“What did you have for lunch, today?” my girlfriend asks
“Nasi Lemak, but I didn’t really like everything they gave,” I replied
And boom, that’s how this inspiration came about.
If there’s anything that fills me with a complex flurry of emotion (slightly less than school) is food. There’s stories and memories attached to food, there is things associated to food and there’s some taste of food gives me complex emotions.
So presenting “My Nasi Lemak of Feels”.
the fact of having committed a specified or implied offence or crime.
Hand-pressed black paper onto painted rice and bowl. Scratched with fork dipped in white acrylic paint.
Rice reminds me of home, and when I think of rice I strangely feel an overwhelming amount of sadness. I decided to relate this with a childhood memory where I dropped a glass bowl of rice and it just shattered. Mother was of course, unhappy about this and till today – I still feel a little guilty when I see food on the floor.
I started by lining a piece of paper with rice, then painted over it. This resulted in a sort of ‘stamp’ as a base and I lined a black paper over it. I chose a faded-ish hand pressed look that using a machine to press it, then decided to tell the story with using curved lines to imply the bowls and scratches to symbolic of the utencils.
Overall, it tells a simple story of guilt when you drop a plate of food (which is honestly, quite sad on it’s own), but the faded print of the rice is to show a sense of nostalgia to the past, and also, the fact that I miss home very much.
But honestly, I’m still pretty clumsy and I still drop many things.
the state of feeling annoyed, impatient, or slightly angry.
Newsprint wrapped around cut/slice/carved cucumber
I do not like vegetables – and what annoys me more than a piece of cucumber ruining a perfectly good plate of nasi lemak, IS PEOPLE POINTING OUT I DID NOT EAT MY VEGETABLES (and proceed to tell me the healthy benefits of it).
Most definitely not a torture scene.
Inspired by lino cutting done in class, I decided a budget person like me could use a 55-cents cucumber as my lino mat and a dollar-fifty screwdriver as my carving tools. It started out with little flower-like images but I realized this cucumber isn’t going to look grungy on it’s own. So i vented my anger by stabbing and slicing lines on the cucumber with a screwdriver. I then wrapped the newsprint around the cucumber to create the prints.
I realized however, that it gave a consistently dark look throughout the strip, so I decided to give slight variation to the strip to emphasize the dark by stamping, rolling and tossing the cucumber around.
It was oddly theraputic, yet strangely kinky.
This resulted in occasional gaps in the strip in shapes of flowers. This was a symbol of well intentioned words turning out to be very annoying to me. The grungy texture of the paper evokes a sense of frustration.
And stabbing a cucumber was strangely a way to release stress whilst I was working through the night.
to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face
Collage of painted paper with silver paper onto transparency sheet
Being a malay mix, I didn’t inherit all the perks of being a malay – one such perk I did not inherit, is good tolerance of spicy food.
“But Fendi, Japanese people eat wasabi all the time too!” You retort. Well, yes, I can take wasabi, but wasabi is not exactly spicy. The biggest bummer of that is not enjoying a good plate of nasi lemak because they put sambal in contact with my rice, egg, or just mixed it together with ikan bilis. When they do, I attempt to challenge the spicy levels, and when I do — oops. Too late.
I decided to convey this emotion through collage in a shape of a wave, to symbolize the flurry of spiciness and negative thoughts crashing on me when I take spicy food. I used rejected paper from the previous strip to convey this emotion as there is a sort of grungy good mix or dark against lights to covey the wave of negative thoughts.
At first, it didn’t turn out full of depth, as I decided to use different textures of paper and it turned out quite well, kind of like a ransom note look. But wait, where’s the sense of dread? I thought, and I decided to place a piece of reflective strip to symbolize me, dwarfed against a giant wave of spice and negativity incoming. I then decided to transfer this collage onto a sheet of transparency as it showed the shape of the waves better, and when put against a background, the shape really becomes distinct.
being, relating to, or invoking pleasant and usually sentimental emotions
Chinese ink on fabric
Eggs make me happy – there’s so many ways to cook them – fried, sunny side up, scrambled, hard boiled. Yum. I have been eating a lot of eggs since I was a kid till my mum imposed a limit of one egg a day or I’d suffer high cholesterol. Somehow eating eggs reminds me of my childhood.
I conveyed this through cloth as i felt dirtying a piece of cloth reminds me of the days when I was a child and dirties my shirts with painting. I arranged the flurry of shapes in random order, with emphasis on circles and curved lines to as a way to show freedom. Each shape holds a childhood memory I feel fuzzy for – circles being home-cooked eggs, crosses being stargazing, upwards arrows being home and fireworks being the smell of flowers.
However, the most prominent thing that I felt displayed fuzziness was the material of the base and the way it interacted with the ink – when it took the ink the little ‘hairs’ on the cloth seem to evoke a strong sense of fuzziness to it – showing it literally.
a feeling of disturbed surprise resulting from a sudden upsetting event.
Pressed acrylic-painted plastic bags and chinese ink for lines onto cartridge
When I first saw ikan bilis, I had no idea what it was. It was just this bunch of dried tiny fishes that scattered on my plate. My dad told me to try it and described it as “saltier potato chips”. I was quite surprised that it was actually not that bad. I decided to convey this emotion through this line
This is a mix of using plastic bag to make white and black marks together with a flat brush to draw the lines. I felt that in order for there to be a shock, there needs to be order, and once that order is disrupted – there is shock. I conveyed this through a series of lines as it looks like ikan bilis, and it’s the simplest way to convey the idea of order, like a squad in formation. The explosion is a mix of black and white paint and subtly decorated with black lines in a cacophony. This is the changed expectation, and surprise – like a flurry of new information coming in when what you thought is shattered.
strongly wish for or want (something)
Chicken Skin in Chinese Ink and finger painting with ink pad.
I love Fried Chicken, and it’s one of the biggest thing I look forward to when eating Nasi Lemak. If there’s one thing I could eat for a very long time it will be fried chicken. I decided to convey this semi-obsession for it through sticking chicken skin onto the paper then doing finger prints on it to show the idea of wanting to get my hands on what I desire.
When I pitched the idea of crave or wanting or passion, my friends pointed out the fingers looked like matchsticks and it conveyed the idea of ‘igniting’ something. So I combined the idea to show the idea of passion ignited as well. Passion for food.
Originally, the plan was to use chicken skin as the base, however – I learnt that raw chicken smelt bad after 2 hours, and in order to save the class that idea was scrapped. But I was genuinely impressed with the way skin interact with skin.
Overall, I wanted to show the flurry of emotions that a simple dish could overwhelm me with, I show this by firstly, exploring different bases – such as felt, cartridge, transparency, newsprint, black paper, and initially even skin.
When arranging the order of the pieces, I paid attention to show the range of emotions that each dish offered by considering how the colors juxtaposed yet emphasized each other – for example in board 1 there is a variation in texture, dominant color, composition, and form (some being very curated and some being very expressive). I wanted to show that each dish and each line is different.
I’ve learnt from this assignment to think abstractly, to look at emotions and objects as it’s basic shapes, lines, texture, form and composition. Being challenged to look at emotions monochromatically and to think outside the box was exciting. I learnt about different artist’s styles and how they deconstructed everyday images to it’s fundamental shapes and lines allowed me to think abstractly in my work.
I’ve also learnt to think about different mediums – apart from a pencil, pen, ink, paper. I’ve learnt to look at newsprint, cartridge, cloth, tape, chinese ink. I was exposed a range of different types of medium and paper I never knew about and how each and every one reacted differently to each other. I learnt to push the boundaries and venture into mixed mediums to create different layers to the image.
I also learnt apart from making marks on the paper to also embrace space – positive space and negative space. Space allows texture, shape and form to shine. There is a stark difference between plastering the entire paper in a print and just placing it in the middle – each conveys a different message, mood and idea.
After recieving feedback from my classmates, I think I can improve in one line in particular – fuzziness. Working with felt was a new experience for me and I think it showed as there was a few doubts about what more I could have used felt for. It was fun experimenting with a new medium, however I think I could have utilized the texture more effeciently, perhaps looking into sewing or cutting felt to create shape would be interesting, too.
Overall, this was an interesting experience that exposed me to different mediums and ways of thinking about a concept down to it’s fundamentals.
Bonus points to those who noticed my mark making shirt