Landscape of You 02

On 22nd Oct, I met up with my grandfather for dinner to celebrate my birthday. I asked him if he was coming over on Sunday for mahjong.

“Ya, you want to take picture again?”

“Yea, I want to film you doing your poses again.”

“Okay. See you tomorrow.”

Next day, this happened-

Yeah! Watch it in all it’s conversational glory. I didn’t expect him to actually bring his trunks as well. This was interesting and so surreal.

I’m not entirely sure if this is the look I want but it is definitely a once in a lifetime kind of experience.

I did a couple of different versions as well, just to get some variety

clothed topless

Personally, I think that either the topless one or the trunks one works better. What I dislike about the trunks shot is that it was shot a little too tightly. I doubt that I will be able to recreate these shots again. It just won’t have the same intrinsic experience attached to it anymore. I like the topless one too. It has a little more of an organic feel to it as it was the first shot I took.

I will now have to figure out if I want to readjust the concept to fit the shots. It definitely tells a different story now. I still want to hold on to the idea of having a landscape of a person – that is to say that a person is a culmination of experiences and the people who have entered and left our lives. It could still be in appreciation of it but I don’t know if the concept will be as strong if I were to place a longer focus on my grandfather than the people who have come into his life.

Alternatively, the credits could come crawling along with the shots. The credits could also come in, fading in and out of the scene. It does feel like it might come off as generic or dull/uninspired. I need to think harder about how to go about expressing this concept.

This is tougher than I thought.

Landscape of You 01

After thinking a little more in depth (and also because my grandfather happened to come over to my house on a Sunday) I the subject of my film to be about my grandfather instead of just any ol’ landscape. I changed to film to be about my grandfather and all the people and events in his life that made him the man he is today. I feel that it is a great way to cap off a trilogy.

I took a couple of shots that might work for the film.

The shots are blurry, I know. But looking at these shots, they feel very typical and expected. I felt the need to try out other shots to have more options.

These shots were more candid; perhaps making it feel more intimate.

Looking at these shots, I’m starting to reconsider the 1-second film with the long credits. The shots do not seem to fit the film concept so much anymore. I will retake the shots and see what happens next. I have a general idea of what shots I want to take but I feel that I shouldn’t be so fixated on how I want the film to turn out; trying to keep the process as organic as possible. After all, this is about keep it real.

Uncle Boonmee

Trying to analyse this film at this point will probably not come out right; having only watched this film once. Instead, I will talk about what I liked about this film.

First of all, I loved the ending of the film where the timelines were split in two; with Thong being aware and confused about it. It breaks the fourth wall and makes us realise that we are watching a film. It left me feeling confused and intrigued. I’m still trying to figure out why this worked for this film. I have a feeling that if this was done on just any other film, it would have fallen flat. It is a tricky thing to pull off. There is still a lot to figure out about this film. It was an interesting experience in cinema, to say the least.

Secondly, the use of different styles of filming was, while not entirely groundbreaking, used in good taste to fit the narrative. The film made use of cinematic styles, documentary styles, and ever photography to give each scene its own unique flavour. There are times when everything feels so real and then there are times when it feels detached.

Lastly, it was confusing how it was never explicitly mentioned when Uncle Boonmee was recalling his past lives. Yet at the same time, it was refreshing and we are left to think about it. Which parts are his past lives? Is the film itself a recollection of a past life? Again, I can’t really make any sound conclusions yet.

Having never watched an Apitchapong film, it was an unusual first experience. It is quite challenging trying to keep up with what is really going on in the film. It challenges the audience. I am not entirely sure if this is the kind of film I want to produce down the line, but it is definitely a film worth thinking about.

1 second film.

In which originality is a lie.


During the presentation of project 2 a.k.a Screen to Screen: A collection of short stories, I came up with the idea of having a one-second video to express the idea of appreciation. The one-second shot would be a landscape scene and the credits would be about everything and everyone that has made the scene what it is at that moment.

This brings us to me actually googling about if this has been done before. I was hesitant to do any research on this for fear that it would affect how I approached this concept. Alas, if you want a good enough grade to go to film, you have to do research and show process so here we have the same method of a one-second film.


