body weight as one glides across the floor. Here, i’m on pointe (though not very good). I chose a close up of being en pointe. Audiences usually see the “long-shot” of dancers and rarely them without their pointe shoes (or exposed). What goes on behind the fabrics is a tough and not very pleasant sight. (I have pretty normal feet as i’m barely en pointe and I haven’t destroyed it). Here, I want to bring out the angles, the pressure and the curves that’s placed on the toes in this position.


All these photos have a black and white background as I want to block of the surrounding colours so that the natural movement and body anatomy is well defined and contrasted.

Thus, I see myself as created to be able to express and enjoy smooth swift movements enabled with the human body.

“If being attentive to the details of people’s lives might be considered a vocation, mine was born in the smell and feel of the memory lost and its objects.”
– Sherry Turkle

Task 2:
Object and representation of self

My object: My pillow

Why so? The first thing that I see and touch when I wake up is my pillow and the last thing that I see and touch before I fall asleep is also my pillow. It’s significance is huge to me and it is the one that provides and supports me so that I can have sufficient energy for the next day. Also, when i’m sad and in need of comfort, it collects my tears and gives me something to rest my head upon. When I need to sit up, I prop myself up with my pillow as my back rest. It is a great support and a huge lifeline for me.

After a tiring day out, i’m quick to fall on my bed and lay my head in it’s soft and comforting embrace. Thus my series of photos will show the comfort I find in my pillow and how it offers the same comfort in unusual settings.

Out of the five photo tasks, I chose three. A full figure shot of myself interacting with my pillow; a mid-range shot of myself interacting with the pillow and lastly a close up shot my interaction with my pillow. 

1. An overlaid photo where I’m falling into my comfort on concrete ground. 

IMG_4321-3 2. A resting position of how I always sleep, yet in a very unfamiliar and unusual setting. I used this to show how my pillow will give me the comfort in rigid and rough situations.

IMG_43363. A close up of me expressing my happiness and joy my pillow provides. 


    IMG_3669 IMG_3688


   IMG_4287 IMG_4336

“For every object they have spun a world. They show us what they looked upon and what became the things that mattered.” 
– Sherry Turkle

Task 3:
My world

The swimming pool is very significant to me. Ever since young, a family activity and my time of exercise is often swimming (I am an avid swimmer). Since young, i’ve love the feel of water and the natural calmness it brings me. My favourite pool is one near my house. As much as water bring me calmness, the location and design of the pool surroundings further enhances this. It is full of plants, trees and surrounded by a park. Whenever I walk around, I feel like i’m at home (even though I don’t stay there). I just gives me a sense of comfort and familiarity, this manner also fascinates me. In fact, sometimes it’s dreamlike and I spend my time there like time doesn’t pass.

I had this surreal and ethereal idea as I was planning what I could do. Rather than have different angles and show many vantage points or wonderful angles shots, I wanted to show what is going through my head as I walk around while playing with angles.

Let me explain the following photos.

1. This is a pathway leading to the pool (or rather here, I’m walking away from it). I feel as though i’m stepping into another world. A world of my own escape, an invisible door that leads me somewhere else . I tried to play around with different tones to find a more ethereal feel.

 IMG_4297-52. Seeing the surroundings, a mix of water and nature, I feel this fuzzy likeness that both items coincide and sit well together (just like the sea and trees etc). I picture this as one and two inseparable items which is why I created this image. (A top down angle of water ripples and a low angle capture of the surrounding greenery.)

coolio 3. A  surreal shot of how I directly feel like when I’m in the water. I feel a sense of comfort and this is the state I sometimes aim towards. The water that surrounds me like back when I was in my mothers womb. A safe place of comfort and belonging cascading around me.


4. This water signifies the calmness and serenity I feel when I look at the water. I want to try to show the movement and sound of flowing water through the bubbles and ripples. The movement and sound of water pushes the calmness that I feel as it isn’t a silent and rigid environment, but the water that keeps flowing feels like it also keeps me flowing.




For this series, a photographer that inspired me is Kyle Thompson. His work of super surrealism attracted me. There’s a sense of comfort and an odd sense of familiarity in his odd and unusual photos. I think it’s because he uses surroundings that are close to him and elements that he identifies with that causes the viewers to also identify with what he’s capturing.



FINAL PRESENTATION: IMG_2016-09-01 15:02:24

I chose to lay it out in a diamond format with the top three photos of task one, to the three photos of task two as the middle section and the last four photos (explained from bottom up) at the bottom of the diamond as I want to portray the linkage of all the photos that have a deep connection to me. Most of these photos represents my internal psyche and the comfort I find in dance, my pillow and the pool which I hope is well portrayed here. It highly revolves around who I realised I am and what I find joy in.

IMG_2016-09-01 16:52:30

All in all, I enjoyed this process of documenting images and trying to express myself in different ways. To also push ideas to reality was a fun challenge and I hope I was able to convey these ideas throughly and succinctly.

Hope this was an interesting and enjoyable post.


4D | THE DRAWING ROOM by Liao Jiekai






There is the strong contrast of the sense of time in the artwork: the video that shows the progress of the artist and the slideshow that shows negative photographs of the Greek sculptures. The rhythm of the video and the slideshow differs as the video plays in continuous flow whereas the slideshow contains abrupt rhythm and gaps in between. The video contains various close-ups of the movements of the artist and the model, thus providing a lot of detail. The photographs of the sculptures focus on the movement/body position of the sculptures.


