Project 4 : Poetics of Time

“Project proposal & research”


Black dustbin is to convert the intangible ideas of the video to a tangible, visible form. Black because most of the words are negative, “sprouting” out from the mouth. I also included a PPT presentation on the critique day.

  1. Short but powerful massages.
  2. Subversion of text and audio is interesting.


I really enjoyed the process of this project because I get to know a little more about each volunteer in an intellectual way, as if I took part and played a role in their past encounters. Perhaps touch a little on their personalities too.

The presentation is a simple but honest piece, as my main focus is to let volunteers voice out their mind and deliver the disparity.

Of course the technical aspect of the delivery could be more sophisticated but within the short time given, I feel that the message and aim I wanted to bring forward is achieved with success with regards to the feedback I receive.


Project 3 : Impossibilities of Being

“30 places that I have never been.”
  1. Outer space
  2. Heaven
  3. Male toilet
  4. Moon
  5. Garden of Eden
  6. New Zealand
  7. SMU
  8. Labrador Park
  9. Neverland
  10. Hogwarts school
  11. Mount Everest
  12. Dollhouse 
  13. La La Land
  14. Jail
  15. London
  16. King’s Landing
  17. The Wall
  18. Tuas
  19. Sand castle
  20. Kathmandu
  21. Salar de Uyuni
  22. The Dead Sea
  23. Pink Lake
  24. Mayflower
  25. Utopia
  26. Dystopia
  27. 221B baker street
  28. Maldives
  29. Laselle
  30. Babylon
“overall ideas & inspiration”

I tend to narrow my theme on self-image and this project is no exception! cool

A doll in a dollhouse is always associated with perfection. Her outer appearance, immutable set of personality and traits including femininity, bubbly, narcissistic, and being a Polyanna. I value individuality because it is what characterised one into an unique human being and not some idealised, mass-produced products. However, it seems like society’s perception of beauty has changed under all sorts of false advertising and celebrity glamorisation, drawing parallel between modern women and those dolls.


Getting inspirations from Dollhouse, a music by Melanie Martinez and the movie, Annabelle.


Roughly drafted out the possible settings and events I might encounter at the Dollhouse.


Translated LO-FI storyboard into actual photos. Added / modified / edited frames in preparation for the final video.

Sound track progress 1:

  1. Storyboards – general direction/ scenes
  2. Photoshoot – get raw images
  3. Photoshop – get edited images
  4. Lightroom – increasing saturation of red to build up tension and climax.
  5. Premiere pro – putting images into a continuous video
  6. Recording – get raw sound clips
  7. Download sound clips – background music
  8. Editing/ inserting/ combining – sync sound clips with video
  9. Voila!
scene 1: sleeping

scene 2: entering doll house

scene 3: wonderful place

scene 4: perfection

scene 5&6: eating

scene 7: fat

scene 8:mirror

scene 9: modification

scene 10: whiteout

scene: love myself


“Food, more, more, more!”

“I’m ugly, fat, worthless.” (male)

“I’m not pretty, not perfect, I don’t belong here.” (female)

Distorted version – from another dimension

“Delusion, wonderful, desire, perfection.”


Screaming – peak of horror

Whispering – imitating sleep paralysis

Garden soundscape


Panting – woke up

Heartbeat – buffer screaming, waking up

Door opening – foretelling something bad is going to happen

Distorted low sanity background music – buffer screaming

Carousel – wonderful, magical

Background music – overall ambience

 “emotional graph”

“final 1-minute video”

“LessonS learnt & stuffs to improve on”

Hands on at the technical aspects like Lightroom, Premiere pro, photoshop, audacity. Definitely useful for future projects! Virgin try at manipulating sounds with images, interesting experience! laughing

I could make the transitions smoother by inserting more intermediate frames or transitioning sound clips. Perhaps drag certain sound clips longer to extend the effect it exerts on the audience. Thanks for all the valuable feedback. embarassed



Project 2: The Subverted Object

1. Study and apply how semiotics affects the interpretation of image.
2. Apply the function of text as an anchor and relay and how it affects the reading of an image.


Week 1:

Everyone in the class was assigned an item. I got “mirror“. I was glad until I discover later that mirror is such an unique object whereby its function, does not depend on the object itself but what it can do. To reflect.

Mirror is a common object that is easily accessible, which also means I have to narrow down my focus. Hence I choose the theme narcissism.

brainstorming in class
brainstorming in class
brainstorming in class
brainstorming in class


Week 2:

Test shots, hard decisions and a 2 hour long wait at the printing shop… :’)


“Photograph a series of image that capture the practical function of the object.”

I want to highlight the most important function of mirror, to reflect. Not just in washrooms, mirror can be found in places that are often neglected.

Gym mirror for users to check and correct their posture


For safety practices; mirror at carpark


Mirror; as a glass ball that reflects anything it sees


A component that function inside kaleidoscope
Car mirror for safety


Task 2: Connotation 

“Photograph a series of image that celebrate or change of critique that object’s meaning.”

Mirror used for selfies in gym

Our actions will affect the function of a mirror. In the same setting, the gym, mirror serve a functional purpose that allow user to correct their posture, but can also be a tool for taking selfies. Narcissism is expressed via selfies.


Front camera as the “new mirror”

Front camera is the new mirror of modern society because youngsters often replace mirror with phone screen to check on themselves. Narcissism is expressed via looking at the front camera anytime, anywhere.


being judged

This shoot is taken as if we are judging someone who check on themselves, from the inside of a mirror. It looks awkward and silly because one tend to tilt their head, with one eye nearer to the mirror. Narcissism is expressed via constantly checking out one’s appearance in front of a mirror.

This series is photoshopped to warm pink because narcissism is self-love, and pink associates well with love.

