Ego In Different Settings

To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here

When I first got the project brief for this third project, to be honest I was really really worried. Although I did enjoy myself doing the digital compositions for project 2, I was not sure if I was ready to create more digital works for project 3 because I know I am still not familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator software. Thankfully project 3 allowed the use of traditional mediums like PHEW SO THANKFUL HAHA. Despite that, I was still quite confused about what I wanted to do for my four rows because I always felt like I am not a very creative person, and I was very unsure about what exactly am I supposed to produce visually for my four rows. At times like these I really appreciate the consultations with Joy so much HAHA. She was able to help me organize my thoughts and guide me towards producing my final piece of work.

I remember when I first started out, I thought about creating a character to symbolize myself in all four rows. I felt like representing myself with a human would be too straightforward, so I was thinking of using an animal to represent myself instead. I chanced upon a picture of a tiger and I remember thinking like that was so cool haha and I suddenly thought that it might just be suitable to use a tiger since I was born in the year of Tiger. I decided then to just go ahead with using a tiger to represent me in all four rows, recording down the growth from a baby tiger to an adult tiger.

I then tried to brainstorm of the different situations I was placed in, and I eventually came up with four different settings namely:
-when I am working
-when I am with my friends
-when I am with my family
-when I am alone

The settings would flow in a way with increasing intimacy to my deepest of emotions. I thought that the settings I decided on seemed very generic but it could also be a good opportunity to explore the emotions I felt that would separate me from the norm, putting my own experiences and heartfelt feelings in every row. I also spent a really long time to come up with the imagery I wanted to go along for each of the rows.

To start, my first row was
I also decided to use the colour red for this row to bring out the tension.
I wanted to represent it with a baby tiger in a pram, with a dangling mobile cot toy above it. The baby tiger imagery was there to show how small I feel when I am in a working environment because of all the pressure I face at work and also to show growth in my next few rows. I later then replaced the items dangling on the toy with eyeballs to further heighten the tension and to show a relation with my next two boxes in the same row.

Initially I wanted to just portray it with a bunch of computers to represent the working environment but I thought that it would be too direct and there would be a lack of meaning in this box so I decided to pull in my experience from my last job at a restaurant. I was working as a cashier and there was once when the cashier system broke down, and since the customers were not able to fully understand the situation, they eventually put the blame on me because I was the only one standing behind the cash register. I still remember that immense stress that fell on me as the customers all stared at me, waiting for their orders to be taken. Bringing this into context for this box, I represented it with a cash register, replacing the customer display with an eyeball to bring out the tension. I also purposely painted a non-realistic eyeball as a human eyeball would be quite irrelevant and awkward compared to the rest of my compositions, while the cartoon-ish eyeball would provide a more generic blend in for the work.

I was thinking about what would be involved if I felt stressful and I thought of the brain. I wanted to depict the brain breaking apart but I figured it would be quite hard to tell that it is a brain as it would seem like messy chunks of random things due to the brain’s natural wavy texture. This might seem a bit dark but I later came up with the idea of having a brain march towards a machine cutter as if seeking suicide to represent the immense stress I felt. This surprisingly turned out well and since the machine cutter looked like an eyeball as mentioned by Joy in my first consult, I decided to let the imagery of eyeballs repeat in each box for this row to show relevance. This also explains why the items in the toy for my first box were replaced with eyeballs.

Here’s how my first composition for the first row when I first started!

Eventually, I changed from using poster colour to watercolour to give it a clearer look, and tried to make the contrast in the work more obvious. I also replaced the items in the cot toy as eyeballs, so here’s my final first row!

Secondly, it was
For this row, I went ahead with the colour yellow to bring out the liveliness when I am with my friends.
Since I wanted to record the growth of a tiger, the tiger being represented here can be seen as an older version of a tiger compared to the baby tiger in the first row. However, I used only the eyes in this composition. Initially it was a painting of a pair of tiger’s eyes wearing a pair of round geeky spectacles to represent the teenage years of the tiger like a studious tiger. However, my next two boxes in the row had something related to transportation modes, and it prompted Joy to suggest that I could probably come up with something related to a transportation mode in my first box as well. In the end, it hit me that a bicycle has two wheels as well and I thought I could use this in my work.

I thought for a really long time about how I could portray friends in this context and I came up with the idea of a carousel, where there would be animals surrounding the zodiac of tiger on the carousel itself. So I went ahead to paint a carousel, with animals such as the rat, ox, rabbit, dragon and snake. However after consulting Joy, she felt like the animals seemed to be floating around on the carousel and thought I could improve on it, working along the direction of transportation modes as well. I then decided to change it to a setting of amusement park train rides, reducing the number of animals from five to three, sitting in carts following the front of the train instead.

I wanted to express the feeling of happiness when I am with my friends for this box. So I was thinking what can tigers NOT do? Tigers can climb on trees and swim, so what would they hope they could do that would make them really happy? This led me to think about…. (LAME JOKE APPROACHING)…Tiger Airways!! So i rode on this idea and did an illustration of a plane, replacing the wings of the plane with real tiger paws.

My first try for this row!

After improvising, altering my first two boxes to something related to transportation modes. The common theme of transportation modes can also be seen as a representation of independence in my teenage years.

Third, it was
I used the colour blue to express the feeling of security when I am with family.
I wanted to show a tiger that looked like it is very snugly and pleasant so I thought of painting a tiger wrapped in a blanket with a face that looks like it feels comfortable being in that situation. Since I wanted to continue the concept of having a overarching theme in each of my rows, I thought I wanted to focus on the concept of security in this row. Hence, I added a belt around the blanket to bring out that point.

I wanted to keep the illustration simple and easy to understand so I was thinking about the habitat that tigers live in and I wanted to incorporate that with the shape of a house that we are familiar with. In the end I came up with the idea of painting leaves into the shape of a house, and in order to add in the element of security, I left a space in the middle in the shape of a padlock. I later then further emphasized the padlock by adding in details such as the keyhole. The padlock was also meant to look like a door for the house in that sense.

I wanted to express the comfort in a way such that because the tiger is now under the protection of its family, it does not have to go and look for its prey by itself anymore. So I thought of a tooth extraction, with an illustration showing a tiger’s mouth wide open, having a canine tooth extraction with a pair of extraction forceps. The element of security is also represented here as braces on the other teeth. However after consultation, Joy thought that the act of extraction seemed more painful than comfortable, hence I added the tiger’s paw to make it seem as if it is a voluntary extraction.

The final outcome for this row!

Moving on, last but not least!
I used purple to signify the spiritual awareness I am experiencing for this row.
I had to show a full grown tiger for the process of growth but I thought that there was no point in me just painting a full face of a tiger, there would be no meaning in this work at all. I wanted this row to express a feeling of how when I am alone, I can truly be myself at ease, and experience all kinds of emotions be it positive or negative. Hence, I decided on the imagery of a tiger mask to show the revelation of my inner self. The eyes of the tiger on the mask are hollowed out to give the idea of a mask and to also make it relatable to anyone.

I took the longest to think about the imagery for this row because I just could not come up with any visuals to accompany the concept that I had in mind. I thought of many different ways, I even tried to follow the concept of my first row by repetition of one item (like the eyeballs) in all three boxes but I just could not come up with the illustrations and I realized I should not use that to guide me for fear that I might get led away from the original narrative I was trying to portray. After thinking for really long, I eventually came up with the idea of a compass as I wanted to explain how being alone is always a good time for some soul-searching to find out if I am heading towards the right path. I decided to incorporate the image of a magnifying glass because it also goes in handy with the theme of self-exploration. I decided to add a faint wash of the image on the bottle cap of tiger beer in the background of the magnifying glass as well, to add in the tiger imagery and also to show relation to my next box in the row.

I wanted to express how, when we are alone, we think about everything, be it positive or negative. Hence I decided to represent it with a pop of a beer bottle, specifically TIGER BEER (the amount of puns HAHA) However, rather than painting the logo of the Tiger beer on the bottle, I decided to add tiger paws once again, which looked like they were emerging or breaking out from the bottle to show the feeling of ‘release’. I wanted this row to express the idea of letting out all emotions and just identifying who I am as a person.

Here you go for my last row!


Initially I wanted to give it a wash of split complementary colours, just so that the background would not look as plain, and to also hopefully bring out the contrast in the main focus. However, after consults, Joy and my classmates thought that it was fine to just leave it as it is with the white background as it would not steal the attention away from the main emphasize in the work so it might actually work better in creating a focal point. Thus I eventually left it as it is and I am glad I did not add the background colours as it might really confuse the audience about the main focus in the work.

Overall, I would say that I have learnt a lot from this project. There was a lot of self discoveries and linking back to my thoughts, emotions and experiences as I embark on this project. I also learnt a lot about colour theories and harmonies that I never knew about, especially since I worked with monochromes harmony, I got to understand the use of certain colours in terms of evoking a certain emotion. I never really knew the impact of colours until project 3 came along to be honest. Now I am able to understand that a lot of thought actually goes into choosing the colours for different things especially in branding and advertisements.

It was also a challenge to think out of the box and be creative with my expression of certain generic terms. I had to constantly tell myself to think of other methods and ways of representing the same idea I wanted to bring across. It was really tough and I remember taking a really long time to generate the illustration I wanted for the last row. However now looking at it as a whole, I think I am quite happy with how it turned out concept wise, it was able to bring across the narrative I had behind each row.

Lastly! To sum up my experiences after doing all the three projects, I think it made me realize the importance of experimentation. It also tells me how sometimes exploring with different elements could help to formulate the final piece. I can not stress this enough but ever since Project 2, I find myself being more able to think out of the box and I really appreciate this skill and wish to work on it even more. This has trained me to think differently from the norm, coming up with more creative and interesting works. Overall, although 2D was a lot of work, it also gave me a lot of opportunities to grow and I am so thankful to Joy for guiding me in all three projects till completion! I am done with 2D!!!


Ego In Different Settings (Research)

For this project, I had to look into colour psychology especially since I planned to use monochromes harmony for my composition. I also went to search for some artist references that I could adopt for my works.

For colour psychology, I mainly focused on the colours red, yellow, blue and purple as these were the colours I wanted to use for each of the rows. I wanted the four rows to follow the colours from red to purple, bringing out a narrative while showing relevance to each of the rows. I researched on both the positive and negative emotions of each colour and focused on one of the attributes that I wanted to portray in my row.


Firstly for red, the positive and negative emotions are as follows.
Positive: Courage, Warmth, Excitement
Negative: Aggression, Strain
For my first row, I wanted to focus on the NEGATIVE emotion of strain, of the intensity that the colour brings out. I wanted the colour to express the feeling of being tensed up and stressful, like how I felt when I was working. I wanted it to evoke a feeling of discomfort and worry to bring out the narrative behind the first row.


Next for the colour yellow, the positive and negative emotions are as follows.
Positive: High energy, Emotional Strength, Confidence, Hope, Fun
Negative: Depression, Anxiety, Fear
For the second row, I focused on the POSITIVE emotion of fun, to bring out the excitement I feel when I am with my friends. I also made use of the attribute of emotional strength to bring forth the fear I had to overcome to be independent in my teenage years.


For blue, the positive and negative emotions are as follows:
Positive: Trust, Serenity, Calm
Negative: Coldness, Lack of emotion
Nothings beats the feeling of being with your family, so I wanted to portray the POSITIVE emotion of trust, to express how safe and secure I feel when I am with my family. It also brings out a feeling of calmness so when others look at my work, they understand the relaxed state I am trying to bring across.


Lastly, the positive and negative emotions for purple are as follows:
Positive: Spiritual awareness, Truth, Consciousness
Negative: Suppression, Inferiority
The colour promotes harmony of the mind and emotions, contributing to mental balance and stability. It is known that purple has a relation with spiritual awareness and I wanted to build on this attribute to bring out the concept of self discovery for my last row. This last row involves a lot of soul-searching components which can be greatly emphasized using the colour purple.

-leighellexson on instagram

Image result for leigh ellexson

uses one hue (monochromes harmony) for some of her works, using contrast to create an artwork with depth. tried to adopt her method of watercolouring to create value based works.