The idea is to make the World’s Biggest Shortest Film by inviting everyone to make a movie together. People all over the world are invited to donate a minimum amount of $1 to be a producer in the film. All profits of the film would then go to charity. in that one second of film, there will be 2 frames of 12 paintings. This makes up the 24 frames in one second. The credits will then play for one hour with a feature-length ‘making of’ documentary next to it. To me, this is a gimmick to garner attention, albeit for a good cause (probably).

It seems then, that my film would only be taking “inspiration” from the aforementioned film on the part that it is one second long with a long end credit.

Conceptually, the two films are quite different. While their film is about bringing people together to partake in this non-profit experiment, my film is about appreciation of things we take for granted. This can be in the form of the people who clean up the dead leaves on the ground every day or even the people who made the filming equipment. Unlike The 1 Second Film, my film will not be 1 hour long with a feature length documentary playing over it. Not having any video or image playing over or alongside the credits places focus on the credits themselves.The long length of the credits is meant to show appreciation for the people we take for granted.

Angel in The Phone Camera

Close to 1000 images to look through.

I have sorted them out into categories that I think the photos make sense to be in. Of course, there are some overlaps, but I duplicated them to fit into the categories.

Photos from AhGongSlides include:

12 16

Photos from Birthdays include:



Photos from Family include:

img052 img003

Photos from Food include:

img395 img031

Photos from Gong 80 Birthday include:



Photos from gongong include:



Photos from hisART include:

img770  img850

Photos from hisHome include:

04022007029  img777

Photos from Mama include:



Photos from mamaNgong include:



Photos from Nature include:



Photos from Other include:



Photos from Scanner no Scanner include:



Photos from TV include:

img209  img627


After looking through the photos. I decided to work with the images that he took of the TV.

It has enough photos to fit into a slightly more coherent story in 30 images or more.

I just have to figure out how to arrange my images to tell a story more than just “my grandfather took these photos”.

The Sovereign Forest | Scene of the Crime

The natural habitat in Odisha, India has been undergoing major changes in its landscape. This makes way more industrial buildings but at the cost of the livelihood of the forest and its inhabitants. The film showcases different places in Odisha – presenting the environment as the “Scene of the Crime”.


What first caught my attention was the minimal use of text and the way it was presented. The mystery of who ‘he’ and ‘she’ are, left me perplexed and wanting to know more. In one instance, we learn that the ‘judge’ refused evidence for ‘his’ murder. This could be a metaphor for political powers disregarding the protests that the industrialisation of Odisha has damaged the land. The non-literal and minimal use of words make each sentence impactful.


Movement in each shot is slow. The waves move slowly, as do the rustling leaves on the trees. It feels like the calm before the storm. A fairly common technique in film is to slow down the shot and muffle the sound to bring out the feeling of inevitable loss, which is what I believe was being expressed.


Each individual sound is clear and crisp to immerse you in the scenes. This invites you into each scene to experience the beauty of places that will eventually be lost to industrialisation.


The heavy use of close ups complimented with off screen sounds show that there are things happening beyond what we are shown. We are left to imagine what is happening beyond what we see. It tells a story of how changes to the ecosystem of Odisha are being made in secret.


While it paints a poetic picture of the situation in Odisha, it is nonetheless very one-sided. Perhaps the industrialisation of Odisha would bring more good than harm in the long run, but it was not expressed in the film. Its purpose, then, is most likely to set the mood for the exhibition. Kanwar is not just trying to inform, he is trying to make you feel what he, and the protesters, feel for the land. You might not see the value in it, but he is trying to put you in the same situation of having something you care about and depend on being destroyed.





The post-exhibition ice-cream was great.


Stumbled upon this other exhibition. It was pretty cool too.

Angel In The Marble


Presentations were done so off we went taking photos for our OSS.


I’m reluctant to use photos of myself presenting because it really is just me standing near the whiteboard and talking; there was nothing that says that it was for project 1.

Looking at the “book” that I made, I felt that the book could have been smaller. It would have helped to make it feel more personal rather than looking sort of like a textbook.

I do think that the artistic statement is just a tad bit too wordy. I could have definitely compressed it to much less. Perhaps Michelangelo’s quote followed by the variation of that quote in my grandfather’s own words. That was a loss on my part. It would have definitely done a better job at setting the tone for this book.

All in all, I thought that this was quite successful for me. I did a studio-esque photo shoot for the first time. I bound my own book for the first time too. I’m not a great photographer, nor do I have a good eye for aesthetics but I feel that the narrative is a meaningful one.

I enjoyed myself.

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.