Media Art Nexus / Panorama Banner

3840 x 480 pixels

LED 15m by 2m
North Spine Plaza Media Art Nexus
NTU Singapore
16 November 2017


Panorama Banner at the Media Wall

Application examples of the pattern swatches

Food Monster Wallpaper Design for a Korean Restaurant

  • More swatches and their application examples here

Swatch Book Soft Copy

Earlier process documentation

On to the final deliverable, the swatch book! As with any pattern project I struggled to come up with the pattern swatches for the book as you always need that one starting point/spark of idea (well for me at least). True enough, when I started on one more and more patterns came and it became like a churning factory haha. Even just changing the hue was considered as a swatch, the possibilities were endless and it was pretty fun process!

I eventually did about 22 variation of swatches for the submission and superimposing it onto several items/products for possible application visuals: (click on the images to view the swatches and application as an enlarged slideshow)



Tried out application in space too but I think my designs were more suitable for potential merchandising of apparels, bags, badges etc.

I kind of have the urge to translate them into actual products in the future if the opportunity arises; the superimposing/mock-up process was pretty tedious but fun!

Swatch Book

Here’s the final documentation of the big project that contains the banner, the swatches, application, everything you need to know about Dokkae-blin!


Final post coming up as a gallery series for an overview of the project (or if you wish to call it, a visual summary)
Thanks for sticking around 🙂

The next thing on the list of deliverables once the banners went up for was to design a horizontal digital composition for the Media Art Nexus at North Spine!! For those who had abstract/paint-looking banner designs were abstract, it was easier for them to come up with their compositions for the media wall – Simply just by rotating their banner design to a horizontal layout.

On the other hand, it was quite a struggle for mine as I was working with a really vertical design composition initially. But I eventually figured my composition layout eventually so all’s good 🙂

Keeping the consistency of my vertical banner design with this horizontal digital composition, the central motif remains as the One-Eyed Goblin with the other Food Monsters motifs flanking its sides. The composition I went for took on an almost symmetrical look and it was a rather spontaneous decision. For the arrangement and placement of these motifs. With the most bit being just a reflected side of the other thus the symmetry. The organic wavy linework in the background that mimics the noodle strands of the Ramyeon (Korean instant noodles) similarly suggest and provide movement and flow in this composition while somewhat creating a cohesive, connected composition altogether.  The composition for this turned out unexpectedly well and I was satisfied with it! 🙂 For the colours, I kept it exactly the same with the banner’s for consistency.

Version 1 (used for the preview)

The week after in-class viewing of these compositions for the Media Art Nexus, we head down to the actual place for the preview of it on the actual screens and below was how it looked like: BAM, another surprise!! I guess there’s always this wow factor when your work gets blown up and viewed across various types of medium. On the LED screen it was really another kind of beauty with all that illumination :’)

The only qualm that I had when the preview for my composition came up on the screen was that compared to others, mine came out slightly dull. The same problem I had for my banner composition initially during test prints. Hence I went with increasing its saturation and contrast just like what I did for my banner eventually! Hope it turns out better!!

Version 2 (with increased brightness and saturation)



After an insane but exciting four months working on this Dokkaebi design, the time has finally come for it to be printed into a banner and displayed for the annual end of semester showcase!! Here’s a breakdown of the process leading up to exhibition day starting with the printing process:

Time to print our banners and I couldn’t be more thankful to have paired up with Yi Ling as my printing partner! It was such a sight seeing the banner slowly coming to “life” bit by bit from the printer and it was HUGE. We were obviously really excited but unfortunately met with printing mishaps – The colour of our banner didn’t turn out like we wanted it to / as seen in our test prints a week earlier. Turned out the printer had colour calibration problems but luckily we could reprint our banners! Below, pictures of behind-the-scenes to getting the banner up. We had to trim the edges on our own and surprisingly Yi Ling and I complemented each other’s cutting styles well haha. One more reckless and one slightly way too OCD so eventually we balanced out our styles by trimming each other’s banner and eventually working together on trimming each side of one banner simultaneously.

