Category Archives: My Work


Figure 1. Frog-Shaped Kendi

“The Frog-shaped Kendi” (Figure 1.) was made in China, early 17th century. The porcelain is paired with 19th-century Turkish silver mounts. [1] Kendis are a well-known form in the Southeast Asian repertoire of vessels, and it has played an important role in daily life and rituals of the region since ancient times. The word Kendi is a Malay word coming from the Sanskrit kundika (water pot) and indicating a ceremonial vessel used for ritual cleansing and drinking. [2] Structurally, a typical Kendi has a bulbous body, vertical filling neck which also serves as a handle, and a narrow spout. It is created so that water could be poured out without the sprout coming in contact with the drinker’s lips, thereby avoiding contamination. [3]

Diversity of Kendis
Kendis come in many different shapes and designs, they were made throughout Southeast Asia. Apart from its utilitarian purpose as a water container, they were often used in rituals as pouring vessels in wedding and various ceremonies. For instance, in Bali, a bride signified submission to her husband by pouring water over his feet with a Kendi. [4] The Khmers considered Kendi essential for Hindu rituals of pouring sacred waters over the King at his coronation. [5] The Khmer and Thai favoured Kendi in zoomorphic forms, such as ducks and geese; the Vietnamese made some shaped like elephants and storks. [6] These examples just go to show that not all Kendis are made for the same function or purpose, it changes according to the different cultures. The stylistic differences could also suggest that these Kendis were part of the lively international trade in ceramics wares.

Cross-cultural Elements
It is interesting to see the cross-cultural encounter between China and Turkey in “The Frog-shaped Kendi”. The iconic blue-and-white porcelain is modelled in a form of crouching frog. In Chinese traditional culture, the frog is associated with healing and good fortune in business. [7] On a closer look, floral motif such as tulip and carnation can be seen on the silver mount, it connotes Turkey, particularly the Ottoman Empire. Flowers has manifested itself in almost every aspect of arts in the Ottoman court. The elite and high-class society of the Ottoman Period had an immense love for the tulip as it symbolises nobility and privilege. [8] Therefore, the rarity of the material such as porcelain and silver coupled with symbolic motifs on “The Frog-shaped Kendi” implies that it was meant for someone of a high status or the royals.

Figure 2. Hookah Base in the Form of an Elephant

Other Types of Kendis
On a material level, the “Hookah base in the form of an elephant” (Figure 2.) seems to share the similar materials used in “The Frog-shaped Kendi” but it is not used as a storage vessel.

The term “Hookah” means it is an oriental smoking device with a tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water. [9] (In modern day context, it is known as “Shisha”) This elephant kendi has a trunk that is made of silver, it has an opening for the smoking tube and a tobacco burner perched on the elephant’s back.

Another notable example of Kendi that uses Silver and Porcelain would be this “Crescent-shaped Kendi” (Figure 3.), it was made in the 15th century Ming Dynasty. [10] The graceful shape of this Kendi is said to imitate the bronze water containers of Persia and Mughal India. [11] The crescent moon form of this Kendi would have had great symbolic appeal to the people in the Islamic societies. The moon plays an important role in Islam because the date of Ramadan is determined through the use of a lunar Islamic calendar. [12] Furthermore, the crescent moon (also known as Hilal) defines the start and end of Islamic months. The need to decide the precise time of the appearance of the crescent moon was one of the lead for Muslims to study astronomy. [13]


Figure 3. Crescent-shaped Kendi

All in all, Kendis played an interesting role in cross-cultural exchange, different themes, functions, styles, shapes were interpreted freely. At a glance, people usually think Kendis are merely used to store liquid or act as a decorative container but there is so much more to it than that — the different forms, materials, the symbols. Potters around the world have reimagined and manipulated Kendis into various artistic forms to appeal to a certain cultural group or win customers.

[1] Area360 Inc. Frog-Shaped Kendi – Asian Civilisations Museum. Accessed October 25, 2018.

[2] “Kendi.” Accessed October 25, 2018.

[3] Ibid

[4] Finlay, Robert. The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Cooper, J. C. Symbolic & Mythological Animals. Hammersmith, London: Aquarian Press, 1992.

[8] Pembecioğlu, Nilüfer. Narratives through Turkish Perspective: Transmedia Storytelling and Intertextuality Examples in the Postnetwork Era. Cluj-Napoca: Argonaut, 2014.

[9] “Hookah.” Accessed October 25, 2018.

[10] National Gallery of Australia. Crescent Moon. Accessed October 25, 2018.

[11] Ibid

[12] “Eid: How Is the Start of the Muslim Festival Determined?” BBC News. June 24, 2017. Accessed October 25, 2018.

[13] Ibid

Image Sources
Figure 1: “Frog-Shaped Kendi.” Digital image. Accessed October 25, 2018.×1200/12/125cd67a-234b-473c-96a5-e64fa906b6ba.jpg.

Figure 2: “Hookah Base in the Form of an Elephant.” Digital image. Accessed October 25, 2018.×1200/3d/3d441782-97a5-49f5-98a1-c986a468e454.jpg.

Figure 3: “Crescent Moon.” Digital image. Accessed October 25, 2018.

Week 7 Response: ACM Visit

The class went to the Asian Civilisations Museum to start preparing for their final project. Huge thanks to Clement for the insightful sharing and walking us through the different galleries with detailed explanations.

Well there are many things that intrigue me but the one that caught my attention was the Mounted Incense Burner.

What is interesting about this piece is its cross culture influence!
Although it is assembled in Europe, all the different components came from all over the world. (Porcelain: China, Jingdezhen, around 1700 Glided bronze mounts: France, mid-18th century Lacquer Bowls: Japan 18th century Red Coral)

Apart from it being aesthetically pleasing, it functions as an incense burner. I believe it will look magical the moment smoke emits out of the openings.

Week 5 Progress + After Media Wall Testing

After testing on different software, I feel more comfortable to animate my visuals using After Effects and I will stick with it.

My focus was to capture the essence of the festival and I have broken down into two parts: SMOKE with ATMOSPHERIC LIGHTS & PAPER with CHINESE MOTIFS

I will first start off with smoke. It is a common sight to see people offering three joss sticks for prayers, each stand for 天(heaven), 地(earth) & 人(human). Incense is used as a medium to communicate with the other “world”.

I started using Particle > Change the Colour to White > Add Fast Blur + Add Expression “wiggle(1,15)” to let the particle change direction to make the smoke more organic.

The fluidity of the smoke wasn’t really captured, so I decided to play further with the settings. I introduced some gravity and turbulence to make the form more realistic.

Colours can be added to tie back with my concept of smoke with atmospheric lights.


After Media Wall Testing (Not Week 5)

My previous animation I mess with the opacity too much and it looks very patchy and blur on the media wall so I decided to refine and make the movement more fluid.

Beyond the Seas: References and Case Studies

Project Theme: Beyond the Seas

The theme “Beyond the Seas” sounds interesting to work with and we are able to look into fairy tales, folklore and mythology revolving around Asia/South East Asia. As a Chinese, I knew I wanted to work on something that is relatable to the Chinese community. The aim of the project is to make fusion between the old, vintage and the new contemporary art. I immediately thought of working on the topic of Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore. The timeframe of this module fits perfectly into dates of the Hungry Ghost Festival (August 22th – September 19th) this year. This would allow me to soak into the local Chinese culture and experience the festival first hand.

Similar to the Western culture where they have Halloween, the Chinese have the Hungry Ghost Festival (also known as Zhong Yuan Jie 中元节), it is where the spirits of the dead are believed to roam the mortal world on the seventh month of the Lunar calendar. It is believed that the gates of hell are opened during this time for spirits to seek food, offerings, and entertainment.

Here is a short introductory video of the Hungry Ghost Festival:

Since it is just the beginning the Hungry Ghost Festival, I decided to visit a Chinese Temple at 49 Defu Lane 12 that is celebrating this event to collect some visual references and to also feel the atmosphere:

To capture the essence of the Hungry Ghost Festival and to also explore the relationship between the living and the dead as two worlds collide.



Paper is a recurring element throughout the Hungry Ghost Festival, it is common in many Asian religious belief systems and usually presented in various forms. When paper being burnt, it became an abstract idea where it is like the alias of items, send to the netherworld and materialising there into actual items.


The air is usually thick with incense smoke as people congregate to burn their offerings. Another unique part of Hungry Ghost Festival is the “Getai” (Songs Stage), it functions to entertain both the living and the dead. The stage is usually decorated with coloured lights.



Cai Guo
Qiang 蔡国强

Zhang Huan 張洹



Project 2 Part 1: Zine Neighbourhood (Paya Lebar)

For the second project, we are tasked to explore and find out interesting information of that given area. The area I got was Paya  Lebar! I did not do any research prior before heading to the actual site as I wanted to go there with an open mind and let myself wander randomly.

I started my journey with Pasar Geylang Serai
(There used to be a Malay Village nearby but it was demolished in 2011)

Geylang Serai is one of the oldest Malay settlements in Singapore. The significance of early Geylang Serai lies not in its architectural features but in its reputation as the Malay emporium of Singapore
– NLB Singapore Infopedia


There are quite a number of banners found on level 2 of the market which gave interesting historical information on Geylang Serai.

With the cultivation of lemongrass at that time, Geylang became known as Geylang Serai. Serai is the Malay word for lemongrass.

There was a factory near the river bank which was a processing centre for the farm produce from Geylang. It is said that the word “Geylang” is from the word kilang, meaning factory. The distortion of “k” into “g” gave Geylang its name.

Following on, I went to Joo Chiat Complex! This particular complex has many shops that sell necessities like curtains, cushion covers, bed sheets and rugs.

I chanced upon this store called “Hongfu Textile & Store”. The guy in red (Seems like the boss) approached me  when I was browsing and shooting the fabrics. He was teasing me “Eh take picture must pay money ok HAHA?” I told him I am working on a school project and he told me to feel free to shoot anything! Wasn’t able to do a proper interview with him as he was busy! But he was game for a picture!


At the corner of the complex lies a very vintage looking barber. The hairdresser uncle was pretty quiet in nature so I could not ask many questions. There are four people working in this salon was the only information I got from him.

Left the complex and I ventured further down towards Joo Chiat Road. I found a quaint shop little provision shop! I tried to interview the boss but failed once again! All he told me was “I got nothing much to share but a lot of students came to take picture and you are the first this year”
07 08

The exterior of this joss-paper store caught my attention and I managed to have a little tour inside! I was lucky to be able to witness the making of a paper house.091011

Along Joo Chiat Road, there is this wonderful shophouse that sells retro rattan furniture! I was stopped and scolded for taking pictures of the place. 

Another interesting place that I came across was Ho Tit Coffee Powder Factory. They are known for roasting traditional style of Kopi. I did had a little chat with Cynthia (one of the owner there) and was told that their shop nearly got closed down due to some posting online (some logo issues/etc) and AVA is watching them closely. Hence, I wasn’t able to take much photos and I do have to respect their privacy.screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-11-32-16-pm 0304

All in all, it was very daunting and difficult to talk to strangers. Many people are uncomfortable with sharing information. I am a little traumatised by this trip and felt like a “stalker” invading people’s privacy. Perhaps I should change my angle of this project or pick another focus.

Below are some of the snapshots of architectural stuff that I took:

Que Sera (Final)

So my concept will be revolving around the idea of healing through home remedies or food.

Sincere & Personal

My name is: Dawin (English) / Daud (Malay) / 何德伟 (Chinese)  / டாவின் (Indian) and I am a healer

Each composition will point the audience to a type of beverage and suggest the effect/benefit associated with it. The idea is reinforced through the use of food and objects relating to it. On top of that, my name would be depicted in four different languages.

Herbal Tea


Colour Scheme: Earthy Tone with a hint of Blue & Purple

Herbal Tea is consumed in order to relieve the heat and humidity hence the choice of water droplets depicted. The play of positive and negative space in the typography, as well as gestalt principle of closure are used to evoke more interest.


Masala Chai Tea


Colour Scheme: Monochromatic with a hint of Green

Chai Tea has various health benefits and has been used for thousands of years. In addition, the Cardamon seeds used in the Masala Chai Tea blend is known to improve cardiovascular health and helps keep cholesterol levels in check. The Heart is a vital organ to the human body. Therefore, I used a heart to suggest the “overall wellness”. The Tamil typography was manipulated to follow the style of the arteries and veins of the heart to make it look more integrated. Figure and ground principle was taken into consideration while executing the design as well.

Lemongrass Ginger Tea


Colour Scheme: Analogous

Both Ginger and Lemongrass are often used as home remedies for various health issues. They both treat a lot kind of ailments but are more commonly know to treat digestive health problems, thus a stomach outline was used in the composition. I have used the contour of the stomach to form the letter ‘D’ and the subsequent letters were edited in a sloping manner to compliment it.

Lavender Lemon Balm Tea

04_mlyColour Scheme: Split Complimentary

Lavender is always used to soothe anxiety and stress. People who struggled with insomnia usually use lavender to aid them in achieving better sleep. The idea of yoga seems to coincide well with the healing properties of lavender, thus I replaced the letter ‘A’ with a meditating figure to convey that idea of being calm and “stress-free”.


  • It was difficult to draw the connection between the 4 diverse ethnic group and make all four compositions look unified as a whole.
  • Logistics and items sourcing was hell! To make the matter worst, it was extremely difficult to buy certain food items during the Chinese New Year period as all the shops are closed for holiday!
  • Certain special items such as the traditional Chinese scale, lavender flowers/buds(imported flower) and some ornated plates are hard to find in Singapore.
  • The manual typography have to be created in an enclosed environment without any wind blowing.

Learning Outcome:

  • Through my research, I managed to learn about how certain food has healing properties and some interesting facts associated with it.
  • This project has helped open my eyes to the different cultures!
  • Project & time management is extremely crucial in this project as I need to precisely plan on what is required before executing the idea.
  • The main takeaway from this project is probably patience, patience and more patience!

Idea, Experiment and Process of Que Sera

Initially, I started off with the idea of a spice trader as the chosen occupation but it was a little too general and there were way too many types of spices to consider. The idea was pretty vague and aimless!


Since Singapore is a multiracial and multicultural society and there are four major ethnic groups, I thought it fits well with the job brief of coming out with 4 different compositions. Hence, I decided to go with that particular direction.

After the first consultation, I decided to zoom into the idea of a healer:

person or thing that heals



The above examples lack of meaning and context.

So after consultation and talking to various friends, I modified my approach and idea. I finally decided to work on the different beverages offered by the different ethnic groups.


The feedback I got from Joy was good except for one composition, where the simplified contour of the heart may look a little too cliche. Nevin suggested that I could perhaps use an actual visual of the heart and play with the arteries and veins to form the lettering.

Props & Materials Sourcing:



A lot been asking me how did I do it, so here it goes:

I first did the visuals on illustrator and used a transfer paper to transfer the design on the intended surface.

Slowly adding and subtracting the element with the aid of tweezer and a stick. A lot of patience and precision required during this stage.

Photo Area Setup:
The room light is not sufficient and we do not have access to photo studio, therefore I created a DIY photo set up. The DIY white board as Reflector helps to bounce some light to soften certain dark areas.

16640676_10154317305806334_8064148917987364980_n I then introduce all the elements and objects once I am satisfied with the configuration.


100% Paper (EGO Final)


Paper is a material that excites me a lot. Paper tells a story and the choices are endless; different paper weights (gsm), texture, colour shades and finishes (matte/gloss).

The idea of transforming an ordinary sheet of flat paper into imaginative visuals intrigues me a lot. The possibilities are endless and there are many methods to explore with papers. Some people create their work solely from white paper and layered it to create form & depth. There is something very appealing about hand-crafted design, it feels more personal. For this project, I will express the various colour harmonies through the use of coloured papers to create my compositions.

I tend to prefer structure and order and being settled when a decision is made. I can be quite stubborn at times too. Things being “organic” and abstract can be a little unsettling for me.

So my four equations will be based on:

( Idea of/Representation of Me  + Thrown into a situation/My dislikes = Finding Balance )
1)Geometric + Organic
2)Rigid + Flexible
3)Prefers Indoor + Going Outdoor
4)Order + Chaos

I started to prepare my elements in illustrator and roughly plan the colours on many artboards:



The procedure of cutting papers is simple but the process really forces you to plan ahead before executing the design. Paper cutting can also be extremely time consuming as you have to be very careful and precise while cutting and pasting elements together.

Unlike digital techniques there is no “ctrl+z”, there is no way to make amendments once the pieces are glued together/cut, it can’t easily be changed or amended.


Final Design

Idea of Geometric (Piet Mondrian)
+ Idea of Organic (Growing Tree) = Bonsai in a Japanese Setting.

For the first box,  I used Piet Mondrain’s  artwork of Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow to convey the idea of geometric. Mondrain wouldn’t have anything to do with lines that were not straight and his style is greatly dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes. The second box, I used a growing tree as the subject to symbolise the idea of organic. The last box portrays a Bonsai Plant in a japanese setting to suggest the idea of being “controlled/contained”.  Bonsai Plant is always growing and it requires a lot of care and pruning to shape the tree.

Colour Harmony Used: Split Complementary, Monochromatic 

Rigid (Lego Figurine) + Flexible (Accordion) = Jack in the Box

Lego figurine has a limited range of movement, hence I used the Lego Figurine as a representation of me being rigid and accordion as being flexible. The merger between the two creates a Jack in the Box.

Colour Harmony Used: Split Complementary

Prefers Indoor (Sleeping on a Sofa) + Going Outdoors (Accordion) = A tent in the great outdoors

This lane of work is probably the most direct interpretation I did. I personally like to spend most of my leisure time doing indoor activities rather than going out. I would still want to have some form of personal space even if I am out in the open, hence the use of a tent depicted in the last box.

Colour Harmony Used: Analogous, Complimentary, Warm & Cool Colours

Order (Fish Market Setting) + Chaos (Rice Falling) = Salmon Sushi

I absolutely love food and enjoyed looking at fresh produce being organised neatly on table or shelves. Rice grains come in many odd shapes and sizes, it can be very messy and chaotic when being tossed. I immediately associated the two visuals as a sushi.

Colour Harmony Used: Monochromatic & Complimentary

Shutterbug (Updated)

Group: Peh Jia Qi, Jon Lee En & Ho De Wei Dawin


Genre: Mystery

The protagonist is a photographer for his newspaper company. However in his private time, he stalks good looking women and collects their photos  for his private collection.

He previously gained notoriety for being a stalker after one of his targets applied for a restraining order against him. Despite this incident, his boss continues to hire him. He continues with his activities but does not get caught again.

One day he notices that recently in many of his photos, a man turns up. Incidentally, there have cases of some of these girls going missing. Curious to find out what is happening, he continues about his usual activities, keeping a lookout for the man. Nothing much happens for a while, but one day, while taking photos, he witnesses a kidnapping . He takes a picture, but his movements alert the man, who turns and looks directly at him. He runs away, hoping to get help. A chase ensues, and he ends up at a dead end. A silhouette approaches but it’s not the man.

He is puzzled and tries to resume daily life while deliberating what to do with the information. When he looks at the photo, he realises that the man is actually his boss.

His boss approaches him after work and reminds him that he has no credibility ever since the incident, and that if he alerts anyone it would be a simple matter to convince them that the photo was doctored.

Kidnappings resume after a few days.

The protagonist makes a decision to publish his admission of guilt of being a stalker on the newspaper, alongside with an exposé on his boss.

Click here for our References


This serves as a guide as a rough guide for the intended emotion or setting for us to capture.

Location Recce:
Finding a correct alley was a difficult process:

We didn’t use these locations due to the alleyway being too wide and bare, it lacked the intended heavy mood we were looking for.

Trial Shoot:
We found the alleyways in Chinatown to be quite suitable for our story as it is has a certain “raw” appeal to it.


Equipment Used:
1 X Canon 70D
1 X DJI Osmo
1 X LED with filter


Props Used:

Wooden Clothes Pegs
Red Cellophane
Masking Tape/Pins
12 4R B/W photos
Film Negatives
Plastic Tray
Samoca Film Camera
Cotton String

Locations Shot:
Bugis, Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar & Jia Zhen’s Hall 

Learning Points:
 Always check the weather forecast before shooting
– Have a rough sense of camera angle and be more sensitive towards the surroundings before shooting helps to produce a better outcome/composition.
– Direct light on subject may be too harsh at times, bouncing flash off the wall creates a more natural effect.
– To be more open to ideas and suggestions especially working in a group

Movie Trailer (before consult):

Next Step:
– We will revise the sequence of the story
– Adding text into the trailer to aid the narration
– Include voice over into the trailer
– Insert the phone call dialogue

Revised Storyboard:
Movie Trailer (final):