Tag Archives: installation

Project 3: Library Installation

Hello! For the final 4D project, we were assigned to create site specific installation work in the ADM library. It was a pretty tiring project but I’m glad I managed to produce an art piece!


Like how I start with every other project, I analyse the brief and hope to attain ideas from it. To me, it was understood that I had to create something that enhances a specific role/function of the library, while being a ‘site of surprise’, making it look entertaining enough for people to be interested in interacting with it.

Perhaps my creative juices of the semester was running out but I was really clueless when delving into this project. It was challenging as we had to include the 4D aspect in our works – photo motion, video, sounds, or objects. Sadly, I did not have any major inspirations or concepts. I even did a rough planning to better conceptualise the ideas:

After listing down some possible topics, I narrowed it down to what a library is:

    • students mostly come to the library to study
    • maybe also for reading purposes (rarely in a school library)
    • look: modern (study) vs whimsical (magical fantasy)

Therefore I wanted to focus on creating installations that can enhance the reading/studying experience of students, but I not sure how ‘professional’ the works should look. And here’s some of my rough ideas (I still got no clue on what do to)

When I presented these 4 rough ideas to Michael, I personally felt that idea no.1 looked like it can work best as it had a clearer message – “creating a good ambience for students to study.” Although my final idea had changed quite a lot, it was derived from this idea!

So for my original idea, I wanted to create a interactive table board at the study tables areas. A motion screen will be attached to the table top, connecting to switches, which students can adjust – music, lighting and screen’s background animation, to suit one’s preference in creating a study environment.

I had no idea why I was so into exploring the tech side of art but it was clearly impossible to do so with my time/money constraints and lack of technical knowledge. I went on to do some research to get some inspirations and voila! I found this post documenting the 2012 architecture festival in montpellier. In one of their art exhibitions, this work piece was titled ‘site surprise, site supernate’ by tri-oh! ateliers:

It occurred to me that by building the light/video/photo/sound ambience in a box! It would be easier to control and not affect/disturb their peers. I thought of suspending the box though the pole structure above the table (light source). However I also realised that if I want to include video motion in my work, how am I suppose to secure all of that in a tiny box?

I knew I had to ‘scale’ it down to being an installation on the ground so I had to find another spot in the library. Since it was no longer near the study area, the theme does not have to be so ‘serious’. By this point, my hanging box idea changed to one that encourages users to lie down and put their head inside, making them rest and experience a different world inside the box. Instead of trying to create a soothing study environment for the students, I wanted them to experience a magical setting one gets from reading books, having a mini step-away from the reality of studying. Which was why I had to find comfortable spot for them to lie down.


In the end I decided on this sofa spot below the staff staircase as it had the biggest space to work with!


There were also many power plugs available, which can help support the high numbers of electronics that I would use in my installation.

I will be planning to create a box unique to the site’s shape. AND FINALLY I GOT MICHAEL’S APPROVAL WOOHOO! However when I submitted the proposal to Michael and the library, I felt that it would be a bit too inconsiderate of me to encourage student to lie on top on the couch as it may will not reflect well on the student’s image as well.. Why was I decided to up the scale and create a box big enough for a student to sit inside.

(sketch up of proposal)

(my ideal presentation)

Title of Artwork: Dreamy Flashback

I chose this name because

1. It is an actual instrumental soundtrack that I like. It is composed by Kevin Macleod

2. I wanted to create a DREAMY aesthetics feel about my work and because I will also be using… (wait for it,) FLASHlights. hehe

Work description (summary):

At our age, most young adults come to the library just to study. But we seemed to have forgotten how the library used to be a huge collection of wonderful novels and books waiting for us to explore when we were kids. This installation is to recreate the magical feeling one gets from reading, having their own little imaginative world. Students are welcome to use it to relax in this space, and have a break from the reality of studying, invoking the joy of reading they once had.

To recreate that fantasy feel, I thought of different environmental settings, which will be shown through a scenic video. The environments include nature, steampunk, aquarium, and galaxy. As you can see, I wanted the projector to be situated at the top, so that the projection can be shone all over the interior of the box, creating the effect that the student is inside the world. I would also be using different light sources to enhance the effects of projected worlds (notice lights 1,2,3 in the sketch).

Construction process:

I wanted to make my box out of cardboard too, similar to my inspiration. I felt that the plain exterior of the box will provide a great element of surprise with the colourful settings that were shown inside the box! And also it was cost-effective.

I managed to get a lot of big cardboard from my mum (THANK YOU!!!)

