Process for installation



We chose a very relatable theme to us and it was interesting working with my group because we all had similar train of thought. I learnt a lot about telling a story beyond the traditional screen, even though I did more of the video side. I saw the importance about environmental storytelling and ambience, using the space to create an immersive experience. I also realised how there are so many possibilities in the expanded cinema and boundaries to push within this exciting medium. As we approached this project, we thought of symbolism and subtleties to push in both the video that we created and the room setup. Overall we also thought it was more interesting to have an experiential theatre so we included live performance as well. We were glad with the outcome but if we could fix one thing it would be the room, it was quite limited in terms of creating a total black box environment which was what we needed.

Video editing

Darren and I were in charge of the video, we planned the shots together and I did the camerawork. We edited the footage as a team, were overall very satisfied with the execution of the project and the progression of the storyboard.

Initially, our plan for the video was to simply show change in pace of life which ends abruptly to suggest death. We focused on how it changed from a peaceful, slow pace in childhood, to havoc and fast pace in daily life. It was more of a brief overview of an anonymous someone’s life and his/her increasingly crazier pace of life. However, we had no characterisation in the narrative and it was merely a complication of footage that resembled either slow/fast pace of life. It felt flat and thus we decided to go for a more sentimental approach. We decided a main theme which was the lack of quality time with what truly mattered due to fast pace of life, an experience almost all of us can relate to. We created a character that the audience can put their shoes into and feel strongly towards especially towards the sad ending, spurring reflection about their own life.

Filming Behind-the-scenes shots – LINK

Excerpt of planning of the final shots 

Microsoft Word - 4D FINAL.docx


In this semester, I was very glad with what I learnt in 4D! The skills in assignment 2 regarding sound mixing came in extremely useful for this assignment and also for other work when film narrative was involved. I would definitely apply more of what I gained from this semester.selfie-225x300

Artist Statement – LINK


  • Programme Purpose/Objective

The main purpose of this installation is to allow participants the chance to take a step back to evaluate their lives so far. The installation aims to evoke recognition of the fast-paced lifestyle Singaporeans have in general. It also allows participants to reflect on the qualities of their life experiences and authentic connection they have with the things that truly matter in life. It also questions them on the meaning of their lives so far – if they were to die in this instant, what sort of legacy would they have left behind, and would it be something they could be satisfied with?


  • Programme Rationale

Singapore is a fast-paced society and there is rarely any time for people to slow down and truly appreciate life. We thus felt it was necessary to remind participants to take a breather and rethink the value of their lives.


  • Programme Details 

The installation comprises 2 rooms, both of which are expected to work independently as well as together. The first room is a narrative recreation of Singapore’s fast paced life, and will end in the ‘death’ of the participant. This is followed by the second room which allows for the participant to do a self reflection of his/her death.

Artistic Direction
Life experiences differ from person to person, and we wanted to be as inclusive as possible to whoever that would be viewing it. The installation thus has a mixture of both literal and abstract elements. This allowed us to create a more poetic narrative that was more flexible, allowing participants to slip into the character portrayed.

We will be making use of sound, videos, voice overs and props to create the desired atmosphere. To ensure that participants are able to understand the installation, we decided to make only the voice over explicit while the rest of the mediums will be kept abstract.

Room 1

As mentioned earlier, the first room is a narrative re-enactment of Singapore’s fast-paced lifestyle. The room is set up with 3 projected screens adjacent to one another.

In this room we use the metaphorical representation of water as life and merge it together with scenes of the protagonist’s life. The protagonist is never explicitly shown, allowing participants to insert themselves into the narrative and relate the events with their own lives.

The three screens are played in sequence and document the growth of the character from a toddler to a teenager to a young adult respectively. Interlaced with the scenes of the character’s growth are scenes of coloured water droplets being dropped into a tank full of water. The water represents life, and the different coloured droplets represent the memories, experience and feelings associated with each growth stage.

The first screen narrates the toddler stage. The tank of water starts of transparent to represent the character’s innocence and purity. Her first memories, which are represented by yellow droplets are seen penetrating the surface of the water before spreading outwards. The screen then shows clips of a young kid playing with toys and having fun in the playground. The screen then fades back to the now yellow water in the tank.

The second screen starts playing as the first screen continues showing the yellow colours fusing with the water. Red droplets are added into the yellowed water, and is then overlapped with scenes of the character’s slow submission to teenage pressure and rebellion. She is stressed from studying and is too absorbed by commitments which result in negligence of her family. The screen fades back to the water, which is not a mixture of yellow and red. The water is now turning darker and murkier, symbolising the chaos and impurity in her life.

The final screen starts playing as the second screen continues showing the yellow and red tainting the water. This is overlapped with scenes of the character descending into a downward spiral in her life. She starts smoking, and is increasingly distant with her family. She is then seen fainting as the fast pace of her life has finally caught up with her and her health. She dies, and only realises the important things in her life during her last moments, when it’s already too late for her to change anything.

The screen turns black. Black is an irreversible colour, which means that the addition of other colours will not change it. Her life is over, and there is no turning back.

Room 2

While Room 1 focuses heavily on using videos, Room 2 shifts towards the usage of props and performance to create a reflective mood for the participants.  In this room, a mock ritual for the dead has been set up.

The room is darkened as much as possible, and a table is setup at the end of the room. On the table lays different objects that are related to death. They include red string, candles and flowers commonly used for offering. In the center of the table lies a dirtied glass bowl. This is a connecting element for the 1st and 2nd room, and is representative of an empty life vessel. Life, symbolized by water, has been drained out, and only the ugly stains of the black contaminated life has been left behind.  Behind the table stand a mirror that reflects the face of those who enter the room, and is meant to prompt participants to look at themselves and self-reflect.

As participants enter the room, a short performance is also put up. A male and female stands on either side of the table. They have a short dialogue about the character in the previous room.



She didn’t have to die this way.



But at least she was doing what she loved



But what does that amount to?



Have YOU lived a fulfilling life?



Or are you just chasing after happiness that is only temporary?


After this short dialogue, an usher will come in to encourage participants to have a silent self-reflection for a duration of 1 minute. The narrative her is kept short as the main highlight here is the participants’ own involvement in the room.


  • Target Audience

Students of the School of Art, Design and Media and NTU aged 19-30.

Research Paper

For this project, we aimed to tackle and address the issue of leading a fulfilling lifestyle in a modern context. We observed that many youths face the similar issue of being overwhelmed by school work and other commitments, and often had little quality time with things in life that truly mattered. (BBC, 2007)

In our research, we came across one particular trend that had a huge impact on our artistic direction.

Due to high societal pressure and escalating suicide rates, the ‘Near Death’ movement has become increasingly popular in South Korea. This movement aims to address this issue by giving participants the chance to detach themselves from their fast paced lifestyle to reflect on their lives. As such, multiple ‘Fake Funeral’ services have been conducted across the country.. In this particular one, they are lectured by a philosophical guru and invited to write out their own eulogy. After that, they will be placed in a coffin for 30 mins to experience death. The act of being enclosed creates a deafening space of endless darkness, and the atmosphere allows the participant to evaluate their lives from a objective and detached point of view.  A lack of self reflection usually leads to people feeling lost and depressed, and this death meditation in the enclosed space forces them to look within themselves for answers that they have been seeking, but thought they didn’t have.

