Filmbox: Captive




1m x 1m x 1m Installation 

Filmbox: Captive has been an adventure for me, filled with both surprises and failures. It required a lot of hardware work, and the outcome is probably one of the most polished work I have done on a project.

Review previous documentation here.

Project Description:

Taking the idea of a box which looks just like any other box from the outside, but contains a pandora box’s worth of experiences inside, <Filmbox: Captive> is an installation piece dedicated to telling a Hypophonic narrative. It absorbs the audience into an environmental storytelling scenario, mastered with barely any sight, and mainly with sounds and touch.

<Filmbox: Captive> is a project focusing on the topic of pressure, a follow up from <Amigara Box>, a tunnel where one must traverse while blindfolded and being tangled up with spikes. Through a participant’s own actions and decisions, they will trigger follow-up actions that might cause discomfort and deny one the autonomy of expectations and reversal. The denial of freedom to regain comfort easily is my representation of pressure, especially in our pressure cooker society today.

Disclaimer: If you are afraid of bright lights, loud sounds and have claustrophobia, do not attempt.



Filmbox was born from the idea of having numerous, identical looking cubes which produces a different narrative from each box, akin to a pandora’s box. In my project, which revolved around Pressure, I decided to do it based on “Captive”, where the participant will experience first hand the environment of someone who has been held captive and has no idea where they are.

Captive’s purpose is to trap the individual. They can barely see, and they cannot move their limbs. Any possible movements will set off a series of discomfort which they don’t know how to stop (intense flashing lights). The track also gets progressively disturbing, but they cannot remove it as well. This idea of taking away autonomy and possibilities is the pressure I am focusing on based on my prequel project, Amigara Box.



Captive is placed at a location resembling an alleyway. It takes its idea from murder victims being dumped in alleyways or dumpsters with no one to care about them until they start to rot and smell. It is a location where people will just walk past without thinking much about it.

Through the 9 minute long experience, they are free to try to escape or figure out the narrative that is being played.

Each participant is given a pair of bluetooth headphones (supposedly noise cancellation but my newly bought Xiaomi ones apparently cheated my feelings) and will be chained up and padlocked around the ankles and wrists.

The participant is first covered with the white bag, before they are chained up and padlocked. The process is made to be loud, so that the participant is already immersed. I chose to have metal walls utilizing steel sheets which are -oof- really heavy. To make the box, I drilled them into very hard cardboard structures.

Biju in the box!

Kristy in the box!

The idea of using metal is because it is very cold and hard, which will make the participant feel that they are entrapped and cannot possibly crash out of the box even if they feel too uncomfortable. It adds on to the feeling of being trapped. I also used silver tape to secure the edges of the box to make it seem welded and hence adding onto the  feeling of impossibility of escaping.

Taping the edges because man they are sharrrrrp.

A narrative track is then played, which is actually a holophonic environmental track which lures the participant into the environment it emulates. I mixed the track with consideration of timing, direction and distance, which creates a more immersive experience.

The tracks are all clipped from non-copyright sounds as well as my own voice.

A white cloth bag is also dumped over their head, with LED lights attached to it. This is linked to an ultrasonic sensor, which will set off rapidly flashing lights right in the participant’s peripheral once the sensor detects movement from the participant. This is very disorienting, and being the supposed sadist I am, I decided to add this element into the experience.

My initial plan was to lace the box with LED lights instead which would make the experience more handsfree, but my wires screwed up hours before presentation. Hence, I decided to make a bag instead and do away with my initial idea of having a blindfold that is not very secure.

I did this for nothing…



I was unable to man the space constantly during Showcase Day, so I went home the previous night and modified the code a bit. I removed the LED mask, and replaced it with an LED strip at the entrance of the cage door. I left the cage door slightly ajar, and the constantly blinking LED Strip would make it seem like there was activity in the box. (You can see this from the trailer).

I also added multiple chains around the cage to “lock it up”, and left my speaker inside the cage to play the narrative. In this way, anyone walking past will hear the morbid crying sounds etc and it creates a holophonic experience for passerby instead. It becomes a “what is going on in that box, who is in there? what is going on” kind of horror jumpscare preview instead of a “go in and scream the heck out of everything help I cannot escape” experience.

Apparently, I scared a few teachers whose offices were round the corner… They thought someone was inside crying about being unable to finish their finals….

The feedback for this project was about how the dragging of the chains I made when I locked the box up and how I locked the participant’s sensory perceptions up was good in scaring them a little. The cold metal touch and the heavy walls were also great. However, the soundtrack could have been less noisy (more intermittent silences) and could have utilized more environmental sounds rather than man-made sounds. Something like wind gushing and stuff… And also using an unknown language to converse in the soundtrack, kind of like Russian maybe? I have overall learnt a lot from this project, and would definitely take these into conceptualization in further projects.


Thank you to everyone who made this project possible 😀

p.s I swear I am not a sadist….



Final Project | Digital | FilmBox: Captive [Idea Dump]


Image result for metal box

For my Final Project idea, my previous idea of modifying my tunnel has been rejected. Hence, I decided to come up with a new concept which was more abstract and kind of went the opposite way of the tunnel, which was to construct a box. This box was a simulation of someone being held captive. On the outside, it looks like an ordinary carton box. However, once the user enters the box, they will experience absurd light and sounds triggered with their movement. However, this idea was partially rejected, as it lacked rhythm, which would possibly result in boredom.

Hence, after having 3am shower thoughts, I decided not to pressure myself anymore even though pressure and leaving someone with little means of the common expectation was the point of the project (haha).

My amended idea is known as FilmBox: Captive. It is the concept of a narrative story where the participant is in its physical space, possibly experiencing the story. Each experience is estimated to be around 3-5 minutes. This concept gives birth to many possible narratives and these narratives can be experienced just by being in one box that seems normal from the outside, but since my project is about pressure, my narrative for the project will be “Captive”– to be held captive and to be trapped in an unknown environment. This project will revolve around a Holophonic sound environment as the main theme, as well as a concealment of sight.

Example of a Holophonic Track:

FilmBox: Captive starts off with entering the 1mx1mx1m box as previously mentioned. While the outside looks like an old and abandoned carton box, the inside is actually 6 walls worth of heavy metal walls, unseen from the outside. One should go into the experience barefooted. They will then feel the cold metal, and the echos that will resound if they spoke out loud. The inspiration for the box is from the Pandora Box (anything can happen from that one tiny box, regardless how wild or imaginative) and from Murder Cases I studied during Forensic Science lectures, where murdered victims were usually disposed of in pieces and dumped in cardboard boxes.

Before entering the box, the participant has to be blindfolded (but not completely; with peripherals unobstructed) and they will wear a pair of Bluetooth earphones. They will also be tied up at their wrists and their ankles. Chains are left in the box for a physical touch. When the experience begins, they will expect a narrative to be played out in a very obscure manner through their headphones. Their movements can then trigger the narrative to play in a different way (e.g. someone screaming in pain), leaving the participant in confusion. LED Lights will also flash rapidly and brightly at certain parts of the narrative, which will cause the participant to become more confused and disoriented because they may not know what it is they did which set off these events.

This will be done using LED light strips (Arduino) and Processing (for music track triggers). I am still considering if I should include ultrasonic sensors in my installation, linked to different hotspots where distances are closely measured to trigger events. But as of now, my idea revolves around a more atmospheric and passive experience rather than an active one.

Final Project | Amigara Box V.02 | digitalized


Following the previously considerably successful Amigara Box with its focus on inflicting pain to cause pressure and discomfort, I would like to further the experience of going through pressure.

Being a physical tunnel, I am in lacking of resources and space to create a longer tunnel, or one that has even more items inside. Hence, I decided that instead of lengthening the experience, I will focus on amplifying the journey experienced in the tunnel.

To do this. I will focus on the


Reviewing my previous project, I blinded the participant, and made them go through pain when they are poked by the barbs. In this sense, I have covered sight and touch, and I will retain these qualities with further additions. What I am left with sound, taste and smell.

With the little time left, there are several ideas I have in my head. I don’t know if I am able to achieve all of these within the month I have left, but I would hope to achieve at least most of it in one way or another.



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The participant will remain blindfolded until they have completed their journey in the tunnel, as it messes with their perceptions quite effectively. Teehee.



Image result for glue gun stringy glue

I intend to add more annoying substances such as a glue gun’s stringy webs, threads and a cushioned ground to create instability when travelling through the tunnel, which can put one off their mental and physical balance.


Image result for vibration meme

Furthermore, I intend to use a buzzer module or vibration module along with a RFID scanner. The participant will wear a strap on with a vibration module attached to it. The vibrations will start when they enter the experience. The longer they stay in the tunnel, the more often the vibrations will start to buzz, eventually annoying and alerting the participant like how we get alarmed by the phone alarm triggering off.


Image result for rfid meme

The only way to stop the buzzing is to get to the end of the tunnel, where there will be an RFID Scanner on the table. At the start of the tunnel, the participant will be given a “Key” to unlock the reason why a painful life can be worth it. This key is the tap-tap thingy for the RFID Scanner. Upon scanning the key fob onto the scanner, the vibrations should stop and provide peace and quiet finally.


Image result for led bulb string

If I have more time or if I can work this out, I intend to even put certain touch sensors (or FSR sensors, need see which one is cheaper) at some of the flowers and LED bulbs will be attached to the flowers. Touching these sensors will cause the whole string of LED bulbs (soldered together) to pulse lightly for a while, which will create a more magical effect. The participant can then even lie down on the cushioned ground to rest and enjoy the lights against the flowers in the dark, cosy room.



Image result for distance meme

I intend to include ultrasonic sensors in my project to trigger recordings. Since the tunnel is 4m long, I will put an ultrasonic sensor at every meter of the tunnel. This is linked to an arduino bluetooth module, which will ideally trigger a recording featuring horrible naggings and scoldings (about societal pressure) or just uncomfortable sounds (like screaming, things banging). Each time the ultrasonic sensor detects the person passing by, it will play the recording. At every ultrasonic sensor, it will play a more annoying and loud recording. Alternatively, I will be using bluetooth headphones along with processing for the recordings to work.

If I manage to make it work, the participant will be listening to the recordings via earpiece for a more immersive experience. Otherwise, it will just be played out loud in a speaker… I will see how it goes.

Should my ultrasonic sensors not work together at the same time due to a lack of connectivity or power, I will use only one ultrasonic sensor. This ultrasonic sensor will be placed at the end of the tunnel facing the entrance (hence vertically) instead of horizontally, like I would have placed the 3-4 ultrasonic sensors at.

To stop the recordings, the participant has to reach the end of the tunnel, where there is a table. He will have to reach out to switch the fairy lights on and there will be an ultrasonic sensor attached just before the switch. Once it detects the hand’s presence, it will stop the recordings.


This is often associated with smell, so I will elaborate further under smell.



Image result for fire meme

Assaulting the sense of smell is something that can be quite sensitive for different people, especially since it is said that taste can be imagined from smell alone. I actually have the idea of utilizing the smell of smoke to generate a panicky feeling, but I realized that it might set off the smoke alarm instead… I will have to see what I can do about how are other ways I can use to generate an unpleasant smell that will not be overly unpleasant.

Other things I will have to think about is how to create reset triggers and stop triggers…


Everything is actually as stated in the picture draft above! But to sum it up:

LED Light Bulbs: To be soldered together in a long strip like fairy lights, and connected to an arduino. We are looking at about 20 bulbs. This will be linked to 3 force sensitive resistors attached to three points throughout the tunnel.

RFID: To be placed on the switch box on the table. The fob will be fashioned into a key to stop the vibration upon tapping. To be linked to a different arduino from the switch box.

Fairy Lights Switch: To be placed in a switch box together with an ultrasonic sensor. Once the ultrasonic sensor detects a distance, it will stop the recording. (I hope there’s a way to name the ultrasonic sensors such that only the fourth one will trigger this effect..) To be operated by an arduino; the same one used for the other ultrasonic sensors.

Ultrasonic Sensors: We are looking at either one OR three depending on which works better! To be operated by the same arduino used for the tabletop arduino. The distance detected will trigger the recordings.

Bluetooth Recordings: Will be triggered as above, but I will use processing to play the music from my laptop, which will be played for the participant via bluetooth headphones. This will minimize wire entanglement.

Vibration Strap: This will be fashioned into a velcro wearable for the participant, either as a chest sash or a belt. The vibration module will be stuck in there. Actually I may do it the other way around where the RFID sensor is on the chest sash instead and the key is on the table in the light box that can be opened after the lightswitch has been switched on.

Digital Materials needed: 

1 Arduino for Chest Sash & RFID (with own power source; maybe powerbank?)

1 Arduino for ultrasonic sensors (linked to laptop)

1 Arduino for LED Bulbs (linked to battery box)

x1 battery box

x20 LED Bulbs with soldering in place

x1 powerbank

x1 laptop

x5 ultrasonic sensors (1 more just in case)

x1 RFID Scanner & Fob

x1 Chest Sash velcroed

x3 breadboards

Sh*t ton of wires and other connective components.

Tunnel Construction: This will be done smarter this time. I will be attaching the barbs and flowers to the metal coils first, and also be attaching the bamboos to the white pillars before leaning them against the corridor’s wall ( will not do against banisters again because it’s pretty dangerous imo).

Most of these arduino technology are things that I am going to work with for the first time and these ideas are pretty wild, so I’m not sure if they will happen. But I will try my best and see what I can do.

Image result for this is fine meme

Oh boyyy.

Project 1 | Analogue | Amigara Box



After many painful shower nights and sleepless nights, my project 1: analogue for Interactive Spaces evolved dramatically from the Venting Room. I had to make a more abstract piece of work, and since the sensei-s enjoyed my idea of dealing with <Pressure>, I had to find a way to make people pressurized in my project instead of dealing with it. That is, to force them to gamble on a stake they would not want to risk losing. I still had to worry about how to digitalize this in the Final Project.

After many rejected ideas, I decided to do a tunnel of sorts. One which causes PAIN as the stake I have selected– Because it was the most affordable form of thing that people would not want to risk experiencing.

Image result for anime pain funny

Not this Pain though.

The form of the tunnel evolved in many ways depending on my budget and material flexibility and many, many splinters in my hands (I had to go to fullerton for the doc to pull the wood out), but in the end I made it somehow after dying for 2 weeks…


amigara box


2 meters x 4 meters

wood, aluminium, cotton, paper


1) Do not enter unsupervised.

2) Be careful. Go slow.

3) For the full experience, do not remove your blindfold except upon quitting or completion.

4) To quit the experience, shout “BOX OUT” and the moderator will assist your exit.

Related image

The Enigma of Amigara Fault by Junji Ito

Inspired by Junji Ito’s “The Enigma of Amigara Fault“, <Amigara Box> is a project which starts with a black and white entrance symbolizing life and death. The 4 meters long tunnel enclosed in darkness symbolizes your lifespan. The name “Empty Shell” from Amigara is also symbolic of how life is an empty box until you make something out of it.

One has to go through it blindfolded, and reach the other end of the tunnel to switch on a the light to the fairy lights. The purpose of the blindfold is a symbolic measure for how we are blind when we go through life, not knowing what to predict or expect with 100% guarantee.










As the participant travels through the tunnel, they have to get through twines of barbs made out of toothpicks. As they travel further down, the barbs will increase substantially. These barbs symbolize the difficulties we go through in life; the more we age, the more of these difficulties we will face be it health, social or occupational. The pain caused by the barbs can be so much that people do not feel like continuing on with their journey through the tunnel.

Okay I’m going to be honest… it was pretty satisfying hearing everyone go ‘ouch!’ or ‘aaarrrggraaahhh’ or ‘OWW’ during their journey through the tunnel. But they call me a sadist. Hmm… I wonder why….

However, once the person finishes the journey and switches on the light, they will look back and realize that all the difficulties faced to get to the end has all been worth it, represented by the beauty of the flowers illuminated by firefly-looking fairy lights on the wires (that actually existed but you can’t see it with the blindfold on and can only feel pain from the barbs).

There are 82 flowers in the whole tunnel, representing the average lifespan of a Singaporean; each flower represents a year gone through, and a milestone reached in life. The final layer in the project is represented by the concentration of barbs in the torso area of an adult. This is because a child going through the tunnel will not feel as much pressure due to their lack of responsibilities as a kid, hence less pain. (supposedly, theoretically, exception of kids who has been through a lot in life already…)



My initial idea was a total flop. It was to create mental pressure through a tunnel which had straight wires that would constrict a person’s movements. No fairy lights, and that the barbs will be on the straight wires instead.

aaaaaaarrggghhhh this was 12am on Friday night……

First, my bamboo structure planned by my dad and I just kept falling over for 6 hours and finally the bolt and screw decided to break off from the bamboo poles themselves and elope for good. Oh, bless.

“Shall we elope, my love?”

“yes, my romeo!”












And then I tried to use replacement wood and got splinters instead… and had to visit Fullerton Health to get it yanked out with a needle digging through my finger and the blood wouldn’t stop.

it really hurt for the next few days

Finally i decided to change the structure of the tunnel with what I had! I improvised and changed the bamboos up by rearranging them into a shelter instead.

da shelter

Next, I tried to get the Aluminium bendable wires together and straighten them from the bamboos. That… clearly did not work… Untangling them was like untangling a pack of dogs that severely need training.


After 3 hours, I gave up and went: you know what? Since you REFUSE to straighten and I didn’t have a drill with me, I SHALL MESS YOU UP FURTHER.

the curly doggos

Hence, I decided to curl them around the bamboos instead and made it sooo annoying to get through.

Next, I decided to make the barbs for my tunnel. I decided to use toothpicks because I was broke, even though it took hours and days to finish them. I crossed two toothpicks together and glue gunned the middle together for it to stick. I made close to a thousand of these, including my 82 flowers and some consisting cotton for a soft and comforting allure. I had to use a pair of scissor-pliers to snip off both ends of every single toothpicks as well, because sanding them down tore my sandpaper instead.  (T w T)

this was only the beginning of hell

glue is drying~

I would eventually tie twines to them to hang them off my aluminium wires in the tunnel. Btw, my scissor-pliers broke after this project. I guess the wires were too much for it to handle and it decided to say goodbye to me because it had enough of my sh*t.

Next, it was time for setting up!

After positioning my structure at the corridor near the lounge, I started to set everything up and hang them up. It was really hard work, but watching it come to life by 4pm on Tuesday (presentation day) made it all so worth it as well as seeing my friends get tortured under the barbs but still exclaim that it was pretty cool and fun.

In all honesty, it was pretty sad to tear it all down after Tuesday’s presentation had ended because I spent sooo much time on it with trial and error + near misses with death, but I would seriously consider more convenient ways of constructing the space with greater pace for Final Project.

Some feedback given to me were:

  1. To create a longer tunnel, with different objects in place to poke people.
  2. To create a second tunnel linking up to this first tunnel, and the participant goes in blindfolded. But there’s absolutely nothing in the tunnel…
  3. Consider using objects that are representative of pressure if I want variety!