Monthly Archives: October 2015

Escaping Too Soon?

Right off the bat, here’s the final image of the first Hyperessay post so I guess it’s only right to start this project update with this image as a talking point. This image sparks some positive conversation last week and I agree that this image have so many layers and conspiracy theories to unfold but that’s for another paper. What I do what to emphasise is that the uncertainty and the mystification of this image is what makes people begin to interpret what they see and that is a work of a good art, which is to make people ask question, not about the art, but about themselves instead. I think this image is just a medium of expression for me but also for the audience. Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.21.42 pm

With that being said, I believe the element of ‘escape’ speaks for itself and I don’t have to bring it up to talk about it. I feel the definition of Escape is so wide that everyone have their own interpretation of Escape and I do want to keep it that way actually. In  my final broadcast, I have decided to play a mash up video of webcam footages/pre recoded videos, while I am present in the frame/space controlling what the audience is seeing. Similarly like the first image, all these different layers will be overlay each other to create a certain aesthetic. To control this, I have my Arturia Beatstep machine with me, as shown in the photograph below.

Arturia Beatstep

Arturia Beatstep

How it works is pretty simple. I will be using a max patch to do this. Each button and knob will control the diameter of an effect. So when I turn a knob, it will control the amount of hue or noise for example. Even colours can be manipulated. I will also use the effect from vizzie, to create these beautiful yet sophisticated visuals of Escape. I also hope the audience will be in a state of trance, I mean escape when they watch my broadcast. Below is an example of my patch so far. It’s pretty messy right now but my biggest worry is actually, the speed of the computer, lagging issues.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 5.14.32 pm

I have jit.record my sample video below. As you can see, I am playing live in front of the webcam, which adds another layer that I am being watched as well, technically.

This is just a sample process video which I make. If you realise, there will be instances where my image will be replace by beautiful giant bars that remind you of Rothko’s paintings. I was experimenting with the idea of the secondary frame which I can control as well, it create some kind of a break in the video to depict the concept of ‘Escape’.

From now onwards, I have to pick the right clip to show for the final broadcast. I believe there must be a flow in the video and I will work on the narrative as well.

Sources and Books

IMG_5296 IMG_5297

I have found 3 books that is relevant in our project that can use as our sources.

  1. Singapore Rubber Tree – an Economic Heritage by Peter W.C. Tan
  2. The Rubber Industry, A Study in Competition & Monopoly by P. T. Bauer
  3. Rubber In Malay 1876 – 1922, The Genesis of The Industry by John Drabble

I’ve peep at some pages of the books and they contained very parallel information that I have read online and scholarly articles.

With these more accurate books, we will constantly update our wall text and item description.


Since our project does not contain Artworks, we would need to pick 4 objects that we are able to write an item description.

Finalise Idea & Concept of Team 1

Last week it was still rough and hazy in our ideation but after a meeting last friday, we decided on the idea and concept of the exhibition proposal. As our topic is on Singapore Botanic Garden, we decide to just look at Rubber Tree and expand the exhibition from there. Below is a rough fun poster and the description of our intended exhibition proposal. We want to tell the story of how the journey of the rubber tree come from Brazil and how it make its way here.

Rubber Tree

Exhibition Layout
We also have plan out a rough layout of how we are going to structure our project which in turn, is the layout of our exhibition proposal. We plan the exhibition to be a one direction way to allow our guests to learn about the rubber tree. Take a look at the layout below. The concept of the layout of the exhibition is inspired by the rubber tree bark, as if people are entering the rubber tree itself.

Format Exhibition

For the final exhibition, we would like to show an interactive gallery mimicking the concept of our layout. There are 2 methods we are going to explore, firstly using the augmented reality app, Junaio. Using their mobile devices, users are able to interact with 2D posters and turn it into a video. Below is a video of how the app work.

Second interactive aspect of our exhibition will make us of motion sensor. When a visitor is standing at the designated spot, a video will be played accordingly. This will capture their attention and at the same time, they are able to learn through the videos.


We will be using scholarly articles to show the narrative in the journey of the rubber tree. We will be updating the bibliography with new materials as we go through the project.

