Faces Places – Visages Villages

I am not one who usually watches documentaries, as I am more able to appreciate fiction. However, this was one documentary that I could sit through and enjoy, empathise and relate to the people and story shown.

Perhaps it was the music, the stories of the people captured in the photographs, the friendships and relationship formed throughout the film. I have always felt an affinity to works that were personal, as I find it fascinating how they reflect the artists themselves. In this case, I was offered a peek into Agnes Varda and JR’s relationship, and a little bit more about their personal selves, and not just as artists.

JR is fulfilling my greatest desire. To meet new faces and photograph them, so they don’t fall down the holes in my memory.

I might say that I was a little emotionally biased from the start of watching this movie, having known that Varda had passed on just not more than a month ago. I was already emotionally invested in Varda as a character, who in her age was still exuberant, still passionate about her art.

There is a certain feeling invoked in me, that made me think about aging and death, and how I want to go about living my life. I am still young, but time flies by really quickly. What would I be doing at 90, if I ever lived up to that age? What would I have done, experienced, accomplished?

Each face has a story

Everyone lives their lives differently, and have experiences that are exclusive to themselves. But sometimes these experiences are shared, and that is something that I saw in the film that moved me. I saw personal stories, but I also saw how these stories were connected, how there was also the story of the communities, and how sometimes the people are brought together through JR’s Inside Out Project.

You see, these people aren’t celebrities, but they were brought into attention through these works, and are no longer invisible. They were given a sort of recognition through these, and strangers are brought together in heartwarming ways. There is a correlation between JR’s fascination towards street art, as the world is taken as one big art gallery, and Varda’s looking at different faces, who populate the areas, who write the stories of the place.

I am myself drawn towards people and portraits, and how everyone has their own stories, are the lead actors of their own film, and hence I could relate to their intentions in these works, how they wanted to train the camera onto the marginalised people or forgotten citizens of France, and bring their stories into significance.

A farmer onto his own barn.

The wives of dock workers on a background of arranged containers several stories high.

Miners on a building where they once lived.

In the same neighbourhood, Jeanine is the last person to survive the residential area. She is the last link to preserve the houses as a link to the mining community back then. There is a strength in her eyes, and it was very moving to see her expression during the reveal. The mural tells people, she is here.

In another part of the film, they encounter a structure sticking out in the middle of a beach, which supposedly fell off the cliff. They discussed on what image they wanted to put up. They made hurried measurements to escape the tide. Eventually they settled on this picture of a model Varda often worked with. He sits nonchalantly in the cradle of the structure.

In just within a day, the image disappeared along with the tide. There is a bittersweetness to the ephemerality of the mural, and there is a reminder that sometimes, things just aren’t permanent, just as life itself is.

A big takeaway from the documentary, other than a reflection on life, is the technical aspects of putting up murals, street art, and photography. Throughout the film as they were shooting people and putting up the photographs on the walls, we are invited to see how they discussed on choosing the right wall. Many factors were considered, like the material of the wall, the scale they wanted to use, what kind of picture is it? How does the photo correlate to the wall or façade it is installed on?

For example, below you can see how the texture of the window blinds were used for the paper held by the postman, by carving out a negative space.

Chance is one of my best assistants

There is beauty in irregularity, in chaos. This is something I agree with, although sometimes I do feel like a control freak, but this is exactly why. Sometimes, we just have to let things go their own way, and follow the ride. You never know the journey you’d be taken on.

JR is known for wearing his hat and sunglasses, and his real identity isn’t revealed. They joke that Varda cannot see for her vision is failing, and JR cannot see because it is dark with his sunglasses. Varda convinces JR throughout the film to take off his sunglasses so she could look at his eyes.

The film ends with the possibility that he did, after consoling her encounter with an old friend.

I held back my tears as I felt so much for Varda, something incomprehensible.

Week 8: Etching, Bleaching, Rasterising



  1. Velvet
  2. Fibre Etch solution
  3. Silkscreen or applicator


  1. Apply the fibre etch onto the velvet by using desired technique. In class, we used a silkscreen.
  2. Wait for it to dry.
  3. Iron the velvet to a brown or burnt colour.
  4. Brush off the brown parts.


The first few attempts were unsuccessful as I couldn’t really get the fibres to come off completely. I think the design was a little too intricate and the silkscreen wasn’t as successful in transferring the fibre etch onto the velvet.

Next, I tried painting the fibre etch directly onto the material, and I made sure to be generous in the application.

This time it worked out much better, and the fibres came very easily off, giving a satisfying result.



