An ikebana

In Project 2: Gaia’s Ikebana, we had to combine different elements together to create a final design. The composition requires the play of a sphere, cylinder, cone, tree branch and an extra element of your choice. It is a combined investigation of curvilinear form, food components, seasonal elements, and Ikebana.

2D sketch of Curvilinear Models

The project started out with the investigation of cones, cylinders and spheres shown in the link. ( .  After consultation, necessary changes were made to the design of the 3D model. In the top model, the Dominant sphere is enlarged to provide a stronger presence as a Dominant component. In the bottom model, the Subordinate Sphere is too similar in circumference size to the Subdominant cylinder, thus the sphere is shrunk to avoid similar visual sizing. After much consideration, the top model was chosen as it was comparatively more dynamic in composition due to the Dominant sphere balancing on the Subdominant Cylinder, whereby the Subdominant Cylinder and Subordinate Cone are balancing off each other.

Seasonal Mind Map

Moving on from this, we were given themes of different season to incorporate into our models and I received the theme of Spring. The mind map below highlights the features of spring as a season. Keeping with the theme of Ikebana, which is Japanese flower arrangement, I decided to investigate the idea of Spring through the scopes of Japan. Spring in Japan is largely recognised as the time of the year around March or April, where people take part in Hanami, or sakura watching (Cherry blossom). Families and friends would gather together to watch as the cherry blossoms bloom, enjoying time while they eat and chat. I have summed up the idea of spring in Japan into categories, with food that they consume, to the sensory aspects like sound and smell as well. The variety of food consumed during this season could be used in my final model as well, with different combinations like almond and sakura latte. The location of sakura watching is also concentrated around Mount Fuji,  an element I could incorporate into my model.

Ikebana examples and my initial design

After looking through some designs online, I found that Ikebana examples with an elongated element often catches my eye due to the overall symmetry and balance. And using my initial 3D sketch model, I create the above design, and the one below for a close up. In the spirit of using food as components for the final model, I decided to create two models, one with food and one with non-food materials. For the non-food model, I decided to use bronze wire to create the Dominant Sphere on top of a found cylindrical cup balancing on a painted foam cone. For the food model, I decided to use hard caramel to create the sphere, balancing on a Japanese tea cup with chocolate cone. For both models, almonds will be placed at the corner to achieve an asymmetrical balance. The tree branch will also be placed within the sphere, held on by the pile of almonds.

2D Sketch

In my non-food model, shown in the photographs provided below, I tried to follow the theme of positivity and energy as that was what Spring is Japan was about. I chose bronze to make the wired sphere as it encompassed the idea of a warm and glowing Sun. The tree branch shoots out of the sphere from the base as I realised that this would provide a stronger narrative of growth as compared to the sketch shown above. The addition of almonds in this model is to provide more details to a Minimalistic sketch. The numerous almonds, Subdominant, gives a strong composition due to its number. The composition sizing in this model is Dominant (Sphere, Tree branch), Subdominant (Teacup, Almonds) and Subordinate (Cone). The design of the model largely follows the texture of wood, even the almonds. The contrast of the red cone, bronze wire and wood is strong, allowing the audience to be visually guided from the base to the top.

Direct Top View
Side View
Slant Side View (Cylinder)
Side View (Cone)
Side View (Sphere)
Final 3D model


Tasting Spring- Ikebana


  • 2 cups of coarse sugar
  • 1 packet of rubber balloon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of matcha milk
  • 1 packet almond jelly powder
  • 1 packet of almonds
  • 1 packet of dark chocolate

Makes: 4 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Waiting time: 60 minutes


Caramel Sphere
  1. Heat pan to low heat and pour in 2 cups of coarse sugar.
  2. Stir constantly to avoid burning caramel
  3. Cook the caramel until melted and golden brown (Add vanilla essence for additional flavour)

4. Fill balloon with water to avoid bursting, then place the balloon on a cup for support. 5. Use a spatula and drip melted caramel over balloon, layer it for more details6. Lift up the spatula to stretch out the caramel, giving finer caramel strings.7. Wait for caramel to cool, around 5 minutes. Pop the balloon (Be careful)

Repeat step 4 to 7, hold the final pieces to form a sphere and use caramel to glue together

Chocolate Cone

Heat up piece of chocolate using water bath, pour it into a cone after molten.

Matcha Pudding

Take 1 cup of matcha milk and boil it over a pan to enhance matcha taste.

Add in one satchel of Agar agar powder and stir well.

Drizzle caramel diluted with water and chill for 30 minutes.

Putting it together

  1. Take a wooden platform and pile up almonds with melted caramel on one side of the platform. This brings out an asymmetrical balance to the piece.
  2. Using the same pot of caramel, glue the chocolate cone and matcha pudding down with a dependent balance at different directions. This allows the texture of the pudding and chocolate to be seen easily.
  3. Glue the caramel sphere down to the cup with more caramel.
  4. Place the tree branch carefully by the sphere, anchoring to the almonds as support.