Before starting the construction, I had make measurements of the couch area so that it would not over-exceed the size limitations. I also had to rent a projector. And and and, I need to stay how grateful I am to this sir that lent me the projector!!! ヽ(˙︶˙)ノ I was originally given the bulky white projector like other people but it was really heavy and I was worried that the projector would not hold up and may fall on the student’s head! After listening to my long-winded explanation and endless pleading, he decided to make an exception for me and lent the smaller projector to me! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE!!!

With things prepared and set, let’s go!

Sorry that there is no footage of me making the box but it was REALLY tiring and time consuming!!! It was even more difficult to work with tapes have low adhesive power, which was why I had to resort to tearing small pieces to tie the cardboard sides together before taping over them down vertically.

(notice the orange circled part)

For the bottom box, I actually spend more than four hours on it I was so shocked that time past so quickly when you’re absorbed in doing work… 

For the square block base, I cut out a door for easy access. For the four cardboard flaps, I cut out two of them to create an empty sitting area inside the box for that people can still conformably sit on the couch instead of the cardboard layers. I left two remaining flaps as I wanted to create better support for the model.

For the interior decoration, I cut out drawings of a bird flying to present the idea of photo motion to fit into the ‘nature’ theme, similar to the effect of this picture:


I used lights 1: fairy light to hang around the interior of the box, creating a sense of dynamic movement in the box and to also guide the user’s eyes to the flow of the photo’s motions. I also did a drawing of a clock gear to fit into the steampunk theme to create to movement of gears turning.

Other lights: I made light 2 this star torchlight that I diy-ed from this idea:

For light 3 – the fish lantern, I first cut out a black circle then poked out random dots (in caring sizes) and triangles to create the starry night effect.


I made the fish lantern by cutting out various fish shapes in a black construction paper then overlay the shapes with red/purple/yellow cellophane papers, as I wanted to create the effect of many colour fishes swimming with the projection background.

For the projection video, I compiled a few scenic views with the themes of nature, steampunk, aquarium, and galaxy. Because when I did not want to bore the person in the box, I chose to create a mixture of scenes instead of showcasing the ‘worlds’ one by one. The sounds that I used in the mix were also a mixture of sounds from different ‘worlds’ as well!

I experimented with using sounds that were not directly related to the scene of the videos but rather to play with the possible sounds the scene could have made. E.g. the popping of bottle caps to show different bicycles riding past instead of the pedalling sounds. This helps to better transit the scenes. If you listened attentively, you will noticed that the background sound used in one scene would be the ‘melodic line’ of the next scene. I aimed to create a continuous video loop so that there will be an enhanced dreamy effect.

Check out the video below!

some were some of the projections made – galaxy themed with the star torchlight shining on them.

For the securing of the projector, I was struggling so much because I had to rest it on a new ‘roof’ that i built on top of the square block.

As seen from the above picture. The square base was quite secured (bye arrow). The projector however, had to be on top of the blue box so it could project downwards on the walls of the square block. The ‘1’ orange circe is the box containing the projector, while the ‘2’ orange circle is a plank to cover up the box, providing enough darkness for the projection to be seen more clearly. Although the plank was later on replaced by another box so that there a more consistent dimension in the box.


I cut out holes from the bottom for the projector’s wires and projections to fit through. The projector was originally tilted to with a tissue box. However the tissue box kept collapsing from the weight of the projector and in my final presentation I had to end up submitting the height with my duct tapes.


Of all the wires were brought the bottom side of the square block and attached to an extension plug.



It was really unfortunate, BUT IT WAS RAINING SO HEAVILY THAT DAY. Because of the scale of the box and the cardboard material and how there were so many electrical gadgets used, it was really difficult to transport my work through the rain.

Luckily for me, Van and Sammi accompanied me during the presentation break time to carry the installation over. For the work to carried over more easily, I had to bend the boxes… (ohm an) The rain also made the stickiness of the tape even weaker.

When we finally reached the library, I had to save whatever I could but it was still really… messy looking.


So yea as you can see, the duct tapes were all loosened up no matter how I tried to stick it back, even with new tapes. The boxes kept falling over as they had become really flimsy. Sighs, I really wished that it could have been cleaner-looking so that the box looks more professionally structured. This was also why I had to changed the location of the box from the couch to the ground, because the box just could not hold in when it was being placed so high off the ground. Even when I tried to secure it on the couch, the pieces kept dropping and for some reason, the projector kept getting disconnected.

In the end, this was what I presented:

Once again, it was really fun watching people interacting with my piece, especially how they were complaining that the box was too small to get in hahaha. Because they were sitting on the floor, they could only either lie down and fit their upper body in it, and get in a crouching position. I felt bad because I did try to present the ‘best’ size possible (big enough to fit most people) that was why I went to take measurements. But it did not seem to work ay.