  1. The Singapore Botanic Gardens and Rubber in Malaya, P.R. Wycherley. Article here.


Wall Text

If Joseph Hooker would have not commissioned Mr. H.A. Wickham to collect rubber seeds from Brazil, the rubber tree will not see the light in Malaya. Even there are stories stating these seeds were smuggled out of Brazil, these seeds and other exports were made with the goodwill and co-operation of the Brazilian government.

Moving these seeds is not an easy feat. Considering the long journey the seeds took from Brazil to the Kew Garden in England, special arrangements have to be made for the journey. Wardian cases were used to store these seeds to ensure they arrive in good condition.

In 1876, 50 of these seeds were shipped to Singapore but they arrived in poor condition, so in the following year, 22 plants were sent from Kew to Singapore again but this time they were successfully established by Mr J. H. Murton, the Superintendent of the Gardens. He established Hevea brasiliensis at the Singapore Botanic Gardens while Murton’s successor, Mr. N. Cantley & Mr. W. Fox found the Heava collection a home in the newly acquired Economic Garden in 1879.

I have a plan to escape from this world

My first ever idea was born wanting to do something with the current traffic cameras showing the traffic of the Causeway and the Second link, which is the bridge that connect Singapore and Malaysia. Usually people uses this traffic camera to see how heavy is the traffic before they decide whether is it a good idea to cross the border. Broadcasting and juxtaposing this traffic camera with another video of another bridge (say Golden Gate Bridge) from another part of the world will be an interesting visual actually. Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 10.20.14 am

Then I realise I was fascinated with looking at the traffic was because I want to get away from Singapore and cross over to Malaysia. I am fortunate to given the opportunity to travel quite a few countries and every time I travel, what I particularly enjoy is to actually Escape from reality, from Singapore, from school, from assignments and of course, seeing the world. I feel that the idea of Escape is very relevant in my life given the restriction living in a strict country.

From the idea of the traffic camera, I begin to see patterns of escape. As I begin to look at more traffic cameras, I begin to put them side by side making a collage. Even though it is a still image, imaging all this are videos of real traffic cameras. It as if we are working at the road authority! This collage also reminds me of a journey of escape through the never ending roads. Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 3.22.16 pm

I feel that the idea of Escape do not have to be a destination. It could be a temporary high or a continuous chain of events that never stop. The concept of Escape is related to the idea of letting go and letting the universe to take control. Even though I envision Escape in a very literal visual such as video of airplane taking off and ship sailing off, this a good way to start thinking of the idea of Escape.

The above video is some sort of a collage which I have compiled to visualise my idea of Escape. After this video, I feel that it can be improved through more actions and even colours. However, the sense of Escape can be sense through the different aspect of ‘escape’. The next process I did was to photograph what ‘Escape’ means to me.

minolta-39 minolta-35 minolta-44 minolta-56 minolta-57 minolta-58 minolta-59 minolta-72

Right after this process of documenting Escape with a SLR 30mm camera, I realise that Escape is not always about escaping from your troubles or restriction, sometimes it’s about embracing them instead. I also feel that I took some mediums of ‘escape’ for example the ladder or the tracks. Even practising one’s religion is an escape and I agree on this because when I am practising my religion, I do get a sense of calmness in me, spiritually, escaping from the reality for awhile. From this point onwards, I envision my project to be a mash up videos of all things ‘Escape’. I begin to look at different artists for inspiration and one particular artist that I was inspired was Nam June Paik, the pioneer of Video Art. The fact that he sees the television box as a sculpture is somehow very new for his time.

I remembered watching Good Morning Mr. Orwell in class and Randall telling me that Nam June Paik is behind the scene making this all happen. And he was responsible for the overlaying of images during some of the performances, particularly during the one with Charlotte Moorman. In Good Morning Mr. Orwell, Nam June Paik played the role of coordinator and was responsible for those live images the audiences see. As the show was broadcasted live, Nam June Paik would depend on the aesthetics of the live network and have little control if anything would have happen. In this work, I see Nam June Paik as someone who is actually performing in a sense. He was the main man behind the whole aesthetic of the programme and without his input, Good Morning Mr Orwell will not happen.

