Darkness, space…. then an aroma strike you and bring you on a journey——->Scents
Who would expect we get to eat in our first lesson of class? It was an awesome way to start the class! The chocolates I had satisfied my hungry stomach lifting my mood for an early morning. Our task is to use our senses to taste and smell the chocolate we were given and link it to our memory. Before the mini class activity start, the lights were off so our senses will be more acute since our eyesight were blinded. After each chocolate tasting, we were given a small piece of bread to eliminate the remaining chocolate taste before we begin a new piece of chocolate.
Here’s my analysis on the three chocolates I had tasted. I had slight sore throat and blocked nose. I hope my analysis won’t be that far off from the rest. ]
Feel: Smooth. This seemed like a typical chocolate that can be found in supermarket.
Smell: Slightly bitter and smelled like dark chocolate.
Taste: Hard and slowly break down. Bitter to slightly spicy. The more chocolate I bit, the spicier the finishing taste was. I guessed the spicy come from cayenne pepper.
Memory: As the taste reminded me of cayenne pepper, I remembered my horrible cooking in the past. I added too much of this into my noodle soup and the whole bowl tasted so spicy and not even savory. I had to finish the whole thing because wasting food is bad. This just made my nose leaked the whole time.
Feel: Textured surface in round shape. It felt like a luxurious chocolate.
Smell: Slightly bitter like dark chocolate.
Taste: The taste was smoother than the previous chocolate. There’s a sour taste. It seemed like alcohol is added in. Unlike the spicy flavor that slowly kicked in and lingered in chocolate A, this sour taste came strong in the beginning and faded quick. At the end after eating, I felt disgusted somehow, my heart had the sicky feeling, not sure why.
Memory: I recalled myself drinking low alcohol percent of red wine. Pretty meh.
Chocolate C (The crowned winner!)
Feel: There are small humps and rougher texture on one side.
Smell: Slight salty savory smell.
Taste: Crunchy. It tasted like hollow air biscuit. The biscuit is light and airy so it gets crushed easily when bite. Initially there wasn’t much of a taste at the start then the sweet and savory slowly appear at the end.
Memory: I was horrified when I touched the chocolate because the humps reminded me of fake spider legs. I was on the verge of throwing the chocolate on the floor. My logical side stopped and calmed me down by telling me, “The last one can’t be some weird shit. It felt like it… but nope it can’t be. She won’t feed us spider chocolate.” Pinning my hope on it as Ms. Cheryl can’t be a psycho. The smell made a 180⁰ change on my perspective. The slight salty savory smell reminded me of a Malay snacks served in a cone paper during my primary school days. My school held some Malay festival so there are booths that sell Malay snacks. I had a lot of fun with my friend trying out things we usually don’t get in our canteen. This made me curious, wanting to taste it because it’s so rare to have my feelings changed so fast from nightmare to first love.
This diagram show different parts of our tongue is responsible for different basic taste. To be honest, when I was tasting the chocolates I feel that every part of my tongue seems to taste the various tastes. Hence, I researched and discovered the tongue map is a myth. The research of Edwin Boring and Virginia Collings revealed that all tastes can be detected anywhere there are taste receptors which is all around our tongue. Only that the degree of sensitivity varies at some areas of our tongues leading scientists to assumed areas with low sensitivity were areas of no sensitivity.
Does our nose works the same way as the tongue?
Air travels pass the millions of olfactory receptors on the roof of nasal cavity. Odor molecules stimulate the receptors that sent signal through the olfactory nerve to the bulb. Signal from the bulb spark memory in the brain. 80% of the flavors we tasted come from what we smell. That’s a lot from our nose.
Fun fact: Humans can recognize 10000 different odors but no two people sense the same things.
I saw this article on BuzzFeed. This seem to be an interesting topic to work with in Singapore Context like toys we play at Mama shop when we were young. That will be so nostalgic and fun to go back to those days.
A unique tear drop exhibition on smell and memory but i think its hard to pull off. Each person has their individual interpretation on a same object like wood smell can be interpreted as burnt wood, wood after a raining day, etc. I think they probably get the most distinct smell that everyone can recognize to evoke the memory of the place or object.
A creative installation that explore Singapore through scent. I wonder how Yishun smell like? Will there even be a distinct smell that make me recognize it?
Scent Map Singapore
Make your own Smell memory amulet! It records smell like camera. So advanced and simple to create. I want a floral light refreshing scent to calm my nerves at all times.
As I was researching, I reminded of the Poke-Senses box game I created for my portfolio to enter ADM. The rules are simple. There are nine holes containing different things to feel. Some are nasty and some feel good. Basically, poke your finger into the hole at the start line and try to navigate your way out. At the end, there will be two path; one good and another will chopped off your finger just kidding but it will hurt.
Further explorations at school and home.
Home experiments; bring out the scientist in me!
Turn out to be a complete fail because i use acrylic paint as the base so it dry up fast. Only the alcohol wraps is shown. i reused the blank space at the bottom and try out other mediums like sponge.
Brought this up on group consultation and decided to reduce the amount of water and use more ink to get a bolder mark. (Suggested by Alyssa )
Forgotten to take photo of the end result after a few days. Basically the cheese didn’t rot after a few days which was against my expectation because it has the most moulds spotted compared to the other food in the youtube video. Self-experiment is really important. The banana peels on the bleedproof paper rot fast, turning complete black and leave lots brownish tiny spots on where it was. The inner side of the peels were still a bit moist. Cartridge paper did not have quite a good result as the banana peels have dried off making it hard to remove from the paper. It didn’t rot as fast as the one on bleeding paper too.
Wish i could replicate out the line. However after several trials of controlling the amount of oil with water and also where to put the oil so the big blop of water can “accidentally” interact with it. It was all futile attempts…
Doesn’t this look like jellyfish?! <3 The bubbles made by the syringe are too thin so it cant last long before bursting. If it work, i would definitely go for AWE!
White vinegar with oil. The result is not that striking as compared to black ink on white paper.
This ends my length post of images.
The theme that i’m doing is on Extroverts vs Introverts.
Extroverts are outgoing, dramatic and expressive about their feelings. They get energized with a big groups of people and express their feelings in the raw state.
For this, i used primary and secondary emotions to show that they usually doesn’t filter their emotions regardless of where they are. They shine like a light in the public, so i usually use white paper to show their positiveness.
Introverts are shy,soft-spoken, passive, usually like to be alone and tend to think before speaking.
For this, i use tertiary emotions and black paper to express their complex feelings and their mental state.
As there can only be 3 not an even number of emotions in each category, i struggled to show the contrast emotions between extroverts and introverts. As such i decided to tell in a story format for the reason behind the placement of the lines.
Their origin of Love come from their family.
They have a strong Affections for being with people.
Being with their big group of friends make them Joyful.
They get lots of different emotions through the conversation with their friends such as Surprise or Stupefy when their friends said something super dumb.
Anger and Rage intertwined when they see someone they treasured get bullied.
There are times that they will feel Sad and Fear too because we are all humans.
When they are Attracted to someone, they would behave Awkwardly in front of them. This make them feel Embarrassed and wish they could do better. Getting rejected by the one they love is like a shot in the heart, leaving Sorrow in them. People’s conflicts Disgust them and they would avoid them at all cost. They like their own personal space and not having it is akin to Claustrophobic. They like to Enjoy life, find Amazement in it and can be Lyrical sometimes too.
Process: My family and mine thumbprints on to the paper
Reasoning: All love origin from family so i used it. Elegant, gestural strokes show that the beautiful, timeless love between parents and child. The strokes are all connected no matter how fragile they seen to be. It show that no matter how tense or distance the relationship is, there will always be a line of connection that is unbreakable.
Process: My thumbprints
Reasoning: Somehow i was reminded of the love between extrovert and introvert. Extrovert tend to be more affectionate while introvert is passive. I use the gestural wind like movement in the beginning and show my thumbprints “chasing” after the wind (introvert), wanting to show affection.
Process: Collage of monoprint leaves.
Reasoning: Extroverts get their joy from being with people. Life is normally link to plant, so i want to use collage of plant to represent the people in extroverts’s life. For which i cut into different shapes of circles to show different part of leaves kind of like puzzle.
Problem: Initially thought of using milk, drops of paint and dish soap to create Joy. With the introduction of soap to the pool of milk with ink drops, there is a chemical reaction creating waves and pushing the ink into random direction. Feel like Joy for extrovert is like this because they would bounce everywhere when they are joyful or excited.
Process: Syringe with white ink from high angle
Reasoning: Conversation is like injection of information from external source without the pain factor. Shock is expressed through the sharp pointy lines emerged from the spots of ink.
Problem: Initially wanted to show the flow of electricity on paper. Theory is use ferrofluid and spread it on a paper with saltwater. Ferrofluid is a liquid that has magnetic properties. Saltwater is a good conductor of electricity. Create a electrolytic cells connecting one end of battery to iron element and other to copper element. Since electricity affect the magnetic field, there maybe unexpected result on the movement of ferrofluid. Even without the magnet, ferrofluid may move itself because it contain iron in it so it may move towards copper element. However all this is just theory without experiment.
Tried making ferrofluid using laser jet toner and vegetable oil. Laser jet toner is said to contain iron particles so when magnet is near it, the liquid will become a ball of spikiness. However the toner in my house doesn’t have iron in it strangely. I feel disappointed to end an experiment that i was eager to work on.
Process: Syringe with ink from high angle and dabbling it with tissue.
Reasoning: The grey effect from using tissue to dabble it dull the whole picture. This reminded me of the brain stopped working because of the stupidity of the information.
