Josiah – Emo

1. Fragile –

Delicate and vulnerable; easily broken.

Technique: Tearing pieces of black paper and piecing them back together, slightly further apart.

The lines of the broken paper give off the tense feeling of everything about to break apart. The sharp and jagged edges accentuates the need to be gentle and careful towards vulnerability.

2. Anxiety –

A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Walls closing in around you; like being pierced by the very air around you.

Technique: Monoprinting with white and black paint.

The sharp and heavy white lines cut across the paper – like the piercing sensation in your lungs when you have difficulty breathing. The grey spots almost seem to creep out from the paper, giving the feeling of unease. The layers and layers of black paint slanting walls close in – suffocating.

3. Exhaustion –

Fatigued; low on energy. “Shag, cannot think” – Every Singaporean son.

Technique: Different sized marker pens and blind drawing.

The lines make little sense and also progressively get fainter. Strokes get shorter and more half-hearted. The short strokes also occasionally sink lower, getting fatigued. This creates the effect of feeling exhausted.

4. Rage –

Violent, uncontrollable anger. Expressive and explosive negative energy.

Technique: Crushed charcoal glued on paper.

The marks made look almost like an explosion from a point the causes debris to fly in all directions. The debris even bounces off the left side of the paper, ricocheting back. It seems to start off centre to accentuate movement. Similarly rage is erratic, uncontrollable, and explosive.

5. Desperation –

A state of fear that results in rash or extreme behaviour; potentially losing one’s sense of self in the process.

Technique: Sand glued on paper.

The ink blotches loses its sense of self as it is dragged backwards while trying desperately to stay ahead. In the process of doing so, it gets ripped apart. The tiny black sand gives the sense of chaos that is tearing the ink blotches.

6. Turbulent –

Confusion, disorder, and disorienting.

Technique: Tea leaves glued on paper.

The tea leaves  start off as dark swirls of confusion that become lighter as it gets dragged by the forces around it. It starts off at the bottom of the paper before immediately being swept off the ground, unable to land for even a moment.


7. Despair –

The complete absence of hope, like being stalked by the abyss.

Technique: Letting flame from candle lick the paper.

The lone black dot is stalked by the burnt marks and brown lines of the abyss – the unknown darkness. Just being there in a form of stasis, there is no hope.


8. Patience –

The absence of annoyance and anxiety; inner peace and calm. Tolerant.

Technique: Marker pen and ruler

The straight continuous line moves along with no quarrel to its destination. The white space gives off the feeling on lightness and inner peace of the black line.


9. Jolliness –

Happy and cheerful.

Technique: Dripping Citronella oil on paper, then tracing with marker pen.

The bubbly, bold blobs are just floating around in space, having the time of their lives, doing what they please.The variations in thickness of the lines give a 3 dimensional feel to it, making it look at though the blobs are floating around.


10. Nervousness –

Sweating at the thought of your worries, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Technique: Rolling gel wax on paper to form a layer on the paper, then applying a flame to certain areas to remove the wax. Lastly using a marker pen to colour over the exposed area.

The paper is reflective, looking like it is sweating at the impending dark, unknown, unfamiliar blocks that look like they are approaching fast. The empty space is a metaphor for being at a loss for words like the mind blanking out at the thought of the imminent event. The dark blobs get lighter as it approaches the white space, showing that the worries are less scary that we imagine them to be.


11. Eagerness –

Keen interest and excitement; sparks of high energy.

Technique: Coffee glued on paper.

The mini explosions are trying to contain itself but alas, eagerness gets the better of them and they burst out into smaller bits. The small bits look like a wave flowing through the mini explosions, like being carried by the excitement.


12. Indifferent –

The absence of emotion.

Technique: Monoprinting with linoleum board.

The paint marks have no beginning, middle or end, just the paint of uniformity and towards the right side, wiping itself off of having any emotions.


13. Contentment –
Being in a state of tranquil happiness; satisfied.

Technique: Tea leaves glued on paper with masking tape, which was later removed.

The bars of the tea leaves and the white space may vary. There might be discomfort within the bars, shown in “noise” of the tea leaves, but the bars of tea leaves still remain vertical, tranquil, and happy.

14. Melancholy –

A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

Technique: Charcoal on paper.

The faint lines thrash in the pain of sadness, seemingly being attacked by the darker marks. The lines seem to have no beginning, it just exists and it experiences the pain.


15. L’appel du vide –

The feeling you get when you, for example, see a car driving by and have the sudden urge to jump in front of it. “Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.” – Milan Kundera, The unbearable lightness of being

Technique: Using the foam netting used to wrap apples in, stretching it out and spraying spray mount onto the paper, before pasting tea leaves onto it. As a result, only certain areas of the paper has tea leaves stick to the paper.

The white space in the centre is being lured into the hypnotic lattice of the void. The white space is turtled up in defence but the call of the void is strong and has begun penetrating the white space.

