An album


Progressing from colour harmony and colour psychology, we moved into the assignment of Ego, where we attempt to visualise our personalities in various settings. I found it hard to conjure up a specific memory where my personality is shown as I believe that the human mind is too complex to have a fixed personality. Hence, I decided to brainstorm for the settings first, deciding to explore on various important stages of my life so far. Important situations sprouts an emotional reaction from myself, revealing who I am as a person.

Furthermore, I decided to parallel the different stages of my life with a favourite music album of mine, of that particular year. In many music albums, artists tend to summarise a chapter of their life within the album, pretty much the same agenda as me in this assignment. Coincidentally, the music albums chosen had a strong parallel of the situation and difficulty faced by me, enhancing the motive of the artwork.

After a short brainstorming, I realise it was purely coincidental that important events in my life happened in even numbered years. I decided to explore on the years 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 specifically in accordance to the events that took place. The album art that I will be paralleling to the events would be Eminem’s Recovery, Maroon Five’s Overexposed, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories and Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor respectively. The four series explores on the fear of embarrassment, the fear of risk taking, the fear of responsibility and the fear of the future. I would explore on the techniques of being literal, figurative, symbolic and hyperbolic.


X I V 2010; Eminem’s Recovery

Eminem’s Recovery 2010
Fear of Embarrassment

In this album, Eminem is trying to explore on the idea of personal courage as he attempts to build a music career while he struggles with issues like drug addiction, family matters and feuds with celebrities. It is about personal change and trying to break free of his status quo, keeping his head up in a dark situation. This is similar to my situation in 2010 as I found difficulty in upholding my position as a CCA leader, where I struggled with the fear of public speaking and being afraid of embarrassing myself since I was in the position of attention.

In his album art, Eminem is seen sitting in an enclosed glass room in the middle of the streets. He is reading a book in a living room setting, oblivious to the urban surroundings. He is seen isolated from the situation, indulging in his own world. This imagery speaks of Eminem’s attempt of recovery, being drawn out of the world and contemplating in a private space.

In the theme of using existing album art as artist reference, I decided to keep the techniques and mediums the same. In this series XIV, I decided to use manipulated photography as my medium, with the settings referencing the album art while the “me” and “reaction” mimicking a still from a music video.

XIV Me, Settings, Reaction






XIV 2010 Settings

In this photograph, I showed myself lying down in a comfortable position in homage to Eminem’s album art. It is decorated with props like a pillow and a laptop to enhance the theatricality of the situation. It shows me lying down on a stage facing the front, doing my own errands, isolated in my own private space. The private space is depicted with a translucent box created with photoshop editing. This photograph visualises my situation of being stuck in a comfortable environment where I am forced to go out of, facing the crowd.

I decided to use a triadic combination of saturated magenta, teal and yellow to highlight the idea of an anxious environment since the saturated combination is visually unsettling. This contrasts to the translucent box I am in, which is limited to an analogous combination of desaturated red hue. The translucent box provides a calming effect due to the desaturation and harmony of analogous colours.

XIV 2010 Me
Trial Photos

In this photograph, I wanted to capture the essence of a music video still, hence I incorporated the idea of a movement to engage a dynamic composition. This photograph follows a colour combination of black background with black outfit, contrasted with only a red ball thrown at me. It is done so with a black background with no details or objects, focusing only on the red ball and I. It is done so through the assembly shown below. I am seen holding a still expression with not much engagement with the audience, just in my own world, not expecting the red ball’s force at all. It shows how the outside world is throwing a curveball at me, disturbing my state of peace and private space. The red ball is a dense formation of the problems that the environment around me has created. This is an example of an experimentation with hyperbole, since I am playing with quote of the environment throwing a curveball at me but in reality it is not, and definitely not a creation of the environment.

This composition uses a mixture of black and red, a strong contrast of colours. The black enhances the theatricality while the red shows an intense energy with the plain background.

Setup and lighting
XIV 2010, Reaction

This photograph features my reaction to the problem, which was to accept the situation and take the problem as it is. The composition features a pair of magenta shoes with green lace, standing on an orange ball. This imagery shows an almost impossible feat of a pair of shoes balancing on a ball, hinting that I have achieved peace with the situation. The movement in this imagery is subtle as it is the visual anticipation itself. The audience would expect the shoes to fall and not be able to balance on the ball on its own.

In comparison to the first imagery of the triadic colour combination, this is placed over a black background. This creates a harmonious composition that is slightly theatrical, especially with the strong lighting placed at an angle.


XVII 2012; Maroon 5’s Overexposed

Maroon 5’s Overexposed 2012
Fear of Risks

In this album, Maroon 5 is exploring a new sound and a new rhythm for their music. It is a struggle of finding their voice yet staying relevant since they have built up an identity already. It was their 4th studio album. This was similar to my situation in 2012 as I was struggling with the decision of taking H2 art as my subject combination in Junior College Year 1. It was a decision that was an attempt of trying something new and that decision was risky for my future.

Maroon 5 decided to go for a colourful sound, choosing to represent that in their album cover as well. The album art depicts a crowded image of different egos popping out, trying to reach for the surface and getting a glimpse of the audience. It is saturated with different colours and personas, providing a visual confusion, which was their state of mind at 2012.

XVI  Me, Setting, Reaction
XVI 2012 Settings

In this imagery, I used symbolism in homage to Maroon 5’s Overexposed. These characters are a representation of the different people who played a part in my life, and the decision I made in response to this setting. The characters are shown below. All three works are done through physical illustration, then adding colour through Photoshop.

Brainstorming of Characters

The first page shows a style of illustration I adopted back in Junior College, a style I would like to incorporate to dramatise the narrative of my decision of taking art. The second page shows a buildup of characters I wanted to portray in the imagery, the first being the donkey. The donkey represents the first step I took to take art in Junior College as it was the subject of the aptitude test. It was also a figurative representation of the Buridan’s (Brendan) Ass, which is a philosophy paradox of how one donkey would be stuck in the middle of food and water given its free will, not knowing where to go towards. The clown is an offshoot of the idea of clownfishes as clownfishes are an important aspect of my love for art. Clownfishes were subjects I loved to draw as a child. The mermaid is a representation of a teacher in my past who discouraged me of a career in writing, and vital aspects like belt and hair is caricatured to the character. I adopted the persona of a mermaid as they are seemingly nice characters but have a screeching voice.


I also played with different colours for this imagery as I found difficult in balancing out the composition with so many characters. Hence, I found a sequential way by allocating colours to different personas.

Buridan’s (Brendan) Donkey

The donkey and other vital characters were represented in blue skin and accessorised with red and yellow as the blue was the main colour for the triadic combination. I wanted the idea of sadness and anxiety to come through with the colour combination. The donkey’s hand gesture is sign language for “Help”.

Clownfish and treasure

The clownfish makes an appearance in the imagery, seen jumping to hit a set of boxes with a question mark on it. It stands for the treasures in Super Mario’s world, a game I loved as a child. I represents my childhood passion coming through.

Clownman and mermaid

The clown and mermaid are seen staring at the donkey, as if waiting for him to make a choice, since he was seen making the sign language of “Help”.

Fate and dream
Horse and Human

Less vital characters who are deity-like in this dreamscape are shown with red skin. The scaley character is a representation of a recurring dream I have had as a child, which is an amphibian man who would stare at me from afar. The gigantic face in the sky represents the fate deity that lives in my dreamscape, looking down at the characters, watching life work out its magic. The face is only shown in glimpse to enhance the mysterious element.

The other humans are shown in yellow to provide a sense of banality, much like the characters from the Simpsons. The horse is an artwork I made back in A levels, portrayed in the art style I adopted.

XVII 2012 Settings

Overall, this imagery represents the setting I was in, which was being overwhelmed with the decision of me taking art in A levels. It was a private space of confusion, where my past childhood characters are coming back to me to question me if I had made the right choices. I am also torn with the presence of my current A level problems. The triadic combination creates a fantastical environment as the colours are saturated and eerie.

Brainstorming sketches
XVII 2012 Me

In this imagery, I chose to have a cleaner composition to show a stronger contrast to the settings imagery, enhancing the idea of confusion, that applies for the reaction imagery as well. I chose to use only the protagonist and antagonist in this composition, with the clown pointing in one direction , while the mermaid pointing at the other direction, causing confusion to the donkey, which is in the middle of the conflict. The donkey is seen pointing up, which is sign language for the letter “D”, hinting to take notice of the direction.

This image uses the combination of tetratic as it was intended to create an environment with tension however less jarring compared to the “settings” imagery. The clean white background focuses on the three characters that are in tetratic scheme, drawing focus to the narrative that proceeds down the series. This is because the “settings” imagery becomes more visually confusing than the “me” imagery. In the theme of creating focus, I used a technique of pointillism to create less jarring details, adopting a softer approach.

Cubist approach
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica 1937
XVII 2012 Reaction

In the last imagery, I decided to adopt a clean and peaceful style, in hopes of portraying the idea of introspection and understanding. Hence, I decided to go with a Cubist approach as Cubism itself is an understanding of form and three-dimensional world. I took reference to the work Guernica by Picasso, arguably the most famous painting of a horse/donkey trying to achieve the idea of peace. In the first photograph, it depicts the donkey being pointed with many red arrows angled everywhere, it serves to identify how the various planes/sides of the horse an be seen in one visual direction, hinting of an otherworldly understanding of form. To relate to the music video, I captured the donkey in the position the artist was in in the music video itself.

