間 MA’S OBSCURE CITY OF VOIDS: PART 2

Welcome to the City of Astoid!

Get ready for an awesome tour of our underground utopia. The city has three queens – Naddy, Trevor and Bai. Today, Queen Naddy will be your guide.

Just a quick background info:

The Astoidians are a scientifically-advanced race of humans who were born from the depths and flourished living underground. The city is powered by the Astoid stone, comes in both black and silver colours which they harvested and mined from the depths.

They created a megastructure hub for its citizens to gather known as the Arch, which is a massive spiral structure made up of many repeating molecular looking units of energy-storing spheres and energy-absorbing solar panel.

Constructed strategically under a system of crevices, the solar panels absorb the rays of light seeping through the crevices from the ground above (gaps between stairs) in the morning, and radiates it out through the complex highway system at night to provide luminance and warmth to the whole city.

In a quest for efficiency and perfection, the Astodians realised that they could expand this energy-harvesting systems, thus renovating all their homes (habitats) into extensions of the Arch, allowing for more light to be absorbed and gaining more energy to use for science.

our location

We have specifically picked the space below ADM level 2’s staircase as it conceals/hide our city very well and people can only see it if they come underneath. We also wanted to give sort of a spider’s cobweb feel where the city has been there for a long time and the highway (strings) and habitats (silver modules) keeps on increasing as time goes by and more citizens move in/are born.

Hub

The hub in the City of Astoid, called the Arch is made up of 2 curved planes each made up of expanded molecule structures. Each module in the Hub is spray painted black individually then connected by attaching the aluminium twirls together. The aluminium pieces of each module when placed together accented the metal motif which is the dominant motif of our soundtrack.

The black painted spherical part of the module allows for the plane to be more cohesive with the space we have chosen while also providing contrast from the habitat that is metallically layered. The two planes of the hub forms a symbolic loop where the tapered end of one plane flows seamlessly into the non-tapered end of the other plane, this creates a void contained within the two planes.

A closed feedback loop provides symbolisms of life and energy, which is what the hub provides for the entire city: In context, the black spheres are the energy-storage devices while the metallic twirls are the energy-capturing solar panels, and the Arch functions as a massive reservoir that absorbs sunlight seeping in from the crevice above and stores it for the city’s use.

habitat 

Made to be extensions of the hub, the habitats are made using the same molecular modules but a smaller size. The habitats are located at varying distances expanding the city to the entire obscure space. Each module was individually painted metallic silver which represents our bells from out soundtrack.

The habitats are constructed in a pyramid format which provides two layers of symbolism: firstly with regards to our track, it symbolises the progression of the notes made by the xylophone, which is of three harmonious notes. Secondly, with regards to the context of the city, the pyramidal shape is thought to be a symbolism of the descending rays of sunlight by the Ancient Egyptians.

As such, it ties in with our concept of our city being sunlight-absorbing structures, pyramids are also believed to have the ability to channel energy from above due to its reverse funnel shape. The habitats allowed for the voids within the space to be filled with a little spark. The reflective surface allows for the backlight to be cast onto the highway made out of translucent threads.

highway

Spanning across both ends of the obscure space,  the highway serves as the bridge for all the modules in the city. Constructed strategically under a system of crevices, the reflective highway reflects the rays of light seeping through the crevices from the ground above(gaps between stairs) in the morning, and radiates it out through the entire highway system at night to provide luminance and warmth to the whole city.

nighttime

In the night, the City of Astoid illuminates from the light it has absorbed during the day enough to provide warmth and light for its citizens. The city officials have also equipped its citizens and visitor with a special ray that allows for them to light up the city and find navigate their way through. Blue lights are used for Astoid citizens whereas white lights are for visitors. This is important as the visitors would need extra brightness in order to not get lost in the city’s complex highway system.

We hope you had fun with us at the City of Astoid, till next time!

間 MA’S OBSCURE CITY OF VOIDS: PART 1

Research

Ma () is a Japanese word which can be translated to “gap”, “space”, “pause” or “the space between two structural parts.” The spatial concept is experienced progressively through intervals of spatial designation. In Japanese, ma, the word for space, suggests interval.

As mentioned in class, convexity and concavity also come in play when taking about negative spaces. A concave is a surface that is curved inwards and is hollow whereas a convex is a surface that is curved outwards and is bulging.

Our Sound Pattern

Pattern 1 – The Spooky Sounds

Pattern 2 – The Bustling Beats

Translating our analysis of the sounds into modules and actually executing it visually, we have come to a proper visualisation of how our moodbox would be for both our sounds. We started off with a very rough moodbox before improving on it to create a much clearer, cohesive and put together mood box.

Mood Box A

As the soundtrack for mood box A is relatively spooky due to the minor chords, we decided to go fo something spiky, sharp and has a couple different textures.

The spiky metallic piece is the Dominant piece and sound of this mood box. The pice is tapered at the end and has a sharp edge. There are 3 cut-out rectangular shapes that are decreasing in size as the shape gets higher and tapered so as to show how the pitch gets higher each time it is striked.

The broken balsa wood plane is our Sub-Dominant piece and sound as it is to show how we used the wooden sticks to strike it twice after the Dominant piece has been striked.

The small twirl of banana paper is to represent our Sub-Ordinate. It is the sound mini scratcher instrument that comes is very quickly at the end of the repetition along with the strike of the wooden sticks.

Mood Box B

The soundtrack for mood box B sounds very bustling and “busy”, and it had a very rhythmic and organised sense of feel to it. The engulfing sound of the xylophone also adds to how we plan to incorporate a sense of “binding” into the mood box.

The equally spaced out satay sticks are to represent our Dominant sound and piece as it comes on every first and third beat of a bar. The satay sticks act as a base for the other elements and it also a very prominent module out of the entire mood box.

The translucent cone with beads inside is our Sub-Dominant sound and piece as it represents the Kinder Musik shaker that goes on consistent four shakes per bar, throughout the soundtrack.

Lastly, the bell is our Sub-Ordinate sound and piece as it represents the minor xylophone that chimes at the end of each bar. The bell is placed singularly as it is to represent how it only comes on once throughout one repetition.

Revised Mood Box A

Based on the feedbacks given in class, we made a couple of changes to make our final mood box much more clearer and modular.

Realizing that our Dominant piece and sound increases and also decreases in pitch, we made another similar tapered piecebut this time, putting it from air to almost-ground, clearly indicating how the pitch decreases after hitting the third and highest note of the xylophone.

The Sub-Dominant piece which used to be the broken balsa wood piece has been changed to pairs of quarter satay sticksand it is not being repeated four times in the mood box so as to show how the Sub-Dominant sound of the wooden sticks coming in 2 beats after each Dominant sound has been striked.

The Sub-Ordinate piece had been changed to a sharp shard of card with a texture of foam balls on top of it. The piece has also been wedged onto one of the four satay sticks. This is to make it clear how the scratch sound from the mini scratcher comes in at the same time as the wooden sticks, nearing the end of the repetition.

Revised Mood Box B

We have almost completely changed the basic form of our mood box B to make it much more interesting and exciting.

The Dominant piece has been changed to 2 tapered curved planars, representing the two counts the wooden sticks strike in one bar, making it much more clearer. Instead of the satay sticks, we used the banana paper to create a much more textured feel to the piece.

We incorporated translucent threads all around the box to show how our Sub-Dominant and Sub-Ordinate sounds are able to engulf around the Dominant sound. as such, our Sub-Dominant had been replaced with 4 sparsely placed beads to represent the 4 beats that it comes in, in one bar.

The Sub-Ordinate remains as the bell but it has been increased to show a better presence and it is placed on the outer region of the box, as compared to the beads which were closer to the centre of the box to show how it engulfs the sound more when it is being striked.

Mind Map

We will be exploring Mood Box B further in creating our final model as we thought that the suspension idea would be very interesting. In addition, we would have to change the materials of our planars to make it modular with our habitats.