I felt that it was harder than expected. The steps seems simple and the logic makes easy sense, however in practicality there are more things to consider, such as how much etching solution is needed, whether the design is fully covered with the fibre etch, and how burnt they need to be heated to.

In all the cases, the results are affected differently. However, I enjoyed the final result of the more successful trial that I did. It was very satisfying to have the burnt parts come off so easily.




  1. Bleach
  2. Dark cotton material



Essentially, apply the bleach onto the material. However, there are a few ways in which you can do this. It includes spraying, painting directly, and using techniques similar to tie-dye. This will create beautiful organic patterns on the material you bleach.


Inspired by the beautiful streets at night, I tried to replicate the glowing streets by using bleach on my pants. I thought that this was an appropriate method since the quality of how the material is bleached gives a gradient effect from white to orange, which suits my intention of replicating a light effect.



Artists die young. I inhaled quite a lot of bleach, and that must be unhealthy. But hey, anything for art, right?

Overall, I feel that bleaching is a versatile technique. It is unpredictable, and it is irreversible, but those qualities also play a part in helping us create one of a kind works.


Week 9: Thermoplastics, Vacuum Forming



You are going to need lots of rubber bands! You can have any material for the mold, but make sure that it wouldn’t melt in boiling water.



  1. Wrap objects or molds with the polyester and secure with rubber bands or foil.
  2. Wrap in foil and boil for 40 minutes.
  3. Take out and let dry.




Using the vacuum forming machine, you can immediately create molds of various objects.

First, place your object(s) in the designated area and pull the lever down.

Add the material. In this case, it is a sheet of white plastic / PVC like material.

Pull the heater over and wait for the plastic to heat up to no lines.

Pull the lever up and turn on the suction.

For thicker or bigger objects, blow air and then suction. This helps to create a more even distribution. 


Week 10: Resin Encapsulation, Latex





Mix the resin with the hardener. Try to get the ratio as accurate as possible as too much hardener will cause the resin to crack. However, this could also be done intentionally if you do want to achieve some cracks.

Once mixed, quickly use the resin before it hardens, as it becomes much harder to manipulate.








I tried using the older latex. I dripped it over my vacuum formed shape of a bottle. I was looking to see whether this would dry up to be a mold. Unfortunately it didn’t dry up at all! Looks like the old latex can’t be used anymore.

Even though I didn’t get to do a second try with the new latex, I did previously use latex for special effects makeup. I think that latex is a very interesting material. It is sculpt-able and can take up any shape. By layering through applying and drying multiple times, you can achieve a different thickness and texture.


Week 2: Transfer Printing


Heat transfer printing is a popular method to transfer designs from paper to fabric. The rise in polyester fabrics gave rise to this new form of printing. I myself find it absolutely amazing how our hand-drawn / hand-painted designs on normal paper can be transferred so beautifully on fabric.


  1. Dye (dry or wet) – Crayola fabric crayons or transprint ink


  1. Paper
  2. Fabric (Polyester is good)



  1. Draw or paint your design using heat transferrable crayons or special inks on paper.


2. Place the design on top of your fabric with the design side touching the fabric, and heat it with an iron.

3. Enjoy your results!




There are many ways in which transfer printing could be used, most notably in fashion. I think it would be cool to see big designs printed on a scarf!



I think that transfer printing is a versatile method. You can have digitally printed designs, and at the same time you can also directly use the inks and create organic designs by hand. The materials needed are relatively simple, and you don’t need fancy equipments to carry out the transferring, you just need a good old iron.

I had fun looking at how the colours showed up on fabric, since they were way darker on paper. Sometimes it makes it hard to see the design, especially when we mix the colours, but I guess part of the beauty is in its unpredictability.


100 Words – FYP

“ H o m e   i s   w h e r e   t h e   h e a r t   i s ”

This expression dispels the idea that a home is bound to a specific place or geographical location. To me, it is a reminder that grounds me when I start to live as if the earth is mine alone. I have always sought to find my place in the world, and my experiences play a huge part in this search for my identity. How can we find home if we can’t find ourselves? In my FYP, I seek to explore the meaning of home, and maybe along the way, I will find myself too.


MUJI x Strength x Electrical Plug Campaign

MUJI CAMPAIGN – Idea of recharging x strength

by Lim Ling Ern and Clarita Saslim


MUJI’s core principles and founding philosophy is based on traditional Japanese values of simplicity and self-restraint, revolting against the influx of the branded imported goods that flooded 1980s Japan.