Anyways, here are some of the pictures of the interactive moments!







Listening to my peers feedback and my own evaluation, I did felt that I could definitely improve in the appearance of the box by using better tapes and planning early to avoid the rain.

They suggested to use the available existing space of the library such as the above pic, by covering the staircase with a black backdrop and shining the projection on the wall. In order to make it seem more like a resting place, I should have included pillows or blanket in it as well!

I have maybe add some whimsical decorations on the outside (also made of cardboard) to attract people into trying and they would immediately know that the box is art-related. The drawings used for the photo-motion effect could have of better quality as well. There were some technical difficulties such as a control how big the image could be project and how the the lights’ designs may change with the intensity in brightness. These are areas worth considering.

But I do think that the video that I created had a visually effective effect on creating the mood. I tried to incorporate all the aspects of 4D that I had learnt over the past year – video, motion making, and sound. It like how well the lights worked with the installation although it was my first time.

Hope that you enjoyed my work and sorry that I was always unfair to my classmates for always being late for my submissions!!! Thank you and hope to see you soon! ^__^

Project 2: Evocative Objects

Project 2 was a truly memorable project for me as I got to work with my friends and we created art in the most interesting setting… the toilet.

For this group project, we were tasked to find everyday objects in school to use as our sound installation, creating an experience and conveying ideas through sounds.

Team Members: Calista, Claudia, Lydia, Sammi, Vanessa

Title: Our Shared Space: Sounds of the Toilet

Artist Statement: Toilets are a shared space amongst people from all walks of life; and within these space are more often than not, unspoken rules for people to follow. Flush the toilet after using, use only what you must. ‘Toilets: Our Shared Space’ explores the nature of getting people together, and with a set of simple but open instructions, to create a piece of music together; and enjoy the symphony of the space as itself.

Work Description: Site installation that prompts people to work together to create a performance piece for the toilet user (middle cubicle) by only using what they can find in the toilet. The toilet user will be experiencing an all-around enhanced simulation, truly appreciating the blend of sounds the toilet ‘makes’ from different people.


When we were still discussing about places we can use in school, once the idea of using ‘the toilet’ popped up, we had so many ideas! Originally we were thinking more along the lines of building realistic site installations to remind people of the user’s experience in the toilet or to recreate the sounds and motions of the flush to represent something else.

Michael however felt that we should engage directly with the site, and after tweaking our idea, that’s what we did!

Please refer to Lydia’s post! She discussed more in depth about how we got inspired through other cool installation works, and the building + plan layout of our idea.


In order to create a smooth flow in our presentation, we told do several dry runs to test the possible sounds that could be made from the toilet, how do we want to engage people to use them.

There were possible problems that could arise and had be taken into consideration:

  • designing of instructions: how to make people understand the beats
  • people may feel left out if they are not being engaged to do anything in that space
  • should the music to be played freely or with fixed beats/sounds
  • how to coordinate people to work together

Please refer to Calista’s post where she discusses more about the problems and plans to deal with it.

In the end after repeated dry runs in the toilet testing out various presentation style, we decided to limit our tryout-audience. In case people may be unsure of what beats they can do, we created some prompts to kick start the rhythm via instructions cards.

Please refer to Van’s post where she explains more in detail about our solution to the problems!


On our presentation day, we received great support from our class with 6 enthusiastic volunteers: Adithi, Chris, Jason, Nadia, Trey, Xuanfei + Michael to try out our installation piece


While the rest of the class went for a break, we explained our work to our musicians first and performed a live demonstration of what they are expected to do. The results worked even better than expected as they were really creative with using props in the toilet to creative more interesting mixes of sounds/beats than we thought of. It was nice to see how we could get them to work together to orchestrate the piece when it was time for them to play for the rest of the class, which fulfils our purpose as we want create that sense of harmony in the shared toilet space.

Please refer to Lydia’s post for more photos and videos!


I was really happy to see people enjoying the interaction our installation provide, not just between the musicians but also engaging with the audience; everyone in the space of the toilet. I am proud to be part of this team as it pushes new idea boundaries that I would never have thought of it I were to do. Not only is this installation fun, it is also meaningful in getting people to appreciate an experience that happens to us in our daily lives. I think it would be cool if this installation concept was brought out beyond the doors of ADM, bringing a collection of different results from new groups of people creating new sounds in new toilet settings.

