Project 2: The Subverted Object

For this project, we were assigned an object and we had to produce a series of images that captured the object’s denoted and connoted meaning.

Task 1 – Denotation

For Task 1, I captured the object’s physical attributes, where the object is commonly seen, and the practical function of the object. I paid more attention to the camera angle and composition of the fork, as well as keeping the background interesting, but not so much as to distract the audience from the object in focus.

This image focuses on the fork’s shape and form, mostly on the tines. The background of wood and plants is a contrast with the fork’s hard metallic structure.

Task 1 – 01

The fork in its ‘natural habitat’. A portrait shot as opposed to a landscape shot in order to capture the entire length of the fork in the compartment. A touch of green in the background to add colour and balance out the dull greyish colours.

Task 1 – 02

The basic functionality of a fork. In Asia, we tend to use chopsticks for noodles, while it is the Western culture that uses forks.  I also wanted to portray a more classy dish, and therefore went for spaghetti. 

Task 1 – 03

Task 2 – Connotation

For Task 2, I subverted the object’s meaning, showing what it is not meant to be used for, and touching on the object’s cultural meaning.

You obviously don’t drink soup with a fork. I made the soup in the bowl too watery and had to dip the fork in another bowl of thicker soup to make the soup on the fork more thick and slimy. I took quite some time with this shot, as I was trying to recreate the camera angle I envisioned in my sketch.

Task 2 – 01

The fork as a murder weapon. There were too many colours going on in the original image, and the background was predominantly orange, I had to convert the image to grayscale and blur the background, leaving the fork unblurred in the foreground and the red of the blood.

Task 2 – 02

In order to create the burning fork, I had to wrap cotton wool around the tines, applied a little bit of thinner, and light it up. I had initially wanted to photoshop an image of a flame onto a fork but that would defeat the purpose of a photography project, and the blending of the flame and fork would probably not look as good.

Task 2 – 03

Task 3 – Text and Image

For Task 3, we were to give one of the images from the above tasks a title, and have it serve to clarify or emphasize something in the image, or to expand or explain the significance of the image. I chose one of the pictures of the object’s subverted meaning as I wanted my title to be more engaging for the audience and not tell them what they already see.

The image I chose for my poster was a person scooping soup with a fork, accompanied by the title “Alzheimer’s, Prevention starts with you.” This poster aims to show us the intellectual and behavioural disabilities caused by Alzheimer’s, and tells the audience that it can be prevented and that they themselves have the ability to prevent it.

However, as Wen Lei pointed out, replacing ‘Prevention starts with you’ with for example, ‘This is what Mary sees everyday’ would have had a stronger impact as it engages the audience more emotionally.

A2 Poster

Final Layout for Critique

The layout of my printed images on the wall for critique during class.

Final Layout for Critique

Key Concepts & Ideas

Below are the initial sketches I made before I started on the project. As shown, I managed to use four of my initial ideas for my final six images. I have also included some of the inspirations I have gotten for a couple of my images.

Initial sketch of ideas

For this image, I was inspired by an IKEA breakfast menu, where they had the food on one side and the text on the other, against a simple background.

Task 1 – 03
IKEA Breakfast –


For this image, I was inspired by how angry mobs in the past would bring along torches and pitchforks, and hence I decided to combine the two, and have a hand holding the ‘pitchfork’ up high like an angry mob would. I shot it in a pitch black background to direct the audience’s focus solely on the burning fork, inspired by a poster image from Hell’s Kitchen.

Task 2 – 03
The Simpsons –
Hell’s KItchen –


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