Tag Archives: singapore

Bauhaus Creative Response

For our final creative response, we were tasked with creating a piece inspired by the Bauhaus, exploring the relationship between shapes and colours. Wassily Kadinsky believed that circles should be blue, squares should be red and that triangles should be yellow. From the survey in class, many of my classmates agreed with this; I did not at first instinctively (I thought triangles would be red), but after the discussion and explanation of Kadinsky’s thoughts, I agreed with his logic.

Thought Process

In between the week from when we were given the task and the week it was due, I was in Vietnam for the Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championships. Being in another country enabled me to get a new perspective on Singaporean culture. 

One feature that struck me was how little people used their phones in Vietnam. In fact, I barely looked at my phone for the whole of the trip, only using my laptop during the small pockets of time I got at night to do my assignments. More than that, I felt like I didn’t miss using this technology – in Singapore, I would take frequent phone breaks – on the walk between classes, to classes, from classes back to my room in student housing. I felt that it was a Singaporean thing to use our gadgets so much on our commutes and look like you’re texting someone, or watching something, or listening to something, because I had the comparative of hardly ever seeing people using their phones on commutes/out in public in Vietnam.

It might be because of Singapore’s nature as a first world country and the constant need to be be contactable and be on top of work assignments and group assignments, but I really felt that the Vietnamese did not function that way in developing Vietnam. I saw way more non-smartphones (phones with actual buttons to press for numbers, not touchscreens) in Vietnam than I thought I would, and realised how rarely we see that in Singapore – it’s the norm to have a smartphone, and to use it all day long. In this way, I feel that Singaporeans are really tied to their electronic devices.

I made a mindmap to have some elements to focus on (above). I eventually decided to focus on circuitry and circuit boards as they were immediately representative of electronics and technology.

Final work


This piece explores the concept of Singaporeans being very tied to their technology. I used this circuit board as inspiration, making “lines” out of smaller squares. I felt that they give the piece a tribal feel, which I enjoy for its oxymoronic quality as technology is such a new invention. I feel that the work is kept contemporary with its minimalistic outlook, though – much of the green background (to mimic the circuit board background) can be seen, and the geometric elements do not overpower it. 


Cover image from https://visual.ly/blog/six-lessons-from-the-bauhaus-masters-of-the-persuasive-graphic/ 


Lobang Galore

Prompt B: Create an A3 poster comprised of typography and image using a collage technique; consider using an element of chance. Consider how this could be related to Singaporean culture.

“Lobang”: a Singlish term originating from Malay, meaning a good deal/discount/opportunity/promotion. Singaporeans love many things: the most important (arguably) of which are 1) lobangs, 2) queuing, and 3) queuing for lobangs.

We have a treasure trove of lobangs in all the Facebook groups, threads, and telegram chats that I’m not ashamed to say I’ve joined. Lobangs, galore!

We even have an NTU Free Food lobang group! In this house, we love free food lobangs the most.

Having witnessed and partaken in this lobang culture all my life here in Singapore, it was natural for me to center my piece around this theme.


I started by gathering lobangs (in coupon form) from the newspapers, magazines, and brochures I found around the house over the course of a few days.

I then proceeded to cut individual bits up: sometimes tearing by hand, but mostly using a pair of scissors. Apart from the obviously lobang coupons, I also cut up some phrases like “sale”, “discount”, “20% off” as they alluded to lobangs as well.

The mess left behind!

I then gathered my pieces into a giant bowl, to pick randomly out of later.

Next, I had to arrange them onto the A3 paper. To do this, I threw a string onto the paper and traced where the string had landed, to arrange the pieces along the traced line.

Traced line:

Then, I mixed up the bowl and picked pieces from it with my eyes closed, to arrange along the traced line.

The result after “tracing over” the line with my randomly picked pieces!:

It looked too bare to me, so I dumped out all the pieces on the floor and filled in the background with lobang pieces I thought would fit, trying to fit them in to the best of my ability.

These were some of my favourite lobang coupons, but I didn’t manage to fit them in due to the lack of space, sadly. They’re still so pretty, though!

 The finished product! 


