House Setup

So I thought that it would be a nice to show the ghetto setup in my room for day two of the shoot.

I thought about doing this in the same post as the main photoshoot, but that just disrupted the flow of everything so here it is, two posts later.

I had a couple of crafts given to my from my grandfather as well so I just had to shoot them as well

Knowing that the sunlight shining through my window would be strongest around 0900, I woke up at about 0800 to set everything up, making most effective use of natural light.

In hindsight, I should have waited until about 1030 to start my shoot because the light just too harsh earlier in the day.

The first photo

Of course, I adjusted everything and it turned out looking much better. In a perfect world, I would have all the time in the world in a studio with proper lighting, but sometimes all you can do is make lemonade.


After the shoot: Swimming with fishes

While looking through the photos, I tried thinking about the narrative I wanted to convey.

At this point, the only information I had was the rough time period of each item and the materials used. I wanted to know the man who made the items. I called up my grandfather and had a long conversation. When he gets started, it’s hard to stop him.

I might not include this in the actual submission so I thought I’d add this in here. (Paraphrased for easy reading)

“Where did you find the seahorse and crab?”

“Back in the 1970s, I would spend my free time going to Changi beach in the evening to catch fishes. We used carbide lamps to help us see in the dark. You had to wait for the tide to go down before you went out look for the fishes. There were even sea snakes, sawsharks and catfishes. You don’t really see them nowadays with all the reclaimed land.

A carbide lamp

One time, I waded in the water and felt a sharp pain on the leg. At first I thought that it was a sea snake but once a sea snake bites you, it doesn’t let go. This sharp pain was short so it can’t have been that. I looked down and saw this huge catfish swimming away. What’s worse, the pain made me stumble. The lamp touched the water and stopped working. I couldn’t see the shore because the street lamps were blocked by trees. Thankfully, the wind came and blew the trees aside for me to see the shore. During the drive back, my leg was still numb from the pain. I had so much difficulty working the pedals. When I reached home, my roommate gave me some Chinese medicine and I felt much better.

During the 15th day of the lunar month, the king crab (horseshoe crab) would come to the shore in pairs. You can eat the eggs but you need to know how to remove them because if the bile gets onto the eggs then you’ll get mabok.”


The photoshoot

I went over to my grandparents’ house over the weekend t0 take pictures of the crafts that he has done. I arrived at Lengkong tiga to some famous beach road nasi briyani; which my grandparents queued 1/2 hour for.

It was the best.

Looking around his house, you could see all sorts of ornaments. Mostly figurines and a whole array of tea sets. I have fond memories as a kid of playing with all the different things that my grandfather had made- and also watching Space Jam on LaserDisc. It’s been a long time since I’d been at his house alone. It seemed much smaller now. Strangely though, there are still crafts in his house that I had never seen before; like the cobra in the featured image above.

When I was young boy, I had always assumed that the things that he owned were bought, but only when he started making coconut zodiac animals for us did I realise that his home was quite homemade.

Back when my parents were living with my grandparents, they owned a coat rack. My grandmother wanted one for their room so my grandfather made a similar one out of wood. Guava tree wood, specifically; his wood of choice for its strength.

He talked about how he collects coconuts whenever he finds them, much to the displeasure of my grandmother.

We proceeded with the set up of the shoot area, which was near his balcony. Natural light, best light. Also, Natural light, only light. And also, Natural light, time-sensitive light. So therefore I needed to work fast.

I taped white cloth on the ceiling and let it drape down. With a table on one side of the cloth and the objects on the other side, I created the following:

Like the goat at the bottom left, he leaves the things he has made all over the house

Getting the light to be consistent was a challenge. I had to use the camera flash (I know, I cringe too) with tissue as a diffuser.

When it got darker, I had to use a light and because I did not have a proper light stand, I became the light stand.


Timers are also great for reducing the shake when pressing the shutter button (because I had a subpar tripod).

Because the shoot was by the balcony, wind was inevitable so getting the photos without too many creases was a challenge. I had to wait for the right moment to snap each photo.

He sat on the sofa behind the white cloth, occasionally coming over to see how I’m doing and also to tell me more about the things he made.

After we were done, my grandmother heated up some pastries, peeled a bunch of rambutans and offered them to with along with mooncake and ginseng water.

I am loved.

I wished that I had taken a photo of them then and there, instead, here’s a photo of them dancing at my grandfather’s 80th birthday.


