Rectilinear Volumes

Here are my three sketch models that has a dominant, sub dominant and subordinate in one composition. Below are my 2D sketch analysis for each models on how to further improve them!

Sketch Model #1 before analysis

2D sketch analysis-01

With this composition it is noted that I needed to make the dominant volume more prominent while making the subordinate thinner so as to not confuse and make it seem as if there is two subordinate. Wedging the subordinate and subdominant at 1/3 the length helped to give the composition almost a a float like effect.

Sketch Model #2 before analysis

2D sketch analysis-02

With this composition, it is noted that piercing the subordinate through the subdominant makes it interesting but it is also hard to balance the composition between the dominance of the length of the subordinate and the dominant. Again, my dominant needs to be more prominent and I also decided to thin down 1/3 the subordinate to make it more obvious.

Sketch Model #3 before analysis

2D sketch analysis-03

With this composition, wedging the subordinate and the subdominant at a corner makes it interesting. However the dominant needs to be more prominent and maybe even cutting the subordinate shorter and shifting it not too in the dominant will make it more obvious as the subordinate.



Project 1: Picture Story – Curating Self

Hello! So here is my series of photos for our first project on ourself and let me take you though more about me!

Task 1: Me

Often when I think of myself I think I am someone who isn’t actually like other people which includes my thinking process. Here, the series of photos about me in around the Bukit Timah Railway has to make you stop and look to observe what the picture actually means. I used a lot of long shot technique because I want to show the surroundings around me and compare it to me, a small girl with a red bag pack exploring. I got inspired by Lavender Chang’s art photography where she does more conceptual stuff.


So this photo is to show how much of a day dreaming person I am. I decided to put myself lying in a field looking up and daydreaming but decided to leave in the blur effect in the photo because I intent the user looking at it to feel that dreamy effect but upon closer inspection he/she can actually spot me in the picture!


For the second photo it portrays me up on an abandoned bridge walking off in the distance to show that I am someone who likes to venture into the unknown. I like taking risks and exploring uninhabited places when I do my photography which is why is this photo me and my friends actually climbed up from below to get to this area over here!


As for the last photo of me, I am actually looking up at the big rock structure to show that “I’m a small girl looking to explore in a big world”. In the physical copy of the photo i actually chose to trim off the white border to let the viewer have the impression of “looking outside the photo” and let them think of what could be out there and what is the bigger picture.

Task 2: Object and Representation of Self

The object that is very near and dear to me was an old classical guitar passed down by my elder cousin.

Object 2

For my first photo, I took a very close up shot of the guitar encased by the guitar bag. My intention was to draw the viewer’s eyes to the edge of the guitar where it is torn and tattered but at the same time show how ironic it is that even though it is very old, I still want to keep it and preserve the rawness of the guitar. It’s markings sort of show the marks left behind by my elder cousin when eh used to play it in his generation.

Object 3

As for this photo, instead of the usual full figure shot of the ‘I feel like a rockstar when I’m alone’ look, I decided to give the viewer a more relaxed vibe as the guitar is more of a sentimental value to me rather than something rocking out to. So I picture myself lying down, playing the guitar and as I strum the guitar I sort of get to feel the texture of how old the guitar is and it makes me reminiscence back to how it belonged to my cousin.

Object 1

As for the last photo, I decided to shoot it in a mid length shot because to wanted to capture the motion up close but as well as showing just enough of what I was feeling. I also used a slow shutter speed while I was moving about with the guitar to capture a double exposure because I wanted to encapsulate how one object could have two lives, belonging to two different people at different times. Its interesting to think about how my cousin spent his time with this guitar could be different or same with mine.

Task 3: My World

As for the final task, the place that means something to me is actually my void deck where I lepak and meet both new and old friends. My void deck area is recognisably a vibrant orange so I chose to shoot it during the daytime to capture interesting aesthetics and how they represent as a signifier to me rather than placing the people inside. I got inspired by Tham Jing Wen and how he shot his Flat series.


In this photo this is the walkway whereby my friends will either say goodbye and leave by, or say hello and come by. By taking the picture in this way, I wanted to create a paradox whereby there is neither an entry nor an exit where I see familiar faces. The bright orange pillars almost seem like a grand entrance or exit.