Process: Throwing with golf ball and cotton ball and ink.
Reasoning: Throwing things in anger to show the emotion on paper. Controlled the amount of paint mix with water to get a bold splatter effect from the golf ball. From the left to the right, the anger get stronger as the imprint get more bolder.
Process: Punching with a plastic glove on
Reasoning: A larger intensified emotion is released out by punching. Plastic gloves created jagged lines because of the creases. The composition has more tension to it.
Process: Ink and glue
Reasoning: Extroverts are positive. Even though they are sad, it only for a while because they overcome it easily. Hence I didn’t cover up the whole paper with black. The streaks of black lines has mostly stop flowing down and so did not cover up that column on the left. I want to show that they have stopped feeling sad and start to go back to their cheerful self.
Process: Oil, white vinegar and ink.
Reasoning: Fear is all in the state of mind. It started out small with you breathing normally. As it progress, the fear manifested and you gasping for air. Eventually everything will calm down and return to normal. This whole line is done by the difference viscosity of white vinegar and oil to show the separation as seen on the left. Ink on the oil form small bubble like people breathing underwater. The short chaotic line caused by the white vinegar resembled the brain undergoing a shock state from fear.
Process: Cooking oil, flower
Reasoning: Introverts does not express their emotions out well. On the surface they look like a blank paper, unreadable emotions. If they like someone, they will always be by their side, watching them and giving all their best to help the person. Deep down, their love for them is glowing like a bright star! Therefore i use the property that cooking oil glow under the light to show their deep attraction.
Process: Separation using cooking oil and water. Ink dripped at the end.
Reasoning: Using the different viscosity of the two liquids, the ink pattern will be different. With the ink molecules maintaining their round form unable to blend in with the oil to the fluidity of ink inside water region, awkwardness is achieve. This show the feeling of introverts wanting to blend in with people and wish to “flow” well in conversation but they cant shake off the awkwardness.
Process: Glue, ink spread with cardboard sheet.
Reasoning: Introverts get embarrassed easily. Overload the newsprint with glue will change the property of the paper making it translucent. I made the cross sign throughout the line to represent the unwillingness to be in view. However in reality as much as we want to hide away from people out of embarrassment, we cant do that. Hence, the see through hole in the middle of each “X”.
Process: Glue and ink spread with wire dish scrub.
Reasoning: Glue is a mixture of tears and mucus. To spread it with dish scrub with make the lines looks messy showing unsteadiness of one emotions. Hugh amount of black ink moving down represent the amount of tears flowing down, almost darkening one world. Introverts can be too emotional sometimes.
Process: Rubbing mold bread on to the paper
Reasoning: There is no better way to express disgust than to use the rotten food to evoke that emotion. Rubbing rotten bread spread the moulds onto the paper. I can still smell the rotten bread in my room when i lay out the paper 🙁 I swirl the rotten food on the paper and let nature take its course on the paper. The end result is quite good as it look like waves of disgust about to consume me.
(PLEASE LOOK AWAY IF U HAVE PHOBIA OF MOULDS)
Process: lighted incense
Reasoning: Introverts value their personal space. If taken away from them, in extreme case, they would have claustrophobic.
Showed a path of space getting narrower as it goes further. Eventually they give in to their fear and get trapped. Played with positive and negative spaces to tell the story. Used fire to show the unpleasantness of nature because incense create smoke and weird smell which i don’t like.
Process: Oil, water and ink
Reasoning: Introverts enjoy being in small company. This image reminded me of the game called catching, I used to play that with my friend when i’m very young. The two slightly bend. gestural big dots with gradient shows movement. The smaller dots and ink in the water region pointing at the same direction towards the big dots add tension to the picture.
Process: Spinning top with block ink.
Reasoning: The sharp rapid movement of lines in circular manner reminded me of sparkler. I would always feel amazed seeing fire shot out of it and yet i’m at such a close distance feeling oddly safe and loving it.
Process: Spinning top with acrylic paint.
Reasoning: With the use of a heavier density paint, the line created are thicker. I rolled my spinning top over some big blob of acrylic to spread it. The uncontrollable stroke create spontaneity in the paper, expressing lyrical.
The problems i faced in this project is the abstract nature of it making me hard to understand and see the link between things. It was hard for me to come up with a theme become i cant link my emotions. When i came up with a theme which is ninja’s fighting style, it is very vague and abstract again. Talking with my classmates and listening to the group consultation is very beneficial for me. I have a much clearer view and approach on how i want to start on my new theme- Extroverts and Introverts. I feel that this project help to train my sensitiveness to object and get in touch more deeply with my emotions. I deeply enjoy the experimenting part of it. Connect with my geeky side 😀
Specials thanks to Miss Joy for her guidance, Hui Min for her many suggestions and tons of help, Clara for leading me to a path and people in group consultation.