Wisma Geylang Serai

Since I made the trip down to Wisma Geylang Serai, I thought I would just share what it was like! I went there at 7:45pm on Sunday night and it was pretty crowded and there was a lot of activity going on.

External facade of WGS with some light projection on the exterior

Some Malay/Peranakan cultural objects at the WGS museum

Some Malay/Peranakan cultural objects at the WGS museum

Some Malay/Peranakan cultural objects at the WGS museum

It was a pretty interesting experience! I enjoyed watching the video projection and I think Reynard Anam and Dinah have done a good job! My friend who went with me commented that the demographics of the people at WGS were very different as the people there were mostly Malay, and I think this was a good experience for me to experience some Malay culture since the last time I went to Geylang Serai was quite many years ago.

One thing I noticed with regards to the projection was that although it was quite a large scale artwork, not a lot of people seemed to be watching it perhaps because it was projected on the ceiling hence was a little difficult to watch as everyone was seated directly below it. I guess that if I should ever decide to try out projection or projection mapping, one thing I should take into account is the ease of viewing for the audience!

Week 2 Report

Upon first seeing Maestro Pistoletto’s Third Paradise artwork on the ADM rooftop, I was at first confused as to its meaning and purpose. My first impression was that the form of the tri-circular symbol was not particularly visually beautiful and honestly looked like some sort of cult symbol. There was a lot of speculation about it between myself and schoolmates, so I attended the documentary viewing and talk session only knowing that it was “by some famous artist”. It was only after the talk and after doing a lot of my own research that I got to fully appreciate the works of Maestro Pistoletto, and understand the meanings and value behind them.

To really understand the meaning behind Pistoletto’s work, I first had to understand Arte Povera. It refers to an artistic movement in the 1960s and 70s which explores a wide range of materials apart from traditional painting and sketching, such as using found items or objects not crafted by the artist, in order to create art. I was unfamiliar with Arte Povera before this and it is only reading up on it on the Tate Museum website, where it was described as “the Italian contribution to conceptual art”, that I was able to relate more to it since conceptual art was something which I was more familiar with.

As Maestro Pistoletto is a long-lived artist who has survived several different artistic periods, it was at first not immediately apparent to me which was the artistic movement which had inspired the creation of Third Paradise, or if there was one at all. During the talk and documentary, however, I noticed that while describing the Third Paradise, Pistoletto made many allusions to Arte Povera and even though the Third Paradise is a rather recent creation of the 21st century, I deduced that it probably still had its roots in conceptual art and its cousins Arte Povera. It is clearer to see as such when comparing the Third Paradise to other conceptual artworks.

Marcel Duchamp, ‘Fountain’

Michelangelo Pistoletto, ‘Third Paradise’

For example, comparing the Third Paradise symbol to Duchamp’s Fountain, which is considered an icon of conceptual art. The importance behind the Fountain is not in terms of the visuals, but rather the concept behind it as it represents the thought process and intentions of Duchamp in submitting the urinal as an artwork. Similarly, the purpose of the Third Paradise symbol is not to exist as a representation of the artist (Pistoletto) or as a show of his skill as a traditional artist, but rather to represent the concept of finding a balance between natural paradise and technological paradise.

Despite what I have mentioned about the main focus of conceptual art being the ideas behind the artwork and not the appearance of the artwork itself, this might be argued against by pointing out that Pistoletto had clearly made attempts in embellishing the Third Paradise symbol, for example as seen above. Personally I think perhaps he had done so in an attempt to spark more interest in the artwork, keeping it interesting and fresh for today’s fickle audiences, or perhaps to include more audience participation and contribution as the Third Paradise is today more of a social movement than an artpiece by itself. Nevertheless, we should always take into consideration the pure form of the symbol by itself and whether we love it or the meaning behind it totally befalls us, appreciate the noble intention behind the Third Paradise which is to remind humans that we should always find a balance between nature or technology instead of being totally besotted or trying to find happiness in just one of the areas.

From “location” to “place” – GeoGuessr

In light of today’s discussion we had in class about what separates a “place” from a “location” and what gives a place its meaning, I just wanted to share about this game called GeoGuessr I have played before which I think aptly shows the concept of how devices are what turns a location into a place:

https://geoguessr.com/

In this game, the player is assigned a random location on Earth from Google maps and must make a guess as to which part of the Earth this location is. Often, a pretty good guess can be made using observations like road signs, climate or vehicles. Apart from being devices or objects in the place, they also act as markers which tell us more about the place such as what the weather is like, what language is spoken there, and whether it is a developed or rural area. From these observations of the “place”, we as people will use our preconceived ideas/stereotypes of what we think certain places look like and as such assign it to a location that we think it belongs to.

If you are bored and have some free time you can check the game out as it’s pretty fun and a good way to kill time and learn a little about other countries!

Week 1

Erik Samakh – Grenouilles communicantes, 1991

Erik Samakh is a contemporary artist who describes himself as a “hunter-gatherer” of images and sounds, which he has captured, recorded and exhibited for over 25 years in natural settings. His work is focused on our dialogue with nature through the combination of new technologies and natural elements. In the above installation which is one of his earlier works, Samakh encourages viewers to have “strange conversations” with frogs living in the installation’s habitat through the use of modules in the space which emit sounds to the frogs.

Nonotak Studios – Daydream V.2

This is an audio-visual installation by Nonotak Studios. They are a studio which I have been a fan of for quite some time now and they are popular for doing layered projection as shown above. I found it very interesting because I feel that it just goes to show how by doing something as simple as layering different semi-transparent screens, you can create an effect that looks polished and interesting. I think it is important to know that while in this day and age it feels like to create an interesting and exciting artwork we as artists have to learn all kinds of difficult software and latest gadgets, actually we can just use the simplest of analog methods to create something that is equally impressive.

I was interested in how Nonotak managed to do such a project so I did a similar mini-prototype of something like that one day! I used a mini projector and some PVC pieces coated in matte spray to make it slightly translucent. The effect is pretty interesting and if it is more refined I think it could look really good. Looking forward to doing more testing on similar methods in the future!

Week 1 Assignment

Biography

Bridgel is currently a full-time student in her third year at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), majoring in Interactive Media. She is an aspiring artist and designer who has experience in a range of skills, such as digital illustration, interactive installations, motion graphics and coding.

Bridgel’s background is as a digital illustrator, as she has loved drawing all her life and created her own comics as a hobby before enrolling as an art student. Since coming to ADM, she has also found a passion in installation art and gained experience in different fields relating to art, design and media.

Bridgel is passionate in issues pertaining to society and this can often be seen in her works. She hopes that, through her arts and design practice, she can bring her audience to question their role in society and the state of the world today. As of current times, Bridgel has been fascinated about surveillance and its role as a tool of security or intimidation, and she hopes to explore more on the topic through her future works.

Sample of Work

https://www.behance.net/gallery/55514499/Light-Dark

Resume

Inspiration: The Future Laboratory

https://www.thefuturelaboratory.com/food-and-drink-timeline

Click on the above link to view the full project!

One of my favourite studios that I draw inspiration from is The Future Laboratory. As suggested by their name their design philosophy is derived from speculative design, meaning that they would design things based on how they speculate the future would be like through their extensive research and observations.

The above project, Food and Drinks Timelines, is one of my favourite projects from them. It is about speculating how food and drinks will be sold and marketed in the future years based on our consumption patterns today, and on possible food shortages and trade agreements.

Since they are not really designing for a client per se but rather they are designing this in order to inform and educate viewers on the possible consequences of their habits, I feel that in a way what they do is an intersection between art and design. For me it really speaks to me because the subjects they touch on are things that I am interested in and care deeply about myself, and I feel that this has the potential to reach out to many people and change their mindset.

Experience 1

For this project, I am working with Chloe, Mavis and Viena. We decided to create a game as we feel that a game is the best way to engage people in artwork while making it fun at the same time. We decided to involve my pet frog Kwakwa in this exercise and make it a sort of feeding game where the audience tries to feed a worm to the frog!

In this game, the audience (2-4 people) is given a piece of plastic with a stick attached to each corner and holes in different spots on the plastic. A worm is then placed on the plastic and the 4 players must work together to get the worm into one of the holes and into the hole on top of the frog tank.

The game is pretty self explanatory after we tell them that they have to feed the worm to the frog, because certain parts of the experience will cue the audience into what they have to do for example having 4 sticks at each corner of the plastic indicates to them that they are supposed to hold each corner to play. One thing we noticed is that because this is a “game”, people tend to take the easy way out and just get the worm through the easiest hole which is the one in the middle. To rectify this maybe we could have done it in such a way that the holes further from the middle have more points to encourage the audience members to try out different ways of playing instead.