Another work we came across was Christian Boltanski’s The Heart Archive. Occupying a space in a museum on the uninhabited island of Teshima in Japan, this artwork collects heartbeat sounds from all around the world. Participants are invited into a room where they listen to the sounds of their own heartbeats through a headset. After that, their heartbeats recordings are saved and used in subsequent set ups of the art piece. The heartbeats are immortalized, and remain as fragile remains of their existence on earth.The work makes one contemplate on bereavement and what we remember during our existence on earth. As you take part in the installation, it evokes a sense of uncanniness which acts as a mirror of what lies ahead and our nonexistence in it.  The artwork questions the impact left behind by each individual whose heartbeat sounds have been recorded, and we believe the fragile and faint nature of the recordings makes one ponder on the meaning of their lives, and how many people they have impacted. It also relied heavily on symbolism and non-literal ways of portraying the theme, which we found interesting.

We believe these two artworks were greatly valuable and conveyed an important message. We thus decided to reference these two particular artworks/movements in terms of artistic style and content.


Life in the fast lane ‘speeds up’. BBC. BBC News, 2 May 2007. Web. 4 May 2007.

“Fake Funerals in South Korea.” Vice. Vice Japan, n.d. Web. 21 Apr 2016.

Demetriou, Danielle. “Boltanski’s hearts don’t skip a beat.” The Japan Times. The Japan Times, 6 Aug 2010. Web. 4 July 2013.

Waters, Florence. “Christian Boltanski: The Heart Archive, Serpentine Gallery, review.” Telegraph. Telegraph, 12 Jul 2010. Web. 6 Aug 2010.


Sheng-si is an exhibition that aims to comment about life and death through the usage of an installation consisting of video, objects and scent. Mixing the abstract representation of life together with the literal portrayal of it, the piece highlights the fast pace and ultimately questions the significance of living. Referencing the “Fake Funerals” experiments in South Korea, it aims for people to soul-search and reflect on the value of life.

Sound 1 – Thriller


Narrative: Man runs away from a mysterious enemy during a rainy night. He manages to hide in an underground sewers. As things are seemingly calmer, he then removes a wound from his flesh painfully and tries to make contact via his communication device but it fails. Suddenly, something menacing approaches from a distance. He loads his gun and awaits in fear…


Sound 2 – Fantasy


Narrative: Breaking down a cave wall with magic, a group walks inside, treading carefully. The sound of creatures lurking in the dark echoes the area. Soon, they get ambushed and fight the vicious beasts with weapons and magic.

Music used: Jesper Kyd – Approaching Target

Audiomachine – Earthshaker Drums

Acherontic Dawn – Tales of Dust

Breakdown and Process – Technique

Layering: Overlaying of different sounds to created layer effect

  • Sound 1: Combination of doom suspense music, impending footsteps and ambience
  • Sound 2: Fight scenes have many things going on in one time, thus layering was very important to ensure that audience can imagine the scenes vividly (e.g. a scene of a beast running – sound of growl to a roar, heavy running on rocks, warrior preparing his sword, swing of the sword and hit on the beast)
Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.14.58 pm

Sound 2 working file, focusing on the action sequence

Panning: To suggest positioning of character/object and movement

  • Sound 1: Footsteps coming in from the left then towards the center – suggestion that protagonist comes from the left of the screen + Crackling of leaves from the right
  • Sound 2: Magic sound travels from left to right proceeded by rock breaking sound on the right

Music: Cueing sounds with the music was imperative to create the intended feeling, e.g. when the music rises in tension, the scene is expected to take for a more intense turn and thus the sound effects have to suggest that as well

  • Sound 1: At the last segment of the piece, increasing suspense suggested by the music accompanied with the scary ambience sound, sound effects of scared breathing
  • Sound 2: Uses music a lot to indicate/prompt the next scene and add on to dramatic effect, e.g. violin strings increasing in pitch suggests tension – thus sound of beast growl becomes more ominous/loud, to lead up to an ambush scene

Volume – Background and Foreground: I suggested depth in the sound in terms of softer background noises and louder sounds to show the distance.

  • Sound 1: Rain sounds in the background as ambience (background), sudden loud footsteps and cracking of leaves to show the depth that protagonist is at very close proximity to the screen (foreground)
  • Sound 2: Creature sounds toggled in different volumes (softer to imply further distance) and effects (echo to imply creatures are further away in the cave, their voices reverberating), this is to suggest depth in the piece and positioning of the creatures (some lurking in the background and some charging forward).

Volume – Emphasis: To emphasise certain scenes, I would increase the volume either abruptly (via Touch) or gradually (via Latch) for build up.

  • Sound 1: The sound of the drones coming towards the protagonist was initially soft (heard from a distance) and gradually increases in volume to show how its approaching nearer and nearer
  • Sound 2: The magic casting sound and ending metal clang sound was emphasised with Touch, sudden increase in volume to depict forceful impact

Sound mastering: Overall, toggling the volume of the different sounds was important to create a balanced master mix. Even if some sounds were meant to be louder, I made sure that no particular sound was jarringly loud and all sounds would flow for a cinematic and professional feel.

Experimentation of Sound recording 

I experimented with various sounds through Audacity. I recorded some of creature sounds and loud thuds. Here’s a video of the process of editing of sounds to get intended effect.

Research – References

Sound 1

I mainly looked like survival horror elements from games and films (e.g. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner) whereby the character is helpless, fearful for something unknown that is to come. The element of suspense would be stronger through the music and sound effects (e.g. ominous sound from a distance) to imply fear.

Prologue scene of a game, ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’, where protagonist wakes up in a hospital that soon turns into a bloody massacre. Sound design is done very well to show immense feeling of helplessness and weakness, along with fear for life.

Suspenseful scene in ‘War of the Worlds’, a Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie where the characters are hiding away from a terrific robot in the basement. Sound design like heavy breathing, light steps and doom suspense music are all used to make the viewers fear for the characters.

Sound 2

Fantasy epic films often make use of music to emphasise certain scenes. Lord of the Rings is the example I will highlight.

A scene whereby the characters walk into a cave and discover enemies hiding in the cave (orcs and cave troll), then proceeds to fight them. It can be seen how the music score is timed very nicely with the sound effects for dramatisation.

Another reference I used was fantasy game trailers, in which this is ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’, because of the great sound design and particularly even with the lack of dialogue. With no speech, the emphasis was purely on the sound effects and music to tell a story.

Me as Walter Mitty

A scene of a girl walking home, through a park.


Walter Mitty in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – An ordinary, forgettable man who often fails in the things he tries to do and gets yelled at. In the light of all his failings, he creates an imaginative “secret life” for himself as a respected and powerful man, unlike himself in reality. He often gets lost in his own thoughts and has vivid fantasies about himself as someone who he is not.

Affinity to self: I can definitely relate to the part that he likes to imagine fantastical situations in his daily life, how he might be physically present but mentally not. I do find myself daydreaming as well from time to time due to my short attention span e.g. in lecture.

He is an exemplary illustration as to how the human mind is highly imaginative and able to make of most out of mundane situations. In a more deep sense, fantasy vs reality: sometimes the thoughts we conjure are often compensating for things we lack/we wished we had.

Affinity to self: Sometimes watching action movies with strong female heroes make me awe and imagine myself as them. However in truth I know I am not fearsome, strong-headed enough to have such a cool, assertive presence as these leads.

He also represents secret ambition and desire to be someone greater, something inherent in all of us. I believe everyone has this quality of Walter Mitty of aspiring and fantasising to be someone greater. For example, when people first pick up a skill, the humble beginnings before one actually become good at something – you admire others and wish you can be like them. We all want acceptance and when rejected we always feel the desire to fit in e.g. he always dreams that he is an admired person of power when in truth he is always passive and yelled at.

Affinity to self: In a deeper sense, I also had a phase of envisioning myself as someone bigger and even still do now e.g. when I first started dancing I admired proficient people and I constantly imagined myself to be better at dance and even a star, which is a fantasy (e.g. featured in Step Up).

Lastly, his lack of action show how one can always dream, but it is important to do the action instead of just fantasising it or one will never go anywhere.

