Category Archives: Research

Research – DADA

While researching about Dadaism, I didn’t expect myself to be so intrigued by this art style. At my first glance of Hannah Hoch’s works, they just look like a bunch of cut outs being pasted together. I do think that the composition of the pieces look nice despite the offset in proportions, but that was just it. It was until I read what the Dada movement is about that I realised that, “OH. The meaning behind is actually meaningful!!”

So, what is Dada?

Silly as it sounds, it is a rebellious art movement that ‘mocks’ the norm and invokes thoughts about society. It started at around 1916 as a reaction to violence and deaths of World War 1 and the patriotism of people that led to the war. The artworks are not meant to be aesthetically pleasing but to get people to question about the nationalism and societal structures. It was goofy and sarcastic and playful movement although it was a form of protest. By throwing aside rationality, Dada artists experimented different ways and materials to express their creativty! The artists usually includes topics about technology and uses cutouts from print media to showcase the increasing connection with the modern life.

The artists themselves question their purpose as artists and that constitutes as art. This led to the spontaneous process of using untraditional materials to mix and match to create artworks. They will gather different pieces of papers/photographs or other materials and arrange them. There also other various forms of Dadaism through sculptures and performance art but we shall leave that for now hahaha.

Photomontage & Collage

For collages, artists used a wide range of materials, from a subway ticket to a piece of handkerchief, they paste the fragments to create a chaotic but neat image.

(Kurt Schwitters – Difficult, 1942-43)

(Kurt Schwitters – Merz 231 Miss Blanche, 1923)

For photomontages, it is a collage of pasted items of existing photographs from the press or photographic reproductions. This form of Dada is more commonly practiced by artists as it effectively shocked the public when they see photos of important figures that they were used to seeing, being edited in a nonsensical way. The fact that they used printed media to create artworks, and arrange the pieces unthinkingly challenges the concise traditional art form of painting.

 (Hannah Höch – Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919)


“They would use as many different fonts as they wanted, would punctuate in unconventional ways, loved to drop random letters or symbols throughout their pages.  They would also print both horizontally and vertically on the same paper, composing indifferently in any direction.”

Artist played with different composition styles with texts to create a visually popping effect, sending hidden messages about politics or social problems. There was a close relation between text and images, using a variety of lettering formats and line dimensions.

(Kurt Schwitters & Theo van Doesburg – Poster design, 1922)

Modern Take

Dadaism is still pretty relevant today as many artists use it as an art style to incorporate into their works. It certainly helps to deliver a visually-popping effect and depending on the composition, creates whimsical moods or jarring effects with the intense contrast.

Here are some examples!


It certainly looks like a fun style to explore in my future works! Hope this post helps give you a little more insight of what this unique and empowering art movement is about!

Project 2: Zine’s Research + Ideas Presentation

Hello! For our 2D’s second and final project, we were each assigned to a random neighbourhood in Singapore and afterwards present a zine about it (:

Aaaand the neighbourhood that I got is.. Marine Parade! To be honest, the ‘bubble’ that I live in mainly revolves around the MRT’s purple north-east line and I had zero idea about what does Marine Parade look like. Just the week before Mimi picked the neighbourhood for me, I was talking to my hall friend, Evelyn. Our conversation went something along the lines of:

Me – “Oh ya, where do you stay ah?”
Evelyn – “Marine Parade!”
Me – “Oh…. Marine Parade.. Where is that?”


Great start to the project. However I was quite pumped up as this meant exploring a side of Singapore that I was unfamiliar with! I had no idea of where to go and what to expect, and it was really interesting to discover the unique sides of Marine Parade in my recce trips.

It was really quite inconvenient to visit via MRT but lucky for me, I had a direct bus from my house, bus 43! (But it was really super far when I went from hall…) During my first visit, I went during the evening as it had been raining for the previous few days. The findings were not much. I only covered the Marine Drive area.


There some nice mural paintings about community care (for the elderly). And I noticed that most of the HDB flats were white with some blue accents.

After some of my classmates did a presentation on colour theory, I got inspired to have colour theme so that my photos can look more consistent. Which was why on my second recce trips, I focused on sceneries/objects that were white & blue (with some green)!

Here’s what I found!


I walked from Parkway Parade to the estate areas, covering basically the whole Marine Parade Road: Marine Drive, Marine Terrace, Marine Crescent. It was really fun photographing the colours aspects of the neighbourhood, there were a lot! I guess it was because there was an effort to integrate a nautical theme since it was built on waters (which I will elaborate on in a later part). From HDB flats to condominiums to even the landed properties, most of them were a mixture of blue & white. Along the way I also spotted objects that were blue & white too, such as the chairs, market shops’ banner and decorations.

Also it was then that I realised that East Coast Park was part of Marine Parade….. Which was embarrassing because every Singaporean had been to ECP at least once in their life. Which was even worse when I told people I have not been to Marine Parade before when I frequent ECP often when I was young (¬_¬;) ohmy

These were the photos that I took and which that I used to present my findings.

ANYWAYS! I did some research on my own too.

Background Information of Marine Parade:

Marine Parade is a reclaimed land, being part of Singapore’s multi-phase project. Works started at 1966. Being one of the first few housing estates on reclaimed land, it was popular in demand of that time. Which was why in recent times, it had regraded as one of the silver zones in Singapore.

I thought that the fact that Marine Parade is a reclaimed land was really cool, and I wanted to incorporate this information into my zine’s idea.

Reclaimed land is the mad-made process of stacking and packing layers of sand on sea waters. Because there are layers of the whole land, I thought of translating that into my zine.

Whereby the pages of the zine are the layers that form up Marine Parade, e.g. the sea waters on the last page. And architecture, people, culture are the layers stacking on top (the upper pages). I proposed a rough idea to Mimi but she felt that the idea had to be more concise.

An idea then popped in my mind. The concept of these layers are also associated with their ‘textures’, e.g. Smooth waters vs rough sandy lands vs angled layers of buildings. From my photos, I noticed that there were also many intriguing-looking shapes and patterns from the buildings.

Basically, I wanted to work with textures and shapes of Marine Parade, exploring the ‘layers’ of the land, while being in the theme of blue & white.

I wanted to my audience to focus more on the visuals on the zine which was why I decided to include only photos and edits in it, showcasing the textures of each layer.

I went to look up for inspirations on how I could make the layouts of my photographs more interesting.


I wanted to do more the scrapbook style similar to those of Japanese magazines, where they played around with patterns and photo to make their editorials more appealing.


In order to gather more finds about the textures, I went back for a third and fourth recce. This time I explored near the ECP area and got these photos.


Once again I found new textures to work such as the wall designs, sand particles, sea waves. Also! There were a lot of cute sea animals statues aww. And bonus popiah photo since it was my lunch @ marine parade central’s hawker centre + it’s sort of white colour haha.


I think I was more or less settled with these photographs at that point. I did went back two more times because I wanted gather some thoughts and opinions people had of marine parade as I felt that texts can make my zine look more entertaining to read and convey my message better.


Refer to my next post for the making of the zine’s pages! (: