Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction.

Materials used:

Living branches, Grasses, Leaves and Blossoms, ANY MATERIALS

What distinguishes Ikebana from other approaches such as “flower arrangement” is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. For each Ikebana, the artist’s intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece’s colour combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the implied meaning of the arrangement.


Ikebana comprises of 2 main styles, the Moribana and Heika.


Moribana uses a shallow container and a kenzan, a holder with many sharp points into which flowers are inserted. The big feature of moribana is the broad expanse of natural-looking shapes and a mound of beautiful flowers. This creates beautiful volume which can be viewed from three sides.









Heika (also called rikkashoka, or seika) is a basic style of ikebana arrangement that uses a tall vase and highlights vertical lines.  The biggest feature is the emphasis on bringing out the flowers’ natural charms and arranging them in a tasteful and elegant manner.


Different Arrangement Styles for Ikebana:

Another unorthodox style is the Jiyūka (“free style”). It is a free creative design and does not confine the materials to just flowers; every material can be used.

To compose a free style arrangement, there are basic principles of formation and some other important factors to consider. Analysis of the elements of the plant’s form, shape, colour, texture and quantity should be conducted to decide how it should be used.

These decisions will be influenced by such things as desired mass, line, point (focal point) or surface area. The composition or blend of these elements, the sense of proportion, contrasts, rhythm and harmony should be carefully considered.

This style is more closely related to our assignment with the use of free form designs and different materials to create a model.


The use of wires and free form arrangement of wire and leave.

The use of unorthodox forms and shapes.

Ikebana with fruits and vegetables.

Taste & Food

5 Basic Tastes:

Sweet – Sweetness, usually regarded as a pleasurable sensation, is produced by the presence of sugars and a few other substances.

Sourness – is the taste that detects acidity. The mouth-puckering sensation is caused by acids in lemons, yogurt and sourdough bread and other food.

Saltiness – Our brains are programmed so that a little salt tastes good, and a lot tastes bad.

Bitter – Bitterness is the most sensitive of the tastes, and many perceive it as unpleasant, sharp, or disagreeable. Bitterness is a distinctive bad taste accompanied by a reflexive “yuck” expression on the face.

Unami – Umami is an appetitive taste. It’s best described as “savory”—a taste rich in flavor released by cooking, curing or aging.


How we taste:

The idea that the different parts of our tongue taste differently is a common misconception.

Food produces Chemicals –> Taste Buds containing sensory cells –>Nerve –> Brain

Airborne odors –> Cilia in the nose –> Receptor cells –> Nerve –> Brain

Sight and Taste:

Taste as a sense is made up of sight, smell, touch and resulting taste. What we see will directly affect how we taste. For instance, when a moldy bread is placed in front, our brain already analyse the taste or the food and made its mind up that the moldy bread is disgusting.


The appearance of the food is also important when we want to make food taste good. Below are ways we can make our food look more appealing (FOOD PRESENTATION) and appetizing and this is similar to our final model where we have to create the different sensory aspects with the use of food and other materials. Besides, in food presentation, we can see different 3D design elements like the trios of Dominant, Subdominant & Subordinate.


Garnish – Usually consisting of an edible component, garnishes brighten the plate, give a clue to the flavor of the meal, complement the taste of the dish or fill empty space on the plate.

Using right colours – Colour is often the first element noticed in the appearance of a food product. Humans begin to associate certain colors with various types of foods from birth, and equate these colors to certain tastes and flavors throughout life. For example we associate apple as sweet because it is red. Imagine we have a blue apple.

Plating – The presentation of the plating makes an impression, even a promise, with the viewer. If the foodie is intrigued by the food, the artistic plating has done its job. If it looks good, you’re gonna wanna have it.The design in plating makes the experience of food more than just eating and enjoying, but further into an expression of craftsmanship and art.


Similar to the previous assignment, we also had to pick a random season from the Pandora box and for this assignment, the season that I received was SPRING.

According to, SPRING is the season after winter and before summer. Days become longer and weather gets warmer in the temperate zone because the Earth tilts towards the Sun. In many parts of the world plants grow and flowers bloom. Often people with hay fever suffer more, because of the allergens. Many animals have their breeding seasons in spring. In many parts of the world it rains for hours. This helps the plants grow and the flowers bloom.

Colours play a huge role in terms of the appearance of our final model hence the colours that represent SPRING are important for us to take note.

Colours of SPRING – Distinct yellow undertones symbolize the new growth that is visible everywhere in grass, trees and plants. With maturity, Spring’s foliage yields its yellow-tinged spring green colour and gives way to the cool blue undertones of Summer. Spring’s colours are as daring as the first crocus that pushes its way through the frost-covered ground. Even the neutrals of Spring, like camel and champagne, have a certain zest! Spring is a time of vigoro and growth, and the colours of Spring reflect this. From:



Before forming our final FooKebana (Food + Ikebana), we were required to come up with 3 sketch models using a sphere, a cone and a cylinder that has similar elements to that of Ikebana.

Checklist for 3D models:

  1. Each model must consist of a sphere, cone and cylinder.
  2. The Dominant(D), Subdominant(SD) and Subordinate(SO) should stay consistent from all angles.
  3. The model should be interesting looking while taking into account the proportion of the object and model itself.
  4. Create a balance (Dependent, Precarious, Independent) of directional forces from every position.

#1 Sketch Model

Side View
Front View
Top View
  • Dominant – Cone , Subdominant – Sphere , Subordinate – Cylinder
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Wedging of Cone and Sphere
  • Piercing of Cylinder into Sphere
  • Axis of each volume going in different direction creating dynamic movement
  • Cone is placed in a precarious position while supporting both sphere and cylinder.
  • Shortlisted for 2D sketch Analysis


  • Cylinder could be pierce through the sphere whereby 1/3 of the cylinder is exposed on other side of the sphere.
  • The placement of the Sphere. The apex of the cone creates dynamism hence by wedging the apex with he sphere, it made the model less dynamic.
  • Perhaps pierce the apex through the Sphere.

#2 Sketch Model

Top View
Back View
Side View
  • Dominant – Cylinder , Subdominant – Cone , Subordinate – Sphere
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Axis of each volume going in different directions. Zig-Zag Axis in play.
  • The use of a small Sphere and an exaggerated cylinder creates a form of dynamism in the overall proportion.
  • The use of a small Sphere creates a feel of levitation to the whole model.


  • Make Sphere slightly bigger
  • Wedge in cylinder into cone

#3 Sketch Model 

Front View
Top View
Side View
Side View
  • Dominant – Cylinder , Subdominant – Cone , Subordinate – Sphere
  • Consistent D, SD & SO from all angles.
  • Axis of cone and cylinder going in different directions. The addition of sphere brings out the X, Y and Z element.
  • Changed the inherent proportions of the cylinder by making the diameter of it’s circumference longer than its thickness.
  • Audience should view the model from the top first then view the model from the front. From the top, the model looks overwhelming because of the circumference of the cylinder and the cone as it covers a lot of surface. However when looked at a lower angle there is actually a lot of space hence creating a form of illusion with the use of the void below the cylinder and cone.
  • Shortlisted for 2D sketch Analysis.


  • Make Sphere slightly bigger
  • Wedge in cylinder into cone

2D Sketch Analysis

Analysis for Sketch Model #1
Analysis for Sketch Model #3

Sketch Model 3 to be used for reference for final product.

Final Product

Final Product (Side View)
Final Product (Front View)
Close up (Strawberries + Candle + White Base)
Close up (Tree Branch + Cotton Candy Balls)
Bottom up view of Tree Branch

Materials used for final product: 

  • Branch
  • Cotton Candy
  • Candle
  • White Bathtub (BASE)
  • Strawberries

Colour Concept:

  • Pink
  • White
  • Red
  • Light Brown

Dominant: Tree Branch

Sub-Dominant: Candle, Strawberries, White Base

Sub-Ordinate: Cotton candy balls

Idea Concept:

When I think of spring the first time that popped up to my mind was Cherry Blossom. Hence my color concept that I chose for this final product comprises of pink, white and red which resembles that of Cherry Blossom.

Spring represents growth, vigor and blossoming, thus I intentionally chose a dynamic looking branch so that it can instantly capture the audience attention and bring out the ideas of spring. The branch is dynamic looking as it extends from a branch from the base to many branches and curls back, making it look interesting.

For me, I feel that Spring encompasses the taste of sweetness as it represents a sweet new beginning and spring break. Therefore, I used foods that are sweet like Strawberries and Cotton candy. I rolled the cotton candy into balls and placed them randomly on the tree branch as it bear resemblance to the cherry blossoms.

The candle symbolizes the warm of Spring and also the longer day time during spring. As the flame burns through the wax, it releases a fragrant floral smell that you will normally smell when flower blossoms during spring.

Analysis of Final Product

Ikebana emphasizes aesthetics in minimalism, therefore I tried to keep my final product as simple looking as possible while making it look interesting and encompasses the ideas of Spring.

Front View (Lines showing the Axis going different directions)

Initially the placement of my branch in line with the base but after that I shifted and tilted it towards the side  and placed my candle diagonally on the other side of the base to make the whole composition look more interesting and dynamic.


  • Lesser strawberries (Too many strawberries made the base looked very messy and overwhelming)
  • Wedge Strawberry with candle (Connection between the objects in the model)
Carving a gap on strawberry
Wedging of strawberry on candle
Minus one strawberry and wedging of strawberry and candle


This assignment is really cool as it allows us to express our creativity and ideas through the arrangement and combination of random objects like food and tree branches. Because it has no limitations and restrictions, it enables us to explore the different means and ways we can use to arrange our objects. It was really cool to see the different interpretation of the seasons everyone was given and the different ways they approach the Ikebana.

However, doing the Ikebana was really frustrating because I was unable to achieve what I initially planned out to do for my Ikebana. My idea for my Ikebana was rather different from what I originally planned because I was unable to source for the materials I wanted. Hence I had to consistently improvise to make my model look as close to what I had planned. It was just frustrating because no matter how hard you try, you are still unable to get what you want…

But overall, it was really enjoyable 😀

Foundation 2D: Forrest Gump (Movie Quotes)

Everyone loves watching films and everyone has their own favourite movie lines/ quotes. Here below are 4 of my favourite quotes which I am going to be using for my “Forrest Gump” assignment. I try to use quotes that are not too long, probably around 7 words so that it is easier to break it down and piece into a visual.

“No man can walk out of his own story.” – Rango

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” – Inception

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“The dead know only one thing, it is better to be alive.” – Full metal jacket



Pandora Box: Counter Balance

Counter balance

According to the dictionary, a counterbalance is a weight that balances another weight or a force or influence that offsets or checks an opposing force.

Checklist for 3D models:

  • Models should achieve the idea of counter-balance
  • All boxes must be able to be seen when rotated around.
  • Model should comprise of a dominant (D), sub-dominant (SD) and sub-ordinate (SO) and they should stay consistent on different sides.
  • The model should not be flat looking. Try to make model look interesting with varying boxes. 360-degree interesting.

During week 1, I only focused on getting the counter balance idea and making sure the 3 boxes are visible from different sides. However, I did not take note with the dominant, sub-dominant and subordinate concept.

Failed compositions from week 2:

Model 1:

Model 1 failed because I was unable to achieve the groups of D, SD and SO consistently from different view.

Model 2:

Same goes for model 2, I was unable to achieve the groups of D, SD and SO consistently.

Model 3:

For model 3, it looks too flat and was not interesting looking.

Although I tried applying the counter balance idea into the models, all 3 models looked like one another and was not visually interesting.


Week 3

For week 3, I tried to play with more different combinations to achieve the idea of counter balance while trying my best to apply the groups of D, SD and SO into my models. I placed my boxes without taping them together first and tried to play with counter balancing the acting forces or the weights so that I could get as close as possible to the idea of counter balance.