MUJI isn’t flashy in its green efforts. Unlike brands that show-off their green activism and are surface-level, MUJI focuses on actually making sure its operations are good for the environment, living up to the company’s integrity.

For years now, MUJI has launched programs that subtly remind its consumers about their impact on the environment. This ignites an introspective response.

For example, they sold canned salmon made from the less desirable parts of the fish and U-shaped spaghetti, a by-product of producing straight cut spaghetti.

The ReMUJI program also encourages consumers to think about the waste they are producing. There is a Japanese saying, “Mottai-nai“, which reminds us to not let anything go to waste.


1. Promoting the idea of gaining strength from using MUJI Products. 

MUJI offers a wide range of products and these products provide strength to customers in different ways. We highlight this through posters or videos.

2. Promoting the idea of how Earth has given us life and taken care of us. 

In line with MUJI’s efforts, the second stage of this campaign involves a larger-than-life electrical plug and socket – with no apparent explanation.

The socket would be located in MUJI stores.

We were thinking that maybe an actor in an Earth costume with a plug would walk around in public spaces.

However, this is too flamboyant and we are thinking of doing a sculpture/installation instead. A giant, simple but weathered globe with a giant plug appears in public spaces near MUJI stores out of nowhere.

The globe can be transported, and when plugged in to the socket in the MUJI store, the globe could light up and create a beautiful spectacle.

This promotes the idea of lending strength back to Earth through mindful consumerism. Generic goods can be good for the environment and its people, and through this metaphor of recharging, we’d like to show that as MUJI’s products lend strength to its consumers, it is also lending strength to Earth by being kinder to the environment, and they are also encouraging its consumers to lend strength back to Earth by being more mindful.

3. Electronic waste drive

This part is a more novel, extra idea, but in line with the iconography of the electrical plug, we could also have a drive ongoing, where people can drop off their faulty or used electrical plugs and receive a discount for MUJI electrical plugs or power cables (which are supposedly made responsibly).

Electronic waste makes up a huge part of our trash and by collecting and displaying the electrical plugs in a large acrylic tank, hopefully it would remind or raise the awareness in consumers to rethink their electronics usage or at least dispose of electronic waste responsibly.

There could be displays to educate the consumers on how to dispose of electronic waste responsibly and some facts on electronic products and waste.

Lastly, this ties back to the company’s ideal of producing as little waste as possible and being good to the environment and its people.


Week 7: Thermochromic Ink

Thermochromic Ink!

The term thermochromic comes from the Greek word “thermos”, meaning heat and “chroma”, meaning colour. Something that is thermochromic changes colour as the temperature changes. In fabrics, a special dye acts as the thermochromic agent.

Thermochromic dye can be used in different ways. You can make images disappear, or you could make designs change colour by layering thermochromic dye on top of normal dye.

R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N

Again, this is another technique whose existence I knew of already, but whose workings I have never really understood! I’m really glad that not am I only exposed to so many new ways of manipulating materials, but that I also get to try them out!

Thermochromic ink can be used on many different products and materials, and I think that it lends a little magic to the world! I remember the first time I saw a mug that changes colour with hot liquid poured in. I wasn’t surprised, given the technological advances of our time, but I was pretty amazed. Another friend of mine has a phone case that changes colour with just your body temperature. You could then “draw” on the case or make prints with your fingers, that disappear in just seconds.

In the experimentation, I tried printing the two colours together on one sheet creating a design, almost like the mountains / seas / volcanoes / sky. The printed design is still kind of visible after heating it. I’m not sure why, maybe because of the material?

I think trying to just paint directly on the material or canceling more areas to create negative space that is not covered in the thermochromic ink would be interesting to try out in the future.

Week 5: Smocking, Elastics

This week we learnt a really cool technique, smocking!

What is smocking? 

Smocking is an embroidery technique that is used to gather fabric. Usually, this is done so that the fabric can stretch. As you can see in the picture of the little girl below, this technique is used widely in making dresses.

However, this technique also allows fabric to be gathered in a really cool way to create patterns. This form of fabric manipulation may be tedious, but the results are super rewarding!


R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N

I’ve seen textures made by smocking before, but didn’t know that they were produced by sewing the fabric to create folds.

After a little bit of googling and trying it out, I grasped the basic idea of how to do this technique. Soon, I was engulfed in finishing my pattern. It is really satisfying to watch the fabric slowly form into something mesmerising.

I experimented with using a leather-like material, and what I discovered is that the thickness of the material resulted in a sturdy form. I imagine that this would be useful in making shapes in garments or artworks. It makes me wonder what it would be like to do smocking on a flimsier material!