Foundation 4D Final: SHUI


This is a combined post by Francesca Nio Hui Shan | Guan Hui Boon | Jocelyn Sim Chun Wei | Yeoh Zhen Qi

Our personal reflections will be at the bottom of our posts!


This installation explores the impact of sleep deprivation on students. In a competitive and demanding school environment, it is common for students to sacrifice sleep in order to complete their assignments and maintain their grades.Through an installation, viewers will experience the state of sleep deprivation that our character, Sienna, is going through.

Our target audience will be ADM students. This will be relevant to ADM students, serving as a wake-up call for students currently living in this lifestyle by warning them of the severe consequences of sleep deprivation.



Through an installation piece, audiences get to uncover the story of Sienna Lam, a Media, Art and Design (MAD) student, and what drove her to this devastating sleep-deprived state that she is in now.

The installation piece aims to replicates Sienna’s messy work cubicle, mirroring her mental and physical state. Viewers are then allowed to manoeuvre through her belongings to figure out what has happened to Sienna and how has her life been impacted by Sleep Deprivation.

At the end of the installation, one question which viewer might raised would be : Where is Sienna now? In response to that, the final takeaway of this installation is to allow viewers to relate to Sienna and at the end of the day decide for Sienna as well as themselves where would they want to be as an Art student.

Narrative Plot:

Sienna Lam, a MAD student, suffers from sleep deprivation due to the struggle to maintain a work-life balance. Her grandmother raised her because of the premature death of her parents. Besides having to juggle her demanding school work, Sienna is also working part-time as a barista in order to help to lighten the financial burdens on her grandmother. Sienna is able to afford to come to university because of a scholarship offered to her. Due to her scholarship, Sienna feels even more pressure to maintain her grades. Despite her passion for product design, Sienna is struggling to keep up with her interest and quality in her works due to the lack of sleep and time.

This story presents the fact that sleep deprivation is not as simple as not having enough sleep. Many factors contribute to it as well. The progression of sleep deprivation is a gradual process, and Sienna does not realise that she was sleep-deprived until it was too late whereby the effect of sleep deprivation has taken over her life.


Execution + Processes

This installation takes on a sublime approach that exaggerates the consequences of sleep deprivation in order to shock the audience. In contrast to beauty or prettiness, the sublime describes beauty mixed with terror, danger, threat – usually on a grand or elevated scale.


AIDA Framework:

• Awareness – Installation is set up in a dim location, lit by only small torches with red tints. Viewers will navigate through it with the help of their phone’s torch light.

• Interest – Viewers will be curious as to where is Sienna now as well as the mood given off by the cubicle as such prompting the viewer to look through Sienna’s cubicle for clues leading to the discovering of her plight and story.

• Desire – Upon inspection, viewers will notice that the incense papers hung up and scattered around are actually not what they seemed to be. The incense papers are actually project briefs which are avalanching into Sienna’s life. Clues about Sienna’s situation will be littered around the study tables for viewers to explore.

• Advocate – After learning more about Sienna’s situation, viewers will reevaluate their own situations and strive to make a change in their sleeping habits. On the other hands, while viewers evaluate the question of where has Sienna gone to, viewers would also be able to make that decision for themselves while making connection to the character.


Final Installation and Considerations

Space Considerations:

As we are replicating a workspace, we looked to our own personal workspace as references to ensure that our installation looks like a realistic and messy workspace, but it is highly curated at the same time.


Proposed space cubicle



Actual space cubicle

As compared to our initial space consideration, we eventually settled down with a small and constricted space for Sienna’s cubicle in order to fully draw out the feeling of being confined and trapped within a small space. The rationale behind the small constricted space is to allow viewer to feel and draw the idea of Sienna being trapped within this vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and its effect is daunting her.




For the incense paper project briefs, we made use of our very own project briefs and photoshopping them to mimic the visual of actual incense paper before folding them into the common shape in which incense paper are folded into for prayer purposes.

In other to exaggerate and bring across the impact in which a staggering amount of work has been on Sienna leading to her sleep deprivation, we decided to go for this approach. We felt that it would be a sublime approach since the essence of the briefs would only be discovered if viewers really do pay attention to these incense paper.






Sienna’s diary as well as post-it notes which are pasted on her wall also serve as another platform in which viewers can attain greater access into Sienna’s personal life and discover her daily struggles since these mediums are dated and are easily traceable to the things that Sienna are doing each and every day.

On the other hand, the hand written diary also offers a micro look into Sienna’s struggle as the hand writings eventually degrades, showing her lack of interest in planning out her schedule.





Bank statements and ATM receipts of Sienna are also pinned up on her notice board as well as being left around her work desk. As viewer chance upon her expenditures on art materials etc, viewers would then be able to infer from her expenditure on how she is struggling financially despite her working part time. This factor adds on to the severity of her sleep deprivation due to the stress it incurs on Sienna.








Sensory Integration Model


The overall mood of the cubicle space is also controlled by the usage of red lights. The light sources were only limited to 4 torches as well as the laptop screen of Sienna as we wanted the cubicle space to only be slightly lit such that things can clearly be identified yet there are areas that requires further discovery. On top of that the visibility of the cubicle is controlled so as to give off the feeling of confusion and controlled vision to mimic that of the effect of sleep deprivation where those experiencing it experiences hallucinations and reduced visibility.



Personal belongings of Sienna were left around on the table allowing viewers to interact with the items and get to know about the life of Sienna.



Ambient sound

As the QR codes lead to audio clips that are from Sienna’s POV, we decided that the ambient noise would be audio clips that are from other people’s POV. These people include Sienna’s classmates, boss, co-worker, teacher and best friend. Hostile remarks were thrown in Sienna’s way and this gives us an insight into the amount of stress that she’s dealing with.  

Over time, the audio clips start to overlap more and the volume gets louder as well. Eventually, Sienna is unable to take it anymore and shuts down, hence the ears ringing sound and then silence. As we were listening to the final audio clip, we ourselves felt stressed out too!

Sienna’s grandmother’s voice is purposely left out because her grandmother is the most important person to her, hence we wanted the audience to imagine what her conversation with her grandma would be like.

All the individual audio clips are pieced together, then looped 4 times to form the final ambient audio clip. 


Here’s a breakdown of the final audio clip:


Sienna’s daily voice recordings

[ accessed through QR code]

By laying around daily voice recordings of Sienna through the medium of QR code, the installation aims to prompt viewer to manoeuvre through the various QR Codes laid around Sienna’s work space to find out about the back story of Sienna. Unbounded by the sequence in which the voice recordings are being heard, the recordings also aim to draw a connection back to the ambient sound that are being played in the surrounding. As the recordings are only from Sienna’s perspective, combining the ambient sounds which consist of perspective from people around Sienna would allow viewer to piece things together.

As for presenting Sienna’s POV, it was a toss between an audio diary or video blogs (vlogs). We decided to go with an audio diary eventually because we felt that it would be more realistic for Sienna to choose this over vlogs. As she was already so overwhelmed, she wouldn’t have time to video herself ranting. Hence an audio diary would be more convenient and hassle-free.

From a storytelling perspective, rather than literally showing Sienna’s physical and mental state through videos, we also wanted the viewers to imagine the state that she was in instead. We felt that this would be more impactful as our viewers would sub-consciously put themselves in her shoes and imagine how it would be like if they themselves were going through this ordeal.


Audio files bank

Sienna’s Daily Recordings|
– Day 1 of school:
– Being done with life:
– Week 2:
– Week 3:
– Week 4:
– Ointment:
– Bank loan:
– Expensive medication:
– Regretting coming to university:

Grandma related |
– Frustrated with grandma:
– Medicine:
– Unable to go home:
– Whining:

School related |
– School office:
– Unable to go for project:
– Attendance:

Friends |
– Less interaction pt 1:
– Less interaction pt 2:

Workplace |
– Unable to go to work pt 1:
– Cover shift for co-worker:


QR codes |



Video Footages


More Pictures!

Personal Reflection time

Think for me it was challenging for me to think ahead to the final whole outcome when we were discussing about the project in the first few weeks, but towards the end we could really see everything coming together! For me I struggled with thinking too much about the minute details at the beginning when we did not have a proper idea solidified yet, so I had to consciously stop myself from babbling on about the details that we could not confirm yet. i think my group also did a good job of putting ourselves in check because we would constantly stop each other from babbling too much about irrelevant details ahahahahahha

I personally really loved working on this project because it was much more in my comfort zone even though i havent done an installation before. (sidenote: my teachers have always told us to take the chance while we are in school to do installations, it’s unlikely that we will ever do it again after entering the workforce unless we become full fledged artists) We really go through the minute details to form a whole character (gestalt!!!) so that there is a whole narrative for the viewers to experience. Definitely think that we could have done more for the installation if given more time and space, if we could explore a more literal death? who knows! I still really love the final result because it was the sweat and tears of our group :’)

think the entire thing was such a great experience for us to create a physical space for a narrative, a chance that we may not have in the future depending on what major we go into! i’m really thankful for the group of people that I worked with (hopefully didnt cause them too much grief) because i think we honestly pulled the installation off quite nicely despite the various obstacles we faced! LOVE YALLLLLLL <3 and thank you laoshi for not killing me this sem, even though my last project was a complete flop!!!!!

Foundation 4D Assignment (I)



Upclose of Object

Close up of me interacting with Object

Figure shot of me interacting with Object

Mid range cropped shot of me with Object


I thought about the objects that have shaped my life. My very first electronic toy (a Tamagotchi), my first handheld console (a Nintendo DS Lite), my very first handphone (a hand-me-down from my older sister)… These are all things that have altered the way I communicate with the people, the way I enjoyed things in life. But going even further back, there has been one item that I have been attached to all my life quite literally.

So I embarked on the journey of interacting with my chosen object. This happens to be an object that I am very much attached to – my handkerchief (which I affectionately call my hanky or chou chou for short. I will call it my hanky for convenience’s sake for the rest of the post.)

The story behind the hanky is that I used to have a whole set of handkerchieves dedicated to the sole purpose of collecting my drool while I slept when I was an infant. I never had any attachment to a pacifier, or any particular pillow for comfort. It was a simple handkerchief which had a very utilitarian purpose in my parents’ mind, but it was something that I found my comfort in since I was young. I have been extremely attached to my hanky, to the extent of refusing to go to sleep without it, and many family members and close friends have poked fun at me for being so attached to a seemingly useless piece of cloth.


Untitled Film Still #3, Cindy Sherman, 1977

So one of the artists I like to refer to is Cindy Sherman, a American contemporary photographer, who tends to talk about the identity of women represented in the media. Although my chosen topic is not in this area, I found her works still very emotionally moving, and able to convey messages effectively through her techniques, such as using a crop that leaves the viewer wondering about what is outside the frame of the photograph, as seen in Untitled Film Still #3 above. Although this photo (like most of her works) has a more provocative tone, the cropping method is still one that makes me think it is a successful work in getting the message across.

Untitled Film Still #58, Cindy Sherman, 1980

Another method that Cindy Sherman uses is the voyeuristic viewpoint of her works. By using a voyeuristic viewpoint, the subject will appear more vulnerable as someone is gazing without the subject’s knowledge. It leaves more to be wondered about… is the figure being spied on? Or is there a third party in the room that is unseen? The different vantage points that she uses also adds value to the works – the low vantage point gives the woman a more powerful stance, while a higher vantage point makes the woman look more vulnerable and reliant. For me, I think the higher vantage point definitely works better for me, just the subject (aka me) will seem to be more… unguarded and sensitive, in my own space, and the voyeuristic aspect of the angle adds to the meaning of the work.

The works that I’m referring to are mostly in Black and White, giving a more nostalgic feel to the images. My chosen object, my hanky, is reminiscent of my younger years, which gives me the option to make it black and white to give the sense of nostalgia. Instead, I chose to edit it to be less saturated (close to Black and White but not really. I have issues completely committing to B&W so I chose the middle ground.) It still gives off the sentimentality that I want for the set of photos.

Comparison between the original image (big) and the desaturated image (small)

Alsoooo if you notice I decided to use chiaroscuro to my advantage. I decided to use a natural light source aka my window, but restricted the amount of light with black out curtains. The more dramatic lighting adds to the nostalgia, whereas fluorescent lighting in the room gives a more clinical look that I don’t want.

Sooooooo let’s look at some of my fails (:

Me in my natural habitat.

Unfortunately this image is not in my final selection because it doesn’t have the hanky as the focus of the photo (in fact you don’t really even see it. Oops.) But I do appreciate the voyeuristic view of the image.

Me using my laptop while holding onto Hanky.

I changed up the angle for this one, but for some reason it doesn’t exactly show my nostalgia, so I decided against putting this into my final choices. But I do like that it does show the attachment that I have towards my hanky. I do bring it around pretty often. You may or may not see it in my backpack, but it’s usually there on days when I’m feeling particularly anxious.

Hanky against my quilt

This was one of the first few photos that I took of my hanky. (and it’s the few that I actually really like) The requirements of the task did indicate that it should be a close up against a neutral background, and the quilt is actually very distracting, so this image didn’t make the final cut. ):



Low vantage point of the Playground, with semi-buried baby sandals

Slightly slanted view of sandpit, from a low vantage point

Top down view of the edge of sandpit

The top view of the part of the Playground


I decided to go with a similar theme for Task 2, digging back into my childhood. One place that I used to go to often is a playground near my aunt’s place in Tanglin Halt, with a similar design (my memories of the place are now quite hazy), but the place has since been demolished as the estate has been en bloc-ed. The only memories I have left of the place is that it was one with a sandpit, and the slides and structures were decorated with the tiny mosaic-like tiles. The reason why I chose to do it on the older series of playgrounds (aka Dragon Playgrounds) is because two years ago during SG50, a lot of people pick up on this iconic playground that is now rarely seen, getting replaced by plastic slides and crumb rubber ground. Though many picked up the iconic image, few go to the actual location of the playground, and it hasn’t been well kept, leaving the playground not very usable for children – the target audience of the playground.

It hold memories for me as it was the place where imaginations can run wild, and you can play pretend with your friends for hours on end, if your guardians didn’t drag you away before that happens. It was the place where I could draw freely on the sand and before any of my friends can catch a glimpse of it, I can destroy it quickly so that no one would see it (clearly already didn’t like people to judge my work)

So I was on the hunt for a similar playground, and the only surviving one (i thinkkkkk) is at Toa Payoh so I paid it (aka the only surviving Dragon Playground) a visit. I brought some props with me, just in case I needed to give it a bit more life. As expected, the playground was very lifeless, and littered with trash. The props (baby sandals, pink toy bucket and spade, faded piece of glitter art) were necessary to breathe some form of life into the place.

Without any props

I attempted to not use any props, but it ended being too bland for my taste. The sand was very prominent, and there was no exact focus. (I didn’t want the playground toys to be the focus, it was just the environment and atmosphere I wanted to capture.)


I found it quite tough to find artist references for this task, and resorted to just googling photography+still life+artist and many other random searches. Desperate times call for desperate measures. (honestly still such a struggle because I have a very specific kind of look I was going for… a styled shoot against a built background. A lot of the photographers are more conceptual and have a lot more editing happening in their photos while I wanted a more natural look. Or they keep featuring humans in the photos which I’m not keen on.)

One photographer that I keep coming across is Nguan.

Instagram post by @_nguan_

The Singaporean photographer uses a more pastel palette which gives a more child-like vibe, but I eventually decided not to edit my photos to that extent, and left it as saturated as it was. But one thing I picked up was the clean lines and the very clear focus that make his works very aesthetically pleasing. So I did try to make the photos have a clearer focus.. some on the baby sandals, others on the playground structures.

Let’s see some fails!

Railing of the slide on the way up

While I do think that this photo is very visually appealing, it doesn’t adhere to the task requirements of capturing the sense of the place. It looks quite abstract and you won’t know that it’s from the older series of playgrounds in Singapore since you don’t see the tiling on the outside of the structure.

For the two photos above, the reason why i didn’t choose them is because they looked too much like… just trash. I like the pop of red on the former photo, and shiny confetti on the latter, but somehow they don’t convey the message that I need them to. Visually appealing but not on task.




Foundation 4D Perspective Classwork


This is a one point perspective that I took of the hallway at B1. One point perspective makes the viewer focus on (usually) the middle, as the lines of the image lead back to the one central point.

Two point perspective of the table, two clear vanishing points on the left and right. Two point perspective makes the vanishing points end up at left and right ends of the image, which in a way makes the viewers pan across the entire image, rather than just focusing at one point unlike the one point perspective.


Three point perspective of the vending machine, three vanishing points. It adds more depth to the image..? yup. Worm’s eye view or eagle’s eye view.

The effect of using three point perspective gives it more of a dramatic effect. One work that reminds me of the three point perspective is Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #58, where the three point perspective gives the lady in the image a more dramatic powerful feeling, which adds greatly to the mood of the work and helps to add to the purpose of the work.