Red – Dominant

Green – Sub Dominant

Blue – Sub Ordinate

Sketch Model 1:

Bottom View
Side View
Front View
  • For the first model, the D is placed in a way that it is tipping towards the right as seen from the side view. To counter against the force and achieve balance, the SO is placed on the top left.
  • All sides have consistent D, SD and SO.
  • Length and width of D and SD too similar from front view.
  • SD and SO similar in size when looking from side view.
  • Have the X,Y and Z plane elements.
  • Shortlisted for 2D analysis.

Sketch Model 2:

Side View
Front View


Top View
  • For model 2, the SO is tipping over towards the left as seen from the side view. The SD is placed in such a way to counter against the force so that it achieves a balance.
  • Visual hierarchy of D, SD and SO not consistent from all sides.
  • Length of SO is too long hence making it hard to differentiate between SD and SO from the side.
  •  Unable to differentiate the D, SD and SO from the top view.
  • I tried to make the model more interesting by making the SO as thin as possible hence when you look from the front, it also presents the idea of levitation.

Sketch Model 3:

Top view
Front View
Side View
  • For model 3, the D tipping over to the right side as seen from the front view. The SD is placed on the left to counter against the force so that it achieves balance.
  • Unable to get the consistent D, SD and SO.
  • SD became the SO from the side view.
  • SO became the D from the top view.
  • I had the toughest time thinking for model 3 on how to make it different from the other 2 and make it interesting. I tried to play with length by using longer boxes but the result was satisfying.

After considering all 3 different sketch models, I decided to use sketch model 1 as my final model.

2D Sketch Analysis

Key points to note:

  • Decrease size of SO to 80% of original size or decrease size of SO so that it can be differentiated from SD
  • Shifted SO’s position to create a more dynamic composition
  • Increase width of SD to differentiate from SO
  • Decrease size of SD so that height of SO is 2/3 to the width of D from front view.
  • Moved and extended SD to balance D after shifting position of SO
  • Materials for D = Lighter wood + Light colour
  • Materials for SD = Harder and tougher wood + Dark Colour
  • Materials for SO = Light and transparent (Plastic/ Transparency/ Acrylic)
  • Not using techniques like wedging or piercing because these techniques will make the model firm which I do not want. In order to present the idea of counter balance, I want my model to present some form of unbalance and unsteadiness.
  • The use of contrasting volumes is needed to create the idea of counter balance as it requires the use of small and big volumes of different mass.
  • Adding weights to SO to make it interactive.



For dominant, I am going to be using lighter wood to create a box that is hollow. The colour of the box is light brown so that I can divert the attention to D as it is where the central of the idea of counter balance occurs at.


For SD, I am going to be using hard wood that is dark in colour. Dark colour conveys the idea of firmness and stability which is what I wanted for the SD which serves as a base for the D and SO. Besides I chose dark colour so that I can shift the attention towards the D and SO which are the main focus of the model.


For my SO, I decided to use a light and transparent material. I wanted it to be transparent to convey the idea of lightness. Besides, it helps to create a perceived illusion of making the SO look transparent and dispensable when weights are not added in, and in contrast makes the SO become important when weights are added in as the attention shift to the SO. I got the idea of using transparent materials from a Japanese architecture called Kazuyo Sejima.

Kazuyo Sejima is a Japanese Architecture whose style is very simple but able to create a very powerful . She emphasizes on the idea of immateriality as seen from her work in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. The use of glass and the colour white makes the whole building feels simple and weightless at the same time. The use of transparent vs opaque materials can create different kinds of idea in our models. Hence, I try to use the idea of transparent vs opaque to create different perception of weight and mass on my model. Since my word is counterbalance, mass and weight is important to the design of the model.

Final model

Side View (Without weights)


Front View (Without weights)
Top view (Without weights)

When weights are not added into the subordinate, the model becomes unsteady and causes the dominant to tilt to one side. Therefore, weights are added to counterbalance against the force that is acting on the dominant which causes it to tilt.

Side View (With weights)
Front View (With weights)
Top View (With weights)

When weights are added, the model achieves a balance.

