4D Final Assignment – Installation Day

My installation was held in the Cinema Room at the Library and because the library only opens at 8.30am, I could only set up on the day itself.

This is how the whole set up looks under lighted conditions.

The film projected onto the fabric in lighted conditions.

The type of fabric used was a papery, translucent material.

The 3 layers of fabrics strips together.

I strung the strips together in one line. Using binder clips, I attached them to the wall with duct tape so I could tie the string onto the clip’s handle. All 3 strings are attached to one binder clip per side.

Flower petals lining the floor underneath the strips of fabrics.

Projection of the film onto the fabric in complete darkness. The flower petals can still be seen by the eye even in the dark due to the light from the film but I could not capture it in photo.

This is the film looped and played on the projection.

The installation with the film and sound played.

Just Be.

(Artist statement)

Just be focuses on memories holding people back and are unable to move forward. It forces them to undergo a self-reflection journey which explores vulnerability that occurs when adapting to change and how one reacts to a new beginning. This emphasises the influence memories and past has had on individuals and believe that they are defined by them. However, Just Be encourages individuals to define themselves by moving forward.

This is about embracing and just being yourself. The installation has left the past 2 projects behind but there are still hints of the past that are not the main emphasis in this set up. However, it represents the events that I have experienced. (Past: the flower petals where after performances, ballet dancers are usually gifted with flowers as a form of compliment and gratuity; The fabric strips alludes to the ribbon laces of the point shoes or the the layers of the tutu as seen in the 2nd project; The audio and film from the 1st project). 

The roughly cut strips of fabric represents the fragmentations of self and hardship faced but when all the strips are hung together they act as a curtain to reveal our vulnerable self. Vulnerability is shown when the layers are peeled back to show just a blank projector screen which is a blank slate but also a new beginning. Together with the film which depicts sunshine, it is a catharsis which was mentioned in Project 1 . In this case, it is the journey of self which the installation is supposed to encourage. The petals represents the sweetness of life as one begins to define he or she is and signifies the breaking of the barrier of the past that is holding one back.

4D Final Assignment (Installation layout)


Location: Cinema Room

I am still having my installation at the Cinema Room due to the maximum darkness that can only be achieved in there.

Strips of fabrics will be hung in the middle of the projector screen. Flower petals are sprinkled at the bottom of the fabrics. The film will be projected on to the strips of fabrics. It will show the sunlight that I captured from the first film will be played on loop with the soundtrack of the nature soundscape that has been used in my other 2 projects.

The cloth used will be translucent and there will be 3 layers. The first and topmost layer will be the first layer and the subsequent layers will be hung behind.

The strips of fabrics will be about 50 cm in front of the projector screen.

4D Final Assignment (Research 2)

I’m still quite unsatisfied with the current layout because from my previous 2 projects, I have actually moved on from those ideas/ “burnt” them away especially in project 2 which means I am leaving the past behind and not looking back. Hence, I do not feel that current layout is moving towards the direction I wanted and as the catchphrase goes “Two steps forward, one step back” which doesn’t seem to make sense to me. 

So time for more inspiration again.

I was watching Ghost in the Shell and there was one scene at the end where Aramaki kills Cutter, the villian (apologies for spoiling the movie if you have not watched it) and it really spoke to me. I viewed it in a very symbolic way whereby the main character major, is finally released from her past too but the part that I was extremely inspired by was the part where Cutter is killed and falls into the water. Like the chinese idiom “水落石出”, I saw it in as a way of as the truth being revealed and water acting as a form of purification as the water envelope him. (I actually said DAYUM when I saw that scene + apologies for the horrible quality of the scene) 

Another inspiration I found was from the fashion label, COS. It was created by a New York studio, Snarkitecture. Designers Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen used lengths of white fabrics to create the installation in Milan. COS gave the designers complete freedom to design an engaging space for visitors and an environment to present its current apparel range for Spring/Summer 2015.

