Patterns: Initial sketch

I ventured the fairytale of “the little mermaid” not wanting to limit myself with the storyline but instead to focus on how it made me feel and to explore on that emotion instead.

With the quote “A sigh was the only sign of her deep distress, for a mermaid cannot cry.” I played with how eyes were used as motifs and also the incorporation of a skeletal mermaid instead of a “live” to heighten the emotion of grief and betrayal.

More exploration on how the mermaid could look like.

Going into the gaining but losing herself all for a pair of legs, I had fun creating this vectorized legs but I did not use them in the end.

Patterns: Motif WIP

These are some of the motifs I created for my banners, they are still a little rough and would definitely need more details and improvements. But at this moment I just wanted to churn them out in adobe illustrator to see how they would look when vectorised and “tiled”.
asas-01

werty-01

The skeleton mermaids, to symbolise the death of the little mermaid and the dark meanings the fairytale embodies.

sdsd-01

12-01

This is inspired from the quote I’m using which says that the mermaid suffers so much more because it could not cry, and with a gruesome take on it, I decided to illustrate what she would do with them since they are “useless”.

They definitely looked better stand alone, and when placed together, they looked like some monster. Hilarious!

rdfc-01

dfcxx-01

Another take on the eyes, but this time round flying around.

Patterns: Moodboard

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Source links
1. http://jaromvogel.com/illustration
2. https://www.creativefan.com/important/cf/2012/07/mermaid-pictures/dana-mermaid.jpg
3. https://www.creativefan.com/important/cf/2012/07/mermaid-pictures/dana-mermaid.jpg
4. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/305892999669501059/
5. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/61713457364371597/
6. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/381820874640374839/
7. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/517421444673177937/

4D Fdn II: Final (Sheng-Si)

In this post, the following would be included:

  1. Proposal
  2. Artist Statement
  3. Research Paper
  4. Project
  5. Document
  6. Reflection and individual roles

Proposal

  • Programme Purpose/Objective

The main purpose of this installation is to allow participants the chance to take a step back to evaluate their lives so far. The installation aims to evoke recognition of the fast-paced lifestyle Singaporeans have in general. It also allows participants to reflect on the qualities of their life experiences and authentic connection they have with the things that truly matter in life. It also questions them on the meaning of their lives so far – if they were to die in this instant, what sort of legacy would they have left behind, and would it be something they could be satisfied with

  • Programme Rationale

Singapore is a fast-paced society and there is rarely any time for people to slow down and truly appreciate life. We thus felt it was necessary to remind participants to take a breather and rethink the value of their lives.

  • Programme Details

The installation comprises 2 rooms, both of which are expected to work independently as well as together. The first room is a narrative recreation of Singapore’s fast-paced life, and will end in the ‘death’ of the participant. This is followed by the second room which allows for the participant to do a self-reflection of his/her death.

  • Artistic Direction

Life experiences differ from person to person, and we wanted to be as inclusive as possible to whoever that would be viewing it. The installation thus has a mixture of both literal and abstract elements. This allowed us to create a more poetic narrative that was more flexible, allowing participants to slip into the character portrayed.

We will be making use of sound, videos, voice-overs and props to create the desired atmosphere. To ensure that participants are able to understand the installation, we decided to make only the voice over explicit while the rest of the mediums will be kept abstract.


Room 1

As mentioned earlier, the first room is a narrative re-enactment of Singapore’s fast-paced lifestyle. The room is set up with 3 projected screens adjacent to one another.

In this room, we use the metaphorical representation of water as life and merge it together with scenes of the protagonist’s life. The protagonist is never explicitly shown, allowing participants to insert themselves into the narrative and relate the events with their own lives.

The three screens are played in sequence and document the growth of the character from a toddler to a teenager to a young adult respectively. Interlaced with the scenes of the character’s growth are scenes of coloured water droplets being dropped into a tank full of water. The water represents life, and the different coloured droplets represent the memories, experience and feelings associated with each growth stage.

The first screen narrates the toddler stage. The tank of water starts of transparent to represent the character’s innocence and purity. Her first memories, which are represented by yellow droplets are seen penetrating the surface of the water before spreading outwards. The screen then shows clips of a young kid playing with toys and having fun in the playground. The screen then fades back to the now yellow water in the tank.