How to enjoy it:

  1. Go to the nearest park and sit beside a tree that is flowering
  2. Start the meal with a caramel almond to cleanse palette.
  3. Visually follow the tree branch up to caramel sphere and use tree branch to break the caramel sphere.
  4. Think about the warm sun in the spring and how the rain drizzles droplets down blooming flowers like melting caramel
  5. Consume the matcha pudding with nibbles of the caramel to alternate between the taste of light bitterness and sweetness.
  6. Smell the air and enjoy the scenery
  7. Finish off the meal with a chocolate cone to clear off the heavy caramel.
Caramel drizzled almonds
Caramel strings


Matcha pudding
Melting of the golden sun
Chocolate cone


A hammer- Project 2: The Subverted Object

“The utility of any artefact presumably depends on how well it performs a specific function. Apart from its utility, it may be emblematic of a way of life involving powerful emotional commitments.” -Project Brief


In the investigation of objects and subverting its meaning, I was assigned the hammer. The hammer was a convenient tool being a hand held tool, purchasing it was easy as well, priced at $6.95. In my research, I found out many details regarding its origin and historical value, mostly its value as an emblem for the Soviet Union, presumably due to its labour-esque origins. I characterised the hammer as a tool that fixes items by using nails, also a tool that can destroy due to its heavy and strong exterior. I chose to investigate the latter for a dynamic approach and narration.

The below sketches are some exercises assigned to explore on some ways we can expand our vision of the objects, such as personifying the hammer in different situations.

Personifying the Hammer
Removal, Replacement and Redefinition

We also had a take on the removal, replacement and redefinition techniques, where we (quite literally) removed, replaced and redefined parts of the hammer.

The sketches below are a few concepts I envisioned in investigating the traits of the hammer under Task 1:Denotation. I wanted to investigate the duality of the hammer as previously stated, how it is both a fixer and a destroyer. In the sketches below, I wanted to highlight the contrast between the hammer’s heaviness with paper’s lightness. Also, how the hammer is a sturdy object compared to the items it fixes.

Artist References

In the process of brainstorming for Task 2: Connotation, I wanted to approach it with a performance element due to the dynamism of the Hammer. The element of movement with the hammer is inborn and cannot be replaced. As stated, I wanted to investigate the idea of healing and the first artist I thought of with both elements would be Joseph Beuys. In Beuys’s work, he takes on a shamanistic role as he “performs” a healing ritual for the audience. In “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare”, he uses objects like honey and felt, items symbolically linked to healing, and interacts with a dead hare. This process hints of resurrection and communication with a spiritual side of Beuys. The ludicrous attempt of talking to the dead hare is as ridiculous as a hammer being a healing tool and that references to the Dada artists we researched for under this project brief. In Beuys’s work, he attempts to talk to the dead hare and even teaches the hare, creating a ridiculous narrative that builds up a fantastical meaning for the objects (Felt and Honey).

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare 1965

After consultation, I decided to eliminate the mysticism side that is inherent in Beuys’s work as there is a gap in the conceptualisation between the object and its subverted meaning. I decided to explore on the idea of the hammer being an actual healing tool by enhancing its medical effects, such as it being a plaster cast. This subverts the hammers meaning as the hammer is inherently a tool to fix wooden or inanimate objects, and not human beings. The subversion is the change of the subject matter that it interacts with. Under this, I decided to explore on Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy, an installation work that features a clinical pharmacy that takes on the theme of mortality, healing and consumerism (a little bit on mysticism).

Pharmacy 1992

Referencing to Hirst’s works, I wanted to recreate the clinical environment to enhance the meaning of my object, in his case- medicines. In Hirst’s Pharmacy, he investigates mortality as the flies fly into the bug zapper and dies, in an apparent healing environment (pharmacy). He uses the conical flask filled with coloured water to represent mystical elements, redirected by the almighty entity (bug zapper), looking over the pharmacy of healing powers. There is an overall hint of sound element due to the visual implications that come with a bug zapper, a characteristic I want to achieve in my work with the hammer.

Clinic Sketch
Clinic Sketch


Task 1: Denotation

In Task 1, I wanted to feature the visual symbolism of the hammer. This meant that I wanted to bring out the physical qualities inherent with the hammer through the pictorial narration, e.g. weight, sturdiness, metallic exterior. For example in shot 1, I contrasted the heaviness associated with the hammer by placing it in a wide shot of flying paper. As you look down the series, the photographs become less apparent in movements, a trait apparent in a moving hammer (action to static).

Shot 1: Heavy-Light

In shot 2, I wanted to represent the power of a moving hammer compared to a still subject, hence I chose this image. The shot also links up to Task 2: Connotation through a unspoken narrative of the model’s legs being healed by the hammer.

Shot 2: Action-Static

In shot 3, I wanted to play with the audience’s visual symbolism of the hammer. In common understanding, we all know that a hammer is a relatively heavy object to hold. I played with this concept by taking a shot of the hammer “floating” with balloons. This references to Magritte’s work in Treachery of Images where the object’s visual quality hints of its supposed presence, how a curved wooden object in the shape of a pipe is or isn’t a pipe, as represented in Magritte’s work. In my work, I wanted the audience to know the hammer’s quality just by looking at it and understanding that paradox of quality, heaviness versus light-weight. However, by tilting the photograph in different orientation, the quality and focus changes. The first photograph highlights the lightness of the balloon as “floating” is its inherent background, then the audience’s visual focus moves to the hammer, and then questions why the hammer is floating. In the second shot, the hammer and balloons are facing down, this environment belongs to the hammer as the objects are pulled down by gravity, hinting of weight. The visual focus stands with the hammer due to its stronger visual weight.

