Project 2: The Subverted Object


For our second project in Foundation 4D, each student was given a random object to observe and subvert. I was given a pacifier. For our first task we were asked to observe the elements that make up our object and its function in our society. Task 2 required us to subvert the original connotation/definition of our object into something that is completely different. For task 3, we were told to take one picture from Task 1 or Task2 and add text to the picture. Converting the picture into a poster that either clarifies the original meeting or the subverted meaning. Like the previous project, this project is to be presented in photographs and use various angles and viewpoints.

Task 1 (Denotation)

A pacifier is a synthetic plastic mouth piece that parents insert in a babies mouth for them to suck. It is shapes so that it resembles the mother’s nipple and is usually used as a substitute for the nipple as the infant gets older/in public spaces. I wanted to focus on the pacifier objectively, removing cultural context and focusing on the pacifier as an object. Which is why I focused on getting closeups of the pacifier. The first images shows a closeup of the plastic part. This gives the audience a closer visual of the pacifier- the glossy and transparent quality.

Task 1 Part 1

The second image is a cropped version of another picture. This picture, though similar to the first one is different upon closer inspection. The pacifier is wet, as if it was just removed from a baby’s mouth. Depicting the function of the pacifier, a replacement mother’s nipple for infants.

Task 1 Part 2

The third image gives you a nice perspective of the pacifier from the angle many would see it on a baby. The placement and orientation of the pacifier creates balance between the three pictures as it mirrors the placement and orientation of the first image.

Task 1 Part 3

Task 2 (Connotation)

For our second task, we were asked to subvert the meaning of our object completely. Ultimately it was our decision to subvert our object while still retaining its qualities or abandoning all preconceived notions. I chose to subvert my pacifier by making it represent something more than a plastic nipple replacement. The first image represents the pacifier as a symbol for a baby. I leave it up to the audiences imagination and cultural influence to decipher what the remaining to objects (grapefruit and chilli) represent.  The korean word for chili sounds very similar to the korean word for what it is symbolizing.

Task 2 Part 1

For the second image for task 2, I put the pacifier in a cup of beer from two different beers. For this image I took the second definition of a pacifier; someone who settles or calms a situation between to hostile parties. The mixed beer represents the “pacifier” (which I emphasised by placing the pacifier in the cup). I chose beer because beer seems to the most popular alcoholic drink that adults drink casually. People solve problems or discuss ideas at a pub drinking beer, people laugh and cry while drinking beer. The two different (green and white) beer represents two opposing people who settle their differences through beer, the best pacifier.

The last image creates balance in the series as it mirrors the sequential organization of the first image. And like the first image, the pacifier in this picture represents a baby or infancy. But in this context it shows the pacifier as a beginning rather than a product. The pacifier represents the most early stages of human life (specifically female).

Task 2 Part 3


Task 3 (Text and Image)

I added the text to this specific image in order to clarify and reestablish the meaning behind the image. Originally, the image was talking about the process required to make a child but now it is put under the backdrop of a fertility clinic . Which I feel I have succeeded in as my classmates stated that the image seemed very sterile and clinical. I changed the image to not only something visual but something that promotes and encourages.

Task 3



My unique choice in props came from a photographer who I discovered on Instagram. His name is Tyler Shields and his work has captured my attention since the day I followed him. He works with many celebrities and his images range from conservative to provocative. Many of Tyler Shield’s work is shot under studio light or harsh light that brings out the raw colors and textures of his subject. A couple months ago he uploaded an image of a grape fruit, which captured my attention for its unexpected connotation.

Tyler Shield’s Grapefruit

The use of a grapefruit to represent more than the bitter fruit is common in art and symbolism. For example artist, Stephanie Surely also uses fruit to bring about a different connotation to the fruit.

