[Interactive Spaces] Proposal Presentation – Broken Nation

The Context

The “Fall of Singapore”
Singapore has always been portrayed as a successful and developed country but there was a point in time where the nation lost in a battle and fell into the hands of the Japanese. By using the World War II, I would like to retell the experiences and recounts by people of that time.

Shadow Concept
To me, shadows are blurry and unreal. As a light source shines and highlights on an object, it creates almost like a theatre feel where casts are placed under spotlights. The greyish silhouette also generates the idea of memories and flashbacks like a film reel.


1) Théâtre d’Ombres (1984) by Christian Boltanski

Boltanski is best known for his exploration on the depth of human suffering that was experienced during the Holocaust, with recurring themes including death, memory and loss. Théâtre d’ombres, a theatrical, dance-like composition depicts nightmarish figures in shadowed silhouettes.

As they dance across the walls, moving in and out of focus, they become evocative of devilish or skeleton-like characters from childhood brandishing spears and axes. 

2) Structure of Shadow (2009) by Bohyun Yoon
Portraying the idea of a group as opposed to an individual, the artist uses light as a metaphor for invisible power and tricks politics use to control the societies. When a viewer approaches, a motion sensor shakes the light bulb, making the crowd’s shadow move around the space.

3) Shadow Art by Fabrizio Corneli

Corneli paintings can be seen just after sunrise, or in artificial light, all because the artist uses shadows to create his paintings. When using natural light, his paintings alter throughout each day depending on the Sun.

Proposed Idea – Broken Nation

Broken Nation is an interactive installation which portrays the reality of the Fall of Singapore in 1942. By peeping into the cracks between the planks of the “wall”, audience are brought into a world where they illuminate scenes during the war and be enlightened by the hardships during this period.

A series of paper diorama are placed inside each crack to symbolise the fragility of these memories. Just like the soldiers pointing their weapons, audience are encouraged to direct the torchlight onto the papercuts which in turn create shadows of these flashbacks. As the installation is placed in a dark setting, some areas will be implemented with sensors (photoresistors) that trigger soundscape of the environment and movements on the papercuts (servos).


Mock Ups

I wanted to try out what kind of shadows and silhouettes I was able to get using the paper so I created a diorama on Illustrator first and separated them by layers.

I have realized that the paper I used was quite thick that it was difficult to cut through using an X-acto knife, especially when it comes to small details. For now, I had used white papers for the cuts but will be experimenting with black paper as well.


I also tried to use acrylic as the base and black marker or paint to create the silhouettes on it but it was difficult to look at the shadows because of the vertical plane. Probably I could use different types of papers to produce layers of different opacity such as tracing paper.

I will be using cardboard to create the “planks” of the wall and paper as the main medium of the dioramas. Fishing lines will be used to connect the servo to some of the papers.

The Content of Each Crack

Witness to War: Remembering 1942

Coincidentally, there is an exhibition going on about the World War II in the National Museum of Singapore. The exhibition focuses on first-hand accounts from witnesses during the war whose lives were upheaved by the outbreak of hostilities.

Hence, it will be beneficial for me to visit the exhibition and gather as much insights as I can to create different scenes of the diorama.


20th Feb |
27th Feb |
6th Mar |
13th Mar |
20th Mar |
27th Mar |
3rd Apr |


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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

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