Affinity to self: At times I do feel myself letting opportunities go due to hesitation.


Powerful, assertive man: His imaginary self / Passive, good-for-nothing man: Reality that he wants to reject

Other shortlisted character in film/literature:


Daenarys Targaryen In Game of Thrones – A compassionate yet fierce and powerful ruler that strongly fights for what she believes in and for the nation’s interests. One filled with ambition, she becomes very successful and dominates surrounding region with her rule.

However, she is also young and reckless. Naïve to the world and brash, she sometimes makes shortsighted decisions too quickly. Her actions impact others adversely at times, though not to her intention. She has a problem of listening to authority as well due to pride and believing her ways are better, which in turn result in negative consequences.


Affinity to self

I can relate to her in the aspect of liking to do things that make others happy, however at times I do not consider all the angles thus also making short-sighted decisions that implicate others. I am also strong-headed and at times fail to heed advice from authority. With quiet ambition, I like the aim for the highest in the things I am passionate about. If needed, I like to believe I am able to stand for what I believe in too.

Picturing myself in her shoes, I would imagine myself making the same mistakes she does due to naivety in morality and a brash attitude.


Righteous and compassionate: fights for people’s rights e.g. freeing slavery and being very kind to the oppressed / Ruthless and not giving a second chance: Little regard for people like slave masters by killing them all, unknowingly killed a master who was fighting for her cause, thus not giving people chance of repentance

Other characters:

  • Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games – a strong, emotionally mature, independent female character that demonstrates her strength not in the forefront but behind the scenes. Very compassionate and constantly gives emotionally support.
  • Merida in Brave – courageous, adventurous, not a conformist and strong mind of her own
  • Remy in Ratatouille – character that have big visions and never give up no matter how hard things get, reminds me of my tough journey in A level Art and JC dance concert


People I know:

1. My sister – On the outside she seems worlds apart from me, very different personality. She presents herself as a quiet, shy and demure individual. I seem more extroverted, loud and outgoing. However, deep down, we are very alike. She is equally as bubbly as me once she warms up, we are both be strong-minded and dominant e.g. demonstrated by our hasty driving, reaction to situations. We are on the same wavelength in terms of “weirdness” and hobbies as well e.g. dancing, designing. Regarding to flaws in character, we share common traits too e.g. at times too headstrong or unable to cope well when things do not go as favored.

Sweet and shy: People often perceive her as meek / Dominant personality: People close to her know that she can be very headstrong

2. Friend, Halyn – My good friend who is alike to me in many ways, yet also different. She share common interests with me like the love of eating, traveling etc. We click very well and relate to each other a lot.

In terms of more complex qualities, we know both of us are not heroic archetypes, after taking the Dungeons and Dragons’ Alignment Test. In a hypothetical story, we are not the “absolutely selfless heroes” who will sacrifice all for the greater good of humanity, but rather we represent the characters who will look out for their loved ones and their self-interests first. However, the characters we represent will not be self-serving to the extent where their own happiness can be in the expense of others.

Selfless: Doing very sweet favours for friends that is not in convenience / Self-serving: Doing what is required for oneself if in a hypothetical survival situation, if in expense of others

Other people:

  • My dad
  • My friend, Crystal
  • My boyfriend – Timothy


Public Figures:

A-Magazine-Curated-By-Iris-van-Herpen_dezeen_10 Iris-Van-Herpen







1. Iris Van Herpen – A brilliant, extraordinary fashion designer who is always interested to push the boundaries of clothing as wearable art. She creates works with timeless beauty yet edgy qualities, dares to try new things. She explores issues inherent to herself in her fashion work, interested to venture into the topic of the human condition and self-expression.

I myself can resonate with the source of inspiration for her works (like nature) and the issues she explore. I admire how she is daring to innovate and test new waters, in which I aspire to have such qualities as well.