16. Grief –

Deep sorrow, especially as a result of the loss of someone’s life.

Technique: Letting flame from candle lick the paper – even burning it a little.

A hole is burnt with the loss of someone. What follows is the deep, dark, shadowy embrace of sorrow – calling out to the scars left by grief. Eventually, grief passes and wounds heal, but the scars remain – represented by the grey marks and the burn marks without holes.

17. Compassion –

A gentle feeling of fondness; the kind of love without expectations.

Technique: Marker Pen on paper.

The pillowy embrace of the curved elements endures through the cutting pains of loving,

18. Paranoid –

Delusions of persecution and a general distrust of others; a form of illogical fear.

Technique: String glued on paper, with dirt loosely scattered on.

The wormy lines of the string give goosebumps on the paper; overwhelming it even. The strings are harmless but it still gives off a sense of unease. The “dirt” on the paper, complimented by the wormy lines, give off the feeling of being buried alive.



Honourable mentions


Feeling as if you can’t think clearly. Disoriented and having difficulty focusing. Incoherence of thought.

Technique: Pen on paper.

Random styles including dots and lines and swirls make it difficult to focus. There is a lack of coherence in the overall make up of the lines and marks – coming off as disorienting.



Being without a country. Exhilarating and disorienting swirls of giddiness from being an outsider.

Technique: Tea leaves glued on paper.

The swirls give rising up spinning around, like a roller coaster, but being swept to the side in the midst of it.


Heartbroken and feeling down.

Technique: Monoprinting with paint on lithium ion batteries.

The balls of black get heartbroken and it feels like a hole in their chest. They get broken and sink to the bottom of the paper as nothing more than dots of black.

So, you could say Dejection got dejected. How poetic.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

I spent the weekend trying out all sorts of mediums to create my lines. The results are as follows:


It was only much later in the day when I realised that light brown is not going to work. So I decided to paint over the sand.


I also tried using the nasty nasty stuff inside cigarettes to create something that I felt would give off an off-putting vibe. Again, the colour was a darker shade of brown and adding black paint would have just felt a little too forced. I really thought that it could have been something.


This was a weird one. I had gel wax lying in my room (don’t ask), so I played around with trying to apply it on the paper. It did not stick so I wrapped the paper in cling wrap. The cling wrap just over powered the entire piece and the wax was looking more 3-dimensional than I would have liked, so I rolled the wax down onto the paper until it formed a thin layer. The resulting effect in quite unique.

Excuse the blurry photo

I made attempts to use coffee beans and tea leaves to create interesting pieces. Though the result is slightly more 3D than I wanted, I feel that it would hold up when looking at it from a 2D perspective.


One of the several attempts at using tea leaves on paper to express the feeling of bliss or tranquility.


The mess made from using the tea leaves. No email complaints sent so we’re good.


Just before night fell, I took the picture of materials I used. Red candles were no good but I used the flame to create burn marks on the paper. I also tried burning charcoal to then make marks on the paper but not much happened. Lastly, I tried using this indian incense thing (name of which escapes me) given to me by a friend for a shoot that never came to be. The smoke was promising but alas, nothing happened to the paper.


The charcoal on paper did not give me anything to work with organically.


Why light a candle and drip wax at night when it’s dark outside? Because it would have been too easy otherwise.

With all my experimentation done, it would now be time to select my final pieces.

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

Mark Making: Part I

For week 2’s mark making exercise, I came in with my tools and left all wits behind me.

Always use protection
As neat as it gets

IMG_4136 IMG_4137 IMG_4143

Getting off the ground, I experimented with the tools that I had to see what kind of marks they made. Following that, I just let my feelings guide my hand to create the following:

I feel that this piece has a lot of energy in it. Being the first piece that I worked on, I feel that it really shows.
I feel that this piece made too much use of whites on the white background. It feels lacking.

After my first two tries at mark making, I decided to try the linoleum board.

First adding a layer of black paint
Much focus, such paint
Experimenting with both the use of white and negative space

Again, with the first piece, there was a lot more of feeling than thoughtful actions. This is the result.

I don’t know why but there is something about this piece is so interesting to me. This is by far my favourite.

With my second try at the linoleum board, I tried to give this piece symmetry on the side while being completely asymmetrical in the middle. This is the result.


Looking back, I think there is something to this technique but the overall quality of the print on the linoleum board was lacking a point of interest. This could have been a lot better.

For my last piece, I did some more experimenting with ways to use my tools.

This one is a lot more controlled that the other pieces.

There is some order to this piece; more so than the rest. It feels strong and confident, with just a hint of a wild side. The process was insightful and I thought this turned out pretty decent.

To recap, always wear protection- because it’s gonna get messy.

The pieces that I loved the most were the ones where I just let myself go wild. I’m going to think about what kind of emotions my pieces convey. I believe that some of them will convey more than just one emotion to me. For next week, I will definitely need to bring in more mark making tools that what I have brought. Here’s a sneak peak: