This post includes some thoughts about my final project, how I could expand on it, and my artist statement.


Final Project for DP3006


Artist Statement:


Clipped (2018)


Inkjet Prints on Matte Paper, Inkjet Print on Rice Paper, Silver Mirror fragments, Laserjet Transfer on Wood


Varying Dimensions


Singapore is one of the stopping points of migratory birds flying along the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Being a densely populated urban city state, bird deaths are relatively common, with a primary issue being collisions with buildings with large glass windows. However, we often overlook the native species which are important in maintaining the ecological balance of the environment. The artwork shows 6 different species of birds responsible for different roles in local ecology, with one major thing in common; they are categorised as being of least concern in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. As such, deaths of their species are usually overlooked in spite of their importance and role in our native environment.


The artwork represents a combination of both issues. The matte paper prints are arranged in a grid to resemble a window grille, and to remind the viewers of the main cause of deaths of the birds in Singapore. The creases and wrinkles of the rice paper print hints at the fragility of these birds, and how they seem to wither in front of one’s eyes. By looking at the mirror fragments in the artwork, the viewer sees the frailty of these majestic creatures, yet also see themselves being potentially responsible for their deaths.


Images of installation

Side note: an Oriental Pied Hornbill was spotted in ADM vicinity at 6.30pm, 4th May 2018. (Same species shown in prints on the bottom left corner and third from bottom left corner)


Explanation of choice of material


Rice paper was chosen to be the material for the large print due to multiple reasons. Firstly, the rice paper that I had used was without any inkjet coating, meaning that the paper was as close to the naturally occurring state as possible. The fragility of the rice paper was also an important point in my project, mirroring the fragility of the birds themselves. The translucency also paid a part, allowing light to shine through, making the blue colour of the bee-eater seem like the pastel blue of the midday sky.


Explanation of why the damaged rice paper print was not fixed after damage


Though in fine art printing we learn how to treat our print with utmost care, I believe that the same is necessary, but not totally required for my rice paper print. Creases, folds and tears will make my message clearer, with the finished print having a hint of Japanese kintsugi, which is a form of pottery repair with lacquer, usually with gold or silver. The rice paper was also printed against the grain to make the horizontal feather tips pop out of the image. Some creases were intentionally made surrounding the edge of the blue feathers.


Future considerations


As the rice paper prints definitely had more impact in terms of size and tone, there were a few considerations that I have thought of after completing this part of the project.


  1. Expansion on rice paper prints and other usage

The rice paper prints could be made larger and used to cover the external glass windows of ADM from the inside, while markings could be done on the other side of the rice paper (facing outside ADM), which could dissuade birds from crashing into our windows. This is evidenced by the University of Chicago painting spray patterns on some glass windows to do so.


  1. Impact of mirror and mirror fragments

The mirror was too small, and hanging mirror fragments off prints felt a little off putting. Perhaps a single layer consisting of mirror shards and cut prints may work better, and feel a bit less gimmicky.


  1.   Laserjet transfer on wood

I felt that it was totally out of place, and eventually removed it from the second time I set up the installation.



  1.     Studio vs outdoors

I felt that layering the prints on the glass windows felt more natural, with sunlight filtering through and lighting up the prints from behind. The effect of the shattered mirror on the glass is also amplified. The colour and temperature of the rice paper print can also vary with the time of the day. Though by the same factor, the prints will look darker and less contrasty when the sun is angled too high, or sets behind ADM.


Additional research notes


The asian glossy starling is the most common in the 6 documented birds, and arguably the most noisy. They usually fly in an annoying loud flock at dusk.


There are two areas where collisions of residential and migratory birds overlap; in Clementi area near NUS and in the Central Business district. Whether is this due to light pollution or not is yet to be determined.


From 1998 to 2016, there were 157 fatalities out of 237 bird collisions detected. From November 2013 to October 2017, 104 out of 362 bird carcasses retrieved by NUS researchers likely died due to collisions. Retrieved from Anthropogenic Sources of Non-Migratory Avian Mortalities In Singapore, David J.X. Tan et al.


Juvenile asian glossy starlings consist of 81% of collision deaths, pp.19


Lights in buildings pose a large risk to birds, especially at night. UV reflective glass may be more bird friendly. Retrievd from Low, B.W. et al., 2017, Migratory bird collisions with man-made structures in South-East Asia : a case study from Singapore.

Leftmost row represents deaths directly due to building collisions, pp.21-23 Figure from Low, B.W. et al., 2017, Migratory bird collisions with man-made structures in South-East Asia : a case study from Singapore.

Published by

Han Feng


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