Future Applications

Cantilever house


After doing this project, I was able to learn more on different design principles and how we can apply them in real life. As i slowly work on my project, I found that all these design principles like, rule of thirds, visual hierarchy, mass and voids and so on are everywhere around us and we can always relate to our surroundings. I also learnt the idea of materiality vs immateriality, the idea of using different materials and textures to create different perceptions and ideas. This is interesting as it opens up our simple mind and allow us to observe things like we never had.

The project also help me to create an eye when looking at things and also develop a critical mind when analyzing objects. It challenges my mind to think of the different methods and ways to make my model and on how to improve them. Besides, I learnt that craftsmanship and patience are both important for 3D and both of which I do not have and I need to work on them.

My Line Is Emo

My Six Emotions: Playfulness, Hate, Love, Lost, Worry, Depression

Playfulness – the quality of being light-hearted or full of fun.

For me the word playfulness draws connection to the word cheerfulness which links to the word bubbly. Hence, I try to convey playfulness through circular patterns which is done so via dripping paint.When you drip paint, you create circular shapes with additional splatter patterns. The splatters represent the liveliness when one is full of fun. The contrasting tones and sizes further adds into the element of excitement.I Dripped paint from different height to create splatters of different sizes using a straw while controlling the ratio of water and paint to create the different tones in the splashes.

Hate – feel intense dislike for.

Hate is a very intense feeling. When you hate you feel the inside of your heart burning up, tearing and opening up slowly. As you hate, hatred will slowly consume you letting the dark side take over, turning you into someone else.

I used a coil and used the burning end to slowly burn through the paper creating the line. The line shows how hate burns and tears up our soul and heart. The line opens up the with a dark background to show like the dark side is coming for you.

Love – a strong feeling of affection.Love is a strange thing it can make the strongest person or toughest person in the world to go weak, to go soft. Love makes you vulnerable. The use of wood and rope signifies toughness in a person. I purposely create the holes to show the vulnerability when love comes about. The slowly snapping ropes also helpings to show that love slowly breaks you apart when you do not know it. My interpretation of what love does to you in a visual way.

Lost – to describe the uncomfortable feeling of being in an unfamiliar situation

For this emotion, I was trying to creating a dreamy setting whereby a man is trapped in a place (limbo) where he is unable to escape and find his way out. The emotion lost was also inspired by a soundtrack called “Theme” from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In my opinion, the piece sounded like a man being trapped in a world where he is trying to escape but it always goes back to a loop. The dreamy setting is created with the use of baby powder. I spread the baby powder out on the black board to create like a misty and foggy scene. 

Worry –  anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.I am a thinker and sometimes I feel like I think too much. I over analyse things too much and most of the times, the things I worry about do not even happen at all. So, I feel that worrying always leads to nothing or it leads to further emptiness.

For the interpretation of worry, I used crushed paper to create a very messy composition to represent the chaotic mind i.e. looks like brain cells working. Next the crushed paper mark making will slowly fade off as it moves from right to left symbolising that worrying leads to nothing or that it just leads to more emptiness. Besides I crushed the right side to add further bring out the messy state of mind.

Depression – feelings of severe despondency and dejection.

Victims of depression are mostly unaware that they have depression. Depression is an illness, it is not a choice. Sometimes people we think are fine are the ones that need our help the most. From the outside they might seem fine, but sometimes they are suffering deep down.

I created this by using pen knife and my finger nails. The cuts were made by pen knife which represents self-harm. And as you look closer, you can see the marks made by my finger nails, these represents the pain they are suffering from the inside which we do not understand.


Overall, I think this mark making project is very fun and interesting as it is a very open project whereby you can share your ideas through creative means. Beside, I think it is very cool how everyone has their own unique and distinct styles and very often you can point out a person’s characteristics and personalities through their mark makings. I also feel that sometimes aesthetically pleasing works are not necessary good because I feel that the stories and interpretation from the artists themselves are more important and gives the artwork a life. (In my opinion) One thing I learnt from doing this is the importance of referencing. Sometimes when you reach an idea block, referencing from other sources for creative ideas is actually useful. However, it is good to reference and pick out certain good points from other sources but I try not to refer to it too much as our idea will start becoming similar. Another thing I learnt is patience. Actually I am not really a patient guy, so during the process, I got quite annoyed and frustrated on a few occasions as I was unable to achieve what I wanted. But oh well, life is about success and failure, and only through failure will you learn. Success and learn!!! 😀

Mark Making: Week 3 (Process)

Week 3

For week 3, we prepared the rough idea of the mark making we are going to do for our emotions and experimented it in class.

The emotions that I had in mind was regret, peacefulness, lost, playfulness and worry.

Fingerprint + Ink on paper

For regret, I wanted to create a mark making using my finger prints. I used finger prints to signify the things that we do that we regret on are pulling us back in life. I wanted to have my finger prints swirl on it, but the ink was either too thick or too wet hence I was unable to create the product I wanted.

Broom Bristle + Ink on paper













For peacefulness, I wanted to create the idea of flowy gentle tall grass by using thin brush or thin tools. To me when I think of peacefulness, peaceful the image of standing in a field of tall grass field popped up my mind instantly. Standing in the field as the breeze caressing your gentle cheeks as you stand there looking towards the endless horizon without worrying about anything at all. I cut out some bristles of the bottom of the broom to do the mark making.

Mono Printing + Strings + Ink on paper
Creating a dreamy landscape/background
Mono printing + Rope + Ink on paper




























For lost, I decided to use mono printing to create the work. I wanted to recreate something like what I had last week but using a a string or rope that is much thinner in dimension. I wanted to also create a rather dreamy landscape that looks like a limbo hence I used a wetter ink. The problem I faced when doing this was the control of the ink, I was not really sure how wet it must be and some of my pieces came out totally black as well. But I was quite satisfied with the result using the rope creating an abstract piece of a man trapped inside a world.

Dripping from different heights
Dripping Paint + Water on paper
Nice splash with different tones.













For playfulness, I tried dripping paint to create a bubbly and cheerful piece. I played around with different tools for me to drip the paint from using a brush to using a scoop. In the end I found out the best tool to drip paint is by using straws. Next I also played around with the mixture of paint by adjusting the ratio and paint accordingly to create different tones.  However, I was unable to created splashes that are bigger. Need to experiment more.

Crushed paper + Ink on paper

For worry, I decided to use last weeks experimentation with crushed paper. I crushed the paper and mixed it with ink and dabbed it on paper creating a very messy look. Satisfied!

Week 3.5

Before confirming my 6 emotions, I realized that my works are mostly using inks and 2D stuff hence I need to experiment with the use of more materials and techniques maybe play around with 3Ds and textures.

Further improvements on current works:

Different results

For playfulness, I am sticking with the same concept but to further improve my work, I made some adjustments like changing my tool to straw, adjusted the ratio of water and paint accordingly to achieve different tones and adjusting the height where I drip the paint to get splashes of different sizes.


For lost, I wanted to recreate it but by using different materials instead of ink. Hence, I thought of using my dental floss and place it on a black background.

Tools used







The hard part was trying to stick the string on the black board as I do not want to use too much glue because the glue stands out after it dries. Hence I have to use toothpick to slowly glue the string on the black board.

Other interesting methods that I tried out was to create burn holes. I was looking through interesting patterns and I stumbled across this method.
Burning holes














At first I used a lighter to create the holes, but the whole paper caught fire and it failed. I tried it out using a joss stick and paper and holes came out looking similar.

I was interested in creating layering in my work piece after doing some research on layering art as it can help add the 3D element into my works.

Texture art paste on canvas:

Paper Mache:

Folding art:
Folding 1
Folding 2
Folding 3














All 3 are creative ideas and I feel like the folding art idea can help to create layering effect on the background hence helping to accentuate the emotion even more. 

Other interesting method I tried was using string and on wood.

Furry String
String with wood








Failed experimentation:

(Lost) Water colour + string + Paper
(Playful) Drip ink + Hard paper
(lost) String on black board
Paper folding (I quite like it but I never use)
Paper Folding
Burning holes in paper
Burning more holes

These are the more interesting methods that I tried out with. After some experimentation and research, I feel that mark making is actually very fun as it enables you to express your ideas through creative and artistic means. Its cool… but super messy 😀