Good Morning, Mr Orwell, Nam June Paik

Good Morning, Mr Orwell, Nam June Paik

Another work that was inspired to me was the TV Garden. TV Garden is an installation mimicking a garden with plants and you know gardens but surrounded by television set. What inspired me was the visual content of the displayed, as shown below. It shows a very abstract visual which i find it very appealing.

Part of Nam June Paik's 'TV Garden' at Tate Liverpool. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian Christopher Thomond/Guardian

Part of Nam June Paik’s ‘TV Garden’ at Tate Liverpool. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian Christopher Thomond/Guardian

Combining these two aspect of his work and my initial idea, I have decided to hold the position of ‘performer’ in my final broadcast. In this new amalgamation of ideas, I will be manipulating real live video in real time using the Arturia Beatstep. By programming certain video editing style into my machine, I am able to control the aesthetic of my live broadcast. Moreover, a camera capturing me performing in real time will be overlay on the video as well. My act of performance in real time will be the metaphor of Escape, like how musicians playing live in front of thousands of people, they get the adrenaline rush and energy.

However, the final broadcast should not be just abstract forms and explosion of colours. I feel that it should have some kind of narrative to the idea of escape. The video could also be about my own definition of Escape and it could be about me as well. Thus, I have to decide if I should even be inside the final broadcast. Since my final broadcast have some element of randomness and glitch, I think it is also relevant if I could relate some of the technical aspect and compare it to Glitch Art.

4. Employ bends and breaks as metaphors for différance. Use the glitch as an exoskel- eton for progress.

-Glitch Studies Manifesto, Rosa Menkman

In my final broadcast, it will be many videos overlaying each other to the point where one won’t be able to recognise the scene. I am able to achieve this by using softwares that is able to bend and modify video clips. I believe with each bend and effect I apply, it should act as a metaphor in the final narrative that I am telling in the final broadcast.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.21.42 pm

Above is a screenshot of a test that I did which I imagine my visuals to be.

signing off.



Team 1: Updates on Final Project / Wall Text

From the last meeting we had, Team 1 have decided on a topic.

In our project, we are proposing an exhibition that explores plants in a domestic setting vs plants in a economic settings. We realise however, both of them could be interconnected. We will feature 2 plants each from both setting.

In terms of the template of our exhibition, we thought of dividing the exhibition into two parts, Economic vs Domestic. The concept of the exhibition will take form of(yes you guessed it) of a Indoor Garden. We thought of making it interactive by allowing user to use the Oculus Rift to view the exact setting of the plants that we have chosen. We would need to test this new technology out and see if it is doable within the weeks to come.

Our Wall Text (First frame)

Singapore Botanical Garden almost didn’t get to be a UNESCO Heritage site. Right after Sir Stamford Raffles’s death, the Gardens fell out of favour with the colonial authorities even though the garden was successful in introducing cultivation of economic crops and served as a place for agricultural experimentation. The original location of the botanic garden which was located at Government Hill(Fort Canning Hill) was totally gone and the land being returned to the government in 1846.

Second Frame

In 1859, the Gardens reopen at its present site. It begin to organise flower shows and horticultural fetes, there was even a zoo in the gardens. But the garden only got serious when Henry James Murton took over in 1875. He set up a system of plant exchange with other botanical institutions worldwide, introduced a herbarium and library. This exchanges of knowledge and seed make the Singapore Botanical Garden a one of kind where it evolved from an experimental economic garden to a botanical institution with roles in research, education, conservation and recreation.


Islamic Art Conference

I got the chance to visit 3 of the events in conjunction of the Contemporary Islamic Art, Design and Architecture conference. Prof. Sujatha was there at all 3 as well apparently. *insert laugter*

I wouldn’t say that Islamic Art really interest me but after the conference, it really change my perspective on Islamic Art. You guys gotta wait(i’ll post below) for how different speaker define Islamic Art!