Shot 3: Heaviness-Light-weight
Change of orientation


Task 2: Connotation

In task 2: Connotation, I wanted to create a narrative of healing, as referenced in Beuy’s work. In shot 1, I chose to represent a motion of the model jumping of the chair, playing to the duality of sturdiness versus vulnerability; the idea of the chair breaking off easily yet it is strong enough to hold a human’s weight. The hammer in this case is used to fixed the broken chair by its wooden handle, a function that it is not supposed to do. This photograph references a plot in comparison to the second shot.

Shot 1: Broken Chair

In the second shot, the hammer is once again used to heal, but this time it is placed on a human being. The narrative becomes more ludicrous as the hammer is not conventionally used to fix a broken bone like a plaster cast. There is an implied paradox as pointed out by Lei during critique as I wanted to reference to Magritte’s style of satire on an object’s identity. The paradox exists between the idea of a hammer healing wood and the hammer being a nursing tool, both of which heals. As pointed out by some of my classmates during critique, the idea of subversion in this theme of woodwork and nursing is questionable. However, the initial plan was to create a silent paradox that is apparent in Magritte’s works that audience will be led to believe because of how similar yet contrasting its functions are. For example in Magritte’s Human Condition, the similar square features of the object allows the audience to question if the subject matter is a window or a canvas, therefore questioning its intentions. In my work, I wanted to use the “healing” tool of inanimate objects (hammer) and juxtapose it into a clinical environment that doesn’t make functional sense.

Shot 2: Healing with a Hammer
The Human Condition 1933

In the last photograph, I wanted to achieve a unity to the series of the healing hammer, therefore I chose a wide shot of the patient-model in the waiting area of the clinic. The wide shot provides a visual culmination to the plot of the healing hammer, the conclusion of the patient being healed. In this photograph, there is an interaction between the patient and the outside world. The lady in camouflaged outfit stares at the patient intently as she tries to stand up. The idea of ridiculousness stands apparent as the woman in camouflage is not exposed to the idea of a healing hammer, and yet this fantastical function only exists within the realms of the patient-model.

Shot 3: Waiting Area


Task 3: Image and Text
Task 3: Text and Image

In my final task, I chose the shot 2 of Task 2 to represent the idea of the healing hammer. This task is inherently an extraction of the reality within the photograph into real life as a pop up sale. The text I chose was the price tag of the supposed healing hammers, sold in the context of plaster cast which are sold by its weight. In the final work, I presented the text in the pairings of red-white and yellow-grey to play with the composition of the photograph. With the price tag of the healing hammer placed on the photograph, there is an assurance in the reality of the photograph, whereby the audience can actually purchase the hammer if they want to, questioning the realism or surrealism of the context. ($6.95 was the actual price of the hammer)


Test Shots
Hammer hitting a wooden plank
Wide shot of Patient in Clinic
Movement of Patient


Patient staring at screen implies time within composition
Patient sitting on a red sofa
Patient waiting to be called

Juxtaposing a heavy hammer to a doctor’s table
Play on voyeurism
Patient interacting with an unknown character
Close up shot of hammer and legs. *would have chosen this shot if not for too many close ups in these series


Learning Point

In this project, I have found difficulty in achieving a balance between an adaptable function and a subverted function as the line of difference is really thin. There are however, many reference artists who provided good pointers to note, such as Duchamp and Magritte’s work.

I also encountered problems in achieving a unity in the narrative since this project only allowed three photographs per series, thus choosing the right photograph was also an important decision that we cannot underestimate.

A cone, a sphere and a cylinder

Top View
Front View
Top Slant View











Back View

This week we were tasked to investigate the relationship between cones, cylinder and spheres. In comparison to the previous tasks, we are required to avoid perpendicular placement, playing with independent, dependent and precarious balance. In the sketch model above, I attempted to explore independent balance with the Dominant Cone being the one as the main support. The subdominant Cylinder is pierced by the Cone. The subordinate Sphere is tilted on the Cylinder. A point to note would be the resemblance of size between the circumference of the cylinder and that of the sphere.


Model 2.

Front View











Top Slant View
Bottom Slant View
Horizontal View

In this model, I attempt to investigate precarious balance as the Subordinate Cone and the Subdominant Cylinder depend on each other to balance- with the tip of the cone and edge of the cylinder being the main axis of support. The Dominant sphere is placed on the cylinder, on a dynamic position of rolling down.

A surreal, nonsensical dream

Dada was a cultural movement that rose after World War 1, as an outcry against nationalism and violence. It is influenced by many avante-garde movements like Cubism, Expressionism and Constructivism.  It mocked the materialistic conditions of a post-war world, driving away from contemporary focus on aesthetics, and towards purpose and introspection. Dada artists include Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp and Hannah Hoch

Surrealism is a cultural movement that offshoot from Dada, featuring painting techniques that incites nervousness and illogicality, leaving audiences baffled. Surrealistic works feature elements of dreamscape, sorta fantastical with juxtaposition of different elements in one environment. There will be elements of surprise, jumping out of the convention. Surrealist artists include Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali and Max Ernst.


Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp was renown to be eccentric and loved to challenge the boundaries of art- and he did. He was a pioneer of ready-mades, which was the application of using found objects and changing its functions into aesthetically appreciated artworks. This idea of reducing or relating an object’s function to something else led to many people coining him as a Surrealist artist as well, challenging the frontier of human understanding of object mechanism and sexuality.

In his works like the Bicycle Wheel (1913), he uses found object like a bicycle wheel mounted on a kitchen stool to make a statement on the human condition, which is a broad and brief understanding of human life interacting with the environment. The movement of the bicycle wheel is perceptually halted by the mount, stripping away the functions of a typical bicycle wheel. The kinetic movement of the wheel is also suggestive of Duchamp’s interest in investigating human sexuality. This “suggested” kinetic energy contrasts with the static appearance of the stool, creating a dynamic composition.

Also in the Fountain, he signs the initial R.Mutt (which is not his initials), and terms it as an artwork. This artwork is a classic Dada work until today, mocking high art with a common household item that collects waste. The name R.Mutt is suggestive of the many personas Duchamp takes on, even a cartoon character that he liked as a child. He satirically places an urinal that is supposedly meant to be placed in a toilet and enhances its status into a priceless artwork.

Fountain 1917
Bicycle Wheel 1951













Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte is one of the most celebrated Surrealist artists, known for his heavy use of symbols and paradoxical composition. Magritte was known to play with the functions and meaning of objects, creating the paradox by going against the fundamentals of identity. This in turn leads to the displacement of symbols, replacing it altogether with the play of words, which supposedly pairs with the appearance.

In works like “The Treachery of Images”, Magritte tries to distant the relationship between visual and text. In this attempt of depicting a visual paradox, he paints a illustrative smoking pipe. However, the text says “This is not a pipe”. This composition is a visual irony as on one hand, the painting is of a pipe and the text says otherwise. However, on the other hand, the painting really isn’t a pipe, and the text is correct. The visual dilemma intrigues the audience and is the intentions of Magritte.

In works like “The Human Condition”, Magritte questions the reality, or specifically the space within the canvas (quite literally). The painting depicts a painting by the window, tilted on an easel. The intentions of the painting is to make the audience question whether the easel is holding a painting and the painting mimics the environment outside, or whether the easel is holding a transparent screen showing the scenery outside. Magritte leaves the audience confused with what they are seeing, questioning the intentions and identity of an easel, since inherently people would think that it holds a painting, and not a supposed transparent screen.

Treachery of Images 1929
The Human Condition 1933


Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

Dali was infamous for being eccentric, even when he was a child, this oddity led to him being bullied by his peers and father. He was heavily influenced by his childhood encounters, battling themes of abuse and death (His brother and mother). Dali was influenced by Metaphysics and Cubism, also Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis of the mind and imageries. These brought him to the abstraction of the subconscious, painting sceneries that are fantastical and amorphous. Dali’s work can generally be categorised into: investigation of a man’s subconscious and environment, sexual symbolism and energy, and symbolic imageries. This would lead to Dali being a prominent Surrealist artist of his generation, but in 1934, a political argument led to his expulsion.

The Persistence of Memory 1931

This work parallels to Dali’s reputation as it is one of his most notable works. The iconic symbolism of the melting clock in this work depicts the “Melting of time” quite literally. It is Dali’s play between the mind’s ingrown perspective of object identity and its assumed characteristics. In this case, the clocks which supposedly solid objects are melting like cheese under the sun. This action warps reality and makes the audience question the environment that Dali had painted, challenging its validity and the audiences’ understanding of the mind. Taking a closer look, one would see a cluster of ants roaming around on one of the clocks, this idea links up to Dali’s obsession with the idea of mortality. This is a subtle hint of mortality as the ants look like they are in frenzy, feeding off the flesh of “time”. Through this painting, Dali brings the audience into a fantasy that he had conjured, playing with the power of the free mind.


Hannah Hoch

Hannah Hoch was one of the few female Dada artist of her time, taking on themes like gender stereotypes, political issues and androgyny. She was one of the first artists who dwelled into photomontage, taking existing photographs and use it to her advantage. The act of combining photographs from different sources draws an link to many sources, referencing to the Surrealist ways of playing with object symbolism. Hoch uses found elements and elevate it into the statuses of higher art, very  much similar to Duchamp. She also investigated the idea of “New Woman”, challenging the norms of gender stereotype.

In works like the Dada Puppen, it was a clear indicator of Hoch’s affiliation to Dada, ahead of her contemporaries. She was heavily influenced by figures like Hugo Ball, drawing relations to the costume Ball wore for one of his performances.

In “Heads of State”, Hoch used a newspaper photograph of then German president Friedrich Ebert and Ministry of Defence Gustav Noske and showed them in their bathing suits, posing in front of a decorated background. The background is embroidered and floral, contrasting to the serious tone of the politicians in the collage. This work serves as a satire, mocking the German politicians, ridiculing them by juxtaposing them in front of a comical context. The embroidery patterns  serve to highlight the woman’s role in society, which is the “housewife”, and by placing the German politicians in the context serves strip them off their masculinity.

Heads of State

A fun fair ride- Pandora Final

Initial Idea

An opened box



In conceptualizing the theme of “Rules of Third”, I have decided to play on the idea of 3 times 3 times 3. The above photograph was an initial attempt without the idea of 3x3x3. (link as shown above) The diagram below shows the prototype, after altering the size of the subdominant and subordinate blocks labelled SD and SO, reaching the ratio of 3:3:3.

The concept is to guide the eyes of the audience to conveniently and efficiently “perceive” the rules of third, through the visual ratios
First prototype


2D Sketch of Final Model



The sketch below highlights the process of constructing the model, where i experimented with different positions of placing the blocks. This was a difficult decision as there were many positions where the rules of third intersected- this was when i thought of the idea of motion. The motion of the blocks allow it to be moved along the imaginary line of third, allowing the audience to place it anywhere they like, or anywhere they deem aesthetically balanced.  The added notion of motion adds a higher element to the sculpture, giving the sculpture a dynamic appearance and appeal.

Preparatory Sketches

Shown in the above diagram, I drew out different ideas of movement, and ultimately went with the above settings. The selection was based on the functionality of the sculpture, which would be a fun fair ride that moves in all direction. The diagram is a series of 2D sketches that highlights the different movement the sculpture is capable of, a series of photographs and GIFS will be provided below for more visual aid.

GIF 1. SO block rotating at one point
GIF 2. SO moving on SDGIF 3. SD moving up and down along D



I have chosen the functionality of a fun fair ride as I found the movement of the blocks along each other to be intriguing. The concept of movement on movement is unique and it would be difficult to locate an effective function, other than a fun fair ride, like the Double Shot Ride in Georgia, Wild Adventures. This functionality is also effective in using all three blocks in different ways, the SO being the 360 degrees rotating/ moving seat, the SD being the main block that moves up and down, while the D being the main sturdy block that holds everything together

Double Shot Georgia, Wild Adventures

Here are a few positions of the final model:

Front View A

Front View B

Horizontal View 

Top ViewSide View


Material and Technique

I have chosen to use wood in creating this design as wood is sturdy and reliable, especially in creating architectural designs like buildings and hard structures, such as my final product. Wood can be easily manipulated and put together, especially in creating the movement I intent to create. Shown in the bottom right side of the sketch, I have a rough design of how to enable the movement of the blocks, using the sliding mechanisms of the T-structure of the blocks.

Preparatory Sketches


Close up on Sketch


In the process of creating this product, the problem that I encountered was the added movement of rotation of the SO on SD, shown in GIF 1. It was only resolved through the usage of a smaller T-shaped structure within the hook, shown by the sketch shown above. I also enlarged the perpendicular corner of two interacting hooks, allowing the T-Shape structure of the SO to rotate around freely.

Also, the variety of material used in this model is limited to wood. This is due to an attempt of achieving an unified look. However, in any situation where there is a need to recreate a prototype of the fun fair ride, etc, I would explore a larger variety of materials, shown below in the sketch model of the Pandora’s Box funfair ride, mainly metal and wood.

Sketch of Funfair Ride

An artist reference I have under this assignment would be Kengo Kuma, Japanese architect. I found his works to be interesting due to the spatial quality created by the criss cross of wooden planks, especially in the design of the Prostho Musuem Research Centre in Kasugai Japan. I found the criss cross to amplify the negative space within the building, creating an almighty effect. Hence, I decided to decorate the final model with criss cross wooden pieces to pay tribute to Kengo Kuma’s works. In my sketch design for my fun fair ride, I decided to eliminate the criss cross wooden plank and use metal wiring instead due to the practicality of the object. The metal cage would be sustainable due to its location being outdoors and susceptible to rain and wind. The decorative nature of the final model would be a pointer to look out for.

GC Prostho Museum Centre, Kengo Kuma

An interesting point raised up by Cheryl was how the model parallels to the Glass Elevator in Willy Wonka’s factory. The link provided below shows a video highlighting the extend to which the Glass Elevator can move, much like how I envision my model to be. An interesting point to note would be the usage of glass as a material for the model, bringing to life a fantastical theme, a tribute to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a cult classic. This would be a great link especially for the main functionality as a fun fair ride.

The Glass Elevator


Alternate Functionality

Another function that this product is capable of would be a tool for cleaning tall buildings. With the rotating and moving mechanics mentioned above, cleaners would be able to clean the windows of tall buildings with convenience, moving side by side, as well as reaching different corners- solving the issues of right-left hand inconveniences. The problem with this functionality would be the inconvenience of moving such a big structure. However, to resolve this issue, adding wheels to the base would allow the user to move the structure around freely, like a Forklift Machine.


Alternate Functionality
Horizontal View of Model


Sketch of the Convenient Chair

Another function that I had came up was an idea created when I laid the model horizontal. The function of the model moving at all direction, with the SO being able to touch every corner of the model, allowed me to idealize the Convenient Chair. The SO being the chair will allow the user to move to any corner of the room without moving. The intentions of this product is to create a convenient environment of work for paraplegic users, such that movement to grab items or getting more space for office work is much more convenient, as the name suggests. The user just has to use a remote to access the direction at which they want the chair to move, be it the left side corner of the room or the opposite end; the usage of two rectilinear planes inter-moving will allow an extensive access to a wide direction of space.

