2D II Project 2: Research on Chinese Garden

So that day I made a trip down to Chinese Garden to do some primary research. I used to go there a lot as a kid during mid-autumn festival where they would have light decorations. I was too young to remember clearly though.

History of Chinese Garden Singapore

Chinese Garden was founded in 1975 by the JTC Corporation. It is designed by Prof. Yuen-chen Yu, an architect from Taiwan meant to showcase traditional Chinese imperial gardening landscaping.

So I went there and visited the different parts of the garden.

Firstly was the Pagoda.








I found the entire architecture really interesting. The geometry and shapes of the windows were extremely beautiful.

Second, the Garden of Abundance.






The garden has statues of the twelve zodiac animals as well as small bridges here and there.

Next was the Stone boat and Tea Garden.





Then the Main House which was next to the main entrance. But I did not enter from that entrance as the MRT was located at the other entrance instead.



The ticketing counter suggests that this was once a profitable attraction that require entry fees.




Then the Bonsai Garden.










During my trip there, the things I found myself drawn to where the geometric patterns of the architecture and the organic patterns of the nature. The two contrast upon one another created an extremely interesting visual language. Especially, how the architecture was built to make full sure of the windows to frame the surrounding nature.

This research I’ve done is primary research in form of site research.

I haven’t exactly confirmed that I would be doing purely on Chinese garden or include a bit of the neighbourhood. So my next steps from here would be to conduct more in depth secondary research online, and maybe more quantitative research data as I observed that Chinese garden no longer attracts crowds as they did in the past.

As for ethnography, the study of culture, since Chinese garden, the garden itself is not really a living area, I think it might be a bit hard for me to colect such data. Therefore, I’m thinking of expanding my research base.

Time to do some more research!

Ethnography: The systematic analysis and study of people and cultures, and the presentation of empirical data of society after usually participant-observation records.

Primary and Secondary Data: 

Primary data is collected through first-hands sources like collecting surveys, first-hand observation, interviews, focus groups and case studies. While secondary data are second-hand sources, information collected by others in form of books, internet, newspaper, statistics, just to list a few.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data:

Qualitative data is something that cannot be measured in numbers. Such data are like diary entries, interviews, questionnaires, observations. While Quantitative data is data that can be put into ranking or categories used to construct statistics and graphs.


A form of content marketing and presentation that appeals to the viewer through images. Usually they turn complicated and mundane information into visually captivating and simplified, easy to view information.


An example of an infographic, the most basic form.

– https://www.discoveranthropology.org.uk/about-anthropology/fieldwork/ethnography.html
– https://www.reference.com/science/methods-primary-data-collection-86c5f86a12ed1d7
– https://www.reference.com/science/methods-primary-data-collection-86c5f86a12ed1d7
– https://www.customermagnetism.com/infographics/what-is-an-infographic/

2D II Project 1: Que Sera Sera, Why not? (Final)



The overall theme for my Project 1 is that of Taboos in Society.

In my message, there is no sense of defiance or calling to go against society by bringing up these taboos. All I wanted to conveying is a form of inquisition, a questioning of “Why not?” Why not accept these taboos topics that as such an big, integral, and most importantly natural part of life.

The jobs I have chosen act as vessels to represent each taboo topic I have chosen. They are Seamstress to represent Sexuality; Crow woman to represent Feminism; Wanderer to represent the Unknown; and Time keeper to represent Death.



Firstly, the seamstress. Here, the medium of embroidery is used to convey the idea of the seamstress. The unfinished embroidery with the needle carefully stuck in place suggest movement of the sewing in progress. The motif of the red “A” is a reference to Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I chose to use this reference as within this piece of literature, the theme of sexuality vs society is widely discussed and questioned. Thus, I felt it was extremely appropriate to use that to bring out my taboo topic of sexuality. With the scarlet letter, I included the floral motif of white lilies, representing innocence and purity, to contrast and bring out the bright red sexuality of the “A” more.



Next, the Crow woman is portrayed by the use of black feathers as a patterned print covering the entire blue background, reminiscent of sky and flight. The idea of feminism here is brought across through the medium in which the feathers are made. The feathers are made of metal sheets, and thus, even though at first glance, viewers might be fooled into thinking the feathers are soft and fluffy, they are actually strong and stiff. This mirrors the way society expects and often portray women as fragile and weak characters, they are actually resilient and dominant in their own right.



Thirdly, idea of the Wanderer is portrayed through the extremely abstract and textured surface of the background and the metallic type. This abstract background suggests the unknown the wanderer is exploring and the metallic reflective “A” acts as a window of opportunity and encouragement for the viewers to enter this world of foreign things and changes. Thus, the concept of both the unknown and the wanderer is portrayed as a whole in this composition.



Lastly, the Time keeper is presented in the medium of metallic embossing and foil sheet, evoking the imagery of gears, machinery, and in turn clocks. The roman numerals within the type is a combination of numbers of my different death dates and timings calculated with online death calculators, and thus, they suggest the topic of death. Furthermore, the numbers add to the imagery of time and clocks.


The format of my final presentation. In whole, I really enjoyed exploring these new mediums for this project even though they were really time-consuming. I met many challenges in time and skills, but I learn to be flexible and handle each problem correctly. I am proud of what I have achieved, and am glad to have completed this project. Looking forward to Project 2!

2D II Project 1: The Process of Getting a Job

The process to which I started off this project was rather methodological. Since Joy said it was okay to have jobs that did not exist in real life, I let my imagination go wild and just wrote down everything I thought of. Here are some examples:
Sea Spirit
Grim Reaper
Ice Cream Seller
Cloud surfer
However, I realised there was no real theme surrounding these jobs. So me being my results-orientated self, I thought about some mediums I was interested in exploring. One main thing was embroidery. Inspired by this image I saw on Instagram by @whitemag_


Somehow the floral motif gave me inspiration, and I was thinking about Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Simultaneously, I did up different variations of my name and decided that I liked the format of my initials “ACH” the best. So bringing these two ideas together I got the idea of using the red A in Scarlet Letter for my name, done in embroidery to represent sexuality. From there I decided the first concept of sexuality using the job of the main character Hester Prynne, as seamstress.

Next, I decided to use the topic of of taboo in society as the overarching theme to tie my entire project together. I quickly listed out several taboos in society, some of which I could tie in with some jobs I thought of earlier.

Death to tie in with the job of a grim reaper, which I later changed to time keeper but the concept remains the same. Feminism to tie in with the job of the crow woman, a persona I created that I felt could identify as a strong female character. Lastly, the unknown to tie in with the job of a wanderer.

After deciding the four jobs, I wanted the overall arrangement to look coherent. So I went about settling the colour schemes first.


After deciding the colour I went about thinking about the compositions for each taboo.

For the sexuality + seamtress one, I decided to use the floral motif of white lilies, as an irony as white lilies are meant to symbolise purity and innocence.  I thought it would make the red A stand out more in contrast.

Here is the mock up composition I did on my computer.


And some thread colour testing.


Here is the process of embroidering.


It was my first time doing embroidering, I just plunged head first into it without any experience. The main challenge I faced, was due to the inexperience, I could not complete the amount I aimed to achieve at the start of the project. So one week before submission, I decided to change the concept into completing half a composition and to suggest the process of sewing instead.

Next, moving onto the composition of the crow woman. I was inspired by searching photos of black feathers on Pinterest certain photos look extremely metallic.


Thus, I got inspired to using metal sheets to create feathers. This would bring out my message clearly as just as how society expects women to be meek and obedient but in actual fact women are strong and commanding in their own right, feathers are normally regarded as soft and fluffy, but in this case made of strong and hard metal.


These are some mock-ups of metallic feather I did.


Digital composition mock-up.

There wasn’t much challenges faced in creating these feathers as they were relatively easily to manipulate.

While for the composition of Wanderer, I was extremely inspired by this art work I saw at ArtStage 2017.



I loved the texture and effect I saw, and decided for the composition of the wanderer I wanted to do an abstract background like this one.




How I achieved the effect was through the use of crinkled foil as a base. Then one layer of black acrylic paint, dried with a hot gun. Next, I proceeded to layer slabs of blue, white, slight purples, greys and metallic black acrylic paints onto the foil. After waiting for it to dry, I sprinkled silver and pearl blue embossing powder on several areas and using the hot gun, managed to create warped and uneven texture across the entire piece of foil.

There was quite of a challenges faced in creating this as I was never strong in creating abstract work, my first tries turned out dull and not eye-catching enough (these pieces would be stuck within the visual journal) and not textured enough. However, through my tries, I learnt to keep clean colours only strategically blending certain areas.

Lastly, the final composition. I knew I wanted to pursue a steampunk feel to the composition. However, I was struggling on how to bring out both the steampunk idea to go in line with the time keeper, and the idea of death. Initially I wanted to use the motif of Lycoris Radiata, done in metallic print within the “A”. This is because this flower is known as the flower of the other side (of living).


However, during one of the consultation sessions, Joy suggested that if I used a floral motif for this composition, my overall four compositions might look too feminine as a whole. So in the end, I went online to these sites:

After calculating my death timings, I listed these numbers out and added them into my composition within the lettering.a-numerals-01

However, the process of executing this one was extremely tedious and challenging as I had no experience working with foil. It was both fragile yet extremely tough. I spent about five hours cutting out the entire number sheet.


Next, I embossed a letter A onto black paper.



This was rather challenging as it was a large surface area to emboss and thus it ended up not being very neat. I solved the problem by pasting another black piece of paper over.

This is the process I went through in achieving my final compositions. I met with several challenges but I really had a lot of fun exploring different mediums. See you in the next post where I talk about my final product!

4D II Project 1: Alter Ego

Video Link: https://vimeo.com/202669074
(Tried multiple times to embed the vimeo video here but unable to so here’s the link to the vimeo version and the YouTube version for convenient viewing here)


The sequence shown in my film is a non-linear storyline. Rather similar to that of a stream of consciousness. It compromises mostly of snapshots of the character’s memories and descriptions of her emotions. The main themes explored in her thoughts are that of love and sexuality. The first part of the monologue introduces her sexual awakening; secondly, an interaction with a lover, and lastly a self-reflection of the way she has been living. The narrative suggests a character who romanticises notions of love and sexuality, through the use of vivid imagery, and wholeheartedly embraces everything, both the negative and positive aspects, and thus, is truly a free-spirit at heart.


After completing the first few tasks of Project 1, I was choosing between two characters, Marina from Marina and the Diamond’s Electra Heart album, and Ririko from the Japanese movie Helter Skelter. However, I decided to explore Marina as it was a theme I had never explored before in art. The character of Marina explored themes of love, sexuality, feminism, and certain social issues. She is someone who lives and loves fearlessly. She romanticises and loves the aesthetics of love, does not care for the person nor the real emotion. I felt an affinity with the character, as similar to her love was an unknown concept to me and I have no real care for it. Instead, I really appreciate the aesthetics of love and I admire Marina for the way she embraces her lifestyle wholeheartedly.

For research, I went to read up on the lyrics of Electra Heart songs more carefully. Through my interpretation of her songs, I drew out certain characteristics I wanted to explore in my monologue. Some characteristics are the openness and free-spirited attitude towards exploring one’s sexuality, and the admiration of the beauty of love without real attachment for the idea.

As for the aesthetics of the film, I initially wanted to explore a similar style to her album but because I couldn’t recreate the elaborate setting, I decided to stick to a rather minimalistic style. Other than that, some other challenges faced are, the difficulty in self- shooting, being both the videographer and actor. The inability to achieve certain images I have in mind due to money and equipment constraints. However, I managed to overcome these challenges with the help of using bits of found footage, as well as being flexible and adapting to what was available.



4D II Project 1: Character Selection

Task 1
Ririko (from Helter Skelter)
Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby)
Hester Prynne (from The Scarlet Letter)
Veronica Sawyer (from Heathers)

Task 2
Marina Diamandis (more famously known as Marina and the Diamonds)
Andy Warhol
Damien Hirst

Task 3


Task 4

Ririko (from Helter Skelter)

Ririko is a character portrayed as a famous Japanese model. She used to be unattractive, but agreed to dangerous procedures of large extents of plastic surgery in order to achieve beauty and fame. She represents the endless, and dangerously unrealistic desire for beauty, and being someone who also pursues beauty in life, I feel an affinity with the character

Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby)

Jay Gatsby, is a man with large ambitions. Having originated from humble background, he spent his lifetime chasing after a wealthy dream (Daisy) and did manage to amass a large fortune. I do not relate to him chasing after unrealistic dreams, but what I can relate to is his relentless way of chasing success.

Marina Diamandis (more famously known as
Marina and the Diamonds)

I chose her not because I understand her actual person very well, it’s impossible to do so as she is a public figure and I do not know her personally. However, I do believe that a person’s art reveals a lot about them. Through her album Electra Hearts she questions love, feminism, and social issues, these I have an affinity with.

Damien Hirst

His most renowned work The impossibility of death in the mind of someone living, earned him 12 million dollars. I admire his ability to turn ideas into visual representation in an intelligent way. He also fearless say shocking things, be it calculatedly for shock factor or not, I feel an affinity towards his pragmatic ways.


I feel an affinity towards her because she is very matter-of-fact in the way she lives. She strives to be the best she can be and faces everything extremely calmly.


She is very different from me. But the thing I like the most about her is that she does not put on pretences. She feels deeply and freely, something I am unable to do.

Project 1: Inspiration File

This is a list of things that inspired me to create my character.

  1. Song Lyrics

“Got different people inside my head/ I wonder which one that they like best”

This lyric shows how my character is struggling with multiple identities within herself. Not in a multiple personality disorder way but perhaps some sort of cognitive dissonance in different sides of herself when surrounded by different circumstances and people.

“I never sang for love, I never had a heart to mend/ Because before the start began, I always saw the end”

While this one shows how my character is disillusioned by love and romance. She is cynical and does not believe in the love.

“I guess you could that my life’s a mess/ But I’m still looking pretty in this dress”

This lyric shows how my character is living through a façade of beauty and vanity, using these as a mask to hold her real self together and face the world. My character is one who does not easily reveal her true feelings and thoughts.

  1. Poems


“What You Are” by Tania de Rozario

This poem inspires my character because it is very brutal but in its harsh brutality, this poem contains the beauty of such harshness. Also, it calls for confrontation, something my character is faced with a lot, no matter with herself or with others.


“Interpretation” by Tania de Rozario

This poem inspires my character because of the disjointedness, the uncertainty. Something my character lives and goes through a lot.


“Goodbye” by Tania de Rozario

This is a poem that inspires my character because of the theme of leaving, which is what my character is used to do.

  1. Articles/Speeches

‘My belief is that if we live another century or so – I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals – and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think…’ – Virginia Woolf

I think this inspires my character to fight against patriarchy and speak her mind boldly as a woman in her songs.

“Teach your students to see that vulnerability is a human, rather than a female, trait.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I think this inspires my character as she bravely faces and acknowledges her own vulnerability, not as a female, but as a human.

“There is nothing permanent in life except change.” – Heraclitus

I think this inspires my character as she only identifies too much with how human emotions are constantly changes, and therefore, she chooses to detach herself from them.

  1. Pictures


This is a street scene with a heavy emphasis on the neon lighting, making it look rather surrealistic. This inspires me to write about how my character enjoys feeling the energy of the city.

Colorful Candy Conversation Hearts for Valentine's Day

This photo is that of candy hearts. This inspires me to write about my character because candy hearts remind me of overly sweet superficial love, which my character loves the aesthetics of.


This seems to be a blurry snapshot of a night out. This inspires me to write about my character as she is all about living her life in the moment.

  1. Headlines

7 Rules on How to be a Heartbreaker

I chose this headline because I taught it would be relevant as my character is heavily centred around the theme of love.

A story behind this could be how my character plays around with guys and she finally falls for the last guy, but she stays true to her heart-breaker persona, and she walks away.


Suicide Girl

I chose this because of how my character has some sort of emotional tendency.

Another story could be how my character is heartbroken and tormented over love and trying to understand the meaning of such. She craves freedom, and does so by crossing over to the other side.


Girl Disappears, Leaving Behind Burnt Town

I chose this headline because of how my character is borderline a little maniac and in the end she does have an extremely cold side to her.

Story: Character is a cold ruthless character, who comes into the town enchants the whole town. A group of teens from the town get jealous, decide to humiliate her. She withstands the humiliation, and instead looks better than before, during a baseball match when the whole town is away, she burns the entire toxic town down.

  1. Personal Credo

I firmly believe that humans should be able to in their own right choose to explore their sexuality to any degree or even not at all without receiving any form of social stigma or judgement.

  1. Emotions

My character’s favourite emotion would be the emotion of freedom. This is because she does not like to be tied down, she is a free-spirit.

My character’s least favourite emotion would be trust, this is because she is afraid to trust and open up to someone because it is the position she feels the most vulnerable in.

  1. Sentence Starters

I don’t want to live my life any other way”

I love love. It’s so unknown, like a beautiful mysterious being. But sometimes I think I only love love because I don’t truly know what it is”

I fear love, the same way humans fear the unknown. It’s so foreign it gives me no place to be.”

I have always wanted to fly, fly past the rooftops, into the expanse of blue, out of sight, out of existence.”

I would like to go back into the past, where I was once a pretty young thing.”

  1. Focus Objects



It gives helps my character create the fake persona she uses to face the world.

Promise Ring


She know that promises are meant to be broken and the ring is a daily reminder of that.



Because she likes to write her thoughts down in it, she is a very self reflective person.

White Shirt


Because white was pure, white was innocence.



It was her signature scent.