Stephanie Sarley’s Instagram Home Page

For placement, I wanted there to be a clear sense of unity between the objects within one frame and the series as a whole. I chose to shoot infront of a plain background and though my original intention was to have a completely starch white background, my final background brings presence to the image without taking away from the props. I accidentally got the wrong type of paper (tracing paper) but decided to adapt to it thinking that it might work even better than normal paper. And in the end it payed off, the tracing paper actually gave a little extra to the image and brought out an antique oil painting texture to it. Much like the works of Connor Walton, an Irish oil painter who paints beyond just the technicalities.

Connor Walton
Connor Walton
Connor Walton


The End

Project 2D: My Line is Emo

Final Project

My Line is Emo

Brief Summary

For our first project in Foundation 2D, we were tasked to express six emotions (or any of the sub-emotions within the chosen six emotions) using mark making. We were given the liberty to chose any media or method so as long as we kept it black and white. We cut our emotions into strips and pasted them on A3 mounting board.


There was a lot of experimentation linked with this project because we were given the leeway to use whatever we pleased. From using different objects (organic and man made) to create our marks to using different media (paint and pen) as a way to make our marks visible, our experimentation lead the way to new ideas. Not only did I want to make the mark an expression of my emotion but also the medium and process I used to be related to why I felt what I felt.

Experimenting with Monoprinting

Passion (Let Your Passions Shine)

Glitter Option 1
Glitter Option 2

For me, passion (a secondary emotion of love), can be seen in both a sexual or zealous emotion. Regardless, passion is the giddy love for something blooming into an intense love that strengthens you. I chose to demonstrate the first part of passion, the giddy start full of indecisiveness and innocence. Originally my intension was to replicate the fluttering of a heartbeat when you come to realize that the emotion you feel can turn into passion as well as the swirly tingles you feel in your stomach as you start to anticipate what you are passionate about.

Original Idea
Original Idea using Water Color

I started to realize that I did not feel my passion translated in my marks. Which is why I chose to switch to glitter; glitter has always been a constant in my life. Glitter is shiny and comes in all different types of colors and styles, it brightens up a dark room and leaves behind a unique texture. And like all the passions we have, we should let them shine and captivate the room.

First Experiment with Glitter

Even though the glitter is black in color, it still manages to shimmer and reflect the light.

Contentment (When You Read, You Step Into Another World)

Reading has always been something that made me happy and now it has taught me to be content. I used to believe that since reading takes me away from reality, that it made me happy. However, reading shouldn’t make you love one world and hate another, instead it should help you see the world in another way. I use reading as an outlet as well as a tool to survive this world. When I read a childhood book, I not only feel satisfied but also reaffirmed.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary Edition

On that note, I analyzed the actions relating to my contentment. I noticed that when I was truly content and at ease, my head would continuously follow the words of the book without stopping. From left to right back to the left only to go right. Using this as a guide I chose to translate the first page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in morse code. I used this lines because thin lines tend to express a softness and calm rather than thick lines that invoke a heavy and dense feeling.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary

Frustration (Like a Volcano)

For frustration, I chose to express myself more through my actions rather than my marks. While my mark, a quick rough scribble that replicates the fleeting annoyance represents irritation (my original emotion). This was overshadowed by my use of collaging.


The collaging was accidentally created when my initial plan to create an “irritated mark” failed which lead to me accidentally ripping the paper as I was erasing the pencil marks. I tried to use this accident to my advantage as I realized that what is frustration other than being unable to achieve what you have set out to do and being unable to change the mistakes you have made on the way. The irreversible emotion of frustration is shown in the way my lines no longer add up to become one cohesive mark.

Surprise (The Baseline is Constantly Changing)

After reading an article in my SAT test, that talks about how the standard is constantly changing throughout generations I began to understand the whole “When I was your age” statement. Thinking back to this and using new knowledge I have garnered throughout the year, I have come to a new realization. That surprise is constantly being beat out by new surprises. We will never truly be surprised because we keep setting a level that needs to be overshadowed by our own desire to feel the same (or even better) surprise. I chose to express this by using the the circles (representing the balled up feeling we have before we a surprise happens) that keep floating down from an unidentifiable source. We will never know our peak surprise, nor will be ever see the circles pop.