I chose to represent my work in a monochromatic hue of blue to create a peaceful image. The blue used is also less artificial compared to the previous image, this blue is more soft and pastel based., creating a strong harmony. The donkey is also seen clenching his fists, depicting an idea of strength and resilience. The usage of Cubism and monochromatic tone serves to depict my attitude and situation towards art, which was finding peace with it.


XVIII 2014; Coldplay’s Ghost Stories

Coldplay’s Ghost Stories 2014
Fear of Responsibility

This album is spiritual and talks about the relationship between the past and the future. It revolves around lead singer Chris Martin’s struggle with the present, and how his ghosts from the past is catching up with him and therefore affecting his future. It is also spiritual in a sense where he tries to find solace with his relationships, be it family or friends. It is similar to my situation back in 2014 as I struggled with the decision of either joining  Affordable Art Fair as an intern or working full time at an ice cream cafe. It was the decision that rattled me as I was afraid of the consequences ad responsibility, how it would affect my future and come off as a ghost in my past.

The album adopts a monochromatic blue with a lighter shade for the wings, while the backdrop is darker, creating focus. It is a etched artwork with many symbolic and figurative representation, such as an incoming tornado or a garden plant with ladders.

XVIII 2014
Preliminary sketch
Preliminary Sketch

In exploration of the theme of wings, I decided to keep the initial design of wings for the settings, using symbolism to showcase the situation. I wanted to play with the idea of wings, thereafter moving to the narrative of Icarus, since the narrative of the album is about the past actions catching up with the future.

XVIII 2014, Settings

In this imagery, I used linocut to replace the etching used in the Coldplay album art. I used symbols like sharks, mermaids and spoons, etc in the medieval style adopted by Mila Furstova, the artist that created the Ghost Stories album art. The sharks are representation of the aggression and drive I wanted to have for my future. The mermaid representing characters from my past catching up with me. While the spoon represents the cafe I worked at. The dots represented the artworks I saw at the Affordable Art Fair, predominantly the dots of Damien Hirst’s works. I decided to use a plain blue hue to create the lino print, adding a little yellow to create a patchy effect for enhanced pictorial space. The white lines of the lino cut is contrasted with the blue background, giving a tranquil yet introspective quality. Each wings represented the two choices I was given, at which I could only make one choice and by default the other one would become the ghost in my past.

XVIII 2014, Me

In this image, I wanted to start on the theme of Icarus and his choices, with me playing Icarus in this situation. I carved an image of Icarus falling down from the sky, with many wings sprouting from the sides. However, he is seen falling down despite having many wings. I explored on the human form in a falling position. In this series, I decided to use the same hue of blue to represent Icarus to create a stronger sense of a series, and using visually weaker colours to be placed at the background. In “Me”, I explored on many colour combination, from a pure red contrasting to the blue, to a patchy pastel blue, to light violet and even a galaxy-like combination. I decided to go with a pastel created analogous combination of orange, pink and red. This references to the colour of a sun setting down, which is a gradient of red, orange and pink- It parallels to the story of Icarus. I wanted the analogous combination to create an unnerving effect, with the warm hues creating an anxious environment. I used hard pastels and created the gradient background with no details, emulating the scenery of what you would see while falling down.

XVIII 2014, Reaction

In the last imagery of “Reaction”, I decided to play with the idea of Icarus again, much like the “Me” imagery. This time I played with  triadic colours, inclusive of the blue itself to create a stronger overall harmony. The colour combination is also naturalistic to pay homage to the classic narrative of Icarus. I layered the linoprints one by one, with the brown one pasted first, then the green one and lastly the blue one to create a pictorial space within the image. It explores on curves and lines, twirling into the said pictorial space. The human form shown in this image is more elegant and relaxed, giving a stronger sense of “in flight”. It is on the verge of contortion and curving in elegance. I wanted to depict how my reaction to the problem was ultimately settled in, and eventually I survived and was in fact, flying with one wing.

With the usage of three different colours, I created a pictorial space with the colours, brown and green being the background while blue pops out due to its bold hue. There is a visual zig zag crossing the image with the wings and wind, highlighting the full form of Icarus.

Testing the ink
Final Products



XX 2016; Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor

Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor 2016
Fear of the future

In this album, Panic! At the Disco (Brendon Urie) strives to depict his passion for music physically, aiming to visualise his consumption of music in this album. This album speaks about his passion for music, it was also a signifier of another era of his life as he transition into the next stage of life. It was a moment of bittersweet and sadness. This was similar to me as I was in a fork road of choosing my university course, fresh out of army. It was a point where my decisions could affect my future’s entirety, much like what the album speaks of.

The album art is an actual photograph Urie’s friend took of him ,and Urie asked the illograph artist Nicole Guice to draw on the photograph to create the album art. It was symbolic in the usage of the Mustang, as it was from his previous album, another era of his life. The usage of only blue and red contrasted to the background of black and foreground of white creates a strong composition of focused subject matter.

