As we explore into the City of Void, we experimented with space as a visualisation of sound. Sound solidifies as positive physical space; while silence becomes the negative void around it. A symphony becomes a sculpture for those who can appreciate whereas a musician becomes its master. We wobbled the shaker, we rang the bell, we hit the xylophone with a sharp knock:
We could feel the freshly composed music solidifying in the air, visualising into a soundscape with peaks and undulating ridges our ears once felt. The mint green and magenta peaks soared out of the ridges overlooking the rhythmic mundane bunch. While the sangria and emerald trenches fell as deep as they sound. Silence permeated the rest where sound doesn’t exist.
A symphony hall stems out from the City of Void, from a void, celebrating the newly composed song “dik dok dik dok boom cch boom cch”.
Plodding up the stairs of the symphony, a rough green hobo lies waiting, looking up the stage in awe. He is rough like sandpaper because he is sandpaper. He is firmly grounded and laying to rest, while his children tears up the stage. He is loud and sharp, even the smallest of his knocks can cause vibrations and tremors. If he stands up and walk, his meaty thigh’s sheer friction makes a nerve-wrecking “ccchhhh”
In the middle of the stage, hovering in the air, floats a metallic cone that steals the hobo’ gaze. Its shiny and sharp, the highest point, no one dares to climb higher. Its a big diva who screeches and yell, ding, ding, ding.
Reliable as always is the White Infinity, its hardworking and honest, two beats at a time. Its undisturbed by the Diva, although its spotlight is always stolen. Its nervous around the Hobo, drowning it with tremors.
As we dwell deeper into the topic of abstract composition, we discussed various techniques of showcasing the beauty and elegance of a plane. Using the information taught by Cheryl, we modified our models accordingly to achieve the intended outcome.
This adds on to the initial post under the link (https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/bren0022/a-smelly-plane/), which I will reference to to elaborate on the edited models. In Model 1 shown below, the relationship between the planes remained the same, with the main body being the dominant, the twisting support being the subdominant and the curling plane at the peak a subordinate to the main body. The position of the twisting support was moved closer to the base of the main body instead of it being located in the middle of the platform- this enhances the elegant curves of the plane that I wanted to highlight. The closer negative space between the dominant and subdominant creates an illusion of a stronger base. Using the idea of receding planes, I also wanted to create that illusion of a varying widths, as I found that the composition becomes more dynamic as such. With reference to the photograph “Receding view”, I bent the plane at an angle along its length, creating an illusion of different width on the dominant strip. In this model, the dominant strip is significantly larger than the subdominant and subordinate as I really wanted to emphasis on the curves of the plane, paralleling to the crane robot. I used the small strips of subordinate and subdominant to pierce and wedge through the dominant strip, this technique provides an element of dynamism and it gives an illusion of life to the strips, interacting with one another in a context that is not gluing. I feel that the technique of gluing applies a robotic structure that is not as organic compared to the wedging and piercing.
In this work, I altered the curvature of the strips, effectively altering the negative space within each plane. Since my artist reference was Anthony Poon’s Sense Surround, my initial model was similar to Poon’s execution in terms of the relatively similar negative space. However, the purpose of the exercise is to investigate how the difference in length and curvature can create different negative space, volume and receding points. Hence, I had increased the outward curvature of the dominant strip, creating a bigger negative space within, as if a body crouching down. I also exaggerated the twisting of the subdominant strip that interacts with the dominant strip, shown in the photograph labelled “Close up”. The subdominant strip then interacts with the subordinate, which is wedged into it and tapered off at the side. The complex movements of the subordinate and subdominant contrasts to the other side of the sculpture, then ends with the dominant strip receding into the ground.
As a continuation from the investigation of smell, we attempted to project the sensory qualities we drew from our chosen smells and turn it into a physical sculpture. In this project, we were tasked to explore the theme of abstract forms and planes using found plastic (without any limitation of our techniques), and produce a sculpture that portrays the two smells interacting with out another.
*However, I made a slight edit on my initial choice of a bad smell and chose yeast instead of train farts. Yeast, to me, has a flat but distinct smell that hints of mould. It is a slow paced and gentle smell that lingers, in other words start off small but loiters as a strong and pungent smell. It incites a sense of nervousness in me.
Before I embarked on my project, I decided to list out a comparison of characteristics that rain and yeast have, allowing me to tell the narrative of the rain and yeast interacting, or opposing for that matter. I found rain to be a distinct and refreshing smell, as if my brain is being massaged. Even though the energy and dynamism of rain is difficult to process in terms of smell, the idea of rain itself reminds me of infinite potential, as if the smell is falling down from the sky in a mass. I would like to incorporate an additional sensory aspect of sound to exaggerate the effects of rain as the sound itself puts me in a calm state of mind- a quality I would like to portray in the sculpture. In comparison, yeast is the polar opposite to the smell of rainwater. Yeast has a flat smell that lingers, but instead of dynamism, it just reminds me of dead mould. It has a distinct smell as well, but starts off weak and strengthens over time.
Using the characteristics I pointed out, I started to brainstorm for an idea of how my sculpture would look like, and here it is.
From there, I proceeded to investigate plastic as a material in terms of malleability and durability, with mediums like heat and applied force to bent it. The photograph shown below is an example of how the heat gun was used to bent the plastic strips I had cut out, bending it into a streamline abstract form. I wanted to achieve the natural form the water has when it drips, as the physical sight of it reminds of rainwater dripping down. It also reiterates the idea of how the smell of rainwater plunges down in a mass and the strip attempts to portray a downwards motion.
Throughout this project, the main medium of holding the sculpture together is hot glue gun. I found that hot glue resembles the visual quality of plastic and is able to camouflage as part of the artwork quite easily. Apart from gluing the work together, I also attempted to create some textural qualities using the glue, forming spheres that hints of droplets and mould.
However, a problem I noticed was that the usage of the hot glue “rainwater” and “mould” is too similar in terms of sizing and texture- This creates a visual confusion. Hence, I played with the idea of quantities, with the yeast having more hot glue “mould”, with the addition of soldered holes to incite the nervousness as mentioned before. With both of the hot glue and soldering techniques used, there is a positive and negative texture created. Positive texture being the lumps created by the hot glue, while negative texture being the holes that audience can feel by touching, shown below.
Through experimentation and attempts to control the volatile hot glue and plastic, I created the final model shown below. As mentioned above, it represents the struggle of rainwater and yeast as two opposing smells. However, shown in the GIF below, the rainwater is stronger and cleansing smell, therefore the yeast is almost weakened and pushed backwards, yet lingering on. The sculpture uses the comparably heavy weight of the “rainwater” to introduce the conversation between the two smells, pushing back and forth using gravity. Ultimately, the flat “yeast” is unable to take the weight due to its weak body of smell. The addition of tendril-like features at random suggests life to the sculpture due to the resemblance to an otherworldly life form.
The recording is of the plastic tendrils of the “rainwater” swirling around, mimicking the droplets hitting the ground during rain.
As we move on from the previous project to Project Mnemosyne, we investigated planes and smell.
These are the various form of planes we learnt, divided into 3D and 2D planes.
We were also tasked to pick two distinct scents, one that you favour while the other one you disliked. I picked the scent of incoming rain as the scent that I liked. In describing the scent that appears before rain happens, I googled for a scientific explanation. This strangely pleasant smell occurs when the plants release a chemical as they expect rain to fall, combined with the bacteria and ozone from the ground, creates the unique smell that symbolises “pre-rain”. The reason that I like this smell is because it is calming, as it is a precursor for the event of rain and the idea of rain comforts me. I would describe the smell of rain as dynamic as it is symbolic of nature building up energy as rainclouds. It is cleansing as the environment smells better after a heavy rain, so it smells soothing and “clean”.
The smell that repulses me would be the smell of “fart” early in the morning on the MRT train. It is a confusingly pungent smell of eggs, fart and fertiliser that is from an unknown source, especially around the MRT tracks along Kranji station. The smell has a strong body that enters your nostril suddenly, but stays around for quite a while. It is rotten and powerful, much like a human fart. It might be the smell of methane. It is heavy and loiters around, making you squirm your throat. It is repulsive also because it reminds me of the journey I took every morning while going to school, a combination of bad experience and horrible smell. With the continual experience everyday, the smell became an instant reminder of the horrible experience.
In exploring planes, I saw inspiration in many architecture and artworks. In Model 1, I referenced to the Crane Dance from Resorts World Sentosa. I wanted to capture the features and hint of the crane, but not the physical replication of a crane. I wanted to explore on the curvature that inspires the elegance and idea of flight, spiralling up into the sky. Hence, the dominant strip is the main body that has the “spiral of water” (subdominant strip) holding it up, having a precarious balance. The subordinate strip is an accessory to provide a whiplash effect, enhancing the elegance to the model. A problem I envision with this model would be the over-personification of the idea of a crane as the theme of planes should be limited to abstract designs.
The next model was inspired by Anthony Poon’s “Sense Surround”. Poon explored on geometric abstraction, known for his flat and relief painting. Poon also explored on sculptures and his influences from 2D can be seen in his 3D works as well. In Sense Surround, he took notice of balance as a whole in art and tried to achieve a unity in his work on every single plane. It looked almost as if the planes are placed intentionally on an invisible grid line, forming the unified work shown below. The planes are meandering through one another, however, never forming an imbalance as they are of the same density throughout. This idea of the red sculpture interacting with one another becomes a universal language as there would not be any meaning that is lost in translation- It is purely pictorial. In my Model 2, I used the dominant strip as the base, referencing to Poon’s work. I used piercing in both subdominant and subordinate, enhancing the personification of the planes, interacting with one another. I tried to lay the planes with the negative void fused together, giving a visual balance throughout.
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.
The project started out with the investigation of cones, cylinders and spheres shown in the link. (https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/bren0022/a-cone-a-sphere-and-a-cylinder/) . 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.
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.
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.
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.
Heat pan to low heat and pour in 2 cups of coarse sugar.
Stir constantly to avoid burning caramel
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
Heat up piece of chocolate using water bath, pour it into a cone after molten.
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
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.
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.
Glue the caramel sphere down to the cup with more caramel.
Place the tree branch carefully by the sphere, anchoring to the almonds as support.
How to enjoy it:
Go to the nearest park and sit beside a tree that is flowering
Start the meal with a caramel almond to cleanse palette.
Visually follow the tree branch up to caramel sphere and use tree branch to break the caramel sphere.
Think about the warm sun in the spring and how the rain drizzles droplets down blooming flowers like melting caramel
Consume the matcha pudding with nibbles of the caramel to alternate between the taste of light bitterness and sweetness.
Smell the air and enjoy the scenery
Finish off the meal with a chocolate cone to clear off the heavy caramel.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
it takes a lot to tell a story with three boxes, and everyone took their turns to tell theirs using their own composition- mine was the rules of third.
Using the guidelines provided by Cheryl, along with show-and-tell by my peers, i went to the cutting board again for another attempt on the theme of “Rules of Third”. I create the two sketches as shown, each highlighted by colored annotations. The difference between the current experimentation from the previous one is the added usage of blocks that were contrasting in size, so as to highlight the dynamic composition, with the L being really huge
compared to the S. I attempted to use blocks at varying volumes, with the L three times of the M, and the M three times of the S. An interesting composition i found was the usage of the S block paralleling to the L block shown above, creating an implied negative space along the M, providing a strong 3D effect even on a photograph.
This is the next attempt, whereby i played on an overlapping rules of third as highlighted by the annotations below. The blocks are placed at a certain direction and angle, staggering the rules of third axis over the other, creating the grids at a diagonal direction show below. In this sketch, i used a more contrasting set of blocks, with a XL, S, and XS sized blue foam to create the 2nd set.
This is my first attempt at creating my sculpture based on the theme of “Rules of 3rd”. It is a L sized box used as the main body, with a M sized box used as a base and a S sized box angled at the side of the L sized Box. In the spirit of rules of third, each box is placed at the 1/3 or 2/3 mark of the other box it is in contact with, as highlighted by the masking tape. In further attempt of showcasing the theme, i used the inherent design of the boxes, which are the circular design present on the box, leading the eye to divide the sculpture naturally into three parts.
This is another attempt at recreating the theme of “Rules of 3rd”. This sculpture uses a M sized box as a base and supports 2 S sized box on top, at X and Y directions. The range at which i placed the 2 smaller box was purposefully angled at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark on the M sized box to highlight the theme mentioned. The width at which the smaller boxes touches the base are also at the 1/3 and 2/3 unit, indicated by the placement of the masking tape.
This is a $30 configurable tripod. This is 3-dimensionally interesting to me. It is extendable and changes in size accordingly. I like how the matt black contrasts to the metallic silver, highlighted by tints of blue. It is symmetrical on both sides with exception of the hinge on the top. There is also a negative space of a conical within the tripod’s standee. This is a tripod.
After showcase, i realized the extent to which how different design concepts affect the product design of this tripod. Colour concept. The interest i found in the idea of matt black versus metallic silver descends into the triptyke of dominant, subdominant and subordinate identities- with matt black being dominant, silver being subdominant, and blue being subordinate, each playing an irreplaceable role. For example, the absence of blue tint on the tripod head denounces the color harmony of the tripod. The play of volume is also important. It is where the audience are visually made to separate parts into different sizing or volume, such as the tripod head being a S size contrasting to the L size of the tripod legs. This gives the object a visually dynamic presence, having a heavier base and thinner head.