Experimenting with Different Circle

I also used the Hero Archetype line to resemble the flow of the circles in order to explain the withdrawal symptoms and crash of surprise.

Loneliness (Even in a Crowded Room, Can’t You Help but Feel Lonely?)

Everyone feels lonely or alone at least one time in their life, whether it be physical seclusion or emotional seclusion. I chose to express this emotion through fingerprints.

My Brainstorm for Loneliness and Anxiety

Fingerprints are a unique attribute of a person that differentiates them from everyone else. I asked several people from my hall to lend me their fingers, and after masking the white area (which represents my finger print) with masking fluid, I told them to stamp random parts of the paper. I finished t up by adding my own fingerprints, which represents that though there are people like me, I still feel the sense of detachment from them.


When I think of hysteria, I think of the panic everyone has before a major examination or the night before the final submission for an art project. We want to finish something in time, whether it be memorizing or drawing so that we can have something to show them afterwards. I tried to represent this through my frantic rush to “cover the canvas black”, even leading me to color in the wrong color marker and thread (white).

The lines are rushed and messy, there is no order and everything seems haphazard. Nothing is completely filled in and even the medium used is not constant.

Experimenting with Frantic/Hysteric Actions
Experimenting with Frantic/Hysteric Actions


Final Project


Things I Learned:

  • That there are different ways to express myself
  • That it is okay to self reflect and dig deep into yourself (even if it means bringing up feelings that trigger my senses)
  • That experimentation and documentation is very important (I need to get into the habit of it)

Things I Need to Work On:

  • Being fearless with my experimentation (don’t be afraid to experiment more)
  • Confidence with my own work (my work is my own)
  • Time Management
  • Expressing my emotions using marks (not just representational and symbolism)
  • Documenting (I have never done it properly and it has yet to be a part of my routine)

Things I Struggled With:

  • Trying to express myself
  • Finding a way for other people to feel what I am feeling
  • Hoping that others would understand what I am feeling
  • Understanding myself and my emotions


Project 1: Picture Story- Curating Self

Our first assignment for our Foundation 4D class was to document a series of photographs that describe who we are. We were asked to use different techniques to tell our story, from varying vantage points to framing. There were three tasks; Task One was to depict our reality/personality in three pictures, Task Two was to express ourselves using objects that we hold dearly in three images, and Task Three was to express a place that fascinates us or connects with us in three to five images.


Task 1 Part 1
Task 1 Part 2
Task 1 Part 3


Task 2 Part 1
Task 2 Part 2
Task 2 Part 3


Task 3 Part 1
Task 3 Part 2
Task 3 Part 3


Final Documentation of Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3.


Through this experience of curating myself, I have learned that there are more ways to expressing yourself then through words. The phrase “a picture speaks a thousand words” is relevant in my case because the pictures that I took captures my interesting life story, my love for a seemingly mundane object, and my fascination with Orchard in three to five images. I have tried my best to capture my feelings in these images but I am aware that I have so much more to learn and experience. This project has taught me that photo isn’t merely just dull documentation but intricate capturing.

Partner Photography Practice

During our second Foundation 4D class of the year, we were asked to partner up and take pictures of one another. The partner was to stay still as I went around taking various pictures from various distances and angles. In the end, we chose three photos that we believed best depicted our partner.

Long Shot Eye Level Picture of Shaun

This shot of Shaun depicts him in his new environment, ADM in NTU. The lines of the building lead our eyes to Shaun and to the rest of the scenery. This gives us enough information about Shaun both physically and location.

Wide Shot Low Angle shot of Shaun

This wide shot of Shaun shows him wearing his Superman shirt as well his watch. Our focus goes to his action of crossing his arm against his chest, reminiscent of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance is the American expression that serves as a symbol of freedom, similarly Superman fights for America. This also displays his interest in cosplay and the comic book world.

Extreme Close up Eye Level shot of Shaun

Shaun’s eye, eye brow, and expertly styled hair can be clearly seen with this close-up shot of his facial feature. Giving you a closer look at the figure shown in the first image.

Thank you Shaun for letting me take pictures of you!