3D Model Making

Failure. Lots of Failure. It started off trying to find the right kind of wood that could balance the SD. I settled for Basswood. Getting wood of the right size also proved equally challenging. I settled for ones with a similar surface area but shorter height. I would have to glue 2 pieces of wood together.


I sawed one piece of wood and glued the two together.


The quality was far from desirable. I had to file it down.


Wood dust from sanding

With that, the D was done.

Moving on to the SO. I bought a whole bunch of wire in hopes that I could fashion it into a spring- Don’t use wire to make springs. The material is just wrong for that purpose.


As a compromise, I bought pens so that I could use the springs to form the SO.


I foolishly tried using one piece as the SO, completely disregarding the fact that SD would be heavier. I soon realised my mistake.

File_000 (4)

I used multiple springs to create the above. This would have to embedded into the SD.

SD was supposed to be easy but proved to be the most challenging.


I used silicone putty to make a mould for epoxy to be the SD. After that, I had to fit the springs into the epoxy, but since the epoxy was still liquid, I needed to levitate the springs.

All was good until Wednesday when I realised that I had to start fitting all the pieces together on Thursday. The Epoxy was still liquid so I had to come up with a back-up. I used some resin that was recommended to me by the storeowner at the Hobby Shop (where I got Balsa wood for David). It would prove to be my saving grace. I made another putty mould for the resin to be fit in. Because the resin could only turn more malleable when put in hot water, I had to work fast to fit the springs inside before it hardened. It worked.

Resin, 30min of drying
Epoxy, 72 hours of drying

The epoxy did not dry in time so I used the resin instead. I might have messed up the proportions. I had to create a small hold in the basswood to fit the springs inside. I picked out the wood filing and carving tools for the first time.

File_004(1) File_003(1)

It might have looked a little rough but I thought it was good enough. I jammed the springs in and used hot glue to bind it all together. The final product:


The resin could definitely look neater but I think that this was an enlightening experience overall.

3D Model Progress

After a couple of days of re-evaluating everything that I thought I knew about 3D, I came up with 2 entirely new models while improving on with the “spray bottle” model.

Model 1:

2ndModelFront1.1 2ndmodelSide1 2ndmodelTOP1

I thought it was interesting to see the D floating above ground from the SD as seen in the FRONT and SIDE view. That said, the SO piece is way too long and needs to be shaved off by so much more. I should also increase the thickness of the D and reduce the thickness of SD just slightly.

Model 2:

3rdmodelfront1 3rdmodelSide1 3rdmodelTOP1

The SO can hardly be seen from the front side. Currently it looks like there is one D and two SO. I have to increase the presence of the SD. It might also work better if I Increased the presence of the SO.

Model 3:

FinalModelFront1 FinalmodelSide1 FinalModeTop1

I have improved on this model from the last time, adding more presence to the SD. The SO can now be seen from the top too.

I will post the 2D sketch analyses of the models to improve on them in the future.

3D Model Initial models

Model 1:


I thought that it would have been interesting if the SD and SO cradled the D. However, the result was multiple elements with similar thickness. Other than adjusting the thickness of the pieces, I adjust the SD so that it does not run parallel to the D.

Model 2


In this model, I wanted to have a larger SD piece and instead making use of voids to give the D more presence. To make this work, I would still have to make the D bigger. Just like in model 1, the SD run parallel to D. This time, the SD is around the halfway mark of the D. It might look more interesting if it was smaller and was closer to 1/3 of D.

Model 3:


I feel that model 3 is the most interesting because it works and it floats and the SD brings balance to the model. I could improve this by creating a bigger emphasis of the SD because the height looks similar to the SO. The SO cannot be seen from the top view so I could make it a little wider so that it can be see from being wedged in the D.



Crystal Gem Analysis

I brought a quartz to class for 3D object analysis and right now I’m regretting it because it’s just so tiny- unlike the ones in the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit.


The principle axis runs down the quartz from the tip. The Dominant, sub-dominant and subordinate elements are harder to spot as the quartz is a singular item. Here is my educated guess:

The Dominant element is the asymmetrical shape of the gem.

The sub-dominant element is the difference in 2-dimensional shape of both the top and bottom of the quartz.

Lastly the subordinate element is the texture of the quartz. It is smooth at the apex of the quartz while progressively getting rougher at the bottom.


Though an interesting 3D object, it is not the most ideal 3D object for analysis of D, SD, SO. It might not be completely symmetrical but the entire object builds around one principle axis which leaves a lot of room for ways to make it more interesting. For example, there could have been another tiny quartz sticking out from one side and that would have given the quartz a little something extra; something more eye-catching that texture.