Modules

Modules is also a term that is actively used in architecture. A module is set of standardised parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure, in our case, our city.

In architectural terms, modules are a design of any system composed of separate components that can be connected together. The beauty of modular architecture is that you can replace or add any one module without affecting the rest of the system.

Modular Objects

Modular objects are relatively smaller in scale as compared to modular furnitures and even modular architecture. For instance, in the image above, the speaker is seen as a modular piece of object as the different tiers are all in a circular module shape that stacks on top of one another to create a bigger speaker.

Modular Furnitures

Modular furnitures are a great way to furnish an interior beautifully. Modular furnitures look absolutely cohesive and simply makes furnitures look futuristic, minimalistic and fun to interact with. Furnitures that commonly use modules are sofas, chairs, room divider and book shelves.

Modular Architecture

Modular architectures are larger in scale than the two previously mentioned modular objects. Modular architecture saves space as compared to normal architecture as the specific material used might help in setting the boundary. Modular architecture also harmonises the building as a whole and it is apparent in the Hive at NTU. It uses a rounded module for each classroom and thus on the surface, looks very cohesive, creating a bee hive-like structure.

Mood Palette

The mood that we will be going for would be mysterious and suspense. We are planning to use black, silver and an accent purple colour to illuminate our city. The modules would be in black and metallic silver and will be varying in size. The strings would resemble that of a laser security room where the lines are from one end to another, causing visitors to manoeuvre their bodies when they come.

GAIA’S IKEBANA: A TUMPENG SPRING

CONCEPT RESEARCH

Curvilinear Volumes

As we moved on from the simplicity and straightforwardness of the rectilinear volumes, curvilinear volumes strays away from perpendicular lines and are much more dynamic and interesting to make and look at. Although the process of cutting and sanding is pretty intricate, it is definitely worth the effort to create beautiful and interesting compositions with the models.

What is Ikebana?

ikebana arrangement

Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. The name comes from the Japanese ike, meaning ‘alive’ or ‘arrange’ and bana meaning ‘flower.’ Ikebana consists of arranging, blossoms, branches, leaves, and stems to allow a finding of new life as materials for art making. In contrast to the western habits of casually placing flowers in a vase, ikebana aims to bring out the inner qualities of flowers and other live materials and express emotion.

Principles of Ikebana?

Ikebana has become an art form that is associated with a meditative quality. Creating an arrangement is supposed to be done in silence to allow the designer to observe and meditate on the beauty of nature and gain inner peace. This ties into other principles of Ikebana including minimalism, shape and line, form, humanity, aesthetics, and balance.

Image result for ikebana     Related image

How is a basic Ikebana arrangement made?

To prepare a basic Moribana arrangement, the ikabana artist will need to add water to a shallow container, then places a kenzan—a small, pin-covered object that keeps flowers in place—within it. Then, the artist selects two branches, one for shin and one for soe, and a flower, for hikae. Next, each stem is measured and cut to precise lengths (which are specified in the Moribana beginner’s manual) and fixed, one at a time, on the kenzan, at different angles. To complete the arrangement, supplementary jushi stems are added to hide the kenzan and fill out the arrangement.

Brief History of Ikebana

The long history of ikebana can be traced back as early as the sixth century with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from China and Korea. Buddhist floral offerings, called kuge, were placed on the altar of temples. The offering consisted of three main stems gathered closely at the base and rose from the water as one. The three stems were used to represent the harmonious relationship between heaven, man, and earth.

For hundreds of years, priests continued to make floral offerings to Buddha, but there were no set rules used to make the arrangements. Ikenobo Senkei, a Buddhist priest, created the earliest form of ikebana, called tatehana, or “standing flowers.” The arrangements were meant to be displayed in the tokonoma, a recessed area in a traditional Japanese home used to display art objects. The tokonoma was a central feature of the new Shoin architectural style. It was after ikebana began to be displayed in the homes of the aristocracy that its purpose changed from that of a religious offering to that of a decoration of the home.

Image result for ikebana schools

Currently, there are over 3,000 different schools of ikebana. Ikenobo, Sogetsu, and Ohara are the three most popular. Ikenobo is the oldest of the three and still retains the classical concepts of ikebana. Sogetsu is the most modern and emphasizes self-expression. Ohara relies on tradition, but also pays special attention to each season and flower to bring out its natural beauty, creating a modern interpretation of the classical forms.

A tradition over 600 years old, ikebana is still alive and well. The different forms and styles of ikebana strive to harmonize with the contemporary spaces where people live, work and play. Arrangements make use of natural materials, bringing the beauty of nature indoors. The tradition has evolved into a modern art from that can be enjoyed by everyone.

SEASON AND FOOD RESEARCH

The season that I drew was spring and the first thing that came to my mind when I hear the word spring is colourful and blooming. Although Singapore and many other countries in Southeast Asia doesn’t really have a spring season, I decided to look at the occasions that fall during the spring season which is March 20, 2018 to June 21, 2018.

The festivities that are happening in Singapore during the spring season would be Good Friday, Easter, Vesak Day and Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Lebaran).

As I am very familiar with Indonesian/Malay food, I decided to take Lebaran as my main food concept when making my model. Lebaran is translated to “a celebration” and it is a day where Muslims celebrate the end of one month-worth of fasting and doing deeds. In my family, we have a family recipe of Nasi Tumpeng, a yellow glutinous rice dish served to share in a big tray with many other gravies and dishes such as rendang, spicy liver, serunding, sambal goreng, etc and is decorated with banana leaves, salad leaves and many other decorative leaves.

The colours of the Nasi Tumpeng are very vibrant and it is to compliment each other. My family usually prepare this dish for Lebaran, wedding occasions and even birthdays as this is considered to be one of the most intricate and tedious dish to create. To relate this back to my model, I would be adopting elements of Nasi Tumpeng such as the big yellow cone glutinous rice, rendang and fish cracker as well as similar garnishing decorations.

PROCESS

Churning out a sketch model based on my second sketch model, I further improved the concept and created this:

To translate this into the actual food model, I required alot of preparation in order to create the glutinous rice and its elements perfectly.

The yellow glutinous rice, which is the Dominant element in my model is made by soaking the uncooked grains of rice with tumeric so as to gain the bright yellow colour. After soaking it overnight, I then steamed it in the steamer for an hour before sculpting it into a cone and letting it rest in a cup. It was pretty hard to sculpt the rice as once it sets, it gets pretty hard and it will be difficult to fix it.

FISH BALL AND RENDANG BALL

Next, I started to fry the fish ball and rendang ball so as to solidify them. I fried both the fish and rendang ball so that I could pick the more suitable one to place in the final model. This ball would be my Sub-Ordinate and spherical piece, which is the smallest curvilinear item I have in my model.

CRACKERS

The fish cracker would be my Sub-Dominant piece in the model and initially, I tried frying it myself but could never get the shape that I want and it is quite flimsy so I had a back-up pre-made one ready to fry. The diameter of this cylindrical cracker is smaller than the cone, making it a good match to be the Sub-Dominant.

I have also made my base which is the other Sub-Dominant element in my model out of glutinous rice as well and it is to also support the rest of my elements as I would be assembling my curvilinear volumes with toothpicks and satay sticks. The red chilli flowers would be my other Sub-Ordinate as I would be placing them on the base as well on the branch.

Tumpeng Spring Final Model

TOP

Sketch Analysis

Reflection

One thing that I took away from this project would be the importance of identifying the Dominant, Sub-Dominant and Sub-Ordinate really clearly. This is because, as these are curvilinear volumes, sometimes it is possible to forget that some of the radius of the surfaces might be similar to the height of another element. As such, sketch models are very important in recognising if any part of the elements needed to be enlarged or decreased.

I also realised how the branches in Ikebana as well as my model gives the whole model a “magic touch” meaning it is much more dynamic than before and it gives the model “life”. To end it off, I will definitely keep in mind the idea of Ikebana and movement and use it in the next coming project!

