Art Science Museum Visit- HUMAN+


Preliminary Read:

  1. What is your initial impression of the work? What emotional response does the work elicit?
  2. What issues or concerns motivated the artist?
  3. How does the work enable you to gathering and build those information?
  4. How does their choice of media and mode of display affect communication?

Secondary Read:

  1. How might the text shift your reading and understanding of the work? Does it relate to your initial impression or does it deviates?
  2. What would you suggest to resolve the communication challenges of the work?

Task 2: Personal Review



This work consists a row of life-like and realistic looking babies encased in glass containers, each baby having a birth defect. A description below each baby describes how the defects can be corrected through medical procedures i.e. human bodily modifications.

My initial impression of the work was about how close to reality it drove, thus making me ponder about issues of ethics- how far can alteration of the human body go to still be deemed acceptable. The artist expresses concern about how far might parents go to give their children an advantage, and under what circumstances justifies modifying a child’s body. While I feel that it is justifiable for the human body to be improved should disabilities be present (since we cannot control birth defects), to alter the body based on personal preference when it does not have disabilities may be pushing it too far. Furthermore, the display is arranged such that the infants are placed as though they are in their hospital cribs. The life-sized babies also exhibit a high sense of realism because they resemble actual new-born infants, which makes us feel that the issues discussed are much closer to us than we realize.

Should I look at the exhibit alone, I may not have figured out about what the artist is trying to bring up about how far should human transfiguration go, but the text helps me to understand that on top of how birth defects are corrected to ensure good health. There could have been more exhibits displaying how perfectly normal babies are genetically modified to have better qualities despite already being normal to begin with.


This work is displayed such that a device made from various materials is fastened onto a mannequin arm, before being encased in a glass container.

My initial impression of this artwork was confusion. I did not understand what it was for, but I figured that it was something which had to do with an electronic device which could trigger something in our human body. In the container fastened to the arm, there was an LG phone and several batteries inside, leading me to think that there should be a command system activated through the phone, which would cause something to happen to the human (since it is attached to an arm).

After reading the text, I realized that the artwork was an emotional prosthetic which causes physical pain to remind the wearer to be alert. It was alike what I had expected. The artist had created this device because of concerns about how people are generally unconcerned about deaths sacrificed in war. During the United-States-led war in Iraq, it resulted in a lot of deaths. While the number of Iraqi deaths is underreported, an exact account of U.S military deaths is broadcast. However, though broadcasted, they were still undermined compared to cases more relatable to the masses, such as kidnapping cases or burglaries. Hence, to bring further attention to the death and violence in war, the I.E.D. is a wearable device which creates physical pain in correspondence to American deaths in war; an electronic solenoid is triggered to drive a needle into the wearer’s arm, drawing blood.

I feel that while idealistic to make everyone worry about the war, it is a justified way of ‘payment’ for the deaths in war. However, concerns about ethics would be brought up when we discuss about who should be exempted- the old or the infants, for example.

While the idea is sound, the presentation of the model could be improved to better show its function. Perhaps, a human reaction could be displayed on the mannequin to suggest discomfort at the death of a soldier.

Project 1: Threads and Planes; Process and Final


The first project was about creating planes by sewing threads onto paper (draft)/ Acrylic plastic (final). The final structure had to look presentable 360 degrees, and minimal support for sticking threads in place could be used.

I aimed to create a wave-light structure at first, because not only is it elegant, but it is also smooth.

However, I realized that it became a problem because while one panel may appear smooth, the other side is neglected. If I tried to apply the same waves on the other side of the panel, the threads would come loose on the first side.

It was annoying, but I had to prioritize the criteria set for the project over the beauty of smooth curves.

First Draft

Afterwards, I experimented with more colour combinations and perspectives. I made use of bright and light coloured threads with black paper, because I was unaware that the final material was going to be a transparent Acrylic. Oh well, when life throws you lemonade you have to throw lemonades back.

So more experiments underway… I had a terrible time securing the back ends of the thread.

Draft 2; smooth gradient plane (Horizontal POV)

Tried to make another perspective…

2nd Perspective Frontal POV

First perspective Vertical POV

I tried to combine different patterns, but apparently it was not 3D-esque. It looked more like embroidery. I had to try again…

I’m crying

At last I explored different options and decided that I did not want to do a spiral curve structure like other people mainly do. I wanted to go for something special. In the end, I decided that I wanted to sew planes together- so that they ended up like a cube. It was going to difficult because each plane had different angles when the thread gets pulled together to form a 3D plane, but I was going to try or die trying.