The second screen starts playing as the first screen continues showing the yellow colours fusing with the water. Red droplets are added into the yellowed water, and is then overlapped with scenes of the character’s slow submission to teenage pressure and rebellion. She is stressed from studying and is too absorbed by commitments which result in negligence of her family. The screen fades back to the water, which is not a mixture of yellow and red. The water is now turning darker and murkier, symbolising the chaos and impurity in her life.

The final screen starts playing as the second screen continues showing the yellow and red tainting the water. This is overlapped with scenes of the character descending into a downward spiral in her life. She starts smoking, and is increasingly distant with her family. She is then seen fainting as the fast pace of her life has finally caught up with her and her health. She dies, and only realises the important things in her life during her last moments, when it’s already too late for her to change anything.

The screen turns black. Black is an irreversible colour, which means that the addition of other colours will not change it. Her life is over, and there is no turning back.

Room 2

While Room 1 focuses heavily on using videos, Room 2 shifts towards the usage of props and performance to create a reflective mood for the participants.  In this room, a mock ritual for the dead has been set up.

The room is darkened as much as possible, and a table is setup at the end of the room. On the table lays different objects that are related to death. They include red string, candles and flowers commonly used for offering. In the center of the table lies a dirtied glass bowl. This is a connecting element for the 1st and 2nd room, and is representative of an empty life vessel. Life, symbolized by water, has been drained out, and only the ugly stains of the black contaminated life has been left behind.  Behind the table stand a mirror that reflects the face of those who enter the room, and is meant to prompt participants to look at themselves and self-reflect.

As participants enter the room, a short performance is also put up. A male and female stands on either side of the table. They have a short dialogue about the character in the previous room.

Dialogue:

Ziyu

“She didn’t have to die this way.”

Alfred

“But at least she was doing what she loved.”

Ziyu

“But what does that amount to?”

Alfred

(Turns to audience)

“Have YOU lived a fulfilling life?”

Ziyu

“Or are you just chasing after happiness that is only temporary?”

After this short dialogue, an usher will come in to encourage participants to have a silent self-reflection for a duration of 1 minute. The narrative her is kept short as the main highlight here is the participants’ own involvement in the room.


  • Target Audience

Students of the School of Art, Design and Media and NTU aged 19-30.

  • Logistics / Budget
Filming Location Things we borrowed Things we bought
Foundation drawing room 1 Projector Black and white cloth
Critical Room 1-14 Bamboo sticks Fake candles
Gladys House/Room & Living Room Black cloth Batteries
Hall 15 2x Speaker Bell
NTU’s playground 3x Laptop Fresh flowers

Presbyterian High School

1x Long mirror Secondary School textbook
Foundation 2D Art Room Fish tank Black Garbage Bag
Starbucks Tables and Chairs Food colouring
NTU North Spine open area Ladder
Foundation 3D Room
Product Design Spraying Corner

The full list of equipments:

  1. 2 projectors (School)
  2. 2 loud speakers (Ziyu)
  3. 3 laptops (Jo, Darren, Gladys)
  4. VGA adapter (Ziyu)
  5. Black and white cloth (Bought)
  6. Bamboo sticks (SC room)
  7. Long mirror (Foundation Drawing Room)
  8. Twine strings (Bought)
  9. Red Strings (Alfred)
  10. Candles / Fake candles (Bought)
  11. Batteries (Bought)
  12. Classic Candle Holder (Jo’s House)
  13. Bell (Bought)
  14. Fish tank (Loan from friend)
  15. Plastic bowl (Gladys)
  16. Water suction tube (Alfred)
  17. Mounting board (Ziyu)
  18. Cardboard boxes (Song Yu)
  19. Tables/Chairs (School)
  20. Black garbage bags (Bought)
  21. Fresh & dried flowers (Bought & Ziyu)
  22. Food colouring (Bought)
  23. Acrylic paint / Chinese black ink (School)
  24. Ladder (School’s cleaner)
  25. Masking/ clear/ black tape (Bought)
  26. School uniform/ textbook (Jo Inng / bought)
  27. Classic Alarm Clock (Hall 4)
  28. Hospital segregation cloth (School)
  29. Hospital Pillow/ Blanket (School)
  30. Phone with family picture (Gladys)
  31. Art File/Art Friend plastic bag (Gladys)
  32. Easel with drawing (Foundation Drawing Room)
  33. Stationaries / Foolscap paper (Gladys)
  34. Toyota Car (Gladys Bumper Car)
  35. Cooked food w/ utensils (Gladys House)
  36. Post-it Note (Gladys)
  37. Warm Lighting Kit (Gladys)
  38. Bata Shoe (Zoey)
  39. DSLR 600D / 18-250mm Macro-Zoom Lens (Gladys/Darren)
  40. Tripod (Darren)
  41. Cigarette and lighter (Heng Tong)
  42. Black spray and artifact (3D Room)
  43. Foam board and cutter (3D Room)