The Convenient Chair can also be an upgrade and used in various forms. With its horizontal plane, it could be used for filming, the ability to capture vantage points from various angles.

An element- final

In the process of researching for this task, we had to find out more about the reference artists, as highlighted by my previous posts. I found some interesting reference points from various specific artists, such as Hilma af Klint and Jackson Pollock. Both of these artists reference greatly to Mysticism within their artworks- Klint using symbolism of Mysticism to overlay details into her work, while Pollock captures the spirituality of Mysticism with his colors and spontaneous drips. Hence, I was drawn to the idea of emotions and Mysticism elements. I found it interesting that people have always associated emotions with the natural elements, how a volcano eruption and smoke represents Pele’s anger (Hawaiian Fire Goddess), or a calm ocean tide represents Poseidon’s (Greek God of Sea) relaxed state.

With this project, I referenced all 6 emotions to a natural element each. In addition, I wanted to portray all 6 elements/emotions coming together, showing the process of the emotion building up, instead of a fully formed emotion.

Love, Surprise, Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness


Love- Electricity/Magnetism

Under the emotion of Love, I broke it down into attraction and passion. I wanted to recreate the imagery of magnetic waves undulating in different wavelengths, shown in the diagram below. The concentration of magnetic waves at different points and coming together with an invisible force represents the physical imagery of love.

I used wire brush with a close length in between each hair follicle to paint the “magnetic waves”. I did it in a wave- like manner, curving at each end, and pressing with more force at the curves to signify concentration. I played with the texture of the print- areas with little concentration dabbled with short lines with rougher surface while area with high concentration is dark and visually heavier, portraying passion. The visual tension depicts the emotion of love coming together.
A problem faced with this emotion was the application. I had to choose between the spontaneity of using the wire brush or using a sharp tipped pen to draw out the physical “magnetic waves”. The former was chosen due to the spontaneity of the chosen emotion.

Wire brush
First Attempt
Heavier Marks- Final Choice

Surprise- Water

Under the emotion of Surprise, I wanted to portray the idea of surprise genuinely as it was an emotion that differs from people to people. Hence, I decided to explore on the concept of Rorschach, referenced to Warhol’s Rorschach series. However, I found that a typical black ink Rorschach to be too dense with its color, unable to physically decipher its texture and space, hence I used diluted ink instead. The Rorschach will differ according to the individual audience’s perspective, hence becoming a surprise. The dilution of the Rorschach will feature the texture of the moving ink, portraying the liquidity trait of the ink, as if frozen in its movement, building up the surprise.
I used a diluted bottle of ink, added with vanilla essence to provide an additional sense of surprise, creating a lightly dabbed Rorschach with an interesting scent- creating a double layer of surprise, sight and smell.

Test Making
Test Marking
Test Marking
Final Choice

Joy/Positivity- Light. Fear/Negativity- Dark

Under the emotions of Joy and Fear, I decided to explore both emotions together as they are contrasting emotions of the same spectrum. I referenced this work to Andy Warhol’s shadow series, using the positive space concept for the “Fear” emotion, while the “Joy” aspect uses negative space heavily. In deciphering Fear and Joy, I see it as polarizing emotions, much like Dark and Light. Hence, I used the same artwork and cut it into two pieces for these emotions- the one with strong negative space being light while the one with heavy positive space being dark.
I used a metal ruler to physically drag the ink over a paper, mimicking Andy Warhol’s Shadow. The physical motion of dragging ink creates a denser area at the bottom, while the lack of ink at the top creates a faint texture mimicking light, much like light and dark conflicting each other. ( I found that the test making of a controlled composition of bottom up more suitable for the theme of duality in this emotion, since the test making of the tones coming from all angle was slightly more overwhelming with “Fear” than conflicting emotions.

Heavily Textured
Close up
Using a ruler to spread the ink
Test making
Test Making
Final Choice

Anger- Fire/Smoke

Under anger, it was easier as fire is always personified as angry due to the presence of tension and energy building up. I referenced to Cai Guo Qiang’s Gunpowder series, using the stains of smoke marks to hint of fire, as smoke and fire comes as a duo. I wanted to create an imagery of smoke becoming thicker in different areas, a metaphor of anger building up. In creating such features, I dabbed a crushed soft tissue with ink onto the paper, layering and layering the ink to create the desired imagery. I also added circling movements to create a smoky texture. I had previously explored on these themes on an earlier post.

Cai Guo Qiang. Exploding House,
Gunpowder on paper,

Using Flowers as Material
Final Choice

Sadness- Ice

Under the emotion of sadness, I wanted to portray the idea of loneliness as a poetic “cold shoulder”, hence I chose the element Ice. Ice has always been an element referenced as isolating and apathetic, therefore literary terms like “Ice queen” exists. I wanted to capture the sharp edged and clean cut form of Ice, much like the physical form of a snowflake.
In creating the imagery, I dabbed a long ruler along its length to create a long lined mark on the paper. I did so continuously, forming an image of sharp lines coming together in the centre. After exploration of spontaneous mark making and also controlled application, I decided to use the controlled version due to the hardy texture and geometric space “Ice” as an element encompasses. I also used the width of the long ruler to create shorter lines. The usage of lines, dark and light, creates a visual space of foreground and background, and without a subject matter like Pollock’s works, isolates the audience. In attempts to create a stronger foreground background contrast, i folded the paper to form thin but yet visible lines. This references heavily to Willem de Kooning‘s Expressionistic work and Piet Mondrian‘s Pier & Harbour Series, using the visual dimension to draw audience in, and without a subject matter, creates the idea of isolation.

