Final Project Free Writing | Group 3 | Armorial Porcelain

Plate with the Arms of the Gyllenborg Family

Material(s): Porcelain 

Origin(s): China around 1755

From all the ceramics and porcelain wares found in the Trade Gallery in ACM, these Armorial porcelain plates caught my attention. Although small in size, the Gyllenborg coat of arms were painted with such attentiveness, capturing the intricate designs of the arms and borders. The elaborate border contrasts against the somewhat simple family crest yet the gold from the gilding accentuates and complements the vivid deep blue colour of the crest. Thus, the highly detailed painting emanates an aureate element to the plate.   

The gilt border uses vegetal forms such as flowers and leaves which come in many variations or perhaps different species native to Sweden. This border encircles an enamelled centre which features a family’s coat of arms. The crest features a golden crown resting atop a vivid deep blue oval suggesting nobility. Within the oval lies a miniature turret with a dark, winged creature posing on top of it. The creature has spikes on its back and claws arching outwards. Enveloping the blue oval, a dark greyish border along with some blue on the left are draped around it. Also, smoky greyish clouds are illustrated surrounding the crest’s bottom and left.

The floral inspired design of the gilt border can be seen in the form or shape of the plate whereby the edges of the plate is curved in an inconsistent yet symmetrical manner. The edges bend and curves in a specific pattern to create and ornate, attention to detail aesthetic.

Week 3 Response – Thoughts on Explorer

Apart from Zheng He and the Arab navigator in Malindi, who else is missing from these Eurocentric narratives?

The Spice Route is also known as the Maritime Silk Road which Vasco Da Gama was credited as being the first European to reach India by sea. Another explorer missing from this Eurocentric narratives are Jorge Álvares and Ferdinand Magellan. Both were Portuguese explorers and the first europeans to reach other parts of Asia by sea during the Age of Discovery.

Jorge Álvares was the first European to land in China near the historic city of Guangzhou in 1513. This connection allowed Portugal to establish trade relations with the Chinese when Afonso de Albuquerque, the Viceroy of the Estado da Índia sent his cousin over.

Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean and to reach the Marianas and then the island of Homonhon in the Philippines in 1521. His expedition was the first to reach the Philippine Archipelago where the native tribes were friendly to them. Magellan later baptised Rajah Humabon of Cebu and his queen which symbolises the Christianisation of the Philippines.

 

Week 2 Response – Thoughts on Benin Bronzes

George the Poet’s video about Benin Bronzes praises the greatness of the Benin empire that depicted a sophisticated, modern society during their times with organisation marvelling the Europeans. Unlike most societies, the Benin society was welcoming to foreigners and their trade. However, he also mentions how the Europeans took advantage of Benin’s generosity nature to use their people as slaves. This angered me as not only is it dehumanising but these Empires are where they are today because of them. Furthermore, the Benin bronzes plays a vital role in Nigeria’s culture and history yet the bronzes are not returned to them but could be loaned to them by the British Museum, which houses the largest collection of Benin bronzes. This, I find really insulting as it is stolen art and the Nigerians are not able to keep it or proudly show their heritage because they do not have many. In addition, it is exploitative as tourists from all around flock to the British Museum and are charged per entry, so in a way to me, it is a reminder of their colonisation whereby Britain is still profiting from Nigeria.

The argument is that Nigeria might not have the proper technology to maintain the bronzes, however, how would they ever develop the proper technology if museums refuse to return/lend them their bronzes? Also the tourism industry might be boosted if the bronzes are returned which can create revenue for the country to develop better technology for their own museums. 700 bronzes and 580 bronzes are housed in the British Museum and Ethnological Museum of Berlin respectively and in my opinion, returning at least half of their bronzes to Nigeria can’t harm their museum’s tourist intake and it gives time for Nigeria to develop the proper facilities to manage their own bronzes in the future. 

Final Zine: East to West

Jurong. It is just so far. The extreme west end of Singapore and the place everyone calls “Pulau NTU” because that is just how far we are away from everyone. But it is also where my uni life began.

In my opinion, this was a rather challenging project just to come out and develop a concept that I thought would capture the essence of Jurong, show my exploration and at the same time not be a commercialised zine.

I struggled quite a bit because I was not alway certain with what I wanted to do with my concepts. I kept changing and switching back and forth with the concepts because I was not very satisfied with one. However, I really did enjoy looking at artist Kate Rabbit’s work especially her collage series which incorporated everything I wanted for my zine. 

It had the flora aspect which I could incorporate from my research in Jurong, the illustrations which I could include my architecture concept (Mimi’s advice after I showed her my inspirations as she said I needed something that is representative of Jurong) and the photography which was my personal aspect.  


FINAL

Cover page

My first attempt at the cover page is seen as the featured image for this page at the top.  I quite liked it but I felt that the words was not as visible as my second attempt which is the one that I used in the end and is pictured here. I arranged the flowers in the shape of the whole Jurong as I felt it best captured the essence of my zine along with the title (I mainly featured the opposite ends of Jurong for this zine).

Introduction

This acted as a brief summary of my zine and what to look forward to. I added the scotch tape to create a scrapbook vibe, including the black highlighted “journey” part. The black highlighted part reminded me of childhood whereby my mum to have this small handheld manual name printer. It was not like the digital kind from Brothers where you can simply key in the the words you wanted to print. The one from my childhood had the alphabets and symbols in a circle and you had to rotate it till you reached the alphabet you want before pressing down the handle to emboss it. Then the whole steps repeats for the next letter and so on. It also had a typewriter font on it thus I chose a similar font for it too.

Page 3

This served as my “trail” as the places that I will talk about in chronological order. I started with the East which is the Ng Teng Fong Hospital and Chevrons then proceeded to the West which is ADM and Safti. I illustrated all the structures using the pen tool on Adobe Illustrator.

Page 4

1st entry and the flowers do have symbolism to it which I specifically chose. The Frangipanis represents death which I thought was apt for my finger as I couldn’t use it for months and till now it does not bend properly. The rest of my pages follows the same structure which is the word entry, location then flora and personal pictures. I tried adding more illustrations similar to Kate Rabbit’s style but it would look quite cluttered.

Page 5

Again, the flowers has symbolism. The orchids represents love and happiness while the hibiscus mean joy, seeing beauty and finding a reason to celebrate the simplest of joys. The reason why I did not include the flower symbolism is because it was more of a personal thing and I felt that it was not necessary for the zine. Also, the flowers here are vibrant and colourful to allude to my emotions of happiness and nervousness during the event. For the personal picture here, it was trimmed in a very messily way as based on Kate Rabbit’s work not all of her pictures were trimmed properly. It also adds to a more scrapbook vibe.

Page 6 

This personal picture was roughly cut out too for the same reason as I explained above and it created a more casual and playful mood which added to this theme of the page. Here I did explain the flower symbolism because it had a connection to my friends’ personalities.

Page 7

Similarly, I did explained the symbolism of the flowers as I wanted to clear any misunderstandings for Chrysanthemums. In some cultures, Chrysanthemums are used during funerals to represent death and purity but they also symbolise happiness as explained.

Page 8

This page was covered in grass to connect to the cover page.

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.

“Que sera, sera—what will be, will be”

EMMA TAN WEI PIN

陈炜彬 (Chen Wei Bin)

The above are my names in English and Chinese respectively that my parents have chosen for me. My mum chose my English name, Emma while my dad chose my Chinese name, Wei Pin or 炜彬. Both my names were chosen for 2 very different reasons that I love to joke about with my friends. 

Emma is derived from the Germanic word ermen meaning whole or universal. Other than it being a pleasant name, my mum apparently named me Emma because she want my two older sisters’ names (Sara and Tina) and mine to only have 2 syllabus and 4 letters each. 

炜彬 had more thought and decision when naming me. My dad told us that he consulted a monk about my sisters and my Chinese names based on fengshui and our future. Also, the 火 part of the 炜 (wei) actually has associations to the Chinese element of fire which was based on my zodiac and birth date. 炜 on its own means brilliant or glowing whereas 彬 (pin) means ornamental, refined or cultivated. I actually just found out about this for this assignment…

My Chinese name has quite a unique story to it and it is a rather pretty name. EXCEPT, the han yu pin yin (what is used to spell Chinese names and words with the Latin alphabet) and in my case, Wei Pin, is actually used for many male names. Which I only discovered in JC when my Chinese teacher and guy friends were pointing it out.

I’m thinking of using my name as the basis for my jobs and I am still figuring out the mediums to use for this project.

Gift Assignment Research

After the first class and with the information I have, I started researching on works that could inspire me.

MATTHEW SIMMONDS

fc539be484b1bbd9ce3dcb1a8fc25c0a

When we hear of marble sculptures, we tend to think of the human forms belonging to timeless examples from Greece, Italy and elsewhere. A form is not necessarily a solid, as sculptor Matthew Simmonds points out through his work, which consists of sculptures not of full and defined human bodies, but of empty architectural interiors.

– Yatzner

Simmonds has worked on restoration of monuments such as Westminister Abbey or Salisbury cathedrals which has inspired him for his works of sacred and ancient buildings.

Every work of architecture is a victory over Nature and a celebration of Man’s skill and ingenuity. In the sculpture of Matthew Simmonds however, this principle is reversed: Nature overpowers architecture, as if it encases or envelops it: the pristine and elaborate interiors seen in Simmonds’ work are like fossils of buildings, trapped inside the rock into which they have been carved, thus diminishing their otherwise grand and humbling character.

2d42ca79dd23185ecb4794b791c464d9

I relate to his sculptures as they were not only interesting but they were out-of-the-box ideas which is similar to Justinne’s personality. Furthermore, Simmonds’ inspiration of ancient architecture and his ability to combine both nature and man-made to create a sort of freeform sculpture alludes to Justinne’s desire to travel, her carefree attitude and love for nature.

BEN YOUNG

ben-young-translucent-ocean-sculpture-17

Lighting plays a large part in the presentation of my pieces. When lit from beneath, the light reflects and gives off the illusion of the piece being brought to life. I hope viewers might imagine the work as something ‘living’ that creates the illusion of space, movement, depth and sense of spatial being. I like to play with the irony between the glass being a solid material and how I can form such natural and organic shapes.

ben-young-translucent-ocean-sculpture-19

I am fascinated with Young’s ability to combine his materials into organic shapes similar to that of Simmonds and the juxtaposition of the materials used to create the illusion of depth and solidity to his works. Furthermore, there is a sort of innocent narrative and serenity to the sculpture which could possibly be the illumination of his work using glass.

ben-young-translucent-ocean-sculpture-8

Alexandre Chapelin

2n-57af7447cd505__880

These are Lagoon Tables created by Chapelin which was inspired by his immediate surroundings on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin where his studio is based. The resin adheres to a travertine slab (a form of limestone) to mimic water alluding to the sea surrounding the island.

I refuse on making a manufactured product simply because each model is unique and I cannot produce two identical tables, so neither will 2 people own the same table of my creation.

I’ve always respected the difference between people, their personalities and characters and I believe this should reflect in the interior design of their homes.

– Alexandre Chapelin

This resounded with me as my client Justinne is unique on her own and the allusion of water reminded me of her as she loves the sea. Also, the nature-inspired table has a calmness to it and it’s own character which suits Justinne.

My artist inspirations are rather organic and nature based as not only does Justinne enjoy the nature but I do too and all these artist’s ability to fuse their works with organic and man-made materials creates an interesting take on their works. Moreover, they all have a narrative to tell which I intend to portray in my design too. 

Project 1B: Sequential Imaging

HYPNOS

It followed the same storyline as my previous 1B project

[https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/emma0005/project-1b/]

The storyline did not change much because how does one evil family take on a 180 degree change in personality?

hypnos-1

This was the first scene which I wanted to capture the seductiveness of Nyx in a club thus the laser lights surrounding her. She seduces to feed on her prey which are humans who have succumbed to vices.

Hypnos 2

The second scene portrays her in the Hypnos, her club/lair thus still featuring the laser lights in the background. I wanted to portray her as a VIP like those VIP tables in Zouk (LOL) so I added the throne behind and skeletons at her feet because humans are her food. Also, people raving are added into the foreground who are seemingly unaware of the situation.

Hypnos 3

Now the whole family unites together to bring darkness to the whole word because well everyone is always hungry for more everything like power and control. I like the RBF (resting bitch face) this model gave so I took it along with the D&G 2013 fall campaign I think? Because they reminded me of her minions and also YAS to girl power! I took most inspiration from D&G because of this particular regal collection and the stunning designs. Also, there is some colour symbolism with the red, gold and black theme. 

Hypnos 4

This evil family is going to take away the most purest place of all which is Mount Olympus and so the army marches into the sky, bringing their darkness along with them.

Hypnos 5

No happy ending this time. The Queen and Mother of Darkness reigns with Olympus in ruins.