The lobang culture is strong in this one. In Singapore, we love good deals, discounts, promotions and free things, all of which fall under the category, “Lobangs”. My Dada poster is an ode to lobangs, with coupons and phrases relating to Lobangs that I’ve collected for myself and my family. The elements of chance came into play in two instances in my process:

  1. When I threw a piece of string down onto the paper to trace and use as a guide to arrange my initial pieces over
  2. The picking of lobangs from my giant bowl with my eyes closed, randomly

I was inspired by Dada collage artists such as John Heartfield:

Dadafox, 1919 collage by John Heartfield and George Grosz

I feel that the chaotic arrangement echoes all the lobangs around me on a daily basis – I get notifications from Facebook, Telegram, and I always scour the newspaper for them, too (I’ve gotten numerous samples from beauty counters this way). I’m pretty happy with the variety of fonts and types of lobangs (food, electronics, clothes etc) reflected here. It was a fun piece to think about and do! 



The main gist of the project is as follows:

  • Have two groups of an interviewer and a model each: Yueling (model) and Bala (interviewer), and Farzana (model) and Felicia (interviewer)
  • The interviewers would go out on the streets and have members of the public curate outfits from the five categories: tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and accessories for the model, whom the member of the public gets to see via Facebook Live so that they can pick the outfits out for them specifically.
  • They curate these outfits based off vague keywords, like black, cat, and PJs, that the interviewer shows them on a piece of paper. The model notes down this combination.
  • The models would then take posed photographs of the outfits, to be posted on and voted for on our @xperimentalfashun Instagram page.

As an interviewer, we agreed on interviewing at least two people from two different districts. I ended up interviewing 6 people – three from Sim Lim Square, and three from Bugis street. The locations were deliberately chosen for their different demographics. Somehow, they all ended up being in the central location, making it a battle of the locations in Central Singapore. To extend on this project, we could have gone to locations in the east, west, north and south of Singapore – that could have been a fun battle as well. Apart from mirroring the unpredictable nature of online shopping, our project also reveals differences in culture and identity. We interviewed people from different locations, as well as age, ethnicity, and gender. There were older, ‘geekier’ people at Sim Lim Square where I interviewed, and Felicia interviewed younger, more ‘trendy’ people at LASALLE and SMU.  All of this variety made our end results totally unexpected.

Initially, we wanted to have the model put on the outfit at the other end so that the stranger would be able to see the mystery outfit they had created and rate it (like how an online shopper might leave a review). However, Yueling and I decided this wasn’t going to work out, because there was really long awkward silence with the first man I interviewed when she was changing at the back, and decided to scrap this idea. This was an example of an unexpected element that arose during the on-site performance.

Another unexpected element that arose was that people were really taking it seriously to put together a stylish outfit. We thought that with the vague keywords that we gave them (akin to online shopping, where clothes are often described with vague keywords and end up not really looking like how we expect them to be in the photos), that they would just take it as a fun experiment and put together very wacky combinations, but they actually kept asking for so many more details! I explained to them that the descriptors were supposed to be vague, but they still tried to curate a more put-together outfit instead of the whackier outcome we expected.

Apart from paralleling online shopping, this project was also influenced by Blast Theory’s principles of integrating the virtual and the real world together, through specifically using Facebook Live and Instagram. Perhaps Felicia and I were the interviewers as we had done precisely this, interviewing people on the street, for our previous Tele-Stroll project. On top of engaging a physical audience, we engaged the virtual audience through our Instagram polls on our instagram page where they voted for their favorite outfits, ultimately resulting in Farz being the winner. In doing so, we empowered the people on the street to be designers, and gave power to the virtual audience in deciding the ultimate, most fashionable outfit as well. Both audiences were a sizeable number, perhaps the virtual audience more so (at over a hundred followers!) because they could vote at their convenience, as opposed to the people on the street who could have been in a rush and might not have been as willing to participate.





We also drew inspiration from collaborative works such as Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, where the audience is given full control of the outcome. Therefore, our project was innately social in that we could not have gotten the outcome without the participation of the people on the street. In fact,  we were more of the bystanders in this project – every aspect was decided by the audience, except for small details such as the locations the models shot their outfits in (to be posted on Instagram) in, and the aesthetic of the Instagram curated by Felicia.

To conclude, our outcome revealed interesting differences between demographics (the older demographic preferred brighter colors, whilst our younger demographic preferred monochrome, more “chic” colors). We designed an interactive experience through the use of Facebook Live where our audience and model could see each other, along with a mediator in the interviewer. Lastly, we involved our audience both in real life (interviewing them on the street) as well as online, with the voting.

Link to our video!: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dscw9ljl2ncnhpk/main_FINAL.mp4?dl=0