Piet Mondrian. Composition 10. Pier and Harbour 1915
Willem de Kooning. Attic 1949
Exploring Paintbrush Stick
Test making
Folding Paper
Exploring Ruler as a Material
Test making
Final Choice


Overall, the main difficulty I experienced with this assignment was the attempt of concentrating the desired emotion within one small patch of paper, which was difficult since famous artists like Pollock and de Kooning are able to portray emotions through their works because the sheer size of their works are almost mural like. However, I had to distinctively choose out areas to crop out of my works, giving rise to the final composition seen below. Also, there was a lot of conflicting ideas between choosing how the final application is carried out, be it spontaneous or controlled application, ultimately, it depended on the emotion’s visceral nature.

Final Layout

A narrative: Project 1: Picture Story- Curating Self

To tell a story is to convey a narrative, making the audience see your story.

In this assignment, i was intrigued with the idea of the different roles i could pick up as an artist: the photographer, the narrator and also the character. I am the photographer when i designate my vantage point and envision how want my shots to be, effectively telling my story. I am the narrator when i formulate the ideas of the photographs, as well as curating the series into a effective plot. I am the character when i play out a persona to convey the story, the craftsman of the constructed reality.



In task 1, we were assigned to introduce ourselves using only three photographs, at which when placed together, leads audience into a constructed reality. I was doubtful of the task initially, not because of the objective, but the ideation. As a coming-to-age adult, expression of self identity is a common issue for most people, where most of the population never finding out who they truly are as real, introspecting human beings.

I believe that there is never a true unchangeable form of myself as an interactive human being. I can be bubbly with the company of people that I enjoy, but also apathetic when i need time to consolidate the introvert within myself. I can be hot-headed and grouchy when I have had a bad day, but also patient enough on certain days that you can hit me with a bus and I wouldn’t even flinch emotionally. This was an emotionally confusing task to me, as I struggled to introduce such a complicated subject using only three photographs.

In the end, I decided to sum up three basic versions of myself to introduce, using the three specified photographs- who I am as an entity of the universe, who I am as an individual of society and who I believe I am as a person.

I chose the same vantage point for all three photographs- a close up shot of my body squeezed into a  tight space, as if the audience voyeurs into my personal space. However, instead of running away, I decide to confront the camera and “perform” for it as different personas. I also made use of only one light source shining directly on me, giving it a heavy vignette and play of chiaroscuro, creating a  theatrically intense backdrop. The common white uniform and vantage point creates a unity to the photographs, as if it is viewed by an audience sitting at one fixed position.
Task 1: Universe

This is who I am as seen by the Universe. As a child growing up, I have always pondered the necessity of a single human in the broad works of the Universe. It is the aged old question philosophers ask regarding the existential reason of human beings, how a single rock has a stronger impact on the Universe since it has been in existence since the Big Bang. In the long lifespan of the Universe itself, human lives’ are  a measly nano second in its ratio. Hence, I decided to portray myself as a meat robot, wearing an aluminium foil over my head as a symbolism of machinery and the idea of homogeneous introspection.

I am seen trying to balance while sitting down, a literal portrayal of me trying to hold my place in the world. The fast movement of me rocking my crouched body creates a blurred photograph, producing a visually dynamic photograph with a tensed narrative of why.

Task 1: Barcodes

This is who I am in the eyes of the society. In a fast paced country like Singapore, I am nothing but a bar code unless I make a name for myself. As most of the population, as we turn 16 or get our citizenship, we will receive our NRIC number, and on that card is a stretch of black and white lines we are categorized to. As difficult as it sounds, that is what we are in the works of society, a convenient stretch of numbers and codes we will use throughout our lives- getting the groceries with our debit cards, visiting the doctors with our medical cards, etc.

In this photo, I backed up into the corner as I stare straight into the camera, inviting the audience to a conversation. If the audience move their visual perspective down to the white focus, they will see that I have drawn  a  series of bar codes on my arms, signifying that the bar code is tattooed into my live. I chose to cut off my legs in the photograph as the proximity towards me gives off the idea of a private conversation, as though the audience is just a whisper away.

Task 1: The real identity

This is who I am as seen by myself, an amorphous identity. I chose to portray myself with a cloth covering my head,  as mentioned above, I do not believe anyone has a  true self to their identity. I covered my head with a cloth to provide a narrative, with only an opening for my mouth to be seen breathing. The opening creates a tension that tells the audience that I am indeed communicating with them, instead of covering my head completely that instigates an idea of suffocation, which I am not. Compared to the other two photographs, I am in a slightly more comfortable position. The direct light source visually parallels to a police confession, as if I am being confronted by the audience to tell them about myself.


In task 2, we were tasked to explore on a significant object, and how we interact with the object. In choosing a significant object, reading the Sherry Turkes “The Things That Matter” helped to understood the idea of object fetishism, how people place symbolic value in different object, to an extent of religious/ supernatural power. I have always loved coffee, and it has been a part of my life since I was around 7. Coffee is also an object of symbolic spiritualism, often a controversial subject in many religions. We were tasked to try out various vantage points, at which I chose the above three for a stronger narrative.


Andy Warhol eating a Whopper

In this task, I chose to reference my work to Andy Warhol with his “performance” of eating a whopper for Burger King. It was a work that was beyond his time. The link provided ( is a low resolution video of Andy Warhol eating a burger. Warhol explored on the idea of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos way before the Internet was even a thing, exploring on the idea of sound and touch in the process of eating as a performance art. In his explorative nature, I decided to expand the ways I can enjoy a cup of coffee.



In this task, I decided to use only one cup of coffee for the task to integrate the significance of the object. This provides a time based element to the work. In the above photograph, I chose to leave the cold coffee in the warm environment, creating an opportunity for the coffee to interact with the air as it condenses. The time element becomes significant as it progresses through the series.

In the brainstorming of the idea of consuming, I decided to spit out my coffee in the air. This process allows me to smell, taste, feel, see and hear the coffee, as compared to the conventional way of drinking the coffee. I smell the coffee as it flies out into the air, or as it falls onto my shirt and hair. I taste the coffee as I swirl it within my mouth. I feel the coffee as it drops onto my body and hair, or the cold coffee dripping down the white shirt. I see the coffee fly into the air and dripping down my head. I hear the coffee as it spits out into vapor. The unconventional way of consuming the coffee transcends the object’s identity into something more spiritually significant.

As mentioned before, the time element is important in Task 2 as it is a series of events that takes place within a designated timeline. I decided to zoom out of the vantage point from the photographs, further and further to provide a cinematic vibe, as if the audience is looking at a short film, much like Andy Warhol’s whopper. I also played with the shutter speed to enhance the dynamics of the spitting of the coffee. In the exploration of both Task 2 and 3, I referenced to Jeff Wall for cinematic shots that include a sufficient usage of props and movements.

Mimic 1982- Jeff Wall

In this particular work, Jeff Wall used the idea of movement to create a stronger narrative. He took a photograph of three individuals interacting in their own ways. The Asian man walking with his hands in his pockets, staring at the Caucasian man through the corner of his eyes, while the Caucasian man gestures at the Asian man with ill-intended finger gestures. During this interaction, the woman is seen at the back holding the hands of the Caucasian man, seemingly apathetic of the situation. The inclusion of the actions enhances the tension and dynamics of the narrative, instead of having a character that just sits around and not do anything.


In this task, we are suppose to capture a sense of an environment and how we interact with the place. In this task, I take on different personas to tell the narrative.

I chose West Coast Park because it was an environment where my consciousness of life and death as a child awoke, and it is a significant place of my childhood. In my first few times going to West Coast, it was a seemingly enjoyable place as it was joyful to explore such a vibrant place with so many amenities. However, as human beings we respond to the environment accordingly and perspectives change. I experienced the idea of death as I  dug up a dead bird in the sand, as well as the time I nearly drowned since not knowing how to swim. Hence, I created the above narrative using the chosen photographs to showcase the significance of the environment.
Down the Rabbit Hole

As mentioned, the consciousness of death as a kid awoke in me because of two events, finding a dead bird and nearly drowning. I chose to reformat the identity of a bird as a rabbit as I found that it had a stronger persona and caricature-like character. Hence, I sewed a pair of ears to a grey hoodie to personify a rabbit. Rabbits are also classically fantastical creatures that transcend dimensions and fantasies, such as the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. They represent the idea of life forms turning to death, falling down a black hole. I chose a frontal vantage point to enhance the dark and emptiness of the slide, foreshortening my body to provide the idea of vulnerability. I found the design of the ropes and high element visually stunning, creating an idea of danger as well.


Throughout this narrative, I picked up different personas to tell the story, this one being Death. I used semiotics to enhance the underlying details. In the Beatles’s album Abbey Road, denim was representative of the undertaker, hence I am seen holding a denim piece, sitting in front of a white bouquet- both symbolic to the idea of death. I chose a wide shot as I tried to get a shot of me throwing my shoe into the air, symbolic of how one would take off their shoes before entering the ocean.

Rubber Ducky

In my attempts of using props to deliver a message, I chose rubber ducks that are painted white to represent my childhood. In capturing this photograph, I waited for the rubber ducks to be overturned by the waves to capture a more dynamic shot. The sole focus of the duck against a receding wave provides a cinematic shot, with a question of an ongoing narrative.


Last but not least, I zoomed out of the overturned rubber duck to a wide full body shot of me donned in white. The wide shot allows the vast ocean to be seen, compared to the sandy environment in the “Death”. The white uniform represents the idea of Life. I wave to the camera as I hold a stack of rubber ducks painted white. This being the last photograph of the series, the intentional action of waving represents the uncertain perspective I have of the ocean. It is up to the audience to interpret it as a “Hello”, representative of my acceptance of the water, while “Bye” meaning the distance I would place myself against the ocean.

Test shots that played with different vantage points and movements: