风中飘逸 (Waywardness of the Wind), 2016 Feb, HD 720p, 5mins, digital video.
What I wanted to achieve was to sort out the different feelings I get about Ann Siang Hill and how it all coalesces to a singular feeeeel which is the quietness that I really like about this place. In all spirit of waywardness I allowed my pen to dance me along. Ann Siang Hill has a great history, culture and change that is all happening and coexisting in just the right amounts for now. That’s why I like this place as compared to touristy Chinatown opposite the road. But I am slightly worried that a few years later, this place might be over-run by tourism too. So I just hoped that through urbansketching, film and even a little bit of poetry, I can delve into a feeling that the thoughts that flutter in the wind. And express my hope that such urban leisure spots in Singapore can remain as they are and continue to develop naturally without the external input of redevelopment policies.
For the video process, I filmed most of it myself, so i did require some problem solving. The shots of me going up the stairs were actually filmed by strapping my camera amongst the trees on the lane below. That’s why there is a gentle swaying about.
As for the voice over, I had to write a script and record it in a relatively quiet room. It was better for me to express myself in Chinese.
I had to match and sync all that in with the music. So I managed to roughly split the video into 3-acts:
- My discovery of Ann Siang and the stark contrast to the surrounding Chinatown.
- My urbansketching journey and the discoveries of the place.
- My afterthoughts and reflections on future developments of the place.
I know that this is not a drawing or a 2D project, but I really got caught up in the moment. I could not stop drawing at the place so I ended up going there thrice in the past week to get the footage because I will spend the time sketching and not noticing the time. Then I’ll realize that I need to go back the next day to ACTUALLY DO FILMING. Would have gladly spent the whole recess week over there.
Here is the sketch that I did:
2016 Feb, 150 × 841mm, pen on paper
And here is the bit of poetry I wrote. It is actually the 天净沙(tien jing sha) verse arrangement from the Yuan Dynasty poet 马致远 (ma zhi yuan).
绿荫 旋梯 鸟花
书香 咖啡 溜达
音乐 彩灯 酒吧
I like how he used the poetic form of the 散曲(san qu) to evoke a sense of wandering, and so I attempt to emulate that.
Also just considering that if this work were to be actualized for an exhibition, I would definitely like to have my drawings framed up outside the viewing room for the video footage. This project has been really refreshing and as an urbansketcher, I see potential in using film as a medium to carry my sketches in it. This might be a future consideration for my next urbansketching excursions.