The scene is extremely dark, with nothing but a single shaft of light cutting through the tofu of darkness that is the room. The room is sparse, and mostly taken up by a huge bed in white linens. Following the single shaft of light, we trace the band of light that illuminates my newly adopted kitten, Charlie. She’s black with beautiful patches of white, and the best way to describe how she looks is actually that of a Mexican wrestler. Curled up like a loaf of bread, she’s fast asleep. This is the first time that she has slept this soundly since we picked her up from off the streets. And for that single solitary moment, there was peace, not just in the house but in her heart.
Author: Donn Tan
Project 3: Zine
When I was first given the brief for the zine project, my mind immediately gravitated to this series of work that I did a couple of years ago, about and for my grandma. This series of images are particularly important to me because this was where it all started; where I found my love for stories and documentary photography. It has given me so much, and its only right it gets to be printed like it deserves. I have decided to pair up the images with something unlike a letter to my grandma. It holds the words that I have always hoped that she knew, even though due to our asian heritage and our conservative nature, I have not actually told her directly.
Faithfully was done as part of the Objectifs Junior Shooting Home ’12 mentorship programme, an intensive programme where we were given a month to shoot what was “Home” to us. My work gravitated towards my grandma, as I tried to capture her unconditional love through my images.
For the design of the zine, space was an important factor. I wanted a floating feeling for my zine, where images could take centre stage while providing a kind of movement that flowed with the words. As a result, the composition of the zine put two images close together, but not touching. Similarly, the words lack capitalisation as well as punctuations. This is intentional, so the reader will not be able to understand where it starts and where it ends, which is a reference to how unconditional love never starts and never ends.
This work was exhibited in the National Library in 2012, as part of Objectifs Junior Shooting Home ’12 exhibition. More information can be seen at the links provided below.
Thank you Shirley for being the most amazing 2D lecturer one can ask for. 🙂
Project 2: Point of View
For this project, we were exploring the point of view of an object through different “lenses”.
When choosing my object, I actually wanted to do something broad like food, but ended up having to be more precise and actually choose a specific type of food, or a specific dish itself. As a result, I landed on pizza.
So then.. PIZZA.
BRAINSTORMING IN PROCESS – BRAINSTORMING IN PROCESS
pizza to a _____ is _____
- artist // medium
- layman // sustenance
- student // break
- office worker // excuse
- plate // paper weight
- microwave // existence
- teeth // work
- stomach // temporary companionship
- salad // competitor
- shirt // decoration
- mother // show of love
- overweight man // supplement
- bulimic // torture
- chef // night off
- me // 2D
- death row inmate // last supper
- late night // supper
- couple // night in
- high school kids // war
- primary school students // fractions
In the end, I ended up choosing this six.
- Pizza to an overweight man is supplement
- Pizza to fries is a bully
- Pizza to microwave is existence
- Pizza to pizza cutter is just a job
- Pizza to a t-shirt is decoration
- Pizza to a stomach is temporary companionship
ARTIST REFERENCE – ARTIST REFERENCE
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
My favourite comic of all time. Personally, I really enjoy Bill Watterson’s style of art, how his colours are simple and vibrant, and yet still ensuring that he is able to contrast that with white spaces. It gives his comics a better sense of flow, as well as breathing space.
Heart and Brain by The Awkward Yeti
Just like Calvin and Hobbes from before, the Awkward Yeti doesn’t over complicate things, preferring to go with simple colours and simple drawings that illustrate its point very strongly, without distracting elements.
ROUGH SKETCH TIME – ROUGH SKETCH TIME
Project 1: Typographic Portraits
Project 1: Typographic Portraits
The objective was to come up with six A5 sized pieces containing your name, using any and all mediums, that represent a characteristic of myself. So firstly, I had to come up with a list of characteristics that i portrayed:
- i am invisible
- i am a photographer
- i make a mark
- i am conformist
- i am always late
- i am complicated
In the end, we were told to present 4, instead of 6. As such, i chose:
- i am invisible
- i am a photographer
- i make a mark
- i am a conformist
HELLO I AM DONN AND I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER
Since I was a little kid, I’ve always been a quitter. I could never keep my attention onto a subject for very long, and as such, it has always been about discovering new things but not staying long enough to enjoy being good at it. Until I discovered photography. It gave me everything I have today, from paying for my school fees to feeding myself and more than anything else, I love what I do, and I love what I can do for people. This is why I chose to depict something that has been such a big part of my life. This was made by shooting Fuji Instax film using the Fuji Instant Camera, before being mounted on the black textured paper and finally the mounting board.
HELLO I AM DONN AND I AM INVISIBLE
Often I feel that being in the creative industry means that we are often overlooked and forgotten. We are in this sea of talent and we often find ourselves struggling for attention, and only the special few are recognised. As a result, this is what I chose to depict using alphabet macaroni + paint that only shows in UV light.
I AM DONN AND I AM A CONFORMIST
Actually, there’s a funny (not really) story about it. I started off as “i am donn and i am complicated”, as shown below.
But while doing it, I realised that all I was doing was conforming. I was conforming to standards, and I was conforming to expectations. And that took my work in a completely different direction. As a result, I decided to paint in white, a show of complete uniformity.
Lastly, I AM DONN AND I MAKE A MARK
In this world, everyone has different aspirations. And I am no different. I aspire to make a mark, and no matter how roughly cut, or not badly carved this mark is, a mark is still a mark. This is made using wood, with my name carved directly into it.
Thank you Shirley, for your comments and direction. 🙂
4D Project 3: Genre and Narrative
An average University student, Jason, struggles to recover his lost memories caused by a recent car accident. He falls in love, but a mystery girl from his forgotten past haunts his memories. He is unable to move on with his life, as he often finds himself in situations that make him question his beliefs. Eventually, he stumbles upon a secret that will alter his self perception forever.
The Story of Cupid in Yesteryear – God of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid’s arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire.
Project 3: Ego
Project 2: Nursery Rhymes
Project 2: Impossibilities of Being
When I first read the project brief, my first thought was to go down the horror genre route. I wanted to use a sequence of images to do a horror sequence. But because much of classic horror sequences rely on building up of emotions, this was always gonna be a challenge, right from the beginning. So I started out by coming up with a basic structure, a story, which will help to hold this sequence together. My idea behind this sequence of images is a narrative where a man loses his girlfriend, and is driven to desperation. Hence, he decides to play a series of games to contact his dead girlfriend. His motivations are due to the fact that he proposed to his girlfriend shortly before her suicide, but he did not manage to get a response from her before she sadly passed away. Hence, he was haunted by the lack of a closure, which led him to play the games. However, his playing of the games invites the bad entities into his world, which causes the game not to work the way he wants it to (doesn’t manage to contact his girlfriend), and the narrative ends ambiguously.
These are the games.
“The Gambler’s Game”
– APackofPlayingCards(PreferablyNew) – Courage (In excess)
How To Play
1 Begin when you feel the need to.
2 Take your pack of playing cards and head to a quiet place, and take a seat/sit on the floor.
3 Shuffle the cards. Shuffle them throughly, and shuffle them well. DO NOT attempt to use marked cards, or any
cards that will allow you to cheat your way through to a win; it will not be tolerated.
4 Choose a game to play. (Blackjack, Poker, anything that allows for a quick and definite resolution/outcome.) 5 Deal the cards face down. Deal for your Gambler across the table as well.
6 After dealing your cards, light three candles. This is known as your guiding light, in the event that you lose. It
also acts as a signal to let the Gambler know you’re ready to play. Let it burn for roughly a minute before
extinguishing and disposing.
7 Check your cards, your opponent’s cards, and any other cards you need to check to determine a winner. Play to
conclusion, and do not stop halfway through.
8 If you win: Take the top card of the deck and draw its edge across the pointer finger of your right hand. If you
draw blood, that hand will henceforth have the power to win any gamble (loosely defined), whether it’s a throw of the dice or the luck of the draw. Use it wisely, and sparingly. It has been known to do more than you’ll ever expect. If you lose: He will claim his prize – and before you ask, no, there is nothing you can do to dissuade him from doing so.
Any game will do, although Blackjack is preferred. It should be noted that games whose outcomes rely solely on luck make poor choices, indeed.
If possible, use a new and previously unopened pack of cards; the Gambler is mistrustful, and he may not look kindly upon an old or well-worn deck.
Should the Gambler win, he will not be quick about claiming his prize; nor will it be clean. You have only yourself to blame, however. After all, you were the one who decided to tempt fate.
Don’t ask us what the guiding light is for; no one ever survived far enough to come back and let us know what it was for.
A Word of Advice
It is NOT recommended that you play this game. There’s a reason you don’t come across many people with lucky hands in this world.
What You Need
What You Need
• Two Mirrors
• Chair to use as a Throne • Brave/Foolish Soul
How To Play
1 Set your chair facing north.
2 Set up two mirrors in front of you, both should be a meter apart.
3 Leave your room, be seated in your throne at 3.33am.
4 While seated on your throne, light a candle.
5 Holding the flame and looking into the mirror, assign the mirrors one of the two roles by saying: “By Imperial
Edict, you are the Queen/Joker”. Do the same for the other mirror Do not assign two different mirrors with
the same roles, and try as much as possible not to look straight at your reflection. It is not advised.
6 Sit back on your throne and close your eyes.
7 Keep the question you have in your mind, and proceed to ask it without speech.
8 You should hear the answer to your question. Beware, as the Joker will always lie and the Queen will always tell
the truth. You should know which is which since you assigned them roles, so listen closely and follow the
direction which the sounds come from.
9 However, the Joker is sly, and usually takes a demonic form. It is usually more complicated than you think, so
do not take it lightly. Abort this when you feel uneasy, sprinkle salt and leave till first light hits the ground. Be alert and never drop your guard.
A Word of Advice
Not much is known about this game, it is advised that players exercise extreme caution. After all, mirrors are known to be a portal to another realm.
What You Need
• A “Phone Booth” (A closet is a good choice) • Two Paper Cups
• Box of any kind
• A Bundle of Red Thread
• Power Object (Something with a link to the person you’re trying to contact) • Candle
• One Player
How To Play
The “Outbound” Call
- Begin right before you go to bed. The hour itself is inconsequential; all that matters is that your day isessentially over.
- Wait. You’ll know when the time is right to begin in earnest.
- When you feel the time is right, enter the room in which your phone booth is located.
- Construct your telephone, using your red thread and paper cups.
- Open your box, and place your telephone as well as your power object into the box. Close it.
- Light a candle, and say the following: “Abyssus abyssum invocat” – Hell calls hell; one misstep leads to another
- Leave your box in the phone booth
- Wait for your telephone to ring.
The “Inbound” Call
- The “ring” will come in the form of a dream of the person trying to call you. It might be that night; it might bea night shortly thereafter. You will wake up from the dream, likely in the middle of the night, and know that thetelephone is ready to be answered.
- Get up from your bed and go to your phone booth. Do not turn on the light. Do not speak.
- Do NOT proceed if any of the following occur: You find the shoebox open, or find the telephone tamperedwith.
- If the shoebox and paper cup are undisturbed, you may proceed. Get in the phone booth but DO NOT closethe door. It is the first sign when things go awry.
- Sit on the floor, press the telephone to your ear, and listen. Really listen. Keep movement to a minimum and trynot to make any noise. Do not speak, even if you are asked questions or are ordered to say something.
- When the call has finished—or if, at any time, you want to hang up—pull on the thread until it snaps.
Concerning Wrong Numbers
Dialing a “wrong number” (determined by your power object), will either result in connecting you to no one at all, or connecting you to the wrong person.
If connected to the wrong person, any of the following may occur:
• The wrong person could pretend to be the right person.
• The wrong person could feed you misinformation, either in the guise of the right person or as themselves. • The wrong person could otherwise give you a bad time.
DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, dial a wrong number.
My artist reference consists of a large amounts of horror films, both current and classic.
Because of my own over ambitiousness, I felt that I undertook a task that was beyond my ability to complete in that time frame. However, that said, I am happy with the way it turned out, as well as the different technical skills that I’ve learnt in class which I am able to implement in this video.
2D Foundation: Project 1
Our final project was to utilise different monoprinting methods to create a certain sense of emotion within the patterns/lines/splatters. My final project is shown above, and it consists of a total of 18 different emotions, as per requirements. But before we reached this final conclusion, there was a lot of research and exploration to be done.
This was our first exposure to our project. We were told to utilise lines and dots to create a sense of the different emotions listed on the left side.
Below are the three of my favourite patterns: Sensual, Psychotic and Exhausted.
Sensual was actually one of the panels which took the longest for me to think of. I was not sure what could correctly depict sensual, but I knew the lines had to have nice curves of varying thickness throughout and also a very clean line. Hence, I decided on this “sensuous” line by using a pen knife to get a nice, clean cut.
My psychotic panel was actually inspired by horror movies, and how flustered a man gets when he’s trying to clean up a murder scene. It was two layers of monoprint, the first layer was a simple light weathering of the entire panel and the second layer was the criss crossing lines
Last but not least, the Exhausted panel. This panel was inspired by the decay on old walls, in old buildings. The dirt that accumulates that looks like a set of shadows on the wall. This was done using brush and diluted black paint, lightly brushing over repeatedly.
Text and Image: Anchoring and Relaying
Relaying: A Quiet Moment (Extreme Long Shot)
Because that’s all you can afford to take, before your guilt starts flooding.
Anchoring: A girl leans against a pillar outside NTU Art, Design and Media
Relaying: Defrosting (Medium Close-Up)
Balancing the ice on the inside, and heat from the outside.
Anchoring: A stare as blank as the wall behind her
Relaying: The Happiest Journey (Long Shot)
…is the one away from school.
Anchoring: A girl walks in a direction away from NTU Art, Design and Media