-jyeli on instagram
-vanvan_nomnom on instagram

adopted the method of layering on the watercolours to show greater contrast within the works itself



Forrest Gump

To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here

When I first heard about this project, I was honestly so worried, just because I had no idea how to use Photoshop haha. I only used it once for my o level visual art task but that was years ago and I remember struggling with it back then too, so it was kind of like a nightmare. Nonetheless, I was thankful that i had the help of my classmates in using the software, and Joy to guide me in the direction for my work.

Then again, it was a challenge for me to find movie quotes, because I wanted to get English movie quotes so that it would make more sense and be easier, but i came to realize that I rarely watch English movies other than Disney movies. However, I thought it was okay to just go with the Disney theme since it was more familiar to me.

While i was checking online for the movie quotes, I came to a realization about how some Disney movie quotes can be deep and thought-provoking as well. This gave me a thought about how i make use of the quotes to do a self reflection about myself, about my life. Since we have to do the works as an interpretation of the quote from our viewpoint, I thought that the personal touch I was adding would be even more appropriate in this case.

I started out by writing down all the movie quotes I like, then eliminating them one by one, leaving four that I liked best. I eventually ended up with these four quotes:

1.  “Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories.” Genie, The return of Jafar

2. “Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” Rapunzel, Tangled

3. “Just keep swimming.” Dory, Finding Nemo

4. “Beauty is found within.” -Narrator, Beauty and the Beast

Initially I started out by working on the ideas I had visually for these four quotes and I was the most interested in the fourth quote because I really liked the deeper understanding behind the quote. However, I found it to be really difficult because I understood the quote simply as how it is and the visual that I had in my mind to accompany the quote was restricted to my perception of it. This was the problem for all of my quotes, I had difficulty thinking out of the box for them because I was so caught up with the actual definition from the movie itself. However, eventually I was able to learn to convey the quotes in a different context and I will explain my thought process clearer below individually for each of the quotes.

1. “Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories”

For the first quote, it was the quote that I had the least idea for so I started by generating words I would associate with the quote itself. I came up with words such as ‘carousel’, ‘camera’ and ‘brain’ to relate to the ‘special moments’ and ‘memories’ part. I eventually found an image online showing a repetition of boxes and I thought it would be interesting to make use of the repetition to convey this idea of bringing forward the moments to memories. On top of that, I decided I wanted to have a common theme for all my compositions and I decided to add in the element of self-reflection in all the works. As mentioned, I wanted to give my works a personal touch and also to serve as a reminder for myself so I decided to add in the imagery of a Jasmine flower to represent myself in different ways in the composition, in obvious and subtle ways.

This was the first composition I came up with for the first quote

However after the consultation, I felt like I needed to add more elements into the composition and to touch up on the incorporation of the hands into the brains.

Eventually, I looked up artist references and found this work from the surrealist artist Rob Gonsalves, where he makes use of different  elements to create this optical illusion in his painting. I decided to incorporate that concept into my works, having the imagery of people crouching together to give the imagery of a real brain. However, I realize that it was really hard to portray it visually because of the details, it may just turn out looking like a mess. Hence, I changed the idea and instead of humans crouching as the brains, I added humans running and climbing to get to the brain to ‘form’ the brain, although the imagery of people crouching is no longer there. I also edited the boxes so that the image would not have random cuts at the edges since I decided this would also be the first design to be produced, and the design that would be going onto my tote bag.

This was the final design that I ended up with

The final design comprises of people running and climbing up the blocks to reach the brains, signifying how you meet different people everyday and they are the ones who will create your moments for that day and that moment eventually fades off in your brain to become a memory that remains as represented by the hand holding the polaroid, since memories can be recorded as photographs and kept forever. The first block also has a hand holding a Jasmine flower to show the representation of myself and the image is done with a fading effect to show how we may forget the moments that occur but it converts to memories in the end.

2. “Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.”

For this second quote, I had a lot of issues trying to come up with a composition. Initially when I thought of the quote, I imagined this composition of hands pulling open a cave to reveal a creepy forest setting to signify how I should learn to venture outside despite the obstacles I may face. However, when i try to picture this and really work out the composition on Photoshop, I realize that the result looked weird and was not like how I Imagined it to be at all. This was what I came up with after a few attempts.

I wanted to make use of the Rob Gonsalves technique of incorporating the pebbles on the ground to the opening of the cave

The composition for this was meant to look like the hands prying open the Jasmine flower, revealing a cave which signifies that I should learn to explore beyond my capabilities. However, since it was meant to be in black and white, the flipping open of the flower petals did not show and the composition just looks funny as a whole. Although I got comments to stay with the concept but try and twig it so that it looks better, I decided to scrap the idea and think of a new concept because although this composition seemed to work when I try to picture it in my brain, but when I try to recreate it on Photoshop, the results just do not match. Hence, I decided to work with a different approach.

This was the final design I came up with

I changed the whole idea to replacing the main focus as a heart with running legs. The heart can be seen tied to a rope that has been cut off, signifying that I should learn to break away and explore new things, cutting off whats pulling me back, overcoming the struggle within myself. The composition was done with a background of a winding road to guide the eyes to follow from the heart to the medals. The cut rope with scissors on the road also helps to give an imaginary line to point to the destination. I wanted to express the ‘rewards’ in the quote as a literal thing, and since the composition had a sports concept going on, I thought it would be appropriate to include the reward in a way like medals. I swapped the medal face with the Singapore one dollar coin and also replaced the flower from the coin with the Jasmine flower in a subtle way but still obvious enough to notice a difference.

3. “Just keep swimming”

This was such a simple quote yet kind of hard to generate ideas especially since it came from such an iconic movie and character. This quote along with the imagery from the movie stuck on with me for quite awhile before I decided I had to think of another way to represent this quote. Initially, I wanted to include jellyfish as stepping stones to bring out the idea of moving forward but I was unable to come up with a concrete concept. However, after the consultation, I got the inspiration to incorporate the concept of parachutes into this work.

This was the final design for this quote

I eventually came up with this design of the game character Mario hopping on parachutes in the sky. I changed the entire setting from sea to land as represented by the grass to show a contrast and it was also a good representation of how the quote applies to the sea creatures in the movie, and to me as a human on land. The wires are added to show the struggles and obstacles as Mario progresses on the parachutes. Following the Rob Gonsalves reference, I made the clouds in this design to look like they could almost merge with the appearance of the parachutes in the sky. Upon a closer look, you will realize that the parachutes are made from Jasmine flowers, warp in a way to look like parachutes. The items hanging from the parachutes are what I need to keep me going in life, bed to represent sleep, burger to represent food, and coffee to represent the caffeine I need to keep me awake and going. Mario was selected as I felt like he is a character who keeps on going in the game, he is constantly moving forward, which is what I wanted to bring out from the quote. As the principle of design, the dark contrast of Mario is also balanced out in the composition with the pipe to represent a final destination that I will eventually head to.

4. “Beauty is found within”

As mentioned previously, I had a tough time coming up with this composition, it was actually the last composition I did out of the four. Initially I had the concept of a girl with a blurred out face or a row of people without their heads, and with flowers in their body to bring out the idea of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. However, it was too literal and after the consult I felt like i should explore a different approach for this quote. After brainstorming, I had the thought of beauty in terms of food and also representing the negative side of social media as well. However, Joy mentioned that it would be too confusing since there was now two ideas in one work, so I eventually decided on food since it was meant to have a self-reflection effect and I love food (who doesn’t?) Ultimately, I decided on the concept of finding beauty within food, upon tasting the food similarly like how you only get to really know someone after knowing them for a period long enough.

This was the final design for the last quote

In the end, I settled for this composition. This composition includes the main focus of a little girl licking this toy figure like item, composed of all my favorite food. I wanted to express the excitement of finding out how someone is really like after getting to know them well. The food bits on the bottom shows how careless she is since she is still young. For this image, the subtle imagery of the Jasmine flower is represented at the back as fireworks. The fireworks are made out of Jasmine flower petals to include a personal touch in this work.

This was my completed four works in the end

Although I am so glad that project 2 has ended but I must say it was a really fun project as it forces me to think out of the context of the actual quote and it was really fun experimenting with Photoshop as well.

It was also fun printing my design on the tote bag although I must say it was really stressful trying to do the silkscreen printing because you never know how each try will turn out! I think it really depends a lot on luck, when I did it I felt so nervous as if I was going for an interview! Although my art friend tote bag did not work out well, but I am glad it worked for my Muji bag! Learning how to think out of the box and to play around with the composition until you figure out that it really works is definitely a challenge but I wouldn’t mind doing this again..I guess haha.





Forrest Gump (Research)

I did some research prior to this project. I did research on three main categories: surrealism, dadaism and russian constuctivism.

Firstly for surrealism:

-it is an artistic and cultural movement that began in early 1920s

-best known for visual artworks and writings

-outlandish, perplexing and uncanny

-meant to jolt viewer out of their comforting assumptions, different from what we are used to

Next for dadaism:

-it is an art movement of european avant-garde in early 20th century

-nonsensical in nature

-first conceptual art movement where focus was on making works that generated difficult questions about society

-question role of artist and purpose of art

-“Dada is anti-dada”

Artist example include Hannah Hoch:

-a german artist

-best known for her work of Weimar period

-collaging diverse photographic elements to make art

Lastly for russian constructivism:

-it is an artistic movement

-artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia

-rejection of idea of autonomous art

-objects created to carry out a fundamental analysis of materials and forms of art


My Line Is Emo

To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here

Upon receiving the project brief, I did not have a clear theme that I wanted to work towards to, hence I started by doing all kinds of experimentation, starting with simply using one tool to make different prints and patterns. I also went to look around to check for things I have at home and things that can be found in school to do more experimentation with the different textures.

Using leaves from the plants at my house

Using cotton pads, leaves and dried bamboo fibers for texture
More with ripped cotton pads
Textures from cling wrap
Using cotton buds to create two different patterns

Experimenting with the texture from paper towels
and the different patterns created using a same tool-a brush

Regular pattern made by a sponge

Different patterns created from the roller

Experimenting with chinese calligraphy ink in a dripping movement
Interesting patterns obtained when the papers got stuck together and torn apart


While I was working on this project, a thought hit me to try and represent the emotions I felt while adapting myself to the university’s workload. From there, I decided that it was a great opportunity to express how I felt during the transition from a junior college to an university. The emotions I felt being in a brand new environment, coping with the increased workload and living away from home alone.

Eventually, I decided on the six emotions namely amazement, frustration, helplessness, worry, longing and excitement. I deliberately listed them in such a way in order to give a flow to my theme which I will explain later on for each of the work.


For my first emotion-amazement, what I wanted to represent was how i felt upon knowing that I was successfully admitted into a local university and that I would be able to explore the huge campus far away from home.

Initially I was just curious about what kind of pattern would sugar particles print on the newsprint paper, however unexpectedly the design turned out to be really interesting, similar to splashes of paint or like clusters of small flowers. This feeling reminded me of how I felt back then hence I decided to use this technique for this piece of work. The sugar can also be seen as a new sweet beginning for the next phase of my life.

What i wanted to portray was the feeling of being in a new environment where everything is going to be very new and fresh to me. The specks of empty spaces made indicates that I am constantly experiencing new things and having new discoveries. I chose a part of the strip that has all the specks slowly increasing from the left to right, to show consistency. It also shows how my amazement towards learning will grow as I learn more and more in university.

First try using sugar
Effect i got during experimentation!
Attempt for the final mark!
Final result!


For the second emotion, I chose to express frustration-frustration from all the assignments that was given to me despite the fact that it was only two weeks into school, into a strip of paper. The large amount of work given within the short period of time gave me a lot of anxiety and I decided to pour my emotions out for the next piece of work.

The frustration piece was created using the 2D class weekly schedule as the base to work on. I also included clay powder from the dried clay pieces from 3D class by mixing it with the ink and spreading it around using the back of a paintbrush. I also added some prints of wavy messy lines in the background to add dimension to the whole frustrated emotion to enhance the feeling of the piece as you look at it.

As I was finishing the piece, it also frustrated me as I was using the back of the paintbrush to create messy lines. This adds to the emotion I wanted to express on top of the stress I was getting from all the assignment deadlines.

Using print-outs of the 2D weekly schedule as the ‘paper’ for this piece
Rubbing the dried clay pieces to obtain the clay powder
Adding some to the ink for more texture
Adding the prints created by using the back of a paintbrush for more dimension


The third emotion that i wanted to express after frustration is helplessness. The struggle of having to deal with problems independently most of the time was what i wanted to express, since most assignments are graded individually. One of the main differences I felt between junior college and university was that university focuses a lot about being independent, therefore loneliness is definitely something I feel really strongly towards especially in this phase of just starting out.

For this piece, I made use of the ink rollers in the studio, rolling in different directions to signify that I feel lost, then added on my own thumbprints all over the work to make a mark that as much as I feel helpless, I have to learn to be independent sooner or later.

From the large piece of newsprint I was working on, I chose the portion where the lines from the rollers were more defined as I wanted the idea of lost in different directions to be clearer in my work.

Usage of my fingerprints in my opinion gives a personal touch to the work

I had to see which part of the newsprint gave the image of clearer direction lines

I did two strips and decided on another strip instead of this for my final as I found the fingerprints to be too overwhelming that it blurs out the print of the rollers in the background


Following helplessness, the next emotion i chose is worry. As much as i feel like I am coping with the workload, I do sometimes worry about the next few years in university. Will I be constantly worrying about submission deadlines? Will I be able to produce quality works? Will I still be able to cope by then?

For this work, I once again made use of the ink rollers to produce an effect that looks like its fading out gradually to signify that I am uncertain about the future ahead of me, that it is no longer a clear goal for me. On top of the print, I added prints of my own hair strands, to emphasize that I am feeling so stressful that more and more of my hair strands are falling off.

The strip shows opposite direction of the fading out effect with the amount of hair strands to show that as I get more and more uncertain about my future, my worries increases as shown by the increasing hair strands.

Coated my hair strands with the ink and pressed them on the strip


Next up, I chose to do the emotion longing to express the homesickness i feel staying in the university hall. I personally stay in the east so moving to the hall in the west felt just like moving to another part of the world. Although I do get to see my parents through video call every night before I sleep, it is somehow inevitable to feel empty and slightly homesick where i miss my parents company and the feeling of being at home.

Hence in order to create this work, I borrowed a spatula from my mother and created this paste by mixing sugar and ink together. The paste then became my cooking ‘ingredient’ then I added it to the paper, and came in with the spatula in a frying motion to mimic the action my mother does as she cook. On top of that, I added patches of black pepper to enhance the feel of home cooked food, to bring out the emotion of longing to go home.

Dragging the paste in a cooking motion


For the last emotion, I chose excitement which represents how i feel on the last day of the week where I can go home instead of staying in hall every weekend. Every week I just look forward to going home and spending time with my family and I wanted to express it in the string of events to show a flow. 

The work is fairly simple, newsprint paper with a lot of foot prints, to signify the excitement of me almost running home in delight. Although simple, I thought it was a straightforward way to bring out the simple joy in my life during this period.

I chose a particular portion for the strip which showed footprints filling up the strip but yet clear enough to define each footprint, as I did not want the paper to be loaded with footprints that it becomes a mess of black ink. While i wanted to portray the tense excitement in the close footprints, I wanted to keep it neat and simple to not alter the emotion I feel as I look at the strip.

Inking the sole of my shoe
Imprinting the footprints!



From top to bottom: WORRY, LONGING, EXCITEMENT
Arranged in this manner to show the flow of the story line as I express the different emotions

Some of the challenges I felt during the process of crafting the strips was that I had the idea of what emotion I wanted to portray but I had difficulty identifying what tools I could use that was related to the emotion to put into the strips because ultimately emotions are intangible, it differs to everyone in terms of how they will feel because the interpretations might be different unless explained. Another challenge was that I did overlaying of different textures hence I had to make sure the details could be seen instead of making it a blur mess of black ink.

I think that however there could be improvements to be made especially for the amazement piece to include something relevant during the transition from a junior college to university, so that the piece would be more interesting in terms of laying of different textures and patterns.

My Line Is Emo (Research)

Prior to the making of the strips, I did some research on a few artists and their works.

1. Ed Moses Drawings from 1960 and 70ties

-large graphite drawings of roses from 1960s to signature diagonal grids of 1970s and beyond

-intense experimentation and innovation in all media

-made quirky earthy grids, cutting holes and walls and ceilings

2. Sol LeWitt “Scribbles”

-black pencil of first wall drawings of serenties

-try to detach from wall in the most illusionistic way

-create sense of depth while maintaining physical integrity of wall through bundles of thick and chiaroscuro’s signs

3. Gunpowder drawings by Cai Guo Qiang

-“I wanted to investigate both the destructive and the constructive nature of gun powder, and to look at how destruction can create something as well.”

-ignite gun powder explosives laid on paper

-use natural energy forces to create works

4. Hilma af Klint

-her paintings sometimes resemble diagrams, visual representation of complex spiritual ideas

-work includes The Swan and The Dove, symbolic of transcendence and love

-created experimental automatic drawing

-spirituality being her main source of creativity

-impregnated with symbols, letters and words

-symmetrical dualities or reciprocities: up and down, in and out, good and evil

5. Emma Kunz

-healer and researcher

-from 1938 she created large scale pictures on graph paper

-works represented by strictly geometric drawings on graph paper with pencil, coloured pencil and oil pastels

-content provides answers to questions about life and its spiritual implications

-use her pictures to help physical or mental problems of her patients, with each colour and shape holding a precise meaning

-grounded in spiritual belief

6.  Agnes Martin

-Art works include Falling Blue (1963), Loving Love (2000), This rain (1960), Red Bird (1964), Night Sea (1963)

-create serene paintings composed of grids and stripes

-attention to subtleties of line, surface, tone and proportion

-belief in transformative power of art to conjure abstract emotions like perfection and beauty

-works involved from geometric paintings to seemingly blank paintings made of penciled grids on large square canvases to bold geometric forms again

7. Andy Warhol’s Shadows

-one painting in multiple parts

-background of shadows painted with sponge mop while displaying warhol signature palette of bright hues

-shadows alternate between positive and negative imprints along wall of gallery

-each shadow corresponds to a form that reveals, with precision and self awareness, returns to quintessential problem of art which is perception

8. Oxidations

-done by coating canvases with wet copper paint and urinating on them

-urine oxides and change colour

9. Rorschach

-modeled on ‘inkblot’ test

-paint one side and then fold to imprint the other half

10. Julie Mehreth

-Works include Stadia I, II, III

-known for densely layered abstract paintings and prints

-works refer to elements of mapping and architecture

-works engage history of nonobjective art from constructionism to futurism

-makes large scale gestural paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint

-conveys layering and compression of time, space and place

11. Cy Twombly

-works include Untitled (1953), Leda and the Swan and Untitled (1970)

-graffiti-like scribbles and scratches

-repetitive and rhythmic drawing

-sketching unidentifiable doodles and splotches or words directly onto the canvas and by creating line based compositions, often inspired by handwriting

-suggest subtle narratives that lay beneath surface of his paintings

12. Franz Kline

-associated with abstract expressionist movement of 1940s and 1950s

-Works include Painting number 2 (1954), Chief (1950), Mahoning (1956)

and Orange Outline (1955)

-known for large black and white paintings bearing abstract motifs set down

-create physical engagement with viewer

13. Yves Klein

-important figure in post-war european art

-remembered for his use of a single colour, rich shade of ultramarine that he made his own: International Klein Blue

-Works include Blue monochrome (1957)

14. Mark Bradford

-work in both paint and collage, incorporate elements from his daily life into canvases for example remnants of found posters and billboards, graffitied stencils, logos and hairdresser permanent end papers

-use discarded objects to make his artwork

-works include The Devil is Beating His wife