Thanks for a fun printing experience, partner-in-crime 😉


Below was the disparity in the banner colours from the first print vs the second. The very first print that we did when my colours came out wrong, the background became more dark navy rather than a teal colour and the motifs came out very neon. As quoted by some of my peers “the food looks uncooked”  haha (as I was working with motifs that were created based on Korean food)

Showed Ina the banner of the first round of printing and surprisingly she was okay with it! However I would’ve liked the colour saturation of several motifs to come out more saturated as intended especially for the One-Eyed Goblin as the intention was to have it be like the ‘central figure/motif’ of the banner thus we concluded that a reprint should be done and YES!!! IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER THE SECOND TIME ROUND. Both of our banners (Yi Ling’s and mine) turned out GREAT 😀


More cutting again, but this time round with the better final banners!

Set-up Day

The following week was set-up day; super exciting times. We laid out our test prints in class first to get a sense of which banner should go where for the exhibition set-up. But at the end of the day I really think that no matter how the banners were arranged, all turned out really pretty and complemented each other’s so well!!

More documentation to come in the next post!

Yes progress! Moving on, more about the banner layout. As mentioned previously, I wanted to have a central one-eyed goblin figure in the largest scale whilst the rest of the background be just repeated motifs of the various Korean food monsters and food randomly placed around the central goblin motif. I went ahead with this arrangement in mind and surprisingly it was turning out well until… consultations/peer review week happened before recess break. Ina gave feedback on how the inverted goblin motif at the bottom came off as a little distracting and confusing, that I could perhaps do something about it:

Suggestion by my peers was to have it tilted a little/change its colour/add a bit more elements to it to distinguish the motif from the one above  so that the idea of having a central motif is still shown. Those were really valuable feedback!! In the end I went ahead with just having one of the one-eyed goblin motif placed in the centre and upped its scale to further bring out the idea as seen in the following images in the media gallery below.

Another issue that came about for the banner was that since it was rather carefully planned (in terms of which motif should be placed where) the remaining fillers for the background proved to be a problem as I did not know what else to add. To which Ina suggested that I could try overlapping my layers to see if I could figure out a way to have a more integrated background on the whole rather than just following my initial idea of having the bowl of noodles joined to the goblin and it’s noodles spilling out to just flow everywhere across the banner; the wavy organic lines of the noodle spilling about I felt would help create a feel of movement throughout the banner as well rather than it looking too stiff and rigid.

Here are two variations I came up with – One with more of the noodle waves as the fillers and one with less. Eventually I went ahead with the one with less noodle waves (right image) as fillers as I found the one with more (left image) to be more messy:

Subsequently, I played around with the colours of the background. To give it a background little dimension I added a filter/texture of sorts:




Below is the final composition and background colour that i went for reason being that I felt the dark teal background colour acts as a good contrast to the pastel-coloured motifs in the banner composition. The dark blue background came out way too contrasted, the teal way too subtle. I stuck with blue hues for as the background as I somehow felt it was a cool colour that complemented the vibrant pastel-coloured motifs.

Also, rather than having the organic waves of the noodle fill the background and make it look messy and distracting, I opted to use the egg bread motif  instead as fillers rotated and scaled in various angles and sizes which I think worked out better:

Now to bring the file over to Illustrator, vectorise and refine it so that resolution and file size for printing wouldn’t be a problem! But if all else fails… I suppose the Photoshop file still works as all these motifs were kept as its original quality with no merging of layers/flattening of image. We shall see! Finally, I’m back on track 🙂

I’ve really been lagging behind this whole OSS posting of our process but now that it’s recess week… time to catch up!! Definitely way more progress since the last post! So picking up from where I last left off: My motifs. They’ve evolved quite a huge bit. This was how it looked like back in Week 4 and I ought to have updated about it after consultation with Gillian but…

Anyhow, here’s what went down and how the motifs have progressed since then:

From the consult with Gillian a few weeks back, I solidified my concept further with the idea of having food monsters and food distributed /peeping/playing hide and seek in the background in different scales based on different types of Korean foods (sticking true to the Korean essence as the inspiration was heavily influenced from the Korean mythology of the one-eyed Dokkaebi and how it has this characteristic in which it likes to eat.

Other than the food motifs, I was thinking of coming up with my own interpretation of the one-eyed goblin as the central motif, the largest in scale and centralised as the main motif/element of the banner composition. The idea came about after seeing Gillians banner in class that week – Hers had a central motif (I liked that aspect!) and the composition flowed down nicely with the other motifs complementing the flow .

Layout aside and back to the motifs, Gillian said that they could be more simplified in the sense that currently there’s too much sketchy linework going on (as seen above) and that they could be as simple as placing the eyes and body parts at just random places. As I was sharing how I observed the food form and identified possible spots that for example, where the eye could be at – replacing the egg in the ramen, etc. she said that actually creating the food monster motif can be as simple as  just adding body parts to the existing look of the Korean food.

Thus I went to make the changes, drew more motifs and picked out the colours I wanted to use for the banner. The colour palette and drawing styles I referenced:

Overall I was going for a more cute-grotesque look. What i did next was to sketch out the food items/monsters and traced over it using the Wacom tablet over in photoshop which I managed to achieve a cleaner finish. Here are some of the original sketches and it’s final look after blocking in the colours:

Refined food (monsters) motifs

More about the banner layout in the next post!

Moving on from last week when we had to present our concept(s) together with our moodboard and collection of images to reference for our designs, it’s on to designing the motifs based on our concept! So over the past week, I’ve been sourcing further for more reference images and ultimately narrowed down to the Korean mythology I would like to develop my project concept from – The Dokkaebi.

The artwork below is by Korean illustrator Dayoung Cho was one of the reasons why. It was one my reference images for my moodboard with colours that stood out and also one with a unique take on the particular Korean mythology, portraying it to be fun/quirky instead of scary – what I intended to achieve for my concept for this project.

Dokkaebi Food Truck by Dayoung Cho


Starting with an exploration of the original form of the Dokkaebi: Based on reference images of the mythical creature that I found online, I tried adapting it into my own design to make it look less scary than its original look. What I did was to round the edges of its features, making it rounder in volume and reduced the details to make it look more simplified. Colours wise I used more colours and upped the vibrance of it. However I realised that it was hard to tone down the scariness of the Dokkaebi with this features.

Image Source: 


Hence I decided to take another approach. As mentioned last week through research I found out that there were different types of the Dokkaebi and one of the ideas I had was to come up with my own interpretations for some of these types of Dokkaebis while referencing existing imageries of them online as I thought the end product might look quite fun and interesting.

Types of Dokkaebi

  1. Kind (참도깨비)
  2. Evil (개도깨비)
  3. Dumb farmer-looking (김서방 도깨비)
  4. Daylight (낮도깨비)
  5. Good at fighting / handling weapons – especially arrows (고도깨비)
  6. One-eyed that eats a lot (외눈도깨비)
  7. One-legged that likes to play Ssireum
    (folk wrestling) (

I looked through the various types and decided to explore the Dokkaebi type that is One-eyed and eats a lot and this was partially because I was really drawn to the Dokkaebi artwork as mentioned at the start of the post which happens to be an illustration based on this Dokkaebi type – the Dokkaebis are one-eyed and the artwork is food themed – a food truck.

To start off the exploration, I brainstormed a bit for ideas on how to approach this characteristic/type of Dokkaebi in a way so that I can make my motifs fun and quirky, ridding the idea of scary and to follow Ina’s feedback last week of going along the lines of traditional/grotesque yet cute. After much brainstorming, the idea of the Dokkaebi eating a lot made it closely associated with the theme of FOOD. And from food I thought it would be cool to have the food Korean (Korean food), making it stay true to the mythology’s cultural roots – Integrating the features of the Dokkaebi being one-eyed into the particular identified Korean food to form a character-liked motif.

Following which I started searching more indepth and specific reference images of the various Korean food (as seen in the following two images below), analysing their forms and look to see how the features of the Dokkaebi could be incorporated to come up with this motif that captures the essence of this Dokkaebi type entirely.

Image Sources (corresponding to the number labelled images):



Below is another Korean artist apart from the already mentioned who worked on a Dokkaebi art project and this was how he interpreted and came up with a character for the Dokkaebi type.

Image Sources (corresponding to the number labelled images):



Apart from exploring the appearance and forms of some of the various/more common/popular Korean food, I also went into searching for reference images on how to draw some monster/creature-looking features as I had to figure which eye or mouth feature would best suit and integrate with the chosen Korean food. (some sketches and exploration done on the right hand side of the image)
Image Sources: 


So,,,, after a few hours of developing and sketching out ideas, these were some of the motifs that I came up with! (as labelled)  Not sure if these motifs are kind of finalised, but I think that this is the style that I’ll be going for and that I’ll be playing around further with the explorations if any!

The one-eyed feature and several other prominent features of the Dokkaebi (devil horns/sharp teeth/mischievous look) integrated into the Korean food.


Being interested in Korean culture, I was drawn to start my research for the project in the context. I found quite a few mythologies and the three that caught my attention or rather those I heard of before/the more popular ones is the Gumiho (Nine-Tailed Fox), Dokkaebi (Korean Goblin), and Haetae/Haechi (Protector Spirit) and the one thing in common among these three Korean mythologies that their subject matters are classified as supernatural monsters.

Reading up on these three mythologies sparked a thought and idea for the project. At the mention of the word ‘monster’, most if not all. Even I myself at times would associate such beings with the idea of ‘scary’, ‘evil’ and ‘terror’ especially if one were to search up images of these mythologies online. What if all these supernatural monsters in the Korean mythology are seen as scary only because of the way their are portrayed/depicted through image? Would cute and innocent imagery change the immediate association that people have for supernatural monsters?

Thus for this project, across all three concepts/mythologies that I am focusing on, I am looking to apply techniques like watercolour or illustration together with the use of vibrant colours to re-create the subject matters of these mythologies and hopefully convey the opposite conceptions of what people might have about supernatural monsters. They need not necessarily be all that scary.

Concept 1: Gumiho 구미호 (Nine-Tailed Fox)

This mythology originates from the Classics of Mountains and Seas, an old Chinese text; before it was introduced as a Korean mythology. It tells the tale of how a fox that lives a thousand years is able to turn into this form and it’s able to freely transform, often into a beautiful woman out to seduce boys.


Image Sources (corresponding to the number labelled images):


Concept 2: Dokkaebi 도깨비 (Korean Goblin) 

Dokkaebis are monster supernatural beings that are formed by the spiritual possession of an inanimate object or objects stained with human blood. Interestingly enough, what I found out was that there are various types of them, some of which I found rather amusing. I tried searching online but apparently no physical appearance has been given to these types. The most common depiction of how a Dokkaebi looks like is based off ancient roof tiles that had Dokkaebi patterns on it. I feel that it would be interesting and fun to come up with my own interpretations for these types of Dokkaebis while referencing existing imageries of them online.

Types of Dokkaebi

  1. Kind (참도깨비)
  2. Evil (개도깨비)
  3. Dumb farmer-looking (김서방 도깨비)
  4. Daylight (낮도깨비)
  5. Good at fighting / handling weapons – especially arrows (고도깨비)
  6. One-eyed that eats a lot (외눈도깨비)
  7. One-legged that likes to play Ssireum
    (folk wrestling) (



Image Sources (corresponding to the number labelled images):


Concept 3: Haetae/Haechi 해태/해치 (Protector Spirit) 

This is a mythology that originated from the Classics of Mountains and Seas (an old Chinese text) before it was introduced as a Korean mythology. It’s about this mythical beast that protects Hanyang (now Seoul) from natural disasters and it maintains law and order among the people.

Image Sources (corresponding to the number labelled images):


So all in all, I would say that my concept is fuelled by the intention of portraying these supernatural beings (in particular, monsters) in a different light, setting them apart from their usual association with words like ‘scary’, ‘evil’ etc. but I definitely feel that there’s room for further exploration and that better ideas can and derived from these mythologies identified.