Here in this photo shows the flight of stairs where I always come down from my floor to meet my friends to hang out. Its a signifier for telling my friends upon hearing my footsteps that I am on my way down to them. It also its interesting as even though I pass by it every time to hang out with my friend, I never realised how aesthetically interesting it actually was.


In this photo, I think I find it interesting how my void deck sort of has a face of its own in a place where I meet so many different faces. I thought it was an interesting unintentional aspect to my void deck and I decided to capture it as a signifier for the faces in my void deck area.


As for the last photo, I actually took it during the night time. Here pictured are actually the legs of the stools and also the table. I was trying to capture the essence that even though the viewer does not see any legs hanging indicating that some one is lepak-ing there, the shadows of the stool and table itself creates a presence in itself that some how the space is always occupied.

My Mark Making Tool


This is my mark making tool that I made. So what i did was taking an old paintbrush and attaching two different types of feather at either side on the end. One was a slightly sturdier feather like that of  a chapteh whereas one was more of a soft and fluffy texture like that stuffed inside a pillow.


I tested out my tool trying out both feathers, moving each in a specific way to obtain a marking. Some of the directions include gliding in downwards like in the bottom left markings, or flipping it side by side like in the top left ,markings. I even tries point the toll downwards whereby both feathers touch the paper and start to rotate them. What i achieved was a circular marking with a opaque contrast in the centre by the sturdier feather and a slight circular marking on the outside by the softer feather.

What i have discovered on my own was that since the soft feather is softer its soaks up the paint more so I have to drag it slightly across the surface in order to achieve an interesting patter. Unlike the sturdier feather where i can be a bit more aggressive and press it harder on the surface and achieve better markings.

Aside from the tool, one very helpful tip i learn was mixing acrylic paint with white glue to make it thicker and because of its stickiness it has helped me with some of my decalcomania prints like the one below.

Notebook 3

3D Object of Interest


My 3D object is a seashell keychain. This seashell is an example of a natural 3d form. It is interesting as nature is able to take its own course into forming a natural composition of the dominant, sub dominant and subordinate. The large smooth and polished surface represents the dominant of the entire form followed by the a line slowly spiralling in the centre forming the sub dominant. Upon reaching the centre where the spiral is tighter is forms the subordinate which draws your eye attention to it. All three compliments each other nicely giving it an interesting 3 dimensional form.

It is made out of the natural shell material but further polished to make it less fragile in form as seashells break easily. It is aesthetically pleasing and makes a good function for hanging your keys or even just as a keychain.

The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music by The Propeller Group


Who is The Propeller Group?

The collective creates multimedia work that combines the languages of filmmaking, advertising, politics, and history.

Amelia Yuliana

Preliminary Reading

As soon as the film starts the angle in which the camera is shooting moves through the narrow and small road over and over again. This somehow gives me the feeling that you are the spirit that is wandering none stop almost like a lost soul. Later on that I soon discover that there is actually an ambiguous character inside which was whom who passed away. The film gives the paradox of being and out of the funeral procession taking place making it somewhat confused but exciting. The acrobatic acts starts and so I question why would they go to such lengths for the dead. The way they also seem carry them out it almost seems second nature to them. The take away from this for me was that it was a funeral procession but was carried out in a way as if they were ‘celebrating’.

Secondary Reading

This film was made in a way where grief and joy meet on the threshold of life and death. It is a poetic rumination on life and death and the stages in between. (the paradox zone whereby it makes you feel you are part of the dead whilst zooming out and your are part of the living witnessing the procession?) It also amplifies a sense of cultural interconnection, and appealing to universal foundations of myth, storytelling, and mourning. (The acrobatic and death defying acts all convey a certain mythology they believe they require to adhere and do during the funeral.) The entire film is shot in ultra-high definition video, and produced with the technical sophistication of a Hollywood film, it immerses viewers in a lush and captivating dreamlike atmosphere. (The play between darkness and light as it being shot creates a space that is very spiritual and magical.) As part of its practice, The Propeller Group has cultivated the image of an advertising agency or public relations firm, pushing their work into the broader public sphere while deliberately confusing its brand messages. (We got confused when watching, as a funeral is something to be mournful about however they flipped it over and accompanied the film happy music and almost make it seem like a celebration.)

Bridgel Sze

Preliminary Reading
“The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music” is a short film about various funeral traditions and rites in Vietnam. While it depicts 2 distinctly different and separate funerals, the common motif shared by both rites is that death is a journey rather than an absolute end; as the narrator of the film states, “the journey continues forever”.

Secondary Reading
The creators of the film, The Propeller Group, have described the film as a “visual and musical journey through the fantastical funeral traditions and rituals of south Vietnam”.

The musical aspect is particularly prominent in the first half of the film, which features a song with lyrics where the singer mourns the loss of their loved one. The music is the only point where the personas explicitly exhibit their lamentation and loss.

Visually, there are no signs of sorrow or mourning for the death. All such scenes are merely theatrical; at one point, a man is seen standing in front of a the coffin and rubbing his eyes dramatically in a manner that resembles crying, but he is wearing a mask so it is clear that the “crying” is performative.

In contrast, the second half of the film is heavily visual, featuring professional performers doing risky feats such as eating flames, walking across broken glass, and attaching heavy objects to their eyelids with chains. The mood of the film becomes celebratory, which is unusual considering that a death has just occurred. This cements how the Vietnamese do not view death as a cause for sorrow because to them, death is part and parcel of a journey rather than an end to one, hence it should be celebrated and not lamented.

At the end of the film, rather than burning the body as is tradition in most funerals, the coffins are “sent off” in a body of water accompanied by a performing instrumental band. This is reminiscent of the way ships are sent off on voyages, with fanfare and music. Rather than incinerating their loved ones and turning them into dust, they are wishing them the best as they continue on a new voyage.

Candy Lee

Preliminary Reading

The film begins with a solemn poetry and then progresses to realistic and imaginary funerary practices. The film beckoned with relatively simple camera shots and the calm voice at the start. The scenes seemed ‘raw’ and realistic, and relevance to the cultural practices made me feel my presence in the film itself, with substantial first person’s POV camera shots, especially after the dolly shot into the transgender dancer’s body which was a transition to show ‘harsh’ death-defying stunt performances at rituals and funerals. With the change in music, there was change in my emotions and tension in watching the film as well, and I thought the film was impactful.

With regards to the plot of the film, I noticed that the people depicted in the video largely did not seem sad at the wake, procession and burial. The scenes that bring the audience going in circles through the maze-like alley lanes. They suggest to me the cycle of life, like it is continuous from life to death and that there isn’t exactly an end to one’s life. Yet, the procession and stunt performances at the funerals confuses me. Are they for the living or for the dead?

Secondary Reading

The video is a poetic rumination on life, death, and the stages in between. On further research, the film moves from solemn poetry to bombastic celebration and then on to queer, uneasy silence, capturing the superstitious spirit in part of the different cultures. The paradox regarding life and death has been highlighted in the video by The Propeller Group. There was also a scene where money is being burnt and then thrown in the air. I think there could be irony subtly mentioned about our general greed for materialistic wants (represented by money) in our living years, but these upon death only seem petty and meaningless in contrast.


Preliminary reading

The video somehow left an impact on me. The choices of the iconic visuals like the band playing through the muddy seabed, queer funeral practices to send of the dead, and the main character evolving (or transitioning?) from one person to another. As we discussed our interpretation of the film, some of us feel that it was trying to show about a man who changed into a woman. Whereas others had a perception that the video is trying to convey a story about reincarnation, which is a philosophical or religious concept about a living being starting a new life in another body or form after our physical death on earth. Yet despite the different viewpoints, I feel that the underlying similarities of both of our interpretations is that the video is talking about change, and that change is not a bad thing after all. This can be seen when the audio soundtrack morphed from a melancholic tune to a happier and upbeat one.

 Secondary reading

Taken from the brochure that was given out in the gallery, it stated that the Spirit of place, or, “genius loci”, refers to a special place often cherished by artists and folklores. It refers to the essence of a place that gives it complexity and uniqueness of identity. Landscape is a critical way we experience place, and this very film explores the space in relation to its societies and histories. This also suggests our point of view. Reflecting upon what the brochure has presented, I realized that the filmmakers showed a change every time a different location was presented. For example, how the main place of the “change” occurring for the protagonist occurred in the dark room set up where the funeral musicians were playing for him. This was where the room felt like a representation of “hell” to me as close ups of the funeral musicians and fire was present. The setting of the film, which is most probably in Vietnam, showed the diversity of the country. Having snippets of Christian and Buddhist influences and their way of celebrating the passing of a loved one. Overall, this film showed me new perspectives of death and change, while also revealing assortment of cultures in the melting pot of Vietnam.