Artist Statement

Print

Shēng – sĂź (生死) which means life and death is an installation to commentary on the way we are living and if we have lived life to the fullest. It consists of three screens projected by projectors to segregate the protagonist’s different stages of life and using the ink in the colour yellow, red and blue to symbolise the state of mindset she was in. The ink can be seen dropping into the water as different scenes of her life are being played throughout. The last scene would be an overlay of black ink to show that she have passed.

Moving on to the next room, we created a scene of a funeral with life performers to conduct a mock ritual for the audience.In reference to South Korea’s “Mock Funeral”, this allows the participants to experience a life after death and to have a moment of reflection in conjunction with the three screens that they have watched previously.

(I have also posted it on an individual post where you can view from, here.)


Research Paper

For this project, we aimed to tackle and address the issue of leading a fulfilling lifestyle in a modern context. We observed that many youths face the similar issue of being overwhelmed by school work and other commitments, and often had little quality time with things in life that truly mattered. (BBC, 2007)

In our research, we came across one particular trend that had a huge impact on our artistic direction.

Due to high societal pressure and escalating suicide rates, the ‘Near Death’ movement has become increasingly popular in South Korea. This movement aims to address this issue by giving participants the chance to detach themselves from their fast paced lifestyle to reflect on their lives. As such, multiple ‘Fake Funeral’ services have been conducted across the country. In this particular one, they are lectured by a philosophical guru and invited to write out their own eulogy. After that, they will be placed in a coffin for 30 mins to experience death. The act of being enclosed creates a deafening space of endless darkness, and the atmosphere allows the participant to evaluate their lives from a objective and detached point of view.  A lack of self-reflection usually leads to people feeling lost and depressed, and this death meditation in the enclosed space forces them to look within themselves for answers that they have been seeking, but thought they didn’t have.

Another work we came across was Christian Boltanski’s The Heart Archive. Occupying a space in a museum on the uninhabited island of Teshima in Japan, this artwork collects heartbeat sounds from all around the world. Participants are invited into a room where they listen to the sounds of their own heartbeats through a headset. After that, their heartbeats recordings are saved and used in subsequent set ups of the art piece. The heartbeats are immortalized, and remain as fragile remains of their existence on earth.The work makes one contemplate on bereavement and what we remember during our existence on earth. As you take part in the installation, it evokes a sense of uncanniness which acts as a mirror of what lies ahead and our future and our nonexistence in it.  The artwork questions the impact left behind by each individual whose heartbeat sounds have been recorded, and we believe the fragile and faint nature of the recordings makes one ponder on the meaning of their lives, and how many people they have impacted. It also relied heavily on symbolism and non-literal ways of portraying the theme, which we found interesting.

We believe these two artworks were greatly valuable and conveyed an important message. We thus decided to reference these two particular artworks/movements in terms of artistic style and content.Bibliography

Bibliography

  1. Life in the fast lane ‘speeds up’. BBC. BBC News, 2 May 2007. Web. 4 May 2007.
  2. “Fake Funerals in South Korea.” Vice. Vice Japan, n.d. Web. 21 Apr 2016.
  3. Demetriou, Danielle. “Boltanski’s hearts don’t skip a beat.” The Japan Times. The Japan Times, 6 Aug 2010. Web. 4 July 2013.
  4. Waters, Florence. “Christian Boltanski: The Heart Archive, Serpentine Gallery, review.” Telegraph. Telegraph, 12 Jul 2010. Web. 6 Aug 2010.

Project

The full actual presentation including room 1 and 2.

The full video that was played in room 1.


Documentation


Reflection and Individual Roles

 In this project, I learned a lot regarding how much work and thoughts are put into an installation. From choosing a location to creating the content, and then being able to source out the suitable equipments, all these has to be considered in depth to avoid making mistakes and losing precious time. With that in mind, we too have to give ourselves ample time to buffer in case of unexpected scenarios, like in one of our case the partition were able to hold up with just strings in our heads, but in reality could not, thus we had to borrow the bamboo sticks from somewhere else to create a stand to drape the cloth over.

