Author Archives: Calista Lee

About Calista Lee

Aspiring Animatior, Undergraduate. I am hungry. Like always.

Project 1: Sights and Sounds of Singapore (Research)

Initial Research: I ventured into the hustle and bustle of the crowd-life during the peak of CNY preparation and was bombarded with much sounds, sight and smells. The place was very, very much alive. Hence, I got to work just getting information first in the nick of Chinatown and just collected what I could.

Collected and stashed what research I could, and picked out the more interesting ones. The first thing that struck me the strongest was definitely the sound aspect of the place, people yelling and promoting with all sorts of chatters. Might look into this area.

Proposal for Art History Essay (Wk 9)

Proposal for Art History Essay

Tentative Claim:
The probable, similar intentions behind the creation of the clay Terracotta figures found in the First Emperor’s tomb and the Haniwa figures found in a Japanese Emperor’s tomb. (Namely Emperor Nintoku and Ojin during the Kofun period)

Introduction: (Point-form)
Similar materials and similar creation techniques; the purpose behind these two mysterious figurines have always been debated back and forth. The terracotta warriors from the First Emperor’s tomb have always been largely accepted to be the replacement of live human sacrifices; whilst the origins and purpose of the Haniwa figures from Japanese Emperors have always been a mystery. Hypothetically, I propose that the similarities between the two figures from varying culture share an intimate relationship behind the intentions that the figures carries forth.

Plan for essay:
– Introduction (Claim)
> 3 supporting arguments (Condensed.)
1. Quantity and Placement of figurines
Jap: More decorative and ornamental like trophies, rewarding of the general worthy of serving by emperor’s side previously. At entrances, like guards? Huge quantity of 11k in numbers at Nintoku’s grave; three mounts too. Reflects status.
Chinese: Servants, similar to ancient Egypt. Numerous, refer to history that they are used to replace live human sacrifices due to the lack of manpower. Even to the point there is almost a battalion like sequence to them. Coloured and intricate; best for the emperor? Lifelike since they represent real funerary goods.

2. Size and appearance
Jap: Slightly smaller than life-styles, but realistic in its depiction of the samurai armour.
Chinese: Life-sized with varying expressions; have proven to be coloured but paint faded over time and erosion.

3. Materials
Jap: Clay
Chinese: Terracotta

Essay drafts:

Tentative bibliography:

1. Li Li. China’s Cultural Relics. Translated by Li Zhurun. People’s Republic of China: WuZhou Communication Press, 2004.

  1. Johnson, Hiroko. Haniwa. Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. United States of America: Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2001. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  2. Zhang Wenli. The Qin Terracotta Army: Treasures of Lintong. Translated by Li Tianshu, Du Qimei, Zhang Siying, and Chen Haiyan. Edited by Susan Whitfield. London: Scala Books, Cultural Relics Publishing House, 1996.
  3. Alain Thote, Martin Powers, David W. Pankenier, Eugene Wang, Anthony Barrieri-Low, Edward L. Shaughnessy, Kuang Yu Chen, Jenny F.So, Wang Hui, and Liu Yang. Beyond the First Emperor’s Mausoleum: New Perspectives on Qin Art. Edited by Liu Yang. USA: Books and Projects LLC, 2014.

Zine: Research (Location – Recce)

 ZINE: Study in Paya Lebar

Theme: World Creation (Reinventing the Old and New)

‘Paya Lebar’ – Swamp Wide in Malay. Previously in the early 1800s during the colonial time, there were plantations and small Malay settlements during the area.

The estates’s heyday is mostly during the 1950s to 1980s, with 1970s of the area being infamous for the hideout of Secret Societies; though there are close to little traces of this part of its history left. It is interesting looking at the differences and mix between the cultures of the Chinese and the Malay. The oldest shop I managed to locate was an old Bread-making shop that denied photos, but still  accepted a few interviews. It was with mirth that the old shop owner complained that their work was taken over by bigger, industrial ‘Breadtalk’.

I started out at Geylang Serai, moved along and simply snapped photos to gain more insight into the area. To which there is previously a Chinese and Malay Kampung Settlement; took photos and some notes. The food is heavenly though, especially the kuey tutu and various Malay snacks. I wanted to venture further, but I was wandering close to the edge of Paya Lebar and reaching Geyland instead. I saw some dubious stuff in daylight, though the general sense of safety and ease is still there. Especially the massage pallor and entrances to the smaller streets, went back into the white collared world soon after a quick food tour.

There are forms of textures and and patterns of various forms I observed then, as well as the deeply embedded culture into the location. There is an exceeding amount of strong, unique factory architectures in the area. Since there are a mix of such a wide variety, I figured it would be nice to combine all these small nuances into a pattern unique to Paya Lebar; somewhat collage style.

Precisely due to the factories, wide, clear skies are exposed to the eye frequently whilst walking through the various main roads and smaller streets. It would nice to compile it into a tight photo-book that skies in Singapore can be equally pretty as well; as the other countries; perhaps to visit during the sunset to see if the evening colours can be captured as well.

Nevertheless, the presence of unique architecture and building cannot be ignored as part of the intricacies of this growing, industrial estate. By collapsing all these buildings together, I thought of how interesting it would be to predict the future landscapes with what we have; to create a completely unique landscape with the more peculiar features of the factories at the industrial estate.

Technique: (Refer to Slide 10)
Purpose: Kind of like a personal sketchbook of combined buildings
Combine the details and uniqueness of the Old and New buildings, to show the possibilities of combining a new form of building in the future and an unique brand of the architecture together of Paya Lebar, Singapore.

Some possible style references:

I will be looking into the creating a personalised unique style; from the references of the world creation. It would be mostly collage-style, and possibly recreated from my own drawings. Then, create a blend of futuristic and olden world.

Some artists to look into:
– Graham Holland
– Giacomo Costa
– Krista Svalbonas
– David Hockney
– Jospeh Binder

Toilets: Our Shared Space – 4D Sound Project Research

To crf. to Lydia’s Post for details on Proposal #1 Summary: 

We recce and surveyed the 2nd floor toilet and decided that the female toilet would be a more feasible location due to convenience of the location and gender inconveniences. It would probably be for the best that we cordon off usage of the toilet during the recording and participation of the activity (approx. 5 to 15 mins.).

The recording of the music and process will be documented and uploaded onto OSS to capture the experience for the participant’s viewing afterwards. The music piece will also be unique and special for that particular experience since the understanding of the tempo is to the interpretation of the reader of the instructions. (E.g. Knock on the Cubicle’s door in 4 beats, attempt to harmonise with the others.)

It is probably prudent for us to interfere as little as we can in the process as dictating as little things as possible in order to make the process as authentic as possible.

We came up with some possible, difficult scenarios/ situations that we would have to overcome:

  1. The Scale of the Project (Feasibility of squeezing the entire class into the performance all at once. AND if it will affect the rate/ grade of the experience.)
  2. If people are able to coordinate; and in either situation does it serve the experience that we are trying to bring across to the crowd. Would it be better to assign people roles? Or free-reign?
  3. Interest of the Crowd => How to capture one’s attention sufficiently enough for them to want to interact and participate in the activity? Esp. if the activity is taking a bit of coordination and time to work on.
  4. Is a Symphony achievable? Or is it a cacophony we are looking for?
  5. Is there a better way to present it? (Draw lots for roles?)

To check with second recce and a mini dry-run with the members; too many variables to come to a conclusive solution to the issues.

To-do List:

– Dry-run (With members)
– Mini Snippets of instructions on the various ‘instruments’ in the toilet. (Prints and laminated? Or at least waterproof.)
– Phone on stand-by for recording (Two?)
– Fix the rules and a procedure of how the project will work.

Favourite Buddhist Temple in Singapore –


Interior within Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Set in Chinatown, the vibrancy of the Temple is further enhanced by the numerous, mini Gold Buddha statues that were melted from donated gold by the faith’s believers.

Project 3: Ego

Task: Create 12 Panels depicting of (Me, Setting and Outcome), with any medium.

I strung together some quick development into style and colour research before I actually went into anything deep, in order to get a clearer picture of what I would be expecting for the end result of the 12 panels.
research_1 research_2 research_3


After researching, I decided that vector-style best represent who I am; for its varying ability to be complex yet simple at the same time. It will also bring out the colours most strongly in my opinion.

research_5 research_4

I did some quick thumbnails on some possible drafts for the 12 panels, and worked out the details from there. By deciding on a favourite/ particularly impressionable colour scheme, I then associated the feeling attached to the colour (e.g. Blue = Depression); and begin planning some compositions from there. The sketches above are for, more or less, the finalised drafts of the work.

1) Set 1: Blue Analogous (Blues, Greens)

pic_001Me (Depression, Isolation)

I mainly drew inspiration from the Dementors from Harry Potter, as they give off the intimidating feeling wanting others to leave them alone; to which I feel a relation to.

Though I chose to reflect insecurity by getting the Me in the picture to grasp at the cloth as though concealing myself from the public eye, rather than the frightful imagery that the Dementors give off.















(Left: Dementor Concept Art, Right: Style Reference: Simon Delart – Tumblr Artist)

I went with a more fractured kind of vector to show the layers and turmoil one can feel during a depressive state, as well as the many layers people will chose to hide themselves in after finding themselves in such a predicament.

pic_002Setting (Many Windows, Doors Opportunity)


I went with Escher’s Maze-like design to show a myriad of pathways and choices, con-notating on how life has many possibilities one can take; and by entering one door it leads you to even more possibilities.

(Below: Escher’s Work)



Outcome – When I am Depressed, Confined.


When I am depressed or confined, I tend to lose track of myself and hide back into my comfort zone (the shelter of the cloth) despite missing out on potential opportunities in various walks of life. The downward, spiralling staircase with me at the bottom also shows how I am at the very abyss, and when you stare at it; it stares back at you (aka. if you are stuck in a situation and if you do nothing about it, the situation won’t help itself improve). Inspired mostly from Picasso’s blue period for the colour scheme; from the Blind-man’s Meal (Below).

the-blindmans-meal analogous-traditional

2) Set 2: Complimentary Colour (Blue and Yellow)


Me (As a Young Soul Venturing forth)


I choose to represent myself as a lion in a suit; for the fact that society favours courage and venturing qualities when it comes to the working life; as they always say “Go forth and Conquer”. Lions have been know as a symbol of courage, strength and tenacity since the medieval times upon European coat of arms and mythology. I drew inspiration from modern, oil-painting artist Ryohei Hase as well for the Animal-headed figures.

(Below: Ryohei Hase’s Works)

02 non_title2_by_ryohei_hase-d2yrfr2











Setting : Crowds (With People in general)


Being the introvert I am (based on the 16 Personality Test online that I am an INFP), I inherently dislike crowds and the hustle-bustle throngs of people bring forth. Hence such, I utilised the complimentary colour scheme since it meant general discomfort to me from its ability to disturb the eye.


(Below: Drew inspiration of the arrangement from concerts where there are many crowded into an area at once.)


pic_006Outcome: Me (Constricted and Frustrated with Society)


For the final, I drew in the comparison of how society’s norm and expectation of how people are expected, naturally, to be going with the flow and play amongst company politics in order to find our place in life.

3) Pastel (Soft Colours)


Me (Comfort Zone)


Initially, I started out with the drafts of an angel (Humanoid with Wings); and then I decided hey, why not let it go and see what my pen brings me to. Thus, I simply drew with a single thought in mind: to represent myself when I am feeling the most contented and happy.


Setting (Home-ish, Warm Place)


I simply went the track of “how do I represent a comfortable area in a manner that is to the point”; and I came up with the game-ish concept of a mini-space of comfort.

2(Inspiration: GameUI’s Game Environment Setting)


Outcome: Relaxed, Comfortable Me


I feel the happiest, and the most relaxed when I am resting within my comfort zone. Hence the soft colours and relaxed ‘mascot’-me. 

4) Green Analogous (Greens, Blues)


Me (Jaded, Over-Confident)


Green, to me as a colour, is the colour of Nature and Envy. And being envious of people is part and parcel of how humans naturally react, though whether we react negatively or positively to the emotions is another story. The pieces of Jade attached to me symbolises me hidden behind my own ignorance of Envy and Confidence. 


Setting (Technology, Advancement)


Greenish, Lab setting to show the sense of Technology; and how technology is a double-edged sword. It can grant humble people the power to empower other’s lives, and yet destroys with people’s over-reliance on its omnipotence.  


Outcome: Presumptuous Me, Overconfidence.


Inspired by the iron throne in the Game of Thrones, the final piece delved into the world of me being jaded and too overconfident in my work due to my past experiences (my knowledge over the others); resulting me in a sense of (dangerous) over-entitlement in myself. By placing myself in a laid back pose, it depicts myself in a state where I believe I reign supreme over all, the King of my own presumption within my own world. 

The lack of details in the background shows that it is only myself that believes in such a fact, and that I have went too deep into my ego and need to bring myself back into reality again; to stay humble and steadfast.

(Below: Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones)


Final Works – (Digital Print Ver. Followed by the Physical)

1_1 1_2 1_3 1_4 1_5 1_6Note: The colours are more saturated, off here due to the web colours not reading the CMYK files properly.



Board #1


Board #2


It is certainly an eye-opening experience for the EGO project; since we had to delve deep into our subconscious and truly LOOK at ourselves from exterior in. I definitely could have explored further in times of the mediums and ideas (food for thought for the future), and pushed myself beyond what I was expecting to reach another boundary.

Though so, it is safe to say that the project has helped me understand myself much, much more. In terms of self-reflection, concepts and art approach.