4D Project 1
Upon embarking on the first task of this project, I questioned myself: what would be the best way for someone to get to know me? I figured that getting to know my views and the thoughts that affect me most was an excellent way to allow someone to have a deeper understanding of me.
At the moment, the thought that had been gnawing away at me most was my take on my own religion.
As an infant, my parents brought me to a Roman Catholic church to be baptised. I grew up accepting my parents’ religion without giving it much thought. However, things changed as I matured and started to scrutinize and seek out my own identity. I never looked forward to attending Sunday masses or catechism classes. There were far more things that I could have been doing instead. I also started pondering on the existence of a higher being, and became cynical about the whole concept of religion. Yet, I couldn’t help but to feel an increasing sense of guilt for having such blasphemous thoughts. How could I, as a born and raised catholic, even succumb to the notion that attending church was meaningless?
I then started praying for my faith to be restored, but all I could do was to hold an internal debate with myself: “who exactly am I praying to?”. I was becoming agnostic.
My parents were firm believers and expected us as a family to attend church services together every Sunday. One day I gathered the courage to ask them, is it alright if I stop going? That pretty much ruined my mother’s mood and she said I needed to pray more. I felt so trapped. This was the thought that ran through my mind as I decided to take this first shot; this feeling that I’m incarcerated by my family and by my own guilt.
There are times where I wish that I wasn’t born into a Christian family so I could learn to accept Christ on my own accord. There’s always the option of leaving the church now that I am much older and have the freedom to decide for myself, but I lack the resolve to abandon my faith altogether, because a part of me still wants to believe. Until then, I still call myself a Christian, albeit one with an increasing internal conflict.
Using this next image emphasizes my shaken but still present faith that there is someone listening and watching over me. However, the main point of this picture is to represent my ever growing list of regrets. From choosing to take the path of the science stream and the time I retained, to picking up smoking and running away from home when I fought with my mother, I sometimes have regrets that I feel I have no way out and can only implore, ironically, for divine intervention to help me and guide me out of all the messes that I have created for myself or for others. Perhaps my lack of direct answers from above was a cause of my crumbling faith.
The final image in this task exemplifies the appreciation I have for my country. With the election polling day drawing close, I am unable to choose: Do I vote for a government who has Singapore’s interests at heart, or the welfare of Singaporean citizens as their priority? My decision will only be one count in the voting process, but I feel that everyone should take the vote seriously and only make informed decisions. The current government has built this clean and green city, complete with smooth roads and stable buildings, and for that I am grateful, but will the same party always make the right call? Is the party the same when its’ members have changed? These are some of the questions I pose to myself when trying to vote for a country which I have grown up in. I chose this landscape because it shows the various things that the current government has brought about that I appreciate. I also chose this landscape because in the midst of everything, the struggles I face in my religion constantly takes up a place in a corner of my mind, and is something I cannot escape from.
This task required me to pick an object that was of significance to me. I immediately remembered the rock that serves as a paperweight on my desk.
This rock is no normal rock. Okay, it is an ordinary rock. But it was not found just anywhere. During my vacation in the USA earlier this year, I made it a point to go down to Emeryville, California, where Pixar animation studios is situated at.
Ever since I was capable of watching cartoons, I adored watching them, even when others my age have long stopped doing so. I loved movies too, so an animated film was like having the best of both worlds. It always seemed like a dream to produce films like that.
Of all studios, Pixar’s works have somehow always found a way to impact me and leave me wanting more every time I leave the cinema halls. I wanted to work at Pixar, and then I found out about ADM.
But I digress. So I took a trip down to Pixar studios. I wasn’t allowed entry into the premises. This I already knew, but it was still worth a shot. After being turned away by the security personnel, I walked along the perimeters of the compound. I could see a pool, and the Pixar ball. I could see employees having a soccer match. It was a tad bit too far to see if John Lasseter himself was among them though. The buildings were made of brown-red bricks and perched atop were some of the seagulls seen in Finding Nemo.
Just beyond the wire fencing was a path of rocks following the fences. I reached my hand through the fence (My hand was officially in Pixar!!!) and grabbed hold of a rock. I didn’t know why I did so. I usually wasn’t so sentimental, but at that moment, I knew this was an important moment.
That rock now rests on my desk, serving not only as a paperweight, but as a reminder for myself not to give up the dream of one day creating stories and imaginary worlds for others to love.
In every shot, except for the one of my desk, I played with the saturation of each image, making it seem like the colours were emanating from the naturally grey-scaled rock (hooray for literary irony). The images are meant to display myself finding my ambition, which has been objectified into this rock, and finding ways to keep that ambition and sustain that drive to one day bring this rock back to where I found it, but this time as a Pixar animator.
I chose the void deck as the focus of “My World”, because I found it to be quite the paradox. To be void, in its definitive meaning, is to possess nothing. Yet, this place holds so many past memories and emotions for me.
As a child, I frequently headed down to the void deck with my neighbours to run about and play. We would come up with many game ideas within the confines of the void deck. Back then, there was no fancy playground for us to utilize, so the void deck was all we had to engage our creativity and entertain ourselves.
It was also where I learned to ride a bicycle. When I got my pet dog I was so anxious to let it run about in this open space. The pillars at the void deck always served as goalposts for my friends and I to hold our very own EPL football match, and to my pleasant surprise this tradition is passed down to other young boys even up till today. This seemingly empty place holds more than a good portion of my childhood, and I loved every moment of it.
Then came my adolescence, where staying out to ‘chill’ aimlessly became the thing to do. (Teens.) The stone and marble tables and chairs became our favourite hangout spot. This was where we usually got screened by police officers doing their rounds as well.
I softened the image of the flight of stairs at the void deck because that was where a girl kissed me for the first time. It came as a shock and boy, was I ecstatic. It seemed only apt for me to depict it in a surreal, dreamlike state.
The void deck is a place full of emotion, from going through my great grandfather’s funeral procession, to attending a Malay wedding for the first time. Perhaps the void deck starts off void of anything for each individual, and it is up to him or her to fill it up in the way he best deems fit.