Blue is the Abstractest Colour

As interesting as Yves Klein is as an artist, I’ll be keeping this as closely related to 2D mark making as possible. With that in mind, let’s dive in to the deep blue.

As I lay stretched upon the beach of Nice, I began to feel hatred for birds which flew back and forth across my blue sky, cloudless sky, because they tried to bore holes in my greatest and most beautiful work.

-Yves Klein

Klein’s feelings towards the birds were in response to a spiritual activity that he was engaged in with his friends, who were also artists. They were to divide up the world between themselves. Klein got the sky and he was to “sign” his name on it- but then came the birds.

Yves Klein is most well known for his use of a single colour: International Klein blue (IKB).


In a way, Klein’s approach to art is translated in the boldness of IKB. Klein was high controversial for his time for his critique of the accepted understanding of abstract art. In the 1950s, abstract art had been accepted as a means for the artist to communicate with viewers through abstraction. Klein rebutted this notion with this monochrome blue paintings much like the one above.

He insisted that there was no motif, only “the void”.

“Blue…is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colors are not. All colours arouse specific ideas, while blue suggests at most the sea and the sky; and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.”

-Yves Klein

Klein was a pioneer in developing performance art and currently, I stay in Pioneer hall. Coincidence? I think not.

Bad jokes aside, here’s a video showing the performance of two pieces of work.

With performance art, Klein wanted to put an emphasis on the immediate experience of the art itself.

Anthropometry of the Blue Period (1960)
People Begin to Fly (1961)

Gaining access to one of France’s major destructive testing laboratories, he made use of “flamethrowers” to create fire paintings as shown in the video. Much like Anthropometry of the Blue Period, got his models to make prints on the canvas but covered them in fire retardant instead. He then used the “flamethrower” to create his fire paintings.

Anish Kapoor - Pigment Works Yves Klein - fire painting Yves Klein - fire painting

I feel that it becomes harder to feel for the kind of marks being made when you are unaware of the performance that went behind it. There is meaning in the action of using nude models and IKB. There is meaning in using fire against the fire retardant marks of the nude models.

If there is any take away from Klein, it’s that if you want getting the kind of feeling or message to come across clearly , you need to put in careful thought not just into what kind of marks you make but also how you go about making your marks.

Then again, he was also big on the idea of voids so maybe the take away is that once the performance of art is over, what is left is the remains of art; and there is an element of emptiness to the product of performance art.

2 fairly contrasting take aways for you to decide what you want to do with.

18 Emotions

Prior to research on the 18 emotions, I tried my hand at mark making these emotions to see what would come out. Some worked and some didn’t.


And because some didn’t. It’s back to the drawing board. So with that I present to you- my chosen 18 emotions w/ visual references. The visual references are not just inspiration for what to draw but also for me to get into the headspace of the emotion.

  1. Dread: To face whatever lies ahead with great apprehension and reluctance. I am dreading having to deal with the next 17 emotions.
  2. Affection: A gentle feeling of fondness; the kind of love without expectations.
    steven u
  3. Exhilaration: A heart thumping, exciting, ride. No bet
    enter the void
  4. Nervous: Shaking with a sort of fear that everything will go wrong very soon. Usually goes away after the item which we are nervous about has passed.
  5. Patience: Calm and collected; unburdened. Enjoying the journey
  6. Impatience: Burdened by purpose. Rushing to get to the destination.
  7. Paranoia: Delusions of persecution and a general distrust of others; a form of illogical fear.
  8. Infatuation: Butterflies in your stomach; an overwhelming sensation in your chest.

    Ignore the ‘play’ sign
  9. Indifferent: The absence of emotion.
  10. Annoyed: Agitated and spiteful. Muted as compared to anger
  11. Calm: Peaceful; floating in the wind; one with nature.
  12. Dejected: Heartbroken, sad, feeling down and blue.
  13. Anxiety: Uncontrollably jittery panic; like your heart is crumbling and the walls are closing in around you.
  14. Lonely: Isolation from everything else.
  15. Sorrow: Losing willpower; sinking and drowning.
  16. Hopeless: Trying but, overwhelmed by everything, giving up. Consumed by despair.hopeless
  17. Rage: Wild, violent and usually short bursts of anger.
  18. Blissful: A state of calm and peaceful euphoria