Project 4- Sounds of Singapore


Our group consists of Jannah, Nisa and I.

Our theme was Sounds of Asia. But after the presentation, we realized that it was actually sounds of Singapore since we are focusing on the 4 main ethnicity here; Malay, Indian, Chinese and Caucasians. Jannah and Nisa came out with the concept and we each added on to improve it.

The main objective of our project was to guide our viewers to the times during early Singapore days where trading was at its peak. Since Singapore was located in the middle of Southeast Asia, it was the most convenient for people from other countries to come and trade things with other people or with us. Hence, we’ve decided to use this installation to have an educational purpose to educate Singaporean on the history of trading as most of us are clueless about this topic.

We’ve decided to build the installation at the ADM pond. Since water is surrounding the installation, we’ve decided to make use of it. Hence, we’ve used ships from different races to be played on the screens within our artifact. Why ships? Back then, cars and aeroplanes were not as commonly used compared to ships and boat. Ships were considered the mostly convenient way of travelling as they can carry a huge load. The only downside is that it’ll take weeks or months to reach their destination. The main purpose of the screen was to make it as immersive as possible for our audience when they are viewing it. The room will be dark and the only light source will be coming from the screen itself.

Nisa has created a short stop-motion on how the animation will most likely look and sound like.

Link: Sounds of Singapore

She has used music from the 4 different race to enhance the video. Some of the musical instruments used can be found below.

European instrument

Chinese instrument

Malay instruments

Indian instruments

When Nisa created the sound, I focused more on creating and modeling the visual outcome of our final installation. I’ve used the Maya 2017 software to create this setting. It was then rendered on Arnold.

For the final piece, we’ve decided to use the concept of the Orang Laut type of old jetty. Hence, why the jetty looks very Malay instead of it being a general and neutral rooftop. Trading started since the Orang Laut days. The rooftop was made to look very traditional and giving off the kampong vibes. Fences can be seen to be surrounding it as in the old days, these were used to make the bridge or jetty strong and it was also used as a barricade to prevent people from falling into the see.




Moving inside, bowls can be seen hanging from the ceiling.These bowls are hung to be interacted with. How do we know which are interactive and which are not? The bowls that are hung to a reachable length are the ones that needs to be interacted with. There are 4 main ones which are of reachable length. These 4 bowls are off the 4 different cultures and race in Singapore as mentioned earlier.

There will be a motion sensor attached to the bowl so that it will activate the music and the “museum guide” will start explaining what the touched bowl represents and also the story of their trading back in the past.


As you can see in the image below, there seems to be a button located in the middle of the walkway. Our idea was to use it to allow audience to come and press it as natural human instinct are always attracted to buttons. Hence, some will be curious and press it. The button uses a 555 timer which can only be activated once for a certain amount of time. This prevents people from pressing it excessively. The main purpose of the button was to activate the whole set display and wow-ing the audience.

However, after getting comments back from Michael and the class, it seems like it was better to use motion sensor instead of a button as people would not be attracted to an empty room (before the lights are turned on). Adding on to the things we could improve, Michael suggested that we could make the exhibition slanted and hidden so that people would be more curious and enter the place. Because for now, our installation is too bare open and people would just take a peek inside and walk off when it is not interesting.


All in all, I’ve enjoyed doing this project as I can finally put my skills to a test. It was enjoyable as we learn about our history along the way while we were researching. And also, we get to experiment and visualize easily how we want our end product to be with the help of this software.