The final product, to me, was quite improvised. Acrylic plastic and paper worked really differently; acrylic was harder and less flexible, hence creating higher tension when I pulled at the thread. In the end, I had to force-fit the four planes together to form a cube because the Acrylic was too hard to be bent in other ways. I secured the planes together with more thread. I would really employ darker threads against such a light background in future, but my fingers would commit suicide should I have decided to redo my structure. Bless my tiny soul.





I am so glad this project is done.

I should have tightened the threads better though.


My Line is Emo: Final


Final Piece by Joey Chan


My final piece consisted of 6 emotions from each category; Adoration (Love), Curiosity (Surprise), Adventure (Joy), Disappointment (Sadness), Disorientation (Fear) and Envy (Anger).

  1. Adoration

Materials used: Droppers (Experimentation), Chinese Ink, Water Coloured Paper

Method: Dripping one heavy drop of Chinese ink vertically on my canvas.

Adoration stems from a tiny love, which will eventually spark into a bigger love. It is stronger than fondness. One usually starts to like a person by slowly finding him or herself adoring the little or big parts of what makes up their partner. Some parts are bigger [larger adoration, hence larger sploshes], for example when they smile a certain way. That is where the splosh is greater than the other inked areas. Adoration levels are also uneven and there is no same single time where the level of adoration is at the exact same level. Ultimately, most adoration are intertwined with each other, forming the love one has for another.

2. Curiosity

Materials used: Crepe Paper (Childhood, Adolescence; Kids’ Handicraft material), Black and White Acrylic Paint

Method: Using a paint spatula to apply paint haphazardly onto the white crepe paper with a black background.

Curiosity comes in many layers. The first map, the basis of the feeling, lies in a mind-scape where it is crinkled. The crinkled effect is representative of what we already know or feel from past experiences. Adding on to this information, with the help of curiosity, are the things we want to find out and know about. Knowing human nature, there are a lot of things that we may be interested to find out about, and the rate of information we receive may not be constant. Hence, this produces the different, haphazard layers of black, white and grey.

3. Adventure

Materials used: All sorts of materials, especially Chinese ink and sponge.

Method: All sorts of application with Chinese ink and Black Acrylic paint.

Adventure brings us many facets of feelings. We can feel euphoria at what excites us, happiness and excitement at what we discover, sadness when a tragedy strikes, or a sense of trepidation. Hence, the patterns in this emotions has no regularity at all, and are made out of all sorts of textures and splatter jobs. There are also layers created by the depth of colour. The lighter colours represent the lighter/less serious memories. These are memorable but may not be as significant. The darker colours are those that are more memorable and significant. The more faded the colours are, the hazier the memories about them are. The darkest and cleanest would represent the most vivid memories- and there are only few.

4. Disappointment

Materials used: Rolling sponge, tracing paper, cartridge paper, Black and White Acrylic paint

Method: Rolling black and white paint on the canvas, and then adding layers of catridge papers and tracing papers and rolling over it again.

Disappointment comes in many facets of emotions due to the many causes of disappointment we may feel. Some are severe, while some are light. There may also be emotions mixed inside like anger, frustration, betrayal and sadness. The different layers, some overlapping, are representative of the weight/significance of the event over others. The ones that are more prominent are those that seem the most “recent”. The mix of black, white and grey signify how the emotions have blurred lines, and there is no one clear-cut disappointment. The darker colours are used to exemplify the stronger feelings of disappointment, in contrast to the lighter tones.

5. Disorientation

Materials used: Sharpie Marker, Tape (Signifying boundaries)

Method: Pasting tape over the paper and drawing on the white spaces. After the line art is done, remove the tape. Afterwards, cut the paper into small squares and rearrange them accordingly onto another piece of canvas before sticking it down.

Disorientation is a feeling of confusion, which makes little sense. Even though it is classified under sadness, I chose to represent the emotion with vivid images and patterns to sieve in further confusion and in a way that nothing would make sense. The lack of continuous straight white paths add to this feeling. The cleanliness of the art is representative of the creepiness we feel when we are being disoriented. It is a world we cannot comprehend. There is also a neatness such that the top row scrambled stays in order, and same goes for the bottom row. This orderliness is representative of how one still has enough sense to try to figure out what is causing their confusion, while feeling disoriented.

6. Envy

Materials used: White Acrylic Paint (Stark White paint), black paper

Method: Using a paint spatula to create sharp edges of white on the black paper. For the large white shade, I used the flat part of the spatula instead of the shark edge.

To me, envy is sharp and piercing. It is also haphazard, because it is an emotion which comes when we are least expecting it to. The larger, white spots are the feelings which are overwhelming, while the sharper lines are the thorns we feel. At the left side, there is a murky haze of white, which represents a lack of coherence we may feel when we do not understand why we feel envy. I chose to represent this feeling with white on black because while the black symbolizes how our mind blanks out upon envy, we also feel the pain and jealousy which may come sharp, and as painful as the stark, vivid white.

Feedback from Professor and Peers

My Reflection for this Project.

My Line is Emo: Process


My Line is Emo:

When I first started this project, I made use of many objects to create textures, hoping that I would have the option of choosing from a variety of textures. I made use of corks, feathers, sponges, twigs, moss and even dried sugar cane. However, things did not go my way; it turns out that many different materials made the same effects when I applied them on newsprint with bloc ink.

I spent the first lesson merely testing out the different materials with bloc ink. I made use of Acrylic for the mass effect, but not the acrylic carving- because everyone seemed to be using them, and I did not want to be ‘the same’.

Cork, sponge, twigs, and various other materials.

Paint spatula and pen with Acrylic inking.

Pen. paint spatula, twigs, and more on acrylic.

Cork, flat sponge, rolling sponge and moss.

Rolling sponge, cotton bud, flat sponge, rectangular sponge, feather, and cork.

White tape across pen markings on acrylic. The pen markings were indented before I used something to flatten the ink further, to create darker lines.

Likewise, I used tape and pen to indent the markings. This time, I tried to flatten the ink before making the indents. Bad decision- indents cannot be seen anymore.


During out-lesson times, I experimented with more options. This time, I made use of Chinese ink and black and white acrylic paint to help me create further textures. I also made used of drawn line-art to create patterns.

Different variations of Rolling Sponge with Chinese Ink; Dense vs Less Dense.

A Happy Incident. The newsprint was originally used to protect the table from staining, but it turned out as a potential pattern highlighting ‘Adventure’- also because of the various methods and tools used to create this unintended pattern.

1) White Acrylic paint with cork on black paper 2) White Acrylic paint with paint spatula on black paper 3) Black and White paint with paint spatula on crepe paper 4) Line Art Swirls with Sharpie Marker

1) Rolling sponge with Black and White Acrylic paint 2) Black and White Acrylic paint with paint spatula on black paper 3) Black and White Acrylic paint with paint spatula on white paper

Chinese Ink Splatters and trying to keep it within the paper. Turned out creepy.

Black and White Acrylic paint on both sides using paint spatula, and folding it into half and reopening it for lumpy texture.

1) Sharpie Marker Line Art Swirls 2) Tips of the Feather with Black Acrylic Paint 3) Black Acrylic Paint with Sponge

1 and 2) Moss and Black Acrylic Paint with different gradients and density 3 and 4) Sharpie Line Art with Taped boundaries. Comparing density of lines.

1 and 2) Cork sides with Black Acrylic Paint. Comparing Density. 3) Cork Top with Black Acrylic Paint. 4) Moss with Black Acrylic Paint, ascending density (Gradient).

1) Black Acrylic Paint with Rolling sponge with cotton bud on paint 2) Chinese Ink splatters (Low Density) 3) Chinese Ink splatters (High Density) 4) Chinese ink splatters (Mid Density)

Second Drafts

However, these were barely used in my final product. My designs were too organized, predictable and mainstream. Many people had similar textures, and they had a small variety; most of them were categorized under negative emotions. With a lack of variety and originality, I had to source for more options to explore.

Reading Assignment: Sound Art


Seminar Questions

  1. What is sound?
  2. How has it been use in culture and society?
  3. What makes it an art?
  4. How does advancement in audio technology affect our sense?

What is Sound?

Sound is an aural component, where vibrations travel through the air or another medium that can be heard when it reaches a person’s or animal’s ear. Due to a surge in exhibitions at visual arts institutions that focuses on sound, it gave birth to ‘Sound Art’, which refers to ‘anything which has or makes sound’, some cases including those which do not. Sound also has a subset of music. In terms of music, Composer Edgard Varese defined music to include all organized sound, whereas John Cage included silence in its definition.

There are three kinds of sound. Multiplying sounds presents three sounds that are recorded. The first sound recorded is what intended to be recorded. The additional sounds recorded are distortions which are usually accurate enough to be compared to the first version. The second set of sounds are the inadvertent sounds of the environment while recording. These sounds are almost insignificant, yet present a new world to be explored when charted. The third sound is the sound of the recording apparatus. Surface noise and channel noise are audible indications of information being transmitted to our ears, otherwise known as the ‘noise-floor’.

How has it been use in culture and society?

According to the article, sound has been used in exhibitions as music, kinetic sculpture, instruments activated by the wind or played by the public, conceptual art, sound effects, recorded readings of prose or poetry, visual artworks which also make sound, paintings of musical instruments, musical automatons, film, video, technological demonstrations, acoustic re-enactments, interactive computer programs which produce sound, and more. Sound has also come to include popular music today. Other than those qualities, sound has also been used to convey messages, be it through speech or through man-made sounds.

What makes it an art?

Sound enables deeper meanings to protrude when conveying messages to the intended audience. Sounds that have previously been almost insignificant, can give birth to new problems and a whole new world waiting to be explored. Sounds in music can also sought to either make one comfortable or uncomfortable through its various qualities, like the tempo and groove of the instrument. Even the lack of sound can help to create a certain mood which may affect its audience. This leads the audience to think deeper and infer, which is alike patronizing a visual art piece.

How does advancement in audio technology affect our sense?

When the phonograph was created, it created three versions of a recorded sound, which included an original, intended recordings and two other recordings with distortions in them. This confuses our perception about which is the actual recorded sound, yet the difference is small enough for us to neglect.

The recording of sound by the phonograph also inspired Theodor Adorno to come out with a new duty surface noise had; the ‘hear-strip’ is the fragile buzz during a film of recorded silence. It was only present for confirming that the film was still running. Its minimal existence is almost insignificant, yet alerts our senses and knowledge deeply.

Our attention is also caught when the bourdon basses, the quiet repetitive figures and pianissimo trilling give us an illusion of a figurative silence, keeping us alert in expectations of a next sound note. Even though the sound may not be real, we still expect the suspense to be broken.

Finally, in popular music, the way music is created through combining different styles of tempos and beats affects our comfort and adoration for the music. Classical music also lets us appreciate a new, idealized acoustic silence when the music is played, allowing us to enjoy the sweetness of the music. Ultimately, the way popular and classical music are mixed and played can directly affect our preferences and level of comfort.


Sound Art: Interesting Finds


The Wave Organ, by Peter Richards and George Gonzales, Exploratorium artists in residence, 1986.

Example #1: The Wave Organ

The Wave Organ on San Francisco Bay is a wave-activated acoustic sculpture. Inspired by artist Bill Fontana’s recordings made of sounds from a vent pipe of a floating concrete block, it is made of carved granite and marble extracted from a demolished cemetery. This structure includes 25 PVC organ pipes and concrete located at various elevations within the area. The rise and fall of the tides would create different sounds.

I really enjoy this installment, because of its calming quality. It makes use of nature to produce ‘music’ that is halfway unintentional, because of how we cannot control the incoming waves. The only thing we can alter are the positioning of the PVC pipes. This creates a calming and relaxing mood, precisely because of how the sounds created are not pre-planned and hence monotonous in a sense. All in all, this gives us a new human experience which comforts us.


Emerging Paradigm by Haroon Mirza,,

Example #2: Emerging Paradigm

Haroon Mirza hails from London. He sought to challenge the barriers between sound, noise and music by crossing wires and thinking about his work as a process of manipulating electricity. Within his work, he considers both cultural and scientific research. In 2015, he even won the Calder prize after receiving the Nam June Paik Center Prize.

In my opinion, his music is very intriguing. While it is a music which does not enable you to lay back and relax, it is oddly attractive. However, it nevertheless keeps you tensed up and unable to enter your comfort zone. Mirza makes use of sound waves and tempo patterns which would make one uncomfortable due to its uneven and incompatible frequency. After listening for a long while, it becomes overwhelming to absorb and digest as a piece of music. As a result, I can only accept it as its intended Sound Art experiment.


Project 2: Text and Image Final Artwork



A companion for life by Joey, Project 2 Foundation 4D: Text and Image

In this project, I received a packet of NISSIN Sesame Oil Flavoured Instant Noodles.

Some of the words I identified with this product, as further explored in my previous post, are fast, convenient, tasty, internationally-known and inexpensive. Instant noodles, being tasty and requires so much less effort to prepare, would naturally make one happy because of the lack of energy needed to fill their stomach.

I considered the elements of accessibility, tastiness and how it is easily edible by all ages. I hoped that it represented how it is family-oriented and delicious at the same time, which makes it an ideal and convenient meal for all.

The slogan helped me to explain how instant noodles can be a companion for any ages, and how it can accompany one from the point when he/she is young, to when they are old. It is something that does not grow old regardless of how time has passed.

My advertisement had to be angled towards a large population, hence being open to all ages, genders and races. In other words, it had to be internationally relatable. This ensures that the food is wholly inclusive.

However, walls were hit when matters of ethics were brought up; because instant noodles are unhealthy, and should not be consumed frequently. However, my idea tackles how the instant noodles are so delicious, that you will want to eat it every day without being sick of it.

Additional ideas I could have included included

  1. A big steaming bowl of instant noodles, with 3 hands of the 3 generations reaching towards it.
  2. Subtracting the hand and including instead a child’s food bowl, an adult’s bowl, and an elderly’s antique bowl.

Project 2: Word and Images


NISSIN Instant Noodles, invented by Momofuku Ando

The item I have received is a packet of NISSIN brand Instant Noodles. The following are words I have identified with the Instant Noodles, along with images associated and their connotational and denotational messages.

  1. Cheap

Air Asia Advertisement for cheap flights

Cheap Rubbish Removal Advertisement for Sydney

Denotational: Spend less to save money.

Connotational: More affordable for the poor, because it is inexpensive. Becomes more accessible to all age groups.

  1. Fast

An Image of speed

Tire Buyer Advertisement

Denotational: Saves Time

Connotational: Allows you to do more things with extra time, saves effort. Time can be used to do more meaningful and important things.

  1. Convenient

An image of Digital Payment

NISSAN Leaf advertising campaign

Denotational: Saves effort.

Connotational: Saves energy and time. ‘Extra resources’ can be used to do more things. Less effort is needed for travelling, cooking, or preparation. Handy.

  1. Filling

Florida Oranges Advertisement

Little girl with big burger or sandwich inside mouth

Denotational: Satisfies your hunger.

Connotational: You will not go hungry easily, and can save money on food since Instant Noodles are cheap and filling. It can be spent on other items.

  1. Japan/Chinese/Asian

Advertisement for Nissin Dombei Noodles

Advertisement for sake

Denotational: Origins of NISSIN Instant noodles.

Connotational: Authentic, and leads us to explore or be more interested in Asian culture.

  1. Portable

Advertisement for Mac

Advertisement for General Electric

Denotational: Easy to bring around.

Connotational: Easy to cook anywhere and carry anywhere from place to place. Do not have to worry about taking up too much space as well.

  1. Freshly-cooked, hot

Advertisement for bread in TESCO

Curtis Tea Advertisement

Curtis Tea Advertisement

Denotational: Newly made, fresh to eat to savour the best state.

Connotational: Suitable for cold times and to warm the body up.

  1. Easy

Bpay Advertisement

Advertisement for Minute Rice

Denotational: Less effort and direction to cook.

Connotational: Accessible to a large range of ages, because it is not difficult to cook. Increases accessibility to consumers.

  1. Tasty

Image of a delicious turkey

Advertisement for BRABD Sandwich Cookies

Denotational: Nice to eat.

Connotational: Delicious for many consumers, they will not be bored of it as easily. Longer-lasting.

  1. International/Worldwide

AT&T Advertisement

AT&T Advertisement

Vodafone Advertisement

Denotational: Well-known worldwide.

Connotational: International branding. Everyone knows the common brands. Shared culture, shared sense of identity. Bonding.