PANDORA BOX: FINAL MODEL

After playing around with the three different sketch models, I came to this final one which I think could be really interesting. For my previous refined sketch models, I’ve had two of them with the sub-ordinate being in discordance whereas  only one model had the sub-dominant being in discordance. Out of the three models, I realised that the model with the sub-dominant being in discordance turn out to be the most interesting model out of all the three. As such, I with my final model, I decided to make my sub-dominant the discordant one.

Some things to address:

Why I did not wedge the Sub-Ordinate to the right side – The reason was that I wanted the Sub-Dominant to feel a little more balanced since it is suspended 2/3 and only 1/3 of the piece is wedged onto the Dominant piece. The second would be that there are light in the Dominant piece that can only be seen if the Sub-Ordinate piece is pierced right at the spot I chose to pierce it at. If I had wedged the Sub-Ordinate on the side of the Dominant piece, I would then not be able to achieve the “kaleidoscope” effect.

Why I didn’t pierce the Sub-Ordinate through the back of the Dominant piece The reason would be that I would then again, not been able to showcase the green and purple light as I have wanted as I would only be able to see what’s on the other side of the dominant piece. In addition, the lights were not small enough to fit directly into the Sub-Ordinate piece thus, it has to be mounted on the inside of the Dominant piece.

Materials Used:

  • White Cardboard Box
  • Metallic Red Card
  • Matte Black Card
  • Transparent Tape
  • Purple and Green Glow Stick

In this final model, I have used the wedging piercing techniques. I have cut the Dominant 1cm deep such that I can fit the Sub-Dominant into it. The challenge that I faced with this would be that the cardboard box is really difficult to cut through as it is tougher and harder to cut as compared to foam. The wedging is also strategically placed such that it is 1/3 wedged onto the Dominant while the 2/3 is left hanging. To create a cantilever effect, the Sub-Ordinate has been placed on the 1/3 portion of the Sub-Dominant.

The Sub-Ordinate has been placed by piercing through the Sub-Dominant. As mentioned, the Sub-Ordinate is strategically placed in the middle of the 1/3 potion of the Sub-Dominant. When looking through the Sub-Ordinate, viewers are able to see a purple and green light, to contribute further to the idea of a Pandora Box as well as discordance as these colours are complimentary to each other.

Applications

  1. Watering Can

2. Geometric Earring

3. Lighter

4. Observatory Tower

PANDORA BOX: REFINING

Sketch Model 1

I have further worked to improve and make this sketch model such that the wedging of the Sub-Dominant is that it is more prominent now. The Sub-Dominant is placed right halfway through the Dominant piece and is elevated from the ground by an inch. The Sub-Ordinate is wedged onto the Sub-Dominant exactly parallel to the Dominant piece.

Sketch Model 2

In this model, the Dominant and Sub-Dominant piece are wedged parallel to each other. As for the Sun-Ordinate, it is pierced diagonally through the Sub-Dominant piece exactly from the 1/4 of the and right out the 1/2 mark. I have chosen a toothpick as the Sub-Ordinate as it is rather fine yet visible to the eye.

Sketch Model 3

In this model, the Dominant piece and the Sub-Dominant piece are perpendicularly wedged to each other. The Sub-Dominant piece is wedged 1cm or 1/2 into the Dominant piece and from the front view, it is wedged 2/3 onto the Dominant piece while 1/3 of the piece is hanging out. I have used a Satay stick as the Sub-Ordinate piece and also the piece that is discordant.

SELF PORTRAIT: SUBMISSION PIECE

Out of the five images that I have shortlisted to be considered for the final submission, I have further eliminated two images to create this:

Title: Obsessed

Artist Statement:

I have always felt the need of having to hide parts of myself to the rest of the world. To show only bits and pieces of what and who I truly am. Have I been honest to myself? Yes. Have I been honest to people? Maybe not. I am constantly in doubt and am always ever so cautious with my surroundings that faking has become a relatively huge part of my personality. To be specific, faking my confidence. It led me to an obsession with high end make-up products, branded goods and shiny jewellery as these material possessions slowly integrated into becoming a part of myself. Over time, I am consumed with with vanity and looking “perfect” and rigid and continued to stray away from being honest with who I truly am.

My Literal Message:

The constant use of the red colour is to immediately catch the eye of the viewers as it is a bold colour and it looks absolutely flattering on myself. The red head piece is used to compliment the outfit and balance out the whole red aesthetic of the photograph.

The shiny necklace, earrings and rings that I cladded myself with is to further compliment the outfit that I am wearing as the shiny pieces really brings forth the vibrancy in the red colour.

My Symbolic Message:

The use of red that I have constantly placed an emphasis throughout the series would be to showcase confidence and how I feel beautiful and empowered. Red is also a colour used by women to appear attractive and somewhat alluring, drawing a sense of sex appeal.

The shiny necklace, earrings and rings is to symbolise how I need all these material possessions to appear confident and to somewhat brag that I am of class and have a high spending power. This relates to how women on social media perceive each other’s worth based on the amount of expensive goods they own.

Image 1

This image focuses on the excessive amount of jewellery and also the neckline. I chose this image so as to portray how I am vulnerable to these material possessions and it has become part of me, part of the things that make up the idea of perfection. The image is particularly cropped from the lips to the collarbone area as I personally feel that this is one of the sexier region of the female body and the gesture of my fingers grazing my face as such is to show how I am really obsessed with vanity.

Image 2

This image is to slowly introduce my personality through my eyes, yet not having to show my whole face just yet. I chose this shot as it exudes the “mysterious” feel that would somehow make viewers curious and would want to click on my profile to see more of my face.

Image 3

I selected this image as to me, this is the ideal of how I would portray myself to my followers on social media. This was how I wanted them to perceive me as. In this image, I have over-exaggerated some elements such as the lipstick and excessive rings worn. The over-lining of the lipstick has been in trend with so many social media beauty influencers as it now an “ideal” to have really plump and luscious lips. The expression that I made was a typical “I’m confident” pose with my chin tilted lightly up and my head tilted to the left slightly, sort of subtly looking down to the viewers.

In conclusion, I really do believe that expensive material goods and portraying oneself in a proper and most idealistic way through make-up or dressing up is a form of self-expression on how they want to be be accepted and well-liked by the society or the “online-society” they are in. As I grew up and with a social circle of friends who are constantly obsessed about posted the most picture-perfect posts at the right timing with the right caption, I somehow too have developed that trait unwillingly became obsessed with that lifestyle.

Here are some of my own examples to show how when posting at different timings or when I post something that is not conventionally what my followers like, which are picture-perfect posts of myself, I tend to receive different amount of likes and comments.

Posted at 8pm on a Wednesday, where most of my followers are having dinner or at home. I consider this to be the “prime time” on Instagram where posts posted at this timing will get the most exposure. Image is a selection from 30 images that were shot, filtered and colour corrected to make the colours “pop”.

Posted at 6pm on a Sunday, I consider this to be the “prime time” for weekends where most of my followers will be at home resting and getting ready for a Monday work day / school day. Again, this image was a selection from over 20 images, filtered and colour corrected to make the aesthetic fitting of that a “Sunday Brunch”.

Posted on a Friday evening at 5pm, this was honestly one of my favourite shots on my Instagram page yet it has the least likes because my face is clearly not seen and it is apparent that my followers don’t care for my silhouette or the beautiful neon sign behind me. This was also filtered and colour corrected.

Crit Sesh Comments

  1. There is a constant colour tone so it helps that it is printed into one board.
  2. Gives off a collage feel very old school or look book feel.
  3. Like how the bottom photo zooms in to the detail.
  4. There is a sense of self-love in the images.
  5. Kardashian-Jenner feel.
  6. All three images makes one image and it resembles magazines that we are familiar with.
  7. Piece comes in context with the artist statement and how I frame myself in the social media perfection.
  8. Like the fact how I use something aesthetically pleasing to show outside with the inside to convey something deeper.