Review of Gallery Guide: Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda

Review of Gallery Guide: Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda

Group 2 Members: Ayesha, Naomi, Vincent, Lydia

With the review of the gallery guide of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda: Treasures from Famen Temple and The Tang Court, our group aims to explore how articles are being presented in a guide to aid visitors in the museum and how they enlighten them on the articles of interest; and henceforth point out strengths and weaknesses in the gallery guide, allowing us to further enhance our own gallery guide to better appeal to our targeted audience — rich patrons.



Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda is a catalogue which serves as a guide to an exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum, discussing articles from the Famen Temple crypt and other Tang dynasty artworks. The essays within the catalogue scrutinize relic worship at the Famen Temple and Tang’s Buddhist world, the reasoning for the arrangement of donations in the crypt chambers, and the Tang dynasties’ interactions with the global world. The catalogue aims to enlighten visitors on the narratives on life and Tang’s culture and heritage via ‘figures and murals from tombs, magnificent reliquary boxes, rare ceramics, and gold and silver metalwork’.


Breakdown of gallery guide

A)  Historical context of Tang China

B) Funerary figures: 2 sculptures paired with rough visual + contextual analysis

C) Objects from the Famen Temple crypt: Map of the Pagoda, and two more objects that could be found in the crypt

D) Religion of Tang China: Buddhism

E) Cosmopolitan Tang: 6 objects of different varieties presented

F) Last page: Programmes and exhibition timings


Strengths of the gallery guide

As the gallery guide is targeted at the general public who have come to view the exhibition, the guide focuses on providing a broad overview of Tang China and what its cultural heritage was like, together with a variety of different objects that could be found in that era.

Historical context is provided for the visitor who may not have had the knowledge of what Tang China before visiting the exhibition. It aids in the enlightenment of the general visitor of the time period and what items where present in the Famen Temple crypt; this creates a strong foundation for knowledge to be built on as the visitor goes through the exhibition.

The gallery guide then presents its first two articles of interest: Funerary Figures. This a good introduction to the artifacts that could have been first seen at the historical site. A general summary on the figures and their functions are also provided under this sub topic.

This is followed by a map of the Famen Temple crypt, as well as two objects of high importance to the site. The map enables the visitor to visualize the Temple Crypt and where the objects in the exhibition could have been located in. The two objects are summarized to have been placed in the most important locations of the temple; a clever choice of objects to focus on.

Religion (Buddhism) is then discussed to provide a cultural context of Tang China, paired together with a focus on a religious article. This provides a base reasoning for the appearance of religious objects that were on display in the exhibition.

The last part of the content in this gallery guide is filed under the name ‘Cosmopolitan Tang’, featuring a variety of objects from the Famen Temple crypt, with some that may have been of foreign origin. This helps to give the visitors a rundown of the different objects that had been placed in the cyrpt.


Weaknesses of the gallery guide

The gallery guide provides a good rundown of history and culture of Tang China, and a fundamental background for the objects, both in the exhibition as well as those in the guide itself.

Unfortunately, as the guide is targeted at the general public, the focus on the objects are very broad and only provide the bare minimum of knowledge on the objects. The rough visual and contextual analysis provided with each object in the guide also seem to be an reiteration of the statements found at the exhibitions as well.

With regards to aesthetics, the gallery guide presents chunks of text and pictures of objects on the side. It is simple and readable, but lacks a certain level of engagement with the reader.

As a general gallery guide, Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda: Treasures from Famen Temple and The Tang Court serves its purpose well. However, when it falls short when it comes to engaging the general visitor with objects mentioned, most likely due to it having a broad and vague targeted audience.


As aforementioned, appealing to the targeted audience is important. As our group will be focusing on rich members of the public who would most likely be the ones funding museum openings and exhibitions, we aim to create a gallery guide that is appeals to them and enlighten them on the objects in the gallery beyond the general level.

We would ensure that the appearance and aesthetics of our gallery guide would pique their interest on first sight, and design the layout to match their tastes. The content of our gallery guide will also be planned in a manner that is enjoyable and engaging to read, together with information on the objects that would enlighten them greatly.



4D Final Project: The Library (Updated Ideas)

The Curious Mystery of Mr. Red Drum and The Best Intern

Team Members: Lydia, Calista

Project Focus:
Peculiar books of the ADM Library

Game Synopsis:
A body was found in the black space of the ADM Library on 17 April 2017, 9:03PM. The Police Academy NTU has been lacking manpower due to unforeseen circumstances, and hence seeks curious detectives to investigate the crime scene.

A crucial piece of evidence has been extracted from the esophagus of the victim’s body, which leads to a various of hints found throughout the bookshelves.

Actors/ Roles:
1. Chief Police Officer – Mr. Red Drum
2. Assistant Investigator (Currently a Police Academy Intern) – Bestern
3. Victim (student of Academy Police Academy) – Susan Lim
4. 6 Eyewitnesses/Relations (Interviews)
5. 6 Commissioned Detectives – 1 Boss, 1 Scribe, 4 Lackeys

How the Game Works:

Approx. Time Taken:
– Mission Briefing: 10-15 minutes
– Investigation: 20 minutes
.:. Total Time: 35 minutes max.
I. Mission Briefing
– takes place within the FDN 4D II Classroom
– commission task and briefing to be carried out
– autopsy report handed to Detectives
– Eyewitness/Relations Interviews to be revealed to Detectives

II. Investigation Beginning
– Chalk Outline at the ADM Library’s black space
– first piece of evidence (extracted from victim’s esophagus) to be handed to the Boss Detective
– (tentative ?) hint provided to proceed on to the first piece of evidence left behind by the culprit

III. Investigation Progress
– Detectives to search for the evidences deliberately left behind by the culprit
– Scribe is to take down clues and Detectives are to uncover the mystery
– (this story section will be a linear one, so that the game will be easily maintained and upheld; players will not stray too far off from the story)

IV. Investigation Conclusion
– Detectives, if possible, are to present evidences as proofs if they are to pinpoint the culprit
– if they are unable to find out, Police Academy will prompt them to take a guess, and the answers will be found on OSS

Game Notes and Materials:
1. Commission Briefing Slides
2. Eyewitness/Relations Accounts video footage
3. Autopsy report
4. Tape (for pseudo chalk outline)
5. 7 Evidences (1 esophagus, 6 bookmarks found within books)
6. Foolscap/Notebook + Pen: to be given to Scribe

Introduction to the Histories of Art II Research Paper Proposal


  1. Compare landscape painting by Guo Xi’s with woodblock print of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai. Consider the following in your discussion: patrons, producers, materials, production, function and meanings.


Two objects:

– Early Spring, Old Trees, Level Distance (hand scrolls)

– Fugaku Sanju-Rokkei (Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji)
e.g. The Great Wave off Kanagawa



General Claim:
Both Hokusai and Guo Xi captured the essence of the landscapes they saw (? Not sure yet)

Clear differences in influences, mediums, style/technique and context of landscape painting


Edo Period Artist
Background: Katsukawa school, cutter of woodblocks, Tawaraya Sori School, Kano and Tosa Schools (Chinese-style painting + native Japanese yamato-e)
Influenced by Chinese, Western and Dutch styles of art

Guo Xi:

Chinese landscape painter from Henan Province
Northern Song Dynasty
Court Professional, a literatus, well-educated painter


Tentative claim:

-There are more differences between the landscape paintings by Guo Xi and Mt. Fuji by Hokusai (?)


Essay Plan:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Differences between Guo Xi and Hokusai’s use of techniques and approach to landscape painting

Kumogata Clouds,
foreign influences,
use of color and pigment,
interpretation of a picture (context),
deep pictorial space, removed and high viewpoint (yamato-e)
enhance 3D via placing one foot in front of the other.

Guo Xi:
rooted in tradition (academic scholar) – studies the trees, nature etc.,
use of tonal varieties of ink,
brush strokes: thin beginning and end, broad centers,
landscape art not bound by nameable place,
approach towards space and spatial recession- through motifs

  1. Similarities between Guo Xi and Hokusai’s approach to landscape painting– yamato-e’s Chinese characteristics (rhythmic repetition)
    – deep pictorial space
    – execution based on fundamental knowledge of perception of space and depth
    (academic backgrounds, studies from schools (Hokusai)
  1. There is a distinction between Hokusai’s woodblock prints and Guo Xi’s handscroll landscape art
  1. Conclusion


Tentative Bibliography:


Bouquillard, Jocelyn. Hokusai’s Mount Fuji. New York: Abrams, 2007.

Bell, David. Hokusai’s Project: The Articulation of Pictorial Space. England: Global Oriental, 2007.

White, Julia, Mochinaga Brandon, Reiko and Woodson, Yoko. Hokusai and Hiroshige: Great Japanese Prints from the James a Michener Collection, Honolulu Academy of Arts. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press, 1999.

Mayor, A. Hyatt and Betchaku, Yasuko. “Hokusai.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin New Series Vol. 43, No. 1 (1985): 1-2+4-48. Accessed March 3, 2016.

E. Guth, Christine. Hokusai’s Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 2015.

E. Guth, Christine. “Hokusai’s Great Waves in Nineteeth-Century Japanese Visual Culture.” The Art Bulletin Vol. 93, No. 4 (2011): 468-485. Accessed 3 March 2016.


Guo Xi

Vanderstappen, Harrie. The Landscape Painting of China: Musings of a Journeyman. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014.

Foong, Ping. “Guo Xi’s Intimate Landscapes and the Case of “Old Trees, Level Distance” Metropolitan Museum Journal Vol. 35 (2000):            87-115. Accessed March 3, 2016.

Jang, Scarlett. “Realm of the Immortals: Paintings Decorating the Jade Hall of the Northern Song.” Ars Orientalis Vol. 22 (1992): 81-96. Accessed March 3, 2016.

Lawton, Mary. “Guo Xi [Kuo His; zi Shunfu]” Oxford Art Online. January 30, 2002.


Preliminary Ideas – 4D Sound Project


INNER OUT by Nicola Giannini

Inner Out is a surround concert for ice and Live Electronics. The piece focuses on the micro-sounds created by melting ice. The idea is to amplify  sounds that normally are not audible. Inner Out is inspired by macro photography that can provide, for example, the ability to closely observe the veins of a leaf.”

— Nicola Giannini


SOUND X SOUND by Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard

“By multiplying instruments again and again he makes the sound transcend itself and become a pure new sound. The sound of the individual instrument dissolves and reappears as untouched unheard sound.

His interest in multiplying sound, has lead to the SOUND X SOUND series, which is a series of works where each piece is an exploration of one single instrument that is multiplied.”

–Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard


CLINAMEN by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

“The title of clinamen, 2013, by French artist and composer Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, refers to the curve and swerve of celestial configurations; to the arc of the sun and the unpredictable motion of atoms moving through and colliding in space. This aquatic, acoustic installation set within the forecourt of the National Gallery of Victoria fills the space with colour and sound and creates an uncertain and changing form of chamber music, whose aleatory form is echoed aurally and pictorially.”

–National Gallery of Victoria


Our group is very inspired by these sound art installations. INNER OUT is a piece which involves amplifying the normally inaudible sound of melting ice, and it is centered on the object in its natural state. On the other hand, SOUND X SOUND involves the use of conducting/orchestrating a number of the same instrument to create a unified sound. Clinamen uses the natural collision of porcelain on water to create a variety of tempos and rhythms.

In the same way, we want to center our project around the natural sounds of the object(s) or space that we choose to focus on, and conduct an ensemble using these sounds.



  1. The toilets
  2. The beeping sounds of an open ADM door
  3. The clanking sounds of coins in people’s pockets

PRIMARY IDEA – Toilets: Our Shared Space
General Concept:

Toilets are a shared space amongst people from all walks of life; and within these space are more often than not, unspoken rules for people to follow. Flush the toilet after using, use only what you must. ‘Toilets: Our Shared Space’ explores the nature of getting people together, and with a set of simple but open instructions, to create a piece of music together; and enjoy the symphony of the space as itself.

Time taken: 5 to 20 mins (Varying and dependant on response)

– People will be led individually into the toilet with little to no idea of how the project is to be or about to witness the pure sense of interaction with people and the toilet as an environment, done by via a guide. The guide will not elaborate much on what to do and allow the participant some time to explore and find out.

– Strips of paper with instructions will be pasted at certain areas and corners of the toilet as ‘designated’ instruments. The instructions will be simple as “Knock against the door, 4 times in quick succession. Try to create a matching tempo/ harmony with the people around you.”

[The notion of not specifically being there to conduct the piece, and letting the people inside decide how fast is ‘fast’ in the instructions to them; and to see if people brought together are as cooperative and are able to work the piece out together.]

– The last person (without knowing) will be designated as the conductor, and given the chance to conduct the sounds as they are. They will also be given the choice to switch should another be willing to volunteer and take their place; to observe human interaction and see if a work is possible to work out on the fly. The recorders inside will persist and record as each sound continues to layer on one upon another as the symphony/ cacophony come to life.

Some sound possibilities:
– Basin (Faucet being turned on)
– Toilet bowl flushing
– Door banging
– Voices
– Hand dryer
– Foot stomping

1) Truth or lie?
Concept: A single person is led into the cubicle, where they are to sit there with doors closed for a while, whilst the group would have different scenarios. A post-it note will be pasted onto the back of the cubicle door, instructing people to tug on the roll of toilet paper once only when they hear voices outside. Listening, and eavesdropping as an innate curiosity in us that demands to be satisfied.

As the person tugs upon the toilet paper, facts would either juxtapose or match the words to the conversation heard outside. For instance, person X would be complaining to person Y outside about person Z; where the toilet paper would reveal that person X are spewing lies. It would test the human ability to discern truth and lies from just the voice; and that if we are able to tell so without looking at a person physically for cues.

2) Object of Scrutiny
Concept: People inherently, no matter how little or how badly, judge a person; and somehow it happens quite often when people are found to be alone and avoiding eye contact in the toilet. The said person would be led to the toilet and wait in the cubicles as group members walk in naturally. Then they either begin to praise or complain about the person inside the cubicle loudly; where the person inside can decide then when he or she would like to leave the cubicle.

Upon leaving, however, all praises or complains would cease completely. Everyone would go about their own business (wash hands, go into the cubicle or even tie shoelaces), as though the session never happened.

3) What will you do?
Concept: Inside the cubicle that the person is led to and told to await for the scene to start, they would hear urgent muttering of missing objects of great value or information that is hidden inside the very cubicle they are in. The scene outside would continue for a while as the person inside the cubicle would decide if he or she would take any course of action or await for the people involved in the scene to go away.

4) Rules of the Trade
Upon entering the toilet; and upon stepping on certain tiles from the selected individual, the group would scream or exclaim in different languages. The individual would not be able to know which tiles not to step save from a series of trial and error, where they will be navigated to the cubicle. Yet upon reopening the door, the set of ‘rules’ and tiles that cannot be stepped on changes as the languages themselves change.

It symbolises the idea of how regardless of a shared, common space; there are different rules to different cultures and settings.


Group role: find out the possible sounds that can be made in the toilet, set beats and timing for different parts (based on proposal 1)

Calista: Record “symphony” on presentation day + OSS research and update items

Claudia: Guide people to designated areas and record “symphony” on presentation day

Sammi: Typeset instructions and print for presentation day

Lydia: Introduction of project on presentation day + OSS research and update items

Vanessa: Specific instructions for music scores


Project 03 – Ego


At the start of this project, I wrote down on how I should go about with my thought processes as shown below:


…Something like that.

Well then, let’s get started.

Personality Traits

I took the 16 Personalities Test (also known as the Myer-Briggs’ Test) and thought about my personality for quite a while.

I am an INFJ-Advocate:


Some key personality traits (that I’m very conscious of):

  • Reserved
  • Emotionally stable
  • Detached
  • Daydreamer/ head in the clouds
  • Nature-lover
  • Goes with the flow

I like happy things, and I enjoy being happy!

Personal Symbolism and Image References

Nature-lover + Surrounded by Nature = Zen

Wisteria – A Calming Sight

  • One of my favorite flowers is the wisteria; From the many pictures I’ve seen on the net, I’ve always imagined myself in the picture itself, surrounded by the wisteria.
  • Just imagining it gives me peace. I love nature very dearly.


Reserved + Uncomfortable Social Situations = Suffocation

The Great Egret – Observation and Judgement

  • I often alight at Marymount station and walk along the canal to get home. I see an egret (sometimes a small gray one) from time to time, perched on the opposite of the canal (where no humans can get to them). They’ll look at me as I walk past, and I’ll stare back at them (because I find them pretty and interesting). If I stare for too long, they’d feel threatened and fly away into the trees.
  • Funny enough, I feel the same way during social events – reserved.
  • Observing people before I act. Making the correct judgement in forging new relationships. I don’t “hate” anyone, but if I get a feeling that someone doesn’t seem to like me, I’ll stay away from them.


Goldfish – A symbol of death.

  • When I was young, I used to keep fishes as pets together with my father. We would take care of them splendidly well — providing the correct minerals and pH levels in the tank, cleaning the tank regularly, properly introducing the new fishes by adjusting the water temperature…
  • But the only fish that we could not keep alive for long was always the goldfish. It’s eerie, but I’ve always associated goldfishes as pets that would not live for a long time.


Go with the Flow + Disruption = Anxiety

Water – Flow

Skeletons and Ribcages – Death

  • Skeletons remind me of death. It is a very common symbolism among many.


Head in the Clouds + Fantasy Fiction = Triumph

Video Games – An interactive storybook

  • The video games I play are usually under the genre of RPG (role-playing games), and it’s something I grew with. I enjoyed the video games that I played very much as they had stories to tell; characters to relate to, environments that helped establish the story.
  • I feel that video games are what gave me most of my imagination as a person; I would say that without growing up with video games, I probably wouldn’t be in art school at this point of my life.

Color Analysis

I first picked color schemes that I liked via ; This is a website that I use when I want to play around with colors.

Here is my chart of color schemes:



I didn’t go with mood boards because it’s rather distressing; I’d come up with too many color schemes. Listing the colors I found appealing would be better in terms of organization.

I grouped the numerous color schemes according to their similarity and got 4 distinct groups of colors. [C – complementary, M – monochrome, A – analogous]

Afterwards, I added a few more color schemes in order to balance my colors (after the lineart)


The Color Decision

Analogous Colors – Personality Trait (First Row)

I personally feel that my character traits are strong and weak at different times – I react differently in different settings. Analogous colors hence represent this fact; my personality is not toned in one color, but similar colors/colors side by side.


Monochrome Colors – Setting (Second Row)


An environment or situation, to me, is dyed in one color, but of different tones.


Complementary Colors – Outcome of Me (Third Row)

Settings influence my behavior, and how I react to people’s actions and the stimuli around me; that’s why I see it as not just one color, but different colors.


After pinning down the settings, symbolism and colors, I put them together:

  • Head in the Clouds + Fantasy Fiction = Triumph




  • Reserved + Uncomfortable Social Events = Suffocation




  • Go with the Flow + Disruption = Anxiety




  • Nature-lover + Nature = Zen





Final Outcome

Head in the Clouds + Fantasy Fiction = Triumph

Head in the Clouds


Fantasy Fiction





I’m always told by people that I’m “in my own world” and things like that; and I agree wholeheartedly. If you catch me staring into space, I’m probably thinking about fantasy fiction and very often, video games.

Triumph is a depiction of what I feel after I play a video game/read a book — I feel that I’ve won and conquered; I have control over the character in video game, and when I win a battle, it of course feels triumphant.

With regards to colors…

I chose the pastel pink color scheme group for this equation as it best represents fantasy to me; it brings out a very pixie feel to it.

Go with the Flow + Disruption = Anxiety

Go with the Flow







I am a person who is very easy-going, and people do say that I’m accepting and very open to other’s opinions. But when others come into conflict with my moral values/ actions, I tend to get very perturbed and then, anxious. (I have no idea why, it maybe the consequences of being an INFJ-A).

With regards to colors…

I chose the deep blue and red color scheme group for the equation. Red and blue are my favorite colors, and the dark tones of the blue and red really bring out the melancholy of the “Outcome” panel. Deep red is the color of blood, and the analogous blue-green colors have this calming feeling to it.

Nature-lover + Surrounded by Nature = Zen



Surrounded by Nature





As a christian, I really appreciate the people around me, and especially nature. I love flowers, trees, and animals! I feel a huge sense of peace within when I’m surrounded by nature.

With regards to colors…

This time round, I went with realism over the choice of colors – green and blue for leaves and flower colors respectively and the color of purple for the wisteria flowers.

Reserved + Uncomfortable Social Situations = Suffocation



Uncomfortable Social Situations





As an introvert, I dislike being in uncomfortable situations. I’d feel very suffocated if I was forced to speak to a crowd that I’m not familiar with.

With regards to colors…

I wanted to bring out the white colors of the great egret, so I selected a color scheme group that would allow for the whiteness of the egret’s feathers. One of the color white’s symbols is safety, which also brings out the idea of being “reserved”; being careful and cautious.

Final Presentation and Mounting



This project was… even more tiring than the last. I had fun exploring color schemes, but it was tough trying to analyse myself and thinking about life. I did have fun doing something that I was familiar with; to be honest, it takes a lot of courage to print out my own digital art and even present it to the whole class. I’m glad that this project gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and show what I love to do to the class.

Artist Inspirations 


Toi8’s a Japanese artist which I’ve been inspired by for a very long time. He mainly does art for games, manga and animation. I love the colors he uses for his compositions, and I especially love his lineart.





Loika’s natural compositions are beautiful, and the colors Loika chooses are very natural; which I enjoy very much!




Amei Zhao


Amei’s series of original art, The Nameless and the Scientist, is a favorite of mine. Amei does many beautiful concept and environmental art.





Amended Design and Process Pictures

Final Amended Design:

The Lion King 

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.” —Rafiki



The clock represents Simba’s past, and the blood dripping from it represents the fact that the past can hurt. The Lion, representing Simbaemerges from the clock, showing that Simba has faced his own past and is moving forward (Simba is running).


Last Friday’s process pictures. We worked on our tote bags and had fun with the silkscreen inking!


I first tested out printing my design on an old cotton shirt.


I added too much ink, but the design turned out great and minimalist, just like I wanted it to be.


Doing the real thing on the real tote bag!


Jess helped me with holding my screen down, while Zerline helped me to take lots of process pictures.






I’m very satisfied with how my design turned out!