This artwork portrays three keywords: time, space and dimensionality.

The dimensionality of the body is shown through various reproduction of the image through drawings, films, photography and sculptures. And these various methods are present in this artwork. The sculptures of the bodies are shown through the photographs and the drawing of the body is shown through the film and the physical presence of the drawing. The artist wanted to present the idea of space in relation to when the image was created and exhibited. Thus, it presents different kinds of exhibiting spaces, the drawing room, the museum where the sculptures are exhibited and the current physical gallery where this artwork is exhibited. Finally, time exists in various dimensions for this work. The progress, the time when the photographs are taken and the current time at the gallery. This accentuates different sense of time in each of the dimensions.



As I first saw the art work, I started looking at the forms, angles and progression of the three different installations. I thought the video where JieKai was documenting the process of the painter was about capturing the rawness of what goes on behind a painting. In the slide projection, I realised that is was presented in negative form – sepia/brownish tone. This, which I thought had no relationship to the art piece and video. As I pondered a little bit longer and as I watched the video in conjunction with the stills that were playing, I thought that there could be a little bit of cultural exposure that the artist wanted the audience to see and learn. There is a process that is made for the painting and video. So, incorporating the stills shows that there needs to be cultural basis for even modern art pieces. I thought that it might also be showcasing the psyche of the artist, that she wanted those viewing the painting to realise that “modern art” isn’t just abstract and spontaneous, but there are huge roots to produce an art piece.

Also, I noted that the video was a little monotonous, especially when it was showing the empty spaces. Whether it was his filming style, I wasn’t too sure but I thought it represented the mundane state of trying to complete the art piece


After finding out more that this piece centered around three main things: time, space and dimensionality, I could put it together and understood what the artist intentions were. Both the film and drawing were simultaneously done together over a long period of time. I learnt that as Jiekai was filming, he found the setting up of the drawing interesting and as time passed, there was this mundanity and boredom of watching the artist just painting. Thus, I assume that the monotony of the film could be a reflection of his thoughts.

I found out that the slide projection was shot in a totally different time, space and dimension. I think that it further expounds on the dimensionality of a body in relation to the artist drawing. Here, the body is captured in different forms. The different Greek statues were all nude and their bodies were all exposed. There were different frames for different statues that showed different parts of the human anatomy. Here, I think Jiekai is trying to put together different angles of the body and fitting in two very different pieces to show the body in relation to art and history.



The author uses different forms of art to present his art work, which encourages the audience to use different angles to appreciate the art work.


Different art forms shapes the writing of history, affect our understanding of history. Maybe that is the reason why we need various form to document our history, in order to restore history objectively.



Liao’s projections display a few distinct contrasts, which, in turn, become eye-catching for the audience. A contrast, for example, lies in their colour scheme. The film is situated in a bright room, with much sunlight piercing through the window, whereas the film stills are negatives and are hence dominated by the darkness of the photographs. In addition, the distinction between the two projections themselves highlight a difference between still images and moving images, or a film, yet there still lies a similarity between the subject matters of both pieces. As the still images mainly focus on classical sculptures of the human body, similarly, the film shows interest in the drawing of a female body. This contrast allows the viewers to question whether there is a relation between classical European art and the art produced in this modern world. The idea of preservation hence comes to mind, being that it seems as though the charcoal artist is attempting to draw the lady in order to preserve this image of hers, just like how the European models were preserved through sculptures. This is further seen in the Chen’s use of a fixative, which keeps the charcoal drawing intact.


Liao’s art piece focuses on three primary ideas, namely time, space and dimension. As Liao attempts to dwell into the idea of time, he shows a comparison between the old and the new – classical European sculptures and a charcoal drawing of a woman in a rather modern setting. Time is further highlighted in his contrasting use of still and moving images, whereas the still photographs, which lack motion and focuses on art of the past ages, suggests the concept of the past – an age that would no longer features movement or a sense of life. The video, on the other hand, displays just that. It hence exhibits the idea of the present time, as it acts as a documentation of the final charcoal piece, highlighting its process in which the artwork is made. However, as Liao presents the final piece beside the projections, the audience is reminded that the present time in the video has already passed and now belongs to the past. The art projections hence creatively portray the fleeting essence of time. Moreover, Liao also experiments with space as he questions the setting of the artworks. Liao distinguishes the film and image projected through their contrasting colour scheme, but also emphasizes on the disparate settings through such technique. The brightness in the film highlights the plainness of the room, showcasing a more modern design of the location. On the other hand, Liao’s use of negatives in his slide projection emphasises the shadows and hence reveal the elaborate details of the museum’s interior. More interestingly, while the film is merely situated in a plain room, the fact that the video is being displayed in a gallery actually reflects the situation of the sculptures, which are likewise presented in a museum. This brings into question whether the drawing or the sculptures actually differ in setting. Thus, these qualities allow for enough confusion and curiousity to make the viewer analyse or question how an image appears or how it is being produced and displayed. While the two works were created in differing places and ages, there are still similarities between these two. Art, perhaps, is truly ephemeral.

“The viewers are seeing the artwork made in present time, yet since the art has been completed, it now belongs to the past.”