In the theme of using the official album art as reference, I wanted to pay tribute to the artist by using the same style of spontaneity in choosing the photographs for illography. Hence, I decided to use photographs that were not staged and had been taken recently, instead of staging it, which was my initial idea. This led me to the photographs taken by my friend Bryan through the application Gudak, which coincidentally has timestamps on it to officialise the spontaneity and concept of being unstaged.

Series of unstaged photographs

Test runs
Test Runs
XX 2016 Settings

In this imagery, I played with the actual album art by closely imitating the colour scheme, with a dark background lined with white and red illographed sketches. I decided to use this photograph as it was a photograph of me lying down on the wall and not realising that my picture was taken, much like the album art of Death of a Bachelor. There is a recurrence of the character of the donkey, hinting of my situation of needing to wanting to choose art as a career. I caricatured the environment into a beach to feel a sense of ludicrous, and also out of spontaneous will.

XX 2016 Me

In the “Me” imagery, I depicted myself back in 2016 where I was based in Tengah Airbase. I am shown covered with a sunglasses and earmuffs, indication of the hot weather and loud noises. There is a plane flying over, while I am seen in contemplation. The colour scheme of this imagery is also simple, with a desaturated cool background lined with red, white and black marker to create a distinct foreground and background.

XX 2016 Reaction

In the last imagery, I am shown lying down in a coffin, pointing a toy gun at the camera. This depicts my decision of choosing art as a course as I found solace in the idea of deathbed regrets. It was a decision making scenario where I place myself by my own deathbed and questioning if I would regret a particularly confusing dilemma. There is a less sinister tone in this imagery compared to the previous two as I wanted to portray the idea of solace through harmony. There is a play of split complementary in this image, with the warm tone of the environment set over a pink shirt and orange tinted green gun. This creates a visual harmony that balances out the dark tone of the photograph.



XIV 2010
XVI 2012
XVIII 2014
XX 2016

In the exploration of tying the series together, I decided to play with composition and colours. In the imageries under “Me” and “Reaction”, which are more tilted to the aspects of introspection and supposedly aesthetically resembling stills from music video, I kept the composition simple by limiting to one central character or a small group. This pulled focus to the central panels which are the “settings”, and are mostly confusing situations I was stuck in.

In each series, there would also be colours that guide into the next one. For example in XIV 2010, there is a combination of purple and orange that leads the viewers down into XVI which uses purple and orange predominantly as well. It speaks of how my position of comfort led me to the position of conflicted decision making. From XVI to XVIII, the last imagery of the blue Cubist donkey links up to the Icarus series of the blue flying man, speaking of the same subject matter in a different form.

I also used self-crafted CDs to replace the caption required in the assignment layout.

Final set up


In this project, I have gone through quite a few mediums and that definitely brought new perspectives to each and every one. First and foremost, the conceptualising was difficult as I had to link up four different personas of me, settings and reaction into a gigantic series and correspond it to one another. It was also difficult in linking up the concept of album art and situations of my life, making sure there was not any loopholes.

In the technical aspects, lino cut was the most difficult to control as it was a test of dexterity. Then comes the illustrations as I had to think of the medium of illustration, be it hand drawn on paper or Illustrator or even Photoshop. Illograph was a style I have never touched on before. It was difficult in making sure the entire project seemed connected visually.

All in all, it was a great project in terms of exploring new mediums, new boundary of where my concepts can lead to and how much I understood myself. Really thankful for the tutelage provided by Joy for the past semester.


a gummybear

Moving on from Forrest Gump, we finally ventured into colours for Ego. Colour is a visual perception, projected through the wavelength of light against the biological structure of our eyeballs. There is a wide spectrum of colours that is humanly possible to see, shown below. Other animals like birds can see up to five or seven colours, compared to the three primary colours that humans can see. Some unfortunate ones, mostly sea creatures, can only see up to two, (blue or red) since the ocean has a limited colour scheme. The triptych below shows the comparison of vision between a ferret, human and a ladybird. In this comparison, the inherent feeling achieved from the same flower is different in the three subjects: the ferret sees a heavy setting with a depressed looking flower; the human seeing a purple flower with a pink interior; the ladybird seeing a saturated green flower with a yellow interior. This is the result of colour psychology.

Comparison of animal visions

Colour psychology is the effects of different colour on human behaviour and perception, with different colours having a different inherent effect.

Blue is an intellectual colour that recedes into the background. This is because the colour is inherently cooling, hinting of strong clear thought and light calmness of mind. However, it can also remind people of coldness and loneliness, such as Pablo Picasso’s blue series.

Red is a physical colour that pops out of the foreground, stimulating the eyes. It is visually strong and powerful, no subtlety in the traits. It can be perceived as either friendliness or aggressiveness, depending how the energy is perceived.

Pink is a colour derived from changing the tint of red, thus it is a physical colour. Pink soothes the viewer physically. However, over-usage of pink can be visually draining.Yellow is an emotional colour that stems from both spectrum. It is both optimistic and depressive. This is because the yellow light has the longest wavelength and is visually stimulating. The over-saturation of yellow would incite anxiety, commonly seen in traffic police coats.

Green is a balanced colour, seemingly because it is in the middle of the colour spectrum. It is harmonious, being found in nature. It requires no visual adjustments, thus easy on the eyes. It is a primitive reminder of humans of peace since a lush green reminds of food. water and settlement.

Purple is spiritually aggressive, but also suppressive. It has the shortest wavelength out of all the colours, but having the strong polarity in its effects. Purple can remind viewers of royalty and luxury, but excessive use can bring out introspection, and also inferiority.

Orange is a passionate colour that can be derivative also. Since it is a combination of red and yellow, it is both a physical and emotional colour. It inherits traits of both yellow and red, mostly its vibrancy and energy. However, too much orange can bring frivolity, drawing out intellectual values.

Grey is psychologically neutral, but is also suppressive in nature. It visually draws the audience into a murky space. However, it can be a sign of insecurity and fear of exposure, compared to black.

Black is a strong colour that hints of sophistication. It can also be menacing due to the lack of details. The bold body of black can absorb colour, becoming a protective barrier. There is an absolute clarity, with no subtle nuances in the colour.

White is the opposite of black, being reflective in nature than absorptive. It is sterile and pure, giving a false sense of space, very much like black.

Saturation is the intensity of a colour, how red becomes pink when desaturated, then proceed to fade into a plan white.









                  Value is the brightness or darkness of a colour. When the value of black is increased, it becomes grey, then proceeding to become white.










Colour harmony is the arrangement of these colours, using their physical properties and placing them in the best combinations.

Monochromatic is used when there is only one colour, creating a composition that is very detailed with a sole focus of the subject matter.

Picasso’s Blue Painting- Celestina


Analogous are colours adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. They are seen as peaceful and typically can be found in nature.

Analogous Colours

Claude Monet’s Sunrise


Complementary are opposing colours on the colour wheel, they are naturally pleasing to be paired off together. However, they tend to be used with one colour more predominantly than the other, especially the visually weaker colour.

Complementary Colour
Van Gogh The Starry Night


Split Complementary is when one end of the complementary colour is split and accompanied with the other end. It creates a joyful and energetic composition.

Split Complementary
Henri Matisse The Dance


Triadic is when three colours of equal distance on the colour wheel is placed together. It is often cartoonish and surrealistic.

Triadic Colours
Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe


Tetratic (Double Complementary) is two pairs of opposing colours, best used for background/foreground compositions. Although advised to not used with 25% for each colour.


Bernandino Mei Christ Cleansing the Temple



A 80s quote

My mama always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Forrest Gump 1994


In this project, we were tasked to reinterpret our chosen movie quotes and create imageries using Photoshop and found pictures. It draws inspiration from Surrealism and Dadaism, making imageries that transcends cliche solutions and responses, strongly based on spontaneity and randomness. (


Before embarking on the tedious but fun journey of surrealistic image collaging, I thought through  and brainstormed for a concise theme that summarises my love for film- and that answer is the 1980s movies. In the recent years, 1980s nostalgia has been on a rise and 1980s themed homages is prevalent in many films, such as the Duffer Brother’s Stranger Things, Andy Muschietti’s IT or James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, to name a few.

1980’s Homage

I decided to follow this theme since I loved watching 1980 blockbusters growing up as a teenager, movies like Ghostbusters (1984), The Shining (1985), or Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), etc.  The 1980s was a special time as it was the aftermath following the wave of film popularity preceding Hollywood’s Golden Age. The film in this period of time was characterised as high concept films with a cinematic plot that could be easily distinguished by one or two sentences, typically with a few strong characters to build up a narrative. It was the rise of blockbusters, but not built on special effects like the films today. It was also a period with many political tension since it was the rise of political conservatism, particularly Thatcher and Reagan; Filmmakers pivoted to make their form of entertainment uplifting and joyful.