For our topic, which is about life and death, we decided to make it more relatable to the students of ADM and included scenes of of drawing in the wee hours which many of us could see in the shoes of the character. It is also a topic that is close to my heart as my family is very important to me but I am not always able to come home to spend time with them due to school, and thus made my weekends very precious.

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For my part, I firstly thought up of the idea with the ink spreading effect when it drops into the water. I thought it fits well in the whole concept that we were discussing, and was well received by the group as well. The following sections, though we all worked together and helped out when someone needs them, we were still mainly in-charged of different things. For Ziyu and me, we were taking care of the logistic part. We planned out the floor plan for the rooms that we have selected, and went off to decide what we needed for the room.

We had to make sure we knew where the items were, how much they cost and also what time the shop closes. This is extremely important as you don’t want to make a empty trip because the shop have already closed, or over spend on things that you could have saved elsewhere.

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The setting up of the room was relatively easy since we already have everything decided on what we have to do, and it was only the execution of the plans that we have already laid down. We had a buffer day to make sure everything was in place of when we were going to present, and that if there was anything missing or not working, we could solve it within that time frame.

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Actual Setup


LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANK YOU RUYI AND MY LOVELY CLASSMATES FOR THE WONDERFUL SEM ♄

4D Fdn II: Artist Statement (Sheng-Si)

Print

Shēng – sĂź (生死) which means life and death is an installation to commentary on the way we are living and if we have lived life to the fullest. It consists of three screens projected by projectors to segregate the protagonist’s different stages of life and using the ink in the colour yellow, red and blue to symbolise the state of mindset she was in. The ink can be seen dropping into the water as different scenes of her life are being played throughout. The last scene would be an overlay of black ink to show that she have passed.

Moving on to the next room, we created a scene of a funeral with life performers to conduct a mock ritual for the audience.In reference to South Korea’s “Mock Funeral”, this allows the participants to experience a life after death and to have a moment of reflection in conjunction with the three screens that they have watched previously.

Project by: Alfred, Darren, Gladys, Jo Inng, Valerie, Ziyu

2D Fdn II: Zine (Final)

Below I would be explaining a bit on the process towards the final outcome! Scroll all the way down to the final product if you want to skip it!

  1. Inspirations.
  2. Binding methods.
  3. Paper choices.
  4. First mock-up.
  5. Second mock-up.
  6. Final Zine.

    Inspirations

    moodboard

From my first assignment which was using typography to create my name. I noticed that I really enjoy having an individual focused colour as it made the works stand out more, and in contrast to b/w it could also deliver a different meaning.

I can’t seem to find it but there was a piece I did in polytechnic where I used the colour red in a b/w poster about back ache to deliver an effective message about pain in that area.

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During the process, I also went for my brother’s design FYP show in Temasek Polytechnic and took some pictures of books they have created that I found interesting.

IMG_8221 IMG_8219

Last but not least, I found an accordion bind noisesg book at the counter of ADM and was quite excited to see and touch something so closely related to my inspiration.

NOISE-Insta-facebook v4

 


Binding Methods

Having both brother from TP and Lasalle, I constantly see them creating books and using different methods of binding. These intrigued me and made me can’t wait to do it as well.

spines1

I initially wanted perfect binding, but felt that 2 pieces of paper would not justify the action and went ahead with saddle stitching my book for the first mock-up with thread. (Left: Perfect binding, Right: Saddle stitch)

Here is a link I found on some consideration you can make when choosing your binding methods. They only introduce the saddle stitch method and perfect bind, but also included some tips on gutter space and paper choices which I found really useful.

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I found this french fold binding really interesting but did not go for it.

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The accordion bind which I chose as the final as I found it to be more engaging, but also as its difficulties which I will explain below.


Paper Choices

A little hindsight on zines. They are self-published books that are able to express the creator’s ideas without it being censored, edited or watered down by a middle man. Everything holds together as a diy concept and has an authentic element towards it. Some controversial topics that were used previously were political, feminism or even on LGBT rights.

Moving towards that direction, I consciously created something that is not overly produced but also not under produced as well.

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80-90GSM: Normal printing paper, too thin for my liking.

140-170GSM: Ideal paper as it is not too flimsy and not too hardy as well.

250-300+GSM: Too professional-like for me and does not convey the ideal of a zine.

Colours: I tried on white paper but thought it looked too sterile for me, and experimented with off-white.


First Mock-Up

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.59.53 pm

As you can see, there was an excessive usage of red and also a mixed of illustrations and photos. The binding that I used for this is the saddle stitch with thread. The tread that I used were too thin and it broke the next day when I went for consultation.

From this, we took into consideration that:

  • The first 2 page looks good.
  • 8 and 9 could be played along more.
  • The colour red works well.
  • I should explore on more binding methods like accordion bind.

    Second Mock-Up

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I added the elements from the “point of view” assignment like the talisman and the hands.

Print

Changes to be made:

  1. Write 1993 instead of 3991.
  2. Work on “Do what makes you happy” quote, might be seen too far apart and as individuals.
  3. “Cut here”? Cut where, make it clearer.
  4. Words too small, far apart, and contains widows and rivers.
  5. Picture in the letter “A” too pixelated, change into one that is higher res.
  6. The tone of red was not consistent.
  7. Printing too small (Miscalculated and printed it into A6 instead.)

    Final!

    As my printing were too small in the previous round because I thought A3 would be enough to accordion bind an A5, but no. I tried to source out for printers that printed A2 double sided but were to no avail until my younger brother recommended “Leadership printing” at peace centre and was told to bring my own paper.

Logically I brought an A2 paper which I bought from “Fancy Paper” and walked over to the printing shop, but was told that I needed an A1 paper instead as their machine could only fit that size for my need. Thus, I walked back to get my paper again and then back to print. Horrible experience, but thank god Darren was with me to get me going!

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Omg look at how ridiculous this looks like. Leadership must be the bane of environmental extremists.
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Printed 2 just in case I made a mistake, which I did. -.-

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I accidentally dripped the wax somewhere else on the paper than the eyes. One of the drip can be seen on the word “here”.

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To be improved:

  1. The paper used might be too yellow which caused the red to turn into a tint of orange, which contradicts with the title of the book.

Taken the consideration of an accordion bind, I made it interactive with the hands clapping, and the pulling of the red strings as you open and close the zine as seen in the gif above.

Conclusion

Overall, I really enjoyed the works that I did this semester more than the ones I did in sem one as I am able to explore more items and also to allow my own style and creativity to be seen more prominently.

The last creation of zine was really amazing as I was able to do something that I have always thought about doing, but was not able to because of the lack of motivation. I learned that you have to be extremely meticulous with what paper, binding, design, text, colours you used in a book and it could make or break your work! I also believe that we only had a small glimpse of the viscomm life, and I can’t wait!

I would definitely miss this class (Joy and my lovely classmates) and please say hi when we meet in the corridors! 🙂

THANK YOU!

 

Histories of Art II: Final Project

Hi everyone! Thanks for a wonderful trip to history this semester! I definitely enjoyed myself more this semester. Shh, don’t tell Michael Walsh this. 😛

Below will be the following contents. 

  1. Prototype images
  2. Artist Statement
  3. Bibliography
  4. Presentation Slides
  5. Reflection

Our Prototype Images

FullSizeRender

Print

Questions pointed out:

  • Why cover Naomi Neo’s face, and why was there two covers?

To show the irony in how we perceive the body differently when the ‘identity’ of the person changes.

  • How to identify Naomi Neo, and how to identify Yakshi?
  1. Naomi : Tattoos and provocative dressing.
  2. Yakshi: A pairing of bosom, jewelleries and a flowering mango tree.

yakshi_rgb

The article as followed:

An Exclusive Interview with Yakshi: On her ever-changing roles

Join us on this first-ever opportunity with the goddess herself, to talk about how society’s views of one of the hottest goddesses on the block have evolved with time – is she still the goddess of fertility, or does she mean something else now? Do people see her curves in a different light? Find out here.

Hello, Yakshi, and thank you for your time with us.

Namaste.

You’re looking very good today – let’s start with those amazing curves of yours; how do you keep such an amazing figure?

Oh, it’s easy when you’re a goddess. I was born this way, but the sculptors and craftsmen always help compensate for the gains I make from cheat days. 

We here at FHM love those amazing hips and breasts of yours. What do you have to say about how people view you these days? Those exposed globes are sure to draw some stares these days.