Hope you enjoyed our piece! ◡̈⃝

Project 1: Singapore Diary

HELLOOO. Welcome to the first 4D project of this semester! This project is about exploring about what is Singapore to me? How well do I understand it? What is the way of life here in Singapore?

For task 1: we were suppose to choose between four approaches on the ‘theme’ that we were going for. They include:

1) Have a conversation with someone random and find out about their lifestyle in Singapore.
2) Visit a place that you are unfamiliar with or haven’t been to for awhile.
3) Visit a place during a different time of the day.
4) Have a conversation with a family member and find out about possible traditions/life stories/experience about Singapore.

I immediately decided to do no. 2 with those three questions that I had in mind. This is because I was always complaining to my family and friends that Singapore is too small and there is nothing left to explore. I thought I knew Singapore well enough. Which was why I wanted to challenge myself to discover new places of Singapore!

To be honest, my game plan was basically googling “interesting place to visit in Singapore”… BUT HEY, there were places that caught my eye and I was really amazed that such sites exists in Singapore. However, when I saw ‘Jurong Fishery Port‘, I knew it was the right place to go!

I’ve always enjoyed visiting markets in other countries, so I was excited to know that I can see fresh produce up close in Singapore! The fact that not many people would frequent that area makes me even more hyped to visit as both the audience and I will be on a learning journey together to find out this place! yay!



I made a total of two recce trips – 15 Jan and 21 Jan 2017.

It was truly a whole new world to me!!! Even just entering the port’s gantry, you are required to submit your IC to attain a pass. Once my mum and I stepped into the ‘market’ area, we were very much overwhelmed with our senses. There was so many things going on at the same time: selling of seafood, pushing of carts, cleaning of the fishes’ guts, etc. The smell aspect and sound aspects were definitely there as well: grimy smell of the ocean and voices yelling over each other.

Here are some of the photos that I got from my first trip:

(gantry gate)

(cleaning the fishes)



(bustling with activities!)




(display of seafood: they are either displayed on the floor (whole fishes) or put in baskets/styrofoam boxes)



(push carts: they go around helping to transport the fishes around the market)


(the ‘accountants’: in charge of calculating their daily business. and oops, got caught red-handed hahaha)


(objects used in the market)

(cute friendly uncles!)


(packing fishes to be sent for delivery/selling)

(an uncle scooping ice to keep the fishes fresh)

(venue name + pretty looking containers)

I think I had a pretty fulfilling first trip as I managed to capture many moments, showing a sufficient preview of what the fishery port is about. Although it was late in the night at 3-4 am, the energy of the port was high with bustling activities! While everyone is sleeping, these uncles and aunties were working, ensuring that we get our fresh seafood produce at our nearby markets! The overall atmosphere was also really different unlike our neighbourhood’s wet markets.

However, Michael mentioned that these are just photos and anywhere else can be ‘interesting’ and ‘a whole new world’ experience as well. What makes this fishery port so unique? Hence I decided to go back for a second time to interview different people (of different roles) to understand more about their way of life.

Unfortunately, on the day that I went back, it was two more days before Chinese New Year and the place was PACKED. Everyone was really busy and they either had no time to accept my interview, or because their boss was supervising and they could only focus on their jobs. It was quite depressing as I got rejected by quite a lot of people and I had been walking aimlessly for more than one hour.

At first, I did managed to get one interview from an uncle in the fishery port’s market. He works as a fish shop owner at one of the wet markets in Angmokio. He was with a few other uncles at a shop stand, and waiting for the ships to unload the fishes they had caught. Basically, the shop is a distributor in name: store vendors will buy their produce from them, then selling it in their own stores. I asked about his working hours, his working experience, and opinions about supermarkets vs their wet market business, etc. His replies were how working was really tiring and that there was nothing they could do about the rising competition, especially in times of bad economy and bad produce.


Being dejected, I went back to the coffee shop area to find my mum. (the coffee shop area is located inside the fishery port, but away from the ‘wet market’ area, it is for the people working to have meals and quick breaks) I was close to giving up on this expedition but my mum encouraged me to ask the uncles in the coffee shop instead since they are taking a break/got off work, so most probably more willing to talk to me.

With that, I approached this table of uncles and OMG I WAS SAVED.

At first they were quite uneasy about me approaching them but they were really happy to share and talk to me!!!! Especially Uncle Wang, who provided me with a lot of insights about the lives of people working in the fishing industry. He works as a facilitator at NTUC where he oversees the distribution of fishes across the island’s stores.