Ghostbusters, 1984


Before I begin, I would have to list out a series of movies I loved that were from the 1980s, and that was a long list:

  • Ghostbusters (Comedy) (1984),
  • Back to the Future (Sci-Fi) (1985),
  • Blade Runner (Neo-Noir) (1982),
  • The Shining (Horror) (1980),
  • Nightmare on Elm Street (Horror) (1984),
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Family Comedy) (1989),
  • Breakfast Club (Coming-to-age) (1985),
  • Dead Poet Society (Coming-to-age) (1989),
  • The Poltergeist (Horror) (1982),
  • The Thing (Thriller) (1982)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Coming-to-age) (1986)
  • The Evil Dead (Horror) (1981)
  • Predator (Thriller) (1987)
  • Etc

With a list of my favourite 1980’s movies, I had to come up with a few to quote from and that could only be done through re-watching everyone of them. After a few movie marathons, I realised that the movies that I quoted from were predominantly from coming-to-age related movies, which was a genre of film that focused on the protagonists’ growth into adulthood- to say the least, was relatable to me.




In spirit of Surrealism and Dadaism, I decided to incorporate an essence of a Surrealist/Dada artist for each imagery that I have, creating a 1980’s surrealism confusion.

I also wanted to pay homage to 1980’s movie posters, particularly the usage of one central subject figure that plays along to the audiences’ perspective, acting out an action/narrative imperative to the film. With that, I would recreate any iconic scene within the movie, and retell it in my perspective in a fantastical context, like the movie posters below.

Blade Runner 1982
The Poltergeist 1982
The Thing 1982

















Breakfast Club 1985
Film still of iconic scene

“You see us as you want to see us- in the most convenient definitions” – Breakfast Club 1985 + Lucia Hartini

Referencing the quote to the meaning I understood from the movie, I interpreted the quote as a summation of how the characters feel from the stereotype society places on everyone one of them, looking at their every moves. In the film still above, they are in a midst of confessing to one another regarding their problems and trouble, how they are fallen into a particular stereotype and probably cannot mix around as real friends when they are out of that tiny space.

In this work, I referenced to Lucia Hartini’s work “My Child”. She is an Indonesian artist that focuses on broadcasting sensitive subject matters like gender equality in a predominantly Islamic Community through surrealistic paintings. She focuses on symbols like clouds, horses and babies to communicate an idea of a bigger and almighty entity looking down on her without being crude in the context of expression. In the work “My Child”, she is seen looking up, interacting with the deity, which is also her child by blood, interacting through a thin veil of spiritualism and religion without being specific to any religion. The usage of clouds also enhances the fantastical aesthetics.

Lucia Hartini’s My Child 1989


“You see us as you want to see us- in the most convenient definitions” – Breakfast Club 1985 + Lucia Hartini

Using the techniques I learnt from Hartini’s work, I created this collage referencing to the quote above. In this imagery, I wanted to exaggerate the stereotype each characters face from society, with the society imagined as a fly in this context- Flies see the world in a slower speed, giving them the ability to place judgement and react faster. I turned each character into a caricature: the beauty into Medusa, the nerd into Yoda, the jock into a football player, the crazy into a timebomb and the criminal into the hamburglar.  The medusa represents a beautiful character that lacks of self confidence and leeches on compliments. The yoda represents a socially awkward character that is from another realm or environment. The football player, quite literally is a stereotype of a jock, one who focuses too much on sports and the events that come with it. The timebomb represents the quality of unpredictability and the damage it can do to people around it. And the hamburglar is the caricature of a burglar/criminal who is also the comic of the group. The fly (society) is seen coming out from the clouds like in Hartini’s works, it is essentially imagined as an almighty deity looking down and deciding the fate of the characters, with every facade on the compound eye looking at every directions. The characters are seen looking up at the fly, providing a visual direction for the audience.  However, they are still in a comfortable position of leaning, unable to react to the impending judgement. The characters are also seen in a tight space, with the little breathing space implying the physical privacy that was seen in the film still, insinuating a conversation between them.


Honey I Shrunk the Kids 1989


“Its funny, the moon looks the same size whether you’re big or small.”- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 1989 + Rene Magritte

With my understanding of the movie, I interpreted the quote as an expression of figurative size. Throughout the beginning of the movie, the children are placed under a microscope of judgement by the adults, who fear that they are incapable of responsibility and protecting themselves. The adults on the other hand, are placed in a caricature of illogicality and insensibility. The quote expresses a paradox of “size”, the figurative size the characters felt and the literal size that they were in compared to the moon.

Rene Magritte’s Human Condition 1933

Hence, I wanted to play with the idea of a figurative and literal size, and this led me to the artist Rene Magritte. In Magritte’s work, he played with the idea of perspective and size. In this work, he places an easel in front of a window. The precise and intentional placing challenges the audience’s perspective of whether the tree stems from the environment outside the window or is the tree a physical painting. Hence, there is only two options for the audience, whether the tree is a few centimetres short or a few metres tall. The question is left unsolved and left for audiences to predict or think.

In my work, I wanted to play with Magritte’s perspective paradox and apply it to the moon and ant, which are the main characters apart from the children. In my work, I applied the same composition of an easel and a window, of which the subject matter is a moon. Hence, audience will question whether if the moon is the size of a painting or is the moon outside the window, broad as the space it is in. However, there is another moon right beside the window and easel, seen looking down at the ant. The conversation between the two characters leads to the question of which moon is of the real and actual size. The presence of the ant makes audience question if the moon is the size of an ant, or is the ant the same size as the moon. Further more, zooming out of the pictorial space, the ant is seen stepping on a ground that is textured like the moon, playing with the idea of three possible moons. This imagery references to the quote as to how there isn’t any real physical size, and the idea of “size” or “ability to withstand responsibility” is one’s entitlement and how you strive to achieve it.


Back to the Future 1985
Film still of timetrain

“Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.” – Back to the Future 1985 + Dede Eri Supria

In the film still shown above, it is the last scene in the movie where Doctor Brown and Marty say goodbye. Doctor Brown was implied to have succeeded in his time travelling endeavors and had travelled back from the future with a time travelling train. I imagine the quote as an implication to wanderlust and passion, how Doctor Brown is encouraging Marty to chase his dreams and to never give up, as you are the one who decide where you are going.

In my work, I wanted to reimagine the scene of Doctor Brown flying off in a train, with the train as a representation of wanderlust. However, I had to use another caricature to portray Marty and I chose to reference to another Indonesian artist named Dede Eri Surpia, with his usage of clowns are protagonists. I liked the idea of using clowns as the characters fighting for their passion as in Dede’s works, they are always seen in industrialised environment, struggling to pursue their passion in an ever confusing environment that is rapidly growing and moving. In the work shown below, the clowns are seen floating in the air, struggling to make ends meet in a ghastly background that is almost a caricature of an industrialized city, like Jakarta where Dede is from.

Dede eri Supria “Clowns in the Capital” 1999


Back to the Future 1985

In my work, I wanted to play homage to the original film of Back to the Future by placing all the direction of the trains following the original film poster, which was the left side. I juxtaposed the the trains with same sized human beings sitting on the train, looking at the left side, as if looking forward to something in the distance. There is a clown at the right bottom of the image, representing the essence of passion I wanted to draw from Dede’s work, making him hold on to a string that is being pulled by the floating train. The idea of clowns and train contrasts strongly as there is subtle difference of metal versus skin, passion versus robotic movements. In any environment, trains are supposed to be a logical mode of transport with only one direction at a time, implying logic. However, with the theme of floating, it can move to any direction at any given time, hinting of wanderlust passion. In pursuit of technical accuracy, I used motion blur to hint of visual space, depicting how the trains are moving from a distant location to the audience’s eyes.


Dead Poets Society 1989
Film still of Dead Poets Society 1989

“Because believe it or not, everyone one of us in this room is going to stop breathing turn cold and die.” – Dead Poets Society 1989 + Salvador Dali

Last but not least, I have a quote from Dead poets Society as shown above. It is predominantly similar to the previous quotes as it is from a coming-to-age movie revolving around a group of teenagers with an inspiring teacher helping them pursue their passion. I wanted to bring out the idea of everyone being in a precarious position of “turning cold and die”, and emphasis on the aspect of time, since that is an element important in the movie itself since mortality is greatly discussed inside. In the film still and even the movie poster shown above, the teacher Mr Keatings is always shown with a certain level of hierarchy implying that he is a teacher and the guide to these children, via techniques in composition or colours.

Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory 1931

In my work, I referenced to Salvador Dali as I found that his works to have an eerie sense of mortality without any physical depiction of death itself. There is a morbid language that is unspoken, through the symbol of a melting clock. Hence, I extracted the melting clock as Mr Keatings, overlooking the characters in a higher and bigger position then the rest, symbolising death of passion. The play of size allows audience to direct their gaze at the clock, which is the focal point of the image. I chose to represent each of the main characters as a sculpture as I found that sculptures tend to lose their visual value when they are placed in a 2 dimensional plane, effectively losing their life, much like the idea of “turning cold and die”. I represented each character as a sculpture using their personality: the fun and joker as Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel 1931, the quiet but thoughtful as Alberto Giacometti’s Pointing Man 1947, the romantic and innocent as the Cupid and the goal-oriented dreamer as Auguste Rodin’s the Thinker. The sculptures are seen standing on a barren wasteland looking up on the melting clock, just wasting their time away until a perpetual mortality. In homage to the film itself, where the main character of the goal-oriented dreamer dying, I decided to blur the Thinker in the background, hinting that something is happening to it in a still wasteland, probably it being the first to die off in this scenario.


Final Silkscreen Print

Following the process of Photoshopping and collaging the found images, we were required to silk screen the chosen quote onto a tote bag and present it. After a few attempts, the above photograph shows my final work of the quote from Breakfast Club, arguably my most favourited movie in the world. The process of silkscreen was tedious and difficult, especially since I tore one silkscreen board by accident. It is a process that is heavily underestimated, at which subtle difference in pressure and moisture can affect the final results.

Final Presentation

Throughout this assignment, I faced the challenge of patience and dexterity as both are tested in the context of photoshop and silkscreening. The journey of not knowing any Photoshop techniques to having tried both photoshop and silkscreen has been really challenging, but a fulfilling one nevertheless. From the comments I received from the post-presentation commentary, my main problems were technicality issues like the cutting of border from the Breakfast Club imagery, as well as the composition of the Back to the Future imagery.



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

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 jar of ink

After an in depth discussion of the reference artists, i took to understanding that emotions are mainly the vessels at which artists sought out in art, such as Jackson Pollock who painted his feelings directly from his mind (through his kinetic motions) into drips of paint.

Artists also used spontaneity to create a dynamic composition, like how Cai Guo Qiang does, crafting works that are almost impossible to recreate due to the unlikely probability of repeated action.

There are also artists who weigh the balance between emotions and spirituality, such as Hilma Klint, who expressed her worship while paralleling to her own emotions in her work.

With reference to these artists, of course with a pinch of salt, i embarked on a journey of exploration with ink. In my perspective, humanity’s spirituality or mysticism from early ages have always been greatly linked to the emotions of a deitified being (God from whichever religion). For example, a forest fire or lightning storm has always been associated with anger while a river of clear water or light gale by the sea has been an insignia of peace and tranquility. I would want to use this mystic school of thought to experiment with the lines, since the primordial aspect of collecting naturally textured items and spontaneity of paint splatters brings art back to its raw form- i would want to associate my 6 emotions with 6 different elements of mysticism elements.


In this task of investigating Sadness, i am trying to convey the idea of withdrawn isolation as a literal and poetic cold shoulder, forming the artwork’s characteristics as traits i see in Ice. I am trying to portray the sharpness of ice, as well as the glacier’s infinite facades that are very diamond-esque. The first photograph shows a spontaneous attempt using a 30 cm ruler to mark out strong sharp lines congregating in the centre, like a  snowflake. The 2nd photograph is slight more controlled, with a smaller number of long lines flaked with smaller cuts around.  In both attempts, the paper is folded prior to create a background of receding lines. I would also experiment with more paper quality to bring out the sharpness, e.g. sandpaper.


In the task of investigating Fear, I wanted to explore the idea of fearing the unknown, thus i drew inspiration from the idea of smoke created by fire- elements greatly inspired by Cai Guo Qiang. I layered patches of ink made by fluffs of tissue, attempting to layer it into a cloud of smoke, concentrating in the middle. However due to time limitations, i was not able to bring out the depth of the smoke.


The last of this post, i am trying to convey the idea of Love. In my understanding, it would be intense and paralyzing, supposedly electrifying- as literal as it sounds. I took a wire brush and dipped it in paint, attempting to create a few spirals of magnetic waves undulating around the corners, forming a  dynamic composition of short lines travelling together. The top photograph was an attempt for stronger and heavier strokes, while the bottom photograph was tasked to be more clean cut and curvier.

A research: abstract andy

abstract artists often draw inspiration from the spontaneity of movement, inking emotions directly from their brain to the canvas.


Abstract Andy.

Shadows 1978.  Andy Warhol

102 panels of silkscreen production, lined edge by edge to form a monumental installation series.

< A series of positive and negative imprints, alternating in colors lined together creates a strong sense of multiplicity, a common theme in Warhol’s works. However, the multiplicity in old works like “Campbell Soup Cans” conveyed the omnipresence of consumerism, while “Shadows” presented a menacing force with its repetition in one direction.>

<The subject matter is amorphous as there are no distinct features unlike Warhol’s old works, where he was particularly communicative regarding the subject matters, taking on Pop icons for controversial discussions.>

Rorschach 1984. Any Warhol

<In exploring emotive lines, Rorschach’s ink blobs are the first of its kind, starting from 1921 by Hermann Rorschach. Its a visual test of paralleling perspective and emotions. It is a direct reference to the project brief of communicating emotions with ink, since the objective of the Rorschach is to identify emotions through the aesthetics. Warhol’s work, in irony, has never been officially confirmed to serve such a purpose. Warhol took on a psychologically charged subject, which is reminiscent of his earlier work’s like the Monroe series, where he strips off the individual intentions of an object. In Marilyn Monroe- a human being turned lifeless sex symbol; compared to Rorschach- a psychology test turned into a meaningless painting.>


Oxidation/ Piss Painting 1978. Andy Warhol

A series of painting created through the oxidation of copper paint and uric acid.

<This work is reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism painters like Jackson Pollock, using the spontaneous motion of the human body as a medium to create expressive works.Warhol uses the similarity to ridicule this high art expressionism by using human waste and sex organs, demeaning the hoity-toity reputation Abstract Art had built up over the decade.>