They filled the space with white fabric strips, suspended from the ceiling, then cut away some of the lower sections to create tunnels and spaces through the fabrics. Visitors walk through a curtain of the strips to enter the space, and can then choose to follow the path created by the shorter lengths or pull aside the longer sections to cut through the spaces.

I am fascinated by the fabric interacts with the space and also how the audience are allowed to choose their paths which to me represented their own decisions. The vastness of it and how it envelopes you was mesmerising and compelling for inner thoughts/ reflections. The whiteness of it represented as a blank slate to me and purity and the whole thing just evoked some sort of reinvigoration in me. 

4D Final Project – Research

Back when I was still dancing ballet at Singapore Dance Theatre, there was the annual Ballet Under the Stars at Fort Canning Green which both of my sisters have performed in and I have watched the performances multiple times in my childhood.

I wanted to capture the awe I felt when I was young when I watched the ballet performances because there was something so organic and relaxed about it as you were sitting under the stars, in a historic place and watching an ancient form of artistic performance. It was magical. Thus, I wanted to capture the magical quality of the performance and maybe show a film about maybe me dancing again (or die trying) or a mini documentary about my aunt as she was the one who introduced it to me.


Location: Cinema Room in the ADM library due to the total darkness it can achieve in the room.

My set up involves removing all the chairs inside for the room to be empty. As during Ballet Under the Stars, the audience actually picnic and sit on mats and cushions while enjoying the performance. Thus, I required the room to be empty.

There would be a projector on the floor in between the pillows and the mat which would shine towards the ceiling to play the film (TBD). 

I plan to hang up a black cloth with little holes in it that would be filled with the bulbs of fairylights as a representation of the night sky. The audience has to lie on their backs as though they are star-gazing.


I’ve named this Goodbye as I felt that it was rather apt from what I’ve said in my research . After consulting Robert with the first draft, I removed the ballet music as he said it was rather manipulative which I agreed as it did sound a bit too depressing.

Instead, I did add more different sounds to try and convey this nostalgic yet melancholy mood. The ballet teachers voice, flames cackling and the nature soundscape still remains. The ballet teacher’s voice is reminiscence of my childhood as I’ve concluded that my ballet teachers had a very soothing and calm tone similar to the voice in the video which brought back many memories. Along with the sounds of nature, they represented my time as a child that I wanted the audience to relieve.

I’ve added the sounds of little kids laughing happily as the joy and innocence I experienced during childhood and as the paper mache tutu burns to almost darkness, sounds of crows and owls can be heard to symbolise death and it gets louder and louder until it overshadows the children’s laughter completely. 

The whole video and sounds allude to death of the past with the burning imagery and the sounds of crows and owls which in some cultures represents death. This is a continuation of my first project but this represents a means of everything comes to end. Stop lingering on the past and that part of me is gone forever.

Assignment 2 – Goodbye draft

Since this project was focused on sounds, I wanted to include sounds that I heard when I was still doing ballet as kid. That means the sounds internally in the room when I was dancing and the surroundings trees swaying to the wind and birds chirping outside. They were both very different sounds as previously, Fort Canning Arts Centre was not air-conditioned so there were fans installed and the french doors were open for the wind to enter. I chose these sounds because they were reminiscent of my childhood and it brought a sort of nostalgia when I went back there for my first project. 

I added sounds of the leaves rustling, cicadas, ballet music and a ballet teacher saying the steps and ballet music which I had found online. I wanted to convey the sounds I heard when I was young when I was having ballet lessons so as to bring you back into the past. 

To complement my sounds, I decided to add a film to go along. I was thinking of what to film while doing paper mache for my 3D project. And since I was playing around with crepe paper which itself was fragile and burns easily, I decided to use that as my medium. Moreover, the fragility of the paper reminded me of how the past makes one vulnerable and has a deep impact on our lives. So I made a paper leotard and tutu using crepe paper. I chose a black background to go with it as I felt that the flame would be more contrasting if I used a white background and the soot from the flame would not transfer onto the background. 