Female passenger,mostly, check on themselves with the car mirror
View from inside a mirror, at different focal length
broken mirror, taken at On Sharks and Humanity

A broken mirror has a negative connotation in every culture, represented by a sharp, protruding hook. e.g. 7 years of back luck, separable, trapped souls etc. I really like this shoot but it does not relate to narcissism.

A Time for Reflection: The Meaning of Mirrors in Folklore and Superstition


Task 3: Text and image

“Create a A2 poster. Give it a title that changes the reading of the image.”

Narcissism is often criticised and frown upon but I feel that there are positive impacts like self-love, confidence, and respect for individuality.

The whole installation poster is a mirror with “reflection” taken rom task 1, set up to look like an art exhibition. When people stand in front of the mirror the “painting” detail reads “Daddy and Mommy’s masterpiece“. The word “masterpiece” is used to suggest importance and beauty because masterpiece usually refer to an artist’s best creation. I aim to point out the importance of self-love. Why I choose this image is because of the Chinese saying “掌上明珠 (pearl on the palm)“, refer to someone who is of inestimable value to their family and is beloved. In this case,the image is no longer showing reflection but relatable to the Chinese saying and my text instead.


Week 3:

I arrange task 2 to be directly under task 1 during the actual presentation because audience can easily draw comparison between function and meaning, even at the same setting. Task 3 uses a typical arrangement observed in art galleries and exhibitions.



Research and reference artist:

Laura Zalenga

Laura is a 1990 born [self-] portrait-artist from Southern Germany. Besides photographing projects she teaches workshops, gives inspirational talks and travels to all over the world – always searching for magical places and special light. It’s her clear visual language, the power of telling stories and showing raw, honest emotions in her photographs that makes her work stand out. She is convinced that photography is a type of therapy that gives you the ability to heal yourself and others.

Kyle Thompson

Kyle Thompson was born in Chicago on January 11th, 1992. He began taking photographs at the age of nineteen after finding interest in nearby abandoned houses. His work is mostly composed of self portraits, often taking place in empty forests and abandoned homes.

His work encapsulates the ephemeral narrative, a nonexistent story line that only lives for a split moment.  These images show the collapse of narrative, as there is no defined story line with a beginning and end; instead, these images create a loop.  This fleeting moment lives on in a constant unchanging state.  By diverting the view of the face, the images become more ambiguous, the viewer is no longer able to tie a defined story line to the image.


for laura zalenga:

for kyle Thompson:

Project 1: Picture Story – Curating self

“Creatively introduce yourself using only 3 photographs…”









Growing up alone with nobody guiding me how to behave or what a social norm should do, I am capricious in character. Of the list of descriptions I collected from my friend and family, I could not determine a clear direction of where I’m heading with project 1.

“Who I am like is shaped by the people I meet along the way”,

I said to myself as I glanced through task 1 for the 18th time and fell deep into a whirl of past memories.

Shaped, through words, through experience, and most importantly, through how I learn to respond. It’s all like a game of cards but everyone is the dealer of their own response. Hence photo 1 and 2 were taken with “cards” to respond with my emotions. Basically I printed out selfies with varying emotions and select the exaggerated ones. Photo 3 was based on my mentor’s suggestion of taking a witty close up of myself in the process of responding.

test shot:”cards” of varying emotions and response
trying to find out about myself through other’s description
“We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with…”



close up with emotional interaction
close up of object
head to toe with object
mid shot with emotional interaction

My coach once told me, “don’t keep punching and kicking, hit hard once with all you might to make sure your opponent never gets back up.”

Practising Muay Thai for on and off about 2 years really brought out the aggressive side of me that I never thought I would enjoy so much. Not only does it trains me physically, it also strengthens my emotional well-being by acting a channel to alleviate my stress during A-level period. It has helped me to improve much in terms of my own mind set, how I should persevere and never give up in face of adversity. It has encouraged me to try my best and love what I’m doing.

I could not think of any object that better represent my passion other than this boxing glove, hence I thought task 2 was pretty straight-forward. As such, I need to put some thoughts into how I can highlight the emotions and my affinity towards the object.


test shot: full body with object













I like this shot because I had a difficult time showing momentum in a still second, but there are too much distractions in the background that could not be cropped as this photo was taken in the gym.

“A place that is significant to you or fascinates you…”


top down view of my bed with stains on pillow
close up texture of my bed
wide angle eye level view of my bed
top down view of my bed with wall decoration
top down view of me sleeping on bed


Cliche yes, but my favourite place is honestly my bed. Sleeping in comfort is such a rejuvenating ritual that I look forward to everyday. It is no doubt of major significance in my life. For my bed I look into cleanliness, comfort and minimalistic design and that is exactly what the photos here depict. I hope to bring a sense of coziness to my audience, make them feel that this is a place for relaxation, meanwhile implying that this place is something personal. With a hint of belongingness, the make-up stains and strands of hair were left as it is. I took a series with ‘baby’s breath’ flowers and aromatic diffusers but perhaps they drew attention away from my bed and hence I left them out.

test shot:diffuser in the dim
test shot:close up texture of my bed
test shot: top down view of my bed
test shot: my relaxed feet to depict comfort
test shot: texture with baby breathe


“The camera may record accurately but it is people who choose what and how it records… “

I’ve learnt so much through this project in terms of angle, positioning the camera, and most importantly cropping to show only the essential parts to convey ideas effectively.

Because we were limited to 3-5 photo slots per task, a lot of decision-making was involved and I had a hard time filtering my ideas and shots taken.

During the actual presentation I’ve decided to paste my photos in an organic form because of personal preference and didn’t give much thought to it, which I regret because I discover later, that this arrangement is messy, and denies space for contemplation. Perhaps another important lesson I learnt that day was to arrange my photos in a way that is most powerful in bringing out the interest of my final products.