*sighs* Yes, it’s irritating to look this good in this day and age. My wide hips and big breasts used to attract women from all over to pray for pregnancy and childbirth, but these days I usually get lecherous men hitting on me on Instagram.

Are you going to change your dress style? It might attract less undesirables.

I’m not covering up my chest! It’s the way I’ve dressed since forever and I’m not changing it just because people relate breasts to sex more than anything these days. Back in the day you could walk in the street and people would bow down to the Goddess of fertility, but I can’t even go down the block these days without men – with eyes the size of dinner plates, mind you – giving me all the wrong kinds of stares.

Why did you choose the Ashoka tree carving as the backdrop for this shoot?

I guess I would call it nostalgia? *giggles* I’ve been posing with it on all the Hindu and Buddhist temples’ gates for so long, I can’t imagine myself being with anything else in a picture. Besides, it really helps to accentuate my curves.

There’s talk about how you’ve got multiple personalities – what’s that about?

Oh, it’s nothing really. I’ve never really had much of a talk about this topic with anyone, so people just kind of split up my personality into many parts, which they call Yakshini. The Hindus split me up into 36 personalities in that Uddamareshava Tantra of theirs, and the Jains split me into 24. In the context of a religion of Hinduism it made sense though, when a religion revolves around a pantheon you tend to get split into easy-to understand parts.

Do the personalities get to you though? 

Actually, not really! It actually makes it easier to sort through my fan mail and prayer requests these days. I can sift through each category for Disease Protection requests, Fulfilment of Desires, Granting treasure and so on in a very systematic fashion, instead of having to dig through a pile of 36 different requests at the same time.

There’s another aspect of having multiple personalities that we here at FHM want to ask you about – rumours that you have a malevolent side?

Ah, haters these days. I guess it’s normal to be associated with evil and ill-meaning sometimes, especially when you’re considered a spiritual sibling of the demonic Rakhasas. I’m not a mean girl unless I have to be. Also! If you’re talking about that story where SulpĂ€ni disturbed Lord MahĂ€vir’s meditation, that was my brother Yaksha’s fault.

Hmm. Just to make sure though, because we’ve heard stories of you seducing men and drinking their blood, and that’s not exactly a sexy thing.

Oh, that nonsense. I don’t know who started it, but Southern Indian horror fiction writers did this thing where they wrote me into folktales as a succubus of sorts. Just because I’m dressed like this and have malevolent rumours about me was enough to make me a horror femme fatale archetype, I guess. 

The story I know is how I was a murdered courtesan that reincarnated as a vengeful Yakshi that seduced men and killed them afterwards. It’s all horror fiction from the local folklore, though.

Wow, a far cry from a goddess of fertility, indeed.

Yeah, it’s hard being a goddess in this day and age, especially when your characterising factor is your body and exposed breasts. Sexuality has really changed in the past few centuries, and people don’t see my bosom as a mother feeding their child anymore. It’s all about the sex and porn these days. 

I see. Is there anything you’re up to these days?

Well, since my fan club has shrunk a lot I’ve had to find employment as a nude model. Art schools are a really great place to work, by the way! Standing like a statue while half-naked has been my thing since the beginning, so it’s like second nature to me. I’ve also been getting in the Free the Nipple movement lately, since I want the freedom to flaunt my original dress code in public.

Awesome. Thank you so much for your time.

You’re welcome. Namaste.


Artist Statement

The image shown is a modern interpretation of the Indian Buddhist Goddess, Yakshi. Traditionally associated with the idea of fertility and nature in ancient India, she was identified through her large, round breasts, small waist and large thighs and hips. These days, the voluptuous body that Yakshi possesses may be interpreted in a totally different way. In the modern world, sexual objectification of women have become much more commonplace, and a voluptuous body such as hers may be seen as a tool of pleasure in the eyes of men. It is no longer associated with the idea of being fertile or baby conceiving, but instead as means of sexual gratification.  As such, we decided to remove Yakshi from her traditional context to show this shift in perspective towards the well-endowed body. To effectively bring across the point, we placed her into a modern piece of media that portrayed women in a more provocative manner that man would find sexually attractive.

The ambiguity created in the poster is also intentional, and meant to make viewers question the state of modern female sexuality in media; is the woman’s sexuality being subverted as part of a man-made construct, in the same way religion is sometimes criticized as a man-made construct? Or is the Yakshi/model exerting power with her sexuality, in the same way a goddess attracts worshippers? Just as how we have no idea if the models in FHM covers are happily and willingly doing their job, and as we have no idea if Yakshi is an influence or a result of influence, the state of female sexuality in the modern day is in a state of undefined flux.

Known for featuring the ‘hottest’ women on the planet, FHM was our choice of medium on which we would appropriate Yakshi. To localise it, we designed a Singaporean FHM cover featuring Yakshi in the form of Naomi Neo, a popular blogger known for her voluptuous body and outspoken attitude about sexuality. As such, we have created an artwork that appropriates Yakshi as a social statement and reflection on how much the meaning of a woman’s body have changed over the years.


Bibliography

Represented in sculpture since approximately 200 B.C.E., the yakshi has always been conceived as a voluptuous creature with large globular breasts, small waist, and exaggerated hips and thighs. Bhattacharya’s female fatale, entwined by the vine that signifies her tie to nature, has tubular arms that echo the essence of the creeper. Her partner, emerging from the center of the flower, is literally the spirit of the plant-a common definition for yaksha/yakshi

  • Unclothed sensual, feminine figure as one of the most canonical motifs of Indian art.“ART HISTORY AND THE NUDE: ON ART, OBSCENITY, AND SEXUALITY IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA”. 2004. “ART HISTORY AND THE NUDE: ON ART, OBSCENITY, AND SEXUALITY IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA”. In Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Post-colonial India, 237–67. Columbia University Press. http://www.jstor.org.ezlibproxy1.ntu.edu.sg/stable/10.7312/guha12998.13.

Over different periods and genres, the voluptuous feminine body in sculpture came to be endowed with a variety of meanings. The figures came to be read as symbols of growth, bounty, and fertility, as the embodiment of a divine maternal spirit, or as classical literary ideals. In the process, the sexual form moved from its initial primeval association with nature and fertility rites to its later, more complex divine and aesthetic connotations.

  • Interacting Like a Body: Objectification Can Lead Women to Narrow Their Presence in Social Interactions. Saguy, Tamar, Diane M. Quinn, John F. Dovidio, and Felicia Pratto. 2010. “Interacting Like a Body: Objectification Can Lead Women to Narrow Their Presence in Social Interactions”. Psychological Science 21 (2). [Association for Psychological Science, Sage Publications, Inc.]: 178–82. http://www.jstor.org.ezlibproxy1.ntu.edu.sg/stable/41062184.

Sexual objectification occurs when a person is viewed as a mere body that exists for the pleasure and use of others (Bartky, 1990). This treatment targets women more often than men. For these reasons, women are theorized to willingly participate in their own objectification and become preoccupied with appearing as “good objects” (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997).Drawing on these ideas, we predicted that when objectified, women would try not only to appear as good objects, but also to behave like ones.

Taking reference from contemporary Indian art, much of which centres around adapting Indian cultural symbolism, was an important stepping stone in our process. Ravinder Reddy and other contemporary Indian artists’ works subvert or transform the meaning of traditional religious figures such as Kali and Yakshi into modern-day works into modern-day contexts, which served as an inspiration for our project.


Presentation Slides

Here is the ppt slides in pdf format for viewing again.

YAKSHI – FHM


Reflections

Firstly, I would like to address that this last assignment was really enjoyable and educational as adding a modern twist towards history really heightened my interest in it and made me want to find out more myself.

For our project, we chose a controversial topic that might be uncomfortable to some as it includes nudity or part of it. Though we struggle with ourselves with the question of going ahead with the idea or choosing something more family friendly, we decided that if our creation provokes something in someone, be it good or bad, we have already succeeded in something. What is art if it doesn’t make you think or make you feel? That is what we are going with and are proud of our end results.

Adding on to the previous point, to make someone connect to something, the most basic is to create a connection, a relatable point of view. Taken in the consideration that the piece is based in Singapore, we decided to have a twist with the iconic FHM magazine and well-known blogger Neomi Neo, both merging with the piece to create something that people would understand better with their contextual knowledge.

We also didn’t want to neglect only the visuals and added a witty spread as seen from our final presentation to add interest and have a better execution as a whole project.

Lastly, working as a team, we had to agree that different people have different set of skillsets. To understand what the individual would excel with, and assigning it to them would hugely benefit the group, like how Jo Inng is good in her writing and Evangeline her digital painting. Overall I feel that our team was quite a well rounded one and am glad to be paired with them.

Thank you!

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