As you can see I did experience some difficulties in burning the paper mache as it did not burn up the way I wanted it too. It did not continue burning so I had to make a new one and dipped it in wax.

I wanted the message to contrast whereby even though I am reliving the past, the past is still gone forever. Thus, the burning imagery which I felt apt as it symbolised burning away the past.


Assignment 2 – Goodbye (Research)

I was inspired by my visit to CCA at Gillman Barracks where I was intrigued by Jeremy Sharma’s Vertical Progression. It had a serenity to it from the background noises created from each surrounding yet a certain fragmentation from reality with the constant switching of nature to production/ technology.

I want to create something similar whereby it depicts something from the start to an end but I have to decide what to portray and what sounds to include to evoke a similar feeling I felt.

Gillman Barracks – Exhibit Review

Xue Mu

– Liquid Truth –

Liquid Truth questions the reliance on interpretation of existing knowledge, and so Mu’s work creates a perceptual distance from the original and its associations, deconstructing subjectivity in the process of understanding. The distance from an original evokes an awareness of the fixedly familiar ways in which our lives seem to be organised. A departure from an understanding based on reference to established knowledge thus gives birth to new ways of thinking and perceiving in Mu’s current iteration of Liquid Truth.

-Yeo Workshop

I was intrigued and fascinated by Xue Mu’s sculptures especially with her innovative yet twisted (literally and physically) use of Michelangelo’s David.

By twisting something so familiar and exquisite into an object of confusion and mystery, Mu’s silk curtains is an interesting concept whereby she plays with one’s mind. Hence it  is is twisted. I like it because it forces you to decipher the message and once the message is revealed, there is sort of an catharsis. I had a revelation when the silk curtain was pulled open because it made me realise that not everything is at face value and be patient with the truth.

This piece also caught my eye as even though it was distorted, you could still see the figures clearly and your mind can still knows what it is. I really liked this illusion because it was so simple yet it has a depth to it whereby it does show her thinking process of her crushed pieces of works. Also, a crushed piece of paper is trash to most of us but somehow this is atheistically pleasing.

Overall, I did enjoy and learn a few things along the way at Gillman Barracks but the exhibit/gallery that I really enjoyed was Xue Mu’s because it twisted something we all knew into a new pattern or design which I did not think was possible.


I was a very different person then and now due to ballet. I danced throughout my entire childhood and it was a world of freedom that I could get lost into. 

Chopsticks. No, it should be “Chopsticks! Push your knees in and don’t let them bulge out” or “Chopsticks! Point more! Point! Point! Point!”. I was called chopsticks not in a demeaning way but it was an affectionate way of how my first ballet teacher, Ms Cheah nicknamed me. My other classmates did not have nicknames except for me because being the only skinny kid, my legs reminded her of chopsticks. She even told my aunt who still dances till today about my nickname and I still get called that today. I knew that it was affectionate term as even after I moved up a grade, my aunt would notify me about Ms Cheah’s enquiry about me and how she did it was, “How is chopsticks?”

I decided to revisit Fort Canning Arts Centre where my previous ballet school, Singapore Dance Theatre used to be. It has now shifted to Bugis but the building has still remained. It was all renovated with the cool air from the air-con filling the corridor and there was an empty gelato shop there. It was sort of modern and historic fused into one as the building probably originates back to WW2. I was not allowed entry on the second floor because it was for ‘Staff Only’ but being back there already made me smile and the memories flooded.

I gushed about everything about the place and my ballet lessons to my boyfriend, who accompanied me to the site. It surprised me that I still contain so much excitement for it, everything there was beautiful and as it was. Fort Canning Arts Centre was majestically serene and surrounded by nature. That was one of the reason why I added background nature sound to the film because every single ballet lessons, I could hear birds, cicadas and leaves rustling with the wind. I got used to it and listening to those once again was actually soothing and brought peace within me. 

In the film, I wore pointe shoes and some moves. Pointe shoes were the epitome of ballet as that meant you are a true ballerina along with the tutu. Not everyone can do it because it is physically straining on the feet. Also, a reason why ballerina toes’ are quite messed up. Pain = Beauty. I missed the pain from wearing those shoes because back then I knew I would look poise in it and it was actually fun to rehearse dances. The shoes itself are hard on the base and sides so they give support while you’re on your toes. But the pain now reminded me of regret for quitting and punishing me for losing all that I’ve learnt then.

There was innocence in those pink shoes. In a way, I was a naive child and did not know much about anything but as soon as I left ballet, I had more time for other commitments and I grew up, cussed more, became less graceful and lady-like and so on… It was the transition from being this polite, obedient and innocent child to trying to figure out who am I that has led me to who I am. Which is truth that I symbolised with sunlight – innocence that has faded away from me which could be symbolised by the flickering at the beginning and ending and finally goes out, that is the catharsis that I am never going to be the person who I was the last time. And why sunlight? Because while studying Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter in Junior college, Hester’s child, Pearl is symbolised by the Sun as truth of Hester’s adultery. 

“There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Don’t grow up too fast in a time where “you only live once” is prevalent.

For the remaining projects, I plan to capture the sounds of ballet during my childhood and maybe go back to the beginning of how it all started which is my aunt’s interest in it that influenced me. I would never have become who I am if it was not for her.

Chopsticks – Research

I had a creative block and kept producing ideas but not actually working or starting on any of them. None of them gave me the feeling of “YAS THIS IS SO ME”, it was more like “meh”. I bounced around the idea of photography or filming and if I were to photograph something, should I use a DSLR or my Polaroid film (the beginner’s fuji instax)? I tried the instax during CNY trying to capture rare moments and I did but I lost the damn polaroid. Thankfully, I took a picture of it. 

That got me thinking and I suspect it was partially because of CNY’s atmosphere and chilling with my aunties and uncles that I realised that there were things that I have distanced myself from and forgot about but I actually do miss them.

It was ballet. I started dancing around 5 or 6 years old and both my sisters were doing ballet too. We were enrolled to Singapore Dance Theatre and back then it was still at Fort Canning Park. Being involved in an old art form of ballet and being able to learn it in a historic place was the crème de la crème. Fort Canning itself was beautiful. Surrounded by heritage trees that were there before WW2 and cicadas’ mating calls, it felt as though you were not in Singapore without all the modernity. It’s just magical and relaxing like somehow it was meant to be?  

My childhood largely consisted of ballet. Lessons were twice a week, 2 hours for each lessons. My 60 year old aunt was the one who introduced my sisters and I to it and she still dances. At home, I would dance to the steps that were taught to me or secretly trying on my aunt’s pointe shoes because those symbolised that you were a ballerina.

I remembered there was a shop at the end of the studios selling all kinds of items required for ballet. That scene reminded me of Mr Ollivander’s wand shop from Harry Potter just that this was filled with all sizes and kinds of ballet shoes to pointe shoes and leotards etc. The best feeling was getting a new shoe as it felt like Christmas morning. 

Discipline. Innocence. Grace. Flexibility. Ballet consisted of that and it kind of helped to shape my childhood but once I stopped dancing, those traits left me. I do regret leaving this part of my life behind. Some days I would just unknowingly do some ballet steps and I would be astounded at myself and then the nostalgia would hit me because I realised ballet is innately in me but I somehow suppressed that side. Ballet me and post-ballet me are 2 very different people today. That made me want to film about the lost innocence that I used to have and a memory that I erased from my mind.

Till today, my aunt has always said that I had a figure of a ballerina and it was a waste to stop dancing and looking back, yea, I agree that I could have been a very different person now if I had continued.