He explained that it is a really tiring job as they had to work in the middle of the night. It will be even harder for the store vendors as they had to carry on business in the morning/afternoon after waking up at 2/3am to get their produce. Because most of the people working are elderly, the job is really straining on their health. When I asked him if he is concerned about how the fishing industry in Singapore may possibly die out because of big corporation’s convenient supermarkets and the lack of younger people who would want to do such laborious jobs, he replied that he would not be concerned. There are always foreign workers who can help out. The only reason why Singaporeans are still continuing on the jobs is because they could not switch to  other better jobs due to their low level in education.

“Everyone wants to stop doing but they can’t.”

He would rather seeing the younger generation study hard to get a good job then endure the hardships of these jobs. It struck to how I never got to understand other people’s way of life. Working is really tiring and we often take it for granted that most Singaporeans are wealthy and can afford a comfortable life, when in fact they are many out there who are struggling to get by with life.

Uncle Wang also brought me around the area and I took some pretty cool shots from the second floor of the wet market too.

(person sleeping in the car)

(ship unloading area)


(hustle bustle)


(more shot of people: I also focused on the elderly workers)


(the food court)



Presentation Idea:

After learning about the fishermen’s way of life, I wanted to present on how draining their jobs are. Showing my audience a side of Singapore they are unexposed to – how there is always a flip side to everything; how everyone has differing attitude to their jobs, contrasting with those working in the Jurong Fishery Port.

I really wanted to incorporate the photographs that I took as I felt that they truly help best express what I saw and can better bring across my ideas. However, just putting up a gallery of photos will be too boring and I was quite stumped on how to present them.

After hearing Michael’s suggestion to incorporate elements of the fish market into my works, I noticed most fishes were packed in styrofoam box. This inspired me to presenting my photos in a styrofoam box, where the act of removing the lid unveils someone’s way of life in Singapore! Instead of fishes, the audience will be getting the messages that I am trying to convey through the pictures!

I picked out some of the nicer photos that reflect what I saw at the fishery port, sticking to theme of the working lifestyle of the people. Originally I wanted to individually print out each card and write a message at the back, expressing my thoughts and what I felt or learnt from the trips when I look at the photographs. However my english standard really cannot make it and it does not deliver that emotional impact of the messages that I was trying to bring across. Hence I ended up grouping two photos back and front. They were grouped based contrasting similarities.

(The ‘accountants’: one being engrossed in work vs one sitting alone and staring into space)

(Food court: crowd vs sitting alone)

(Fish sellers: waiting for business vs busy with customers’ orders)

(Cheerful, hanging out with friends vs Tired, waiting for friend)

(Cleaners: Local vs Foreigners)

(Delivery men: pushing vs pulling)

(the two uncles that helped me a lot)

As you can see, the photos were meant to show how even in similar context of setting or action, there are two sides to it (other than the last one featuring the two uncles. but they really helped me out a lot and I wanted to somehow include them. I guess they did helped in in their own but different ways though)

Through this, it invokes the message of how in a similar context of in the middle of the night, while a part of Singapore is sleeping comfortably, another side is working tirelessly. While the young have the chance to strive and get good well-paying jobs, the older generation are struggling to stay in their limited jobs.

I laminated the photos so that water would not seem in and ruin the photos since I printed them on paper.

I also printed some random fishes transparencies and mixed it with the photos while being covered in ice. This is to stimulate the real life experience of buying fishes in a boxes and makes it more relevant to the theme, as just putting photos may be too plain.

Here’s what the box look like on the inside!

Also, I pasted the top of styrofoam box lid with the aerial view of fishes, so that it looks like the audience are peering into the world of the fishery port itself.

I also played a recording that I made of the fishery port while presenting my piece, as I wanted to stimulate the actual site setting.

It was fun watching my classmates interact with this piece! I didn’t expect that so many people would get involved hahaha.

Check out the photos and videos!


I really appreciate the class feedback and how accepting they were of my concept. At first they did not quite get it, and it was even more troubling when the lamination fell off and the photos were printed too darkly, making it hard to see. They also brought up the problem of recreating this work elsewhere as it would be hard to make it a permanent piece with the addition of the ice cubes. It was really neat when they suggested that I could put the photos in frozen blocks of ice as well since one of the message that I mentioned was how the people working at the fishery port are trapped in their jobs, improving my installation piece.



I had fun doing something I had never done before, creating an interactive installation piece, and addressing ‘serious’ social problems into my works. I’m glad I experimented with something different. Even for the choice of location, I’m also glad that I picked somewhere that was wayyy out of my comfort zone. Through this project, I hoped that I showed my peers new places in Singapore to venture upon and expose them to another unfamiliar lifestyle! (: