Micro-Project #3: Telematic Embrace

Telematic embrace, what an appropriate name isn’t it! Although we have been discussing about the concept of a third space for awhile now, I find it very intriguing how the third space can offer a sense of intimacy that we used to think can only be experienced first hand in the real world.

The class going on adobe connect
Source: Taken from my phone

In this micro-project, what we did was to go onto adobe connect as a class and interact while following the instructions given each time. We did things such as trying to poke each other while synchronising our movements and angles, trying to form something with our arms with the whole class, and we also made use of objects to show regularity amongst everyone.

A shot of us on adobe connect
Source: Taken from my phone
A shot of the screen when we were trying to align our fingers together in pairs
Source: Taken from my phone
The class showing something pink that we have
Source: Taken from my phone
The class doing a cross across the screen
Source: Taken from my phone

Through this project, I realised the importance of communication and how we can actually interact and negotiate via this third space during the process of social broadcasting. We had to discuss and reach a consensus amongst everyone, before we were able to coordinate in our movements, to actually create something from it. I particularly like the one where we did the cross across the screen. Other than the fact that it looks really interesting in terms of composition, it also displays this fun side of working together in the third space. The first activity where we tried to connect our fingers together in pairs also aroused my interest in a sense that as we do that, not only were we connected in our movements (our fingers), but also connected spiritually although we were technically physically apart. Because of this project, it also got me thinking if the emotional bandwidth from the third space will eventually be strong enough to replace the feeling of intimacy from real human interactions since we will all be so absorbed and comfortable with our identities in the third space.

Ego In Different Settings

To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/jfoo018/ego-research/

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



My Line Is Emo

To read more about the research i did prior to this project, click here https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/jfoo018/my-line-is-emo-research/

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.

Why so emo???

Don’t be emo, hopefully this can make u more palm-ed up ha ha.