Form over function: The vision that characterizes all her designs, strong aesthetics / Practicality: Question regarding designs of how wearable and useful in daily life

Other public figures:

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Actress, entertainer whom even though she is constantly in the limelight, she is not afraid to be her candid self and does not put up a front
  • Alexander Mcqueen – fashion designer in which I greatly admire and can resonate with his artistic vision/inspiration
  • Marzia Bisopnin, also known as “CutiePieMarzia” – fashion blogger that is very quirky, not afraid to show her weird side and her nerdy interests like games

Group Project by:

Alfred Yeo, Gladys Loh, Feliciana Natali



“When everything falls apart and the light goes dark, love comes.”

“And truth is not the same as what it seems.”

Elijah is an aspiring photographer who is preparing for an exhibition. Unfortunately, he experiences a car crash and his parents passed away. His eyesight starts to deteriorate, believed to be caused by a severe form of depression: hysterical blindness. His conditions worsens as his world falls apart.

As a photographer, Elijah suffers even more. His photography skills are affected by his impaired vision, his exhibition is at stake. Janet, his assistant, noticed Elijah’s sufferings and is willing to help him through thick and thin. He develops a liking for Janet.

However, Janet starts to find out that something is not right regarding Elijah. His parents did not die due to a car accident. Elijah starts to remember something buried deep in his memory, a dark past that he has forgotten from that tragic day.

Who is Elijah?



From this project of shooting a trailer, our group learnt the ups and downs of actually taking the time and filming one. Even with pre-preparation through watching trailers made by the professionals, going heads into the project and really doing it with our hands was a great experience that we feel could only be taught through this.

First and foremost, we changed our original plot due to the fact that the main character was not as relatable, nor strong. This created a sense of distance for the audience and changing it helped the story to flow better with better dynamics. We also thought that incorporating a mystery also adds a very interesting twist, making the trailer more compelling.

While filming for “Find Me”, there were definitely setbacks that held us with instances like how to plan our shots, how to tweak the story to make the character/story more appealing, deal with inconsistency with our story, or even locations that were not suitable and had to be changed at the last minute.

Overall, it was definitely a wonderful experience that was fulfilling and also very fun, mainly due to the ability for us to work so well as a team. Everyone was very co-operative and extremely supportive of each other, we are very thankful for having each other as teammates 🙂


Process – Story

The story is a combination of Find Me by Alfred and Clandestine by Gladys. By taking almost equal amount of elements from both stories, we crafted an interesting twist in the final story: Find Me.

Original Find Me by Alfred is about a young man who lost his family in a car crash. He was depressed because of the deaths of his parents and eventually developed hysterical blindness. Love seemingly rescued him from his depression and also his disabilities of losing his eyesight. In conclusion, the story is about his struggle and how he fought his hopelessness. (Genre: Tragedy, Drama)

In the other hand, Clandestine by Gladys is about corporate warfare in the modern setting. The story is about the wife of a businessman who is caught in a moral dilemma: to support her husband’s evil schemes or to expose him. (Genre: Psychological Thriller, Drama)

As a result, the final Find Me took the idea about a young man who lost his parents from the original Find Me and a woman who faces moral dilemma from Clandestine. To create a better flow of the story, we added the idea that the death of the parents are not because of an accident, but potentially a murder which is a mystery to unveil.


Process – Editing

An early trial edit of the first few footages taken.

The result felt more like a short film, we ought to make it more trailer-like by jumbling some of the sequence and changing the music.



We did most of the work together, planning the story sequence and art direction as a team.  

Gladys: Main editor and cameraman, actor

Alfred: Main actor and story writer, editor

Feli: Main Animator/effects and story writer, cameraman



Trailer: “I Started A Joke” by Becky Hanson

Process: “The Last of Us” by Gustavo Santaolalla



Kranji memorial park

Shaw Tower

Gladys’ house

NTU’s Hive, ADM, Hall

Singapore Zoo

Bugis area