BAYU. 8th Oct

Iskandar with his opening speech

Iskandar with his opening speech

The first event was the opening of Bayu, an exhibition of contemporary islamic art in ADM. It was curated by Noor Iskandar and Javad. I really like the whole look of the exhibition. The mood was really dark and the spotlight light up the artworks perfectly. There’s a couple of artworks that capture my attention more than the others. The first one is by Inkten Sufina. Her real name is Nadhirah actually but anyway, she exhibit this work titled The Transitory. I know her instagram account and sometimes she will post work in progress and she post a photo on the process of this work.

Inkten's Instagram post

Inkten’s Instagram post

It’s amazing sometimes to see artwork from the studio surrounded by so many stains and trash to make the artwork. Then after it is done, it is exhibited in the gallery. As an artist, I also enjoy this transition. It’s very cool actually. As Inkten is a graffiti artist, I like how she interpret islamic art with some of her background as well. The whole look as element of graffiti somehow I feel. Geometric forms have been associated with Islam and this is how she associate her work with islamic art.


Inkten Sufina The Transitory 2015

Next is by Izziyani Suhaimi. I got a chance to exhibit beside her in an exhibition about 3 years ago. She’s an incredible artist who stay true to her medium, which is embroidery which explore the notion of time and labour. In the exhibit she make the praying mat and the colours are very beautiful.


Izziyana Suhaimi Waiting for the Northwesterly Winds 2015

Lastly, Afiq Omar’s Ferroux. I am familiar with Afiq Omar’s photographs so I was looking forward for his work but I was disappointed with his exhibited work. He chose to show an old work dated 2013. Plus, to me, it’s not even related to Islamic Art. Maybe there are the element of the Wind which is the titled of the exhibition. I have attached a video below, so tell me what you guys think.


Afiq Omar Ferroux

Overall, it was a good exhibition overall, showing a wide range of mediums and style.

Lectures at National Design Centre. 9th Oct

I was there actually as a part of the work-study to help Prof. Gul to record the lecture session. So it was like killing two birds with one stone as it was also beneficial to me as I am able to listen as well. I’ve taken a lot of photographs, but I am only going to share some interesting ones. All of the speakers are professional in their art field so it was a wonderful opportunity being able to listen to them.

I can’t really remember all the names of the speakers as I wasn’t keeping track but what important is what they are showing. I thought this slide was interesting. I never really see all this purposes of art all in one slide so yeah, take a look!


The Purposes of Art

The next speaker was Prof. Nada Shabout, she’s the Director of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative (CAMCSI). She shared some work of contemporary islamic art and this one from Kader Attia was really really nice! I have attached a photo from online and insert the explanation.


The medium and everything about this artwork is perfect actually!

Kader Attia. Ghost. In Ghost, a large installation of a group of Muslim women in prayer, Attia renders their bodies as vacant shells, empty hoods devoid of personhood or spirit. Made from tin foil - a domestic, throw away material - Attia’s figures become alien and futuristic, synthesising the abject and divine. Bowing in shimmering meditation, their ritual is equally seductive and hollow, questioning modern ideologies - from religion to nationalism and consumerism - in relation to individual identity, social perception, devotion and exclusion. Attia’s Ghost evokes contemplation of the human condition as vulnerable and mortal; his impoverished materials suggest alternative histories or understandings of the world, manifest in individual and temporal experience.

Kader Attia. Ghost. In Ghost, a large installation of a group of Muslim women in prayer, Attia renders their bodies as vacant shells, empty hoods devoid of personhood or spirit. Made from tin foil – a domestic, throw away material – Attia’s figures become alien and futuristic, synthesising the abject and divine. Bowing in shimmering meditation, their ritual is equally seductive and hollow, questioning modern ideologies – from religion to nationalism and consumerism – in relation to individual identity, social perception, devotion and exclusion. Attia’s Ghost evokes contemplation of the human condition as vulnerable and mortal; his impoverished materials suggest alternative histories or understandings of the world, manifest in individual and temporal experience.

Another work that caught my eye was Super Oum by Fatima Mazmouz. As you can see in the image, is a pregnant woman in her bra and panties wearing a boot and mask. In western culture, the mask could be seen as a Ski mask but in eastern culture, the mask can be read also as a veil so I thought that was interesting in terms of understanding cultural symbols as well. Plus the artist is from the middle east, so people would automatically read the mask as a veil that muslim women wear.

Fatima Mazmouz, Super Oum, 2009

Fatima Mazmouz, Super Oum, 2009

The next speaker was Iftikhar Dadi from Cornell University. I like his hair! He was one of other speakers who was defining Islamic Art. Below are the slides which direct towards the definition.IMG_4957I agree with his statement, it also relevant to some form of art as well.IMG_4958


Here’s Prof. Sujatha asking Prof. Dadi some question which I can’t really remember. IMG_4969


The next speaker was a very handsome man who I walk halfway through his presentation as it was already begin when I came back from my lunch and friday prayers. There’s this part where he shared how was religion, culture, art, architecture, ideas and a lot of other things was spread from one place to another through this 3 domain. Which was relevant to our art history studies in school.IMG_4986

Islamic artist such Nusret Colpan is known for his miniature painting style depicting cities around the world. It has this map look to it which my team did during our presentation about a month ago. As you can see, what Nusret did was to put the Kaabah in the centre of the map to show Islam as the central role of the world. Again, we learned in class that artist uses map to show their power and their ideas towards their belief and this is what Nusret did. I have upload a better picture below. Read more on him here.IMG_4984

Islamic World, Nusret Colpan

Islamic World, Nusret Colpan

He also define Islamic Art and put Islamic art side by side with Religious art and secular art, which I thought that was interesting. IMG_4993

He also mention that some artist that uses provocative act in their artwork like the one above by Fatima Mazmouz has nothing to do with Islam as the religion but only uses it for an instrument for self promotion.IMG_4994

Overall the lecture at the National Design Centre was interesting and open up my eye. I only have this little knowledge on contemporary islamic art but after the lecture, I have known more artists and their artwork on contemporary islamic art. However, some of the talk were too complicated and too education to me that I was falling asleep.


Jameel Prize 3. 9th Oct.

Right after the lecture at the NDC, we all make our way to the opening of the Jameel Prize. The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. Its aim is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today. I managed to enter the exhibit without anyone before its grand opening. It’s at the National Library level 10 by the way.

The space was huge and the exhibit was very well put maybe cause there’s a high budget on this one. Haha.

IMG_4996 IMG_4999

Before the opening ,everyone was gathering outside waiting for the minister, Dr Yaakob to arrive.IMG_5007

Dr Yaakob in pink and on his left is Mr Maidin Packer mohd, who was an PAP MP minister back then.IMG_5014

This artwork was the winner for the Jameel Prize 3. It’s an fashion garment by Dice Kayek. I think it does deserve the award as this work was inspired by the Hagia Sophia, which was build as a church then it became a mosque and now a museum. The work was interesting because the translation from architecture to fashion garment shows how islamic art can still transfer from one art form to another, as they did in the past.


Berita Harian, a malay newspaper was there to write some story and they told me to pose with Prof. Peer and the others.

If you want, you can read it here. 


That’s all folks. I hope I can enter the Jameel Prize next time and bring home the £25,000.

Week 8: ACM

The construction over at the Asian Civilisation Museum was very disappointed actually. Only one level of artworks at the second level was able for viewing. Nevertheless, it was always a new experience every time I go to a museum. I was glad that this trip was done with a tour guide. In fact, I always enjoy art history a little bit more with a good guide with good knowledge. Marie, our tour guide is actually a scientist! Even though her main background is not related to the arts, she does have a minor in art history and I can see in her love for art history through her expression and how excited she gets in describing each artefacts.

I have been to the Asian Civilisation Museum a few times but I always see new object with each visit , such as this.IMG_4850

This sculpture immediately caught my attention due to the double abhaya mudra, which I have never seen before! I only managed to snap a picture but not the description, how sad is that. I managed to show it to Sujatha and she mention that this double mudra was unique to the region of Laos. That was enough for me to make further research about it.

I am sure all of you remember that the mudra above is the Abhaya Mudra which symbolises ‘no fear’ or ‘fearlessness’.  I did some research online and the double Abhaya Mudra actually means ‘no war’ or ‘don’t fight’.

In a region that has suffered colonialism, civil war and the largest bombing mission throughout the American-Vietnam war, this is a particularly poignant symbol.

I find this very interesting and it shows how a culture or even a history background can influence how a sculpture is shape and designed. By making the double Abhaya Mudra sculpture on the buddha statue, these locals somehow get a sense of peace and closure knowing that the religion is able to keep them in peace of mind. I find more similar buddha statue online and here is some of it.


Buddha, standing, in double abhaya mudra and dressed in royal attire, Thailand, 19th Century

This sculpture above is actually from Thailand, a country around the same region as Laos, right below Laos actually. As you can see this buddha is decorated very elaborately. In this case, the double abhaya mudra symbolises “calming the ocean” by the Thais. This story has to do with the Buddha performing a miracle by stopping a rainstorm and flooding in the presence of the three arrogant hermits. Having seen the miracle, they submitted to the Lord Buddha and listened to his sermon. The three hermits and their 1,000 followers were so impressed with the preaching that they were willingly ordained as monks. Again, this shows different region has a different belief in how Buddha represent the religion. This is very interesting as different people make different stories towards their religion and sculpture to make them closer to the religion.

Standing Buddha, with the gesture of Calming the Oceans. In the style of the Ayutthaya period. Found at Wat Yai, Phetchaburi province. Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

Standing Buddha, with the gesture of Calming the Oceans.
In the style of the Ayutthaya period.
Found at Wat Yai, Phetchaburi province.
Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

I uploaded the picture I took of the buddha statue on Facebook and one of my friend commented me and it was one of those epic comments. He upload a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo doing his normal goal celebration called the calma celebration. Which was really interesting because it does look like the double abhaya mudra!  The celebration was actually to taunt the fans to calm down and saying that he got this.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Calma calma celebration

Cristiano Ronaldo, Calma calma celebration

The double abhaya mudra also reminds me of the Solat that Muslim make 5 times a day. Before we begin praying, we put two hands facing the front before we fold them into our chest area. The image below shows just that. It doesn’t mean anything related to the Buddha but I thought it was interesting how a ‘hand pose’ could represent and tell different thing or story.


Week 7: My Own Room

This is a hard one.

I would pick Chinoiserie.

Anyway, I really wish I can live in a time zone where China is not open to the world yet so I can have imagination of what China looks like, maybe looking at my plates could help.

Let me tell you why I am not picking Japonaiserie. Because they attack us asian thats why. They got the idea of colonising other countries because of the western thinking they picked up after they open up to the west, again. But this is whole another topic.

I like Japanese art, they are very distinct and very original. Japanese are very discipline people and it reflect through the artwork that they make. Imagine those craftsmen drawing all those Namban Art, made up of very detail up to the very finish. While woodblock painting originated from China, Japan was able to make it look like they invented it because of the popularity of the ukiyo-e prints. Ukiyo-e’s composition was the inspiration to many western artist.

Looking at Van Gogh turn to try his hand on Japonaiserie, it didn’t really look like is a classic Van Gogh painting style but there is attempt there I think. Even though this kind of style is not really into my liking, I appreciate his attempt and somehow his signature style was influenced by Japanese art.

The Courtesan (after Eisen), Van Gogh, 1887, Oil On Canvas

Even Claude Monet was attempting to include Japanese culture into his painting. It was Hokusai’s Japanese flower prints that actually influence Monet to start doing his water lilies series. Hokusai’s flower prints doesn’t need to have a landscape at the background instead just focussing on the flower. Monet would blend that idea with his style and give birth to the water lilies series that make him famous. Comparing the two different paintings below, the composition is very different but you can see that Monet have some landscape painting on the fan.

DSC08579 copy

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

On the other hand, Chinoiserie speaks to me. Even the legend/story in the willow pattern is very romantic and I am able to relate it. I found an artist who does chinoiserie painting and it is very beautiful. I realise in Chinoiserie art, the most stand out element is actually the plant, those long branches and florals.

Dreamworlds-Hotel-Hallway-murals Dreamworlds-Jardin-Japonaise2


Looking at those two paintings above by Rainer Maria Latzke, she has elements of China on them, for example, the pagoda and the china vase. There is also the composition of background and foreground which is also an element in Chinese painting. Rainer-Maria-Latzke-forbidden-city-bedroom

Behind the bed, there is a painting of a chinese landscape, there is a pagoda, those tall mountain, which depict an exotic fairyland like how they depict in the distant cathay.

With that being said, I would rather have chinoiserie as I am able to get lost in a temporary world of imagination and dream, which is perfect for a bedroom where its main purpose is to rest and dream.

Anyway, I know of a hotel which I came across before way back and I manage to find some pictures on the net. This is the Majestic Hotel!

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.10.28 pm Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.10.48 pm SINGAPORE-New-Majestic-Hotel-Attic-Suite-Samsui-Suite-by-Justin-Lee-

The wallpapers have some element of chinese art and modern art combine! It is very interesting because in the first picture, you can see some chinese lady wearing a traditional clothing, holding a badminton racket and a mobile phone. The second picture, is a chinese women looking like mickey mouse and lastly, an image of samsui women. These graphics are from Justin Lee, a local artist who juxtapose the modern with the old, where east meets west. Here’s a link if you guys are interested to look at more of his work. In fact, Justin exhibit his works at the Asian Civilisation Museum actually some time back. I remember it now.

It might not be link to Chinoiserie or Japanoiserie, but I feel that artists now are very influenced with other culture and it reflect it in their work, in a case of Justin Lee, his juxtaposition of west and east emphasise on the point of how we are always influence by other culture.

Anyway, let me share with you guys some of the decoration I have in my room! I call it Industrinoiserie. IMG_4874

I collect car plates about 2 years ago. Everytime I go overseas, I will try to find car plates to add to my collection. Flea market at New York City have tons of it!

I also have two clocks which I want to try copy concepts of hotels which shows a lot of different time from different time zone. I believe the right is time of Los Angeles while the right is the local time. I always think it is very interesting to see big hotels displaying about 5 clocks on their lobby, maybe they want to reflect how ‘international’ the hotel chain is.


The Great Escape

Let’s recap: My idea for the final broadcast was the concept of the Escape. In my previous post, I juxtapose a video of a plane taking off and also a scene where the bus is at the Causeway. These two elements of escape in a sense that I am escaping from Singapore but figuratively, I also wish to escape from the reality of living in Singapore, the stress and the high expectation of living in a First world country. Then it makes sense, because the idea of broadcast ties in the idea of escapement. For example, watching movies in the cinema or any screen for that matter, is a temporary escape from reality and able to sit down and enjoy in a very control situation (happened in the movie), we forget about reality for 2 hours.

During my Skype meeting with Randall, we had a discussion on the direction my project is going and have asked me to do these few things, in order to progress in a progressive way. To sketch ideas of what escape means to me and to take elements of escape/flight in a photograph.


The bus is the vehicle for an escape.

I actually use a film camera to capture these below images. Some images I took based on my feeling towards the idea of ‘Escape’.


Escalators transport us to escape


This is the view when I lie down on my bed at home. An escape for me as well.


Train tracks is the medium to escape


Escape to the white light outside which brings uncertainties


The haze give an effect of the garden of eden


all you need is to climb to escape


A room to escape


that light at the end of the hallway is your only escape


the path to escape the world, will you take it?


again, the bus is the vehicle to escape, take a seat and enjoy the escapade


during raya haji at the mosque, a temporary escape for religion


when the prayers are done, everyone ‘escape’


that is a dead bee actually, i guess he ‘escaped’


Performing the Solat is a temporary escape to get closer to God

By taking these images and looking back at them, I think the next step is to take videos of flight or escape. My initial images of flight or escape was too literal for example, plane taking off, ships at sea or busses moving. I think if I take moving images which also represent escape and juxtapose it with a live broadcast video of me doing an action, I think it will be more interesting and also open for interpretation.

Randall also asked me to test out if I can link websites to max msp to do some effect and so i tried a thing or two.

I used the Jweb where basically I can open a browser on a max patch and then i uses jit.broadcast to actually show what my browser is showing and then alpha blender it with the webcam video.

For now it is just a experiment and it is still ongoing.


Life Sharing by Eva & Franco Mattes

Can you imagine sharing your own personal computer to a stranger? You will definitely be uncomfortable because there are sensitive information in your computer, plus all your secret is there in your history page!

But that was what exactly Eva and Franco Mattes did in Life Sharing. They open up their computer to the whole world. They made each and every file from their computer accessible to anyone at anytime! From emails, to bank statements, to photos, even softwares they used were all no longer private. I mention no longer private because one’s personal computer is like a private object because it sometimes contain your dirty laundry, but in Life Sharing, their private life becomes a public art. work-lifesharing-screenshot-01-700x600

Like the title suggests, this work focussing on the idea of sharing. Anybody can search and copy freely the files even the system as well. This work was dated 2000-2003, there wasn’t any social network, but in this way, Eva and Franco was able to share things to the world. The picture below is the screenshot of the email. Obviously, this was a very risky move as anybody could make one bad move and sabotage the emails and there could be a possibly a leak of secret information or virus to the email’s recipients. work-lifesharing-screenshot-03-700x600

In January 2001 we started sharing our personal computer through our website. Everything was visible: texts, photos, music, videos, software, operating system, bank statements and even our private email. People could take anything they wanted, including the system itself, since we were using only free software. It was not a normal website, you were entering the computer in our apartment, seeing everything live. It was a sort of endurance performance that lasted 3 years, 24/7.

-Eva & Franco Mattes

Being able to see everything from their screen live from my computer is an act of intrusion of privacy but that’s the whole point of this work. It pushes boundaries and question the meaning of open source and what it means to have boundaries between private and public. But more on that later.

Screenshots and software experiments:work-lifesharing-screenshot-08-700x583




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While CCTV surveillance is commonly covert and broadly concerned with policing, the webcam is characterised by a generally opposite impulse toward openness, sharing, and freedom of expression.

-Webcams or the Virtual Performance of Real Life

While the readings is solely focus on the idea of the Webcam, I find it relevant as well in this work. As webcams shows a particular scene of a place or location, it has the same effect as looking at Eva & Franco Mattes’s computer screen. Both have the effect of voyuerism however the aspect of ‘performance’ in Life Sharing is not evident compare to webcams.

Another interesting aspect of Life Sharing is that they extend the idea of exposing themselves through the internet by sharing their location through a GPS transmitter, so everyone knows where they are at any given time. I think this idea of sharing their exact location is actually very interesting given the time this work was done. Sharing one’s location could be dangerous if you have an assassin on you but for parents, they are able to know where their children is, for safety concerns. But I guess for Eva & Franco, they want to emphasise the idea of full exposure and that they have nothing to hide.



This sharing of location reminds me of the current social network application such as Facebook and Foursquare where we can actually share our location to the masses. Even instagram, you can tag the location. So I guess the idea of sharing location wasn’t something new. Back then where all the social network website wasn’t there, Eva and Franco uses the website like a social network where they are able to share their location to the public.lifesharing-vopos-amsterdam

They also keep track of the traffic that come through their website. They were so obsessed with keeping track that they woke up in the middle of night to checking how many people were viewing Life Sharing. Having a viewer is important as it is proof that people are actually interested in looking at a stranger’s computer screen and maybe get a free file or two. It helps the work to be successful in terms of its purpose as well.

lifesharing-logs-ReqReferSiteHist-2000 lifesharing-logs-ReqFiletype-2000 lifesharing-logs-ReqDaily-2000 lifesharing-logs-ReqCountry-2000

In Summary, Life Sharing is a risk that the artist is willing to take to push the boundaries of the idea of internet privacy. By being vulnerable through sharing everything on the computer to the masses, Eva & Franco question the meaning of sharing. As Life is all about sharing and giving back to society, eva and franco have done probably a good job in that.

and Oh, should I add , that being vulnerable technologically is more dangerous than being vulnerable physically? Haha I feel so because there are many secrets one keep in the computer. This reminds me of Marina Abramovich’s Rhythm 0 where she leave the power to the hands of the people, similarly, in Life Sharing, Eva and Franco are leaving the responsibility to the mouse of the people. Okay, I am done.