4D Project 1A: Picture Story – Curating Self

Me // Remembering my roots

I was busy growing up until I realised, so much has changed. A decade later, most of my childhood friends have already moved, the playground we used to hang out is tearing down soon. We are all grown ups now. Have you ever been struck with a sudden assertion, that we are already embarking onto a new life journey?


Photos were taken with extreme long shot and extreme close-up compositions. First shot was intended to capture the landscape, which creates an overview outline for the following shots. The rest are taken with extreme close-up to create personal intimacy with the viewer.

Object, kanken // Adventure

I decided to use my backpack as the signifier of adventure for its traits – sturdy and functional. It has travelled with me around the world for two years. We met new people, got lost (very often) and been through bad and good episodes together. Here, you can see me exploring the space with my bag. Like the kanken, I want to be ever ready and flexible in seizing new opportunities ahead of me.



Photos were taken with long and low angle compositions. To show the relationship between me and the bag, long shot is used to capture the interactions. Last photo is taken at low angle to put emphasis on the bag while keeping me in frame subtly at the back.

My World // See it yourself

Old place, new beauty. I went with a fantasy approach to present a mundane part of Singapore in a hypnotic way. This series invited me to explore space in an alternate perspective. With gut feeling, you might discover something others have missed. So there you have it, a world of your own.


Photos were taken with long shot, rule of third, extreme close up and high angle compositions. Since the location is huge with random trees and architectures, I decided to crop the first photo (taken in long shot) to eliminate distractions. Also, second and third photo are filtered black and white to taper optical focus into primitive shapes and shadows of objects. The fourth photo is shot with extreme close up and last one is cropped to instil mysterious mood for the viewers.

My Takeaway

Selection of compositions is very important to create the right mood before you can convey your messages through the objects. Framing photos in sequence can manipulate viewer’s eyes to follow the story flow, be it horizontally or vertically.

Self curation made me understand that everyone grow up in our own unique ways – it’s like existing on earth in different shapes and colours. Be up for adventures, soar through the air until you find the perfect landing.

Research Artist

Sally Mann is one of my favourite abstract art photographer. Extreme close up composition and monochrome are ultilised to focus on texture and shape of the objects.

Early Work, Platinium, 1978-1980
Early Work, Platinium, 1978-1980
Family Pictures, 1984-1991
Family Pictures, 1984-1991

More photos can be found here.

Martin Parr‘s photo series of The Georgia State Fair (2010) draws me attention with its natural and candid poses of the protagonists. He composed with close up shot with head and body to show interaction of the human and object.

USA. Atlanta. The Georgia State Fair. Fast food. 2010.
USA. Atlanta. The Georgia State Fair. Fast food. 2010.
USA. Atlanta. Turner Field. Pre-game tailgating at the home of The Atlanta Braves professional baseball club. 2010.
USA. Atlanta. Turner Field. Pre-game tailgating at the home of The Atlanta Braves professional baseball club. 2010.

More photos can be found here.

Cindy Sherman‘s Kitchen series shows housewives working in the kitchen. Her eyes seem to be looking away from the camera, looking distracted as she carried on with housework. Sherman also made use of body language to convey the activities of the character she role played in. 

Untitled Film Still, 1977-1980
Untitled Film Stills, 1977-1980
Untitled Film Stills, 1977-1980
Untitled Film Stills, 1977-1980

More photo curation can be found here.

Final Presentation

To guide viewer through my sequence, I divided them into three column, but near enough to continue the flow of the story. It is placed along the staircase with intention for viewer to walk through the journey with me, from left to right. The sequence gradually descends with the staircase at the viewer’s eye level. This eventually leads to the white wall, an empty canvas for individual to continue the story with imagination.

The feedback from my peers suggested that the last photo of first series (close up shot of wrist in monochrome) was unclear to connect with the next series. This was perhaps due to my lack of presentation skill to perpetuate from first to second series.

Overall, My World series was most well-liked by my classmates. I guess these photos had brought them to a fantasy world, away from the busy and stressful reality for a while.

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Author: Lau Yi Wen

ok i'll try

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