Project 2 : Nursery Rhyme

Nursery Rhyme
The lyrics to a nursery rhyme can be quite whimsical and nonsensical. The main objective of this project is to move beyond cliche solutions to narrate a chosen nursery rhyme using images. I wanted to move away from creating literal images.

Nursery Rhyme - Display

Hence, I chose to do a concept of ‘Crime’ investigation where I let my audience to decide what is happening or will happen next. My aim was to raise questions in the audience’s mind as he views these pieces.


1. “The cow jumped over the moon” I created an outer space environment by placing a galaxy background with a small Earth on the top left side of the image. To balance it out, I placed an astronaut and a cow corpse on the bottom right. These two elements are at a bigger scale to give a sense of depth.

Nursery Rhyme - 1


2. “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep”

Instead of placing a girl that represents ‘Little Bo Peep’, I only used her props for this image to add on to the mystery. With the ‘Butcher Shop’ door on the right side, I also placed a pair of shoes in a lighter shade in front of it to create contrast. To balance everything out, a cane is rested against the wall and a streetlamp is hung above it on the left side.

Nursery Rhyme - 2


3. “And the dish ran away with the spoon”
I created an eerie forest environment with ‘Wanted’ and ‘Missing posters stuck on the trees. These posters are in a lighter shade as compared to the trees to create contrast. They also acted as the focal point.. I applied the one-third rule where the tree in the foreground is slightly shifted to the right the whole image will not be too jarring.

Nursery Rhyme - 3


4. “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall”

With the Crime concept in mind, I created a white outline of the egg (Humpty Dumpty) as if an accident had occurred. To compliment that, I also added a number 1 card next to it as the first ‘clue’. I let the background remain as bricks to show the exact place this accident took place. Lastly, I balanced out with a soldier investigating the scene on the right side of the image.

Nursery Rhyme - 4

Project 2 : Impossibilities of Being

Along The Path
As a child, we grew up reading fairytales where they were just part of our imagination. They exist as fantasies that developed the children’s creative minds. Growing into adulthood and looking back into the stories, I realized how there are deeper meaning that lies in the fairy tales of my childhood than in the truth that life teaches.

They say that childhood is a time when one’s mind is asleep.

Hence, the concept I am going for is a fantasy-fairytale imagination story where I portray the fairytale we read when we were kids actually taught us lessons and skills to assist us as we grow up into adulthood. ‘Along The Path’ series will depict images of a character going through obstacles and challenges along her way to her destination goal. How she overcomes those challenges and meets new people.
Artist Reference

1) Katerina Plotnikova – Another Tale About Wonderland
Katerina poses with models and live animals where no photoshop editing is applied. Her signature style is to create a soft, magical and fantasy setting due to the slightly desaturated images. I was inspired her by that look and feel to give my photographs a dreamy environment.

She also shows the relationship between human and animals in a forest habitat. Since my storyline had some animals in it, I took reference from her images to see how she composed the animals in them so I can create a warm and innocent mood.

Katerina Plotnikova Katerina Plotnikova Katerina Plotnikova Katerina Plotnikova









2) Lara Zankoul
Lara creates fantasy landscapes where she defies time and gravity. I was mainly inspired by the use of scale, giving the images a whimsical and out of this world concept. The concepts are initially expressions of her subconscious as they are spontaneous visuals in her mind.

Lara Zankoul Lara Zankoul Lara Zankoul Lara Zankoul Lara Zankoul Lara Zankoul










Initially, I thought a set of 90 images was too many for us to do. However, after organizing the storyline and drawing up the storyboard then I realized how I had to remove some parts of my story to fit the 90 images requirement.

Through this project, I was given the opportunity to create my own ‘world’ where I got to share with my classmates. I also learned how compositions can make a big difference in the flow of your series. I had put a lot of thought into the props, locations and costumes to best fit my story and evoke a certain feel.

Although I was a bit disappointed at how rushed I was when doing the post-editing, I had fun doing this project as not only did I explore the world I had in mind, I also managed to execute them to what I had expected.

Project 1 : Line Expressions

Final Presentation
A line is a dot that went for a walk. This project is about using lines to create concept and interpret topics given.

Line Expressions(full display)

Line Expressions - Close Up Line Expressions - Close Up(close up)

Top 3 Favourite
The following are my personal three favourite line expressions.

1. Anxious
Anxious is a feeling of distress and uneasiness, where we tend to think too much. At this state, it feels as if our mind gets so cloudy as random thoughts pass through. Therefore, I created a murky concept marked with indistinct masses and streaks using a metal dish scrubber.


2. Bizarre
In my opinion, Bizarre can be expressed as something that is so overwhelming, where many things are happening at the same time. This can also result in confusion. Hence, I used a number of different materials that left imprints on the canvas to create this concept. This includes the use of masking tape, dish scrubber, palette knife and scrunched up paper. However, from the feedback I received, I should have left some traces of the materials onto the canvas to add on to that ‘Bizarre’ concept.



3. Fragile
Fragile can be expressed as something that is thin, delicate and can shatter at the slightest touch. Hence, I used scrunched up paper to lightly dab on black ink onto the canvas. I made sure the imprints looked as if they are not there but they are. The broken lines created by the texture of the paper also added on to that concept.


Exercise : Anchoring and Relaying

Medium Close Up

Anchoring :
There is nothing more satisfying than a thirst-quenching drink.

Relaying : “Loneliness is not lack of companion; it is the absence of the right people in our life. That is why we are alone even among the people.” – M.F. Moonzajer



Medium Long Shot

Anchoring :
She believes she can fly.

Relaying : Good times come and go, but the memories will last forever.


Extreme Close Up

Anchoring :
Concentrating really hard.

Relaying : A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.

Project 1b: Fire and Ice

In the poem, ‘Fire’ and ‘Ice’ are used as symbols to portray ‘Passion/Desire’ and ‘Hatred’ respectively. They are two sides of the human trait that can result to destruction. Hence, I first set a dark setting to my set of images as destruction is something that is bad, evil and unforgiving. Then I created a story by carefully choosing out the right images to compose them into one whole scene.

Our passion and desire define our animal nature. When someone desires something so bad, he will turn into this ferocious, wild and untamed beast to get just what he wanted. He will not care what the consequences would be. Over time, this desire turns into greed, where he will become competitive and creates enemy on the path. As more people develop the same needs, the world turns into a complete chaos.

Hence, my image has three black cats that represent those beasts, greedy for things they desire. If they want the same thing, they will fight for it. Locked in a cage is a helpless white angel, a representation of the last untouched subject wanted by the beasts. The city shown in the background depicts our ‘world’, which has the possibility to crumble down.

The poem also argues that human mind and intelligence can turn the world into a cold, concrete and uninhabitable jungle. These people are hungry for power and will commit terrible acts to gain that. As shown in my picture is a man dressed in a suit who portrays the ‘intelligence’. He is wearing a mask as a protection from the cold mess he created. He is seen hypnotizing a skeleton, which represents the weak inhabitants of the world, using the power he attained.

Over time, these people will take control of the world.

Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice
As times passes, both ‘Fire’ and ‘Ice’ obtain more power. This is shown in the image where an evolution takes place; black cats turned into panthers while normal man turned into an ugly and distorted creature. As they merge together, they overturn the world into a complete wasteland, once and for all.

Image References :

Smatprt. “Full Moon surrounded by clouds over Carmel-by-the-Sea.” Photograph. 2009., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Butsky, Vlad. “Panorama of Manhattan.” Photograph. 2003., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Darcy. “Bird Cage.” Photograph. 2014., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Chris. “Black Cat”. Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Chris. “Black Cat”. Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Rennie, Aubrey. “White Angel Stock 1”. Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Army Surplus and Toys. “Gas Mask”. Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

pngimg. “Businessman.” Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Cheselden, William. “Praying Skeleton.” Photograph. 1733., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Lennihan, Mark. “Manhattan Skyline Fog.” Photograph. 2011., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Kresz, Bence. “Destroyed City.” Photograph. 2009., (accessed August 30, 2015).

HoneyBuy. “Business Suit”. Photograph. n.d., (accessed August 30, 2015).

pit3dd. “Tree Roots.” Photograph. 2013., (accessed August 30, 2015).

PROmax3. “Black Panther.” Photograph. 2015., (accessed August 30, 2015).

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Black Crow.” Photograph. 2010., (accessed August 30, 2015).

Project 1a : Curating Self

Task 1a: Me

I was known as someone who was shy and quiet. However, when I was home and got surrounded by my cats, I was the complete opposite. I talked to them a lot even though they obviously did not respond me back. It felt like I entered an imaginative world, where I let my guards down and just by myself as seen through my expressions. These pictures showed me roleplaying with my cats where I played one role while they played the other. Our actions looked like we were communicating and trying to understand each other. This world was one of the place where I can show my true self and just be who I am.

Artist Reference : I was inspired by Chicago-based photographer, Kyle Thompson. He has a style, which he described as ‘surreal conceptual photography’. It is the creation of a surreal world in order to depict concepts. Although he took most of his photos at unusual places, I was fascinated by his selection of props which greatly helped him to create those ‘worlds’. I learnt that adding a little extra visual interest into an image can make a world of difference. Hence, I had carefully chosen my props to portray what I had in mind.

Me - A tea party
Me - Music
Me - Clinic

Task 2:  Object and representation of self

The object that I chose for this topic was a book. I believed that a book is a temporary escape from reality where I could immerse myself in. The following picture showed me covering half of my face to portray myself being ‘drowned’ into the book as I was reading it.

Object - Immersed
Books also helped me to keep me sane from my fast-paced lifestyle. They simply slowed me down. This book was especially significant to me as I went through dark times with it by my side. Overtime, it became something that could make me feel secure so I always kept it close to me. This picture simply showed me hugging my book close to my chest, with a dazed expression set on my face to depict how I felt relaxed just having it with me.

Object - Close to me
The last picture of this series was a small figure of myself reading at a corner with a lot of white space around and above me. I also believed that reading a book makes space for our minds to have wild imagination running around. The overall setting also portrayed how I looked like I was consumed by this white space/imagination as I lost contact with reality and entered another ‘world’.

Object - Imagination space

Task 3: My World

Lastly, the most significant place to me would be Kampung Buangkok, the last surviving kampung on mainland Singapore. I felt sad to learn that at an unannounced date, this place would be demolished to make way for development. I think Kampung Buangkok should also be significant to other Singaporeans because our multi-racial harmony derives from an element found here; the Kampung Spirit, where community comes together to help and sustain each other.

The following picture showed the front area of a kampung house, where tables and chairs could be seen set up outside. This was where neighbours would come by to have a chat and look out for each other. Typically, the villagers would wear a pair of wooden sandals called terompah around the kampung, a sight that could not be seen in urban Singapore.

World - House entrance
The second picture I chose was an entrance of a mosque, situated in the middle of the kampung. This mosque was one of the most important part of the kampung as most of the villagers were Muslims and they would gather here especially during prayer times and religious occasions. Even though there were also Chinese and Indian villagers, they did not mind the adzan (prayer calls) to be played in the kampung as there was understanding and compromise.

World - Mosque
Being there also taught me that being friends with our neighbours and being thoughtful towards one another could help prevent conflict and smooth things over when tensions arise.

The last picture I took was at the back of a house where an amben or wooden platform was placed.  While the men were out working or running errands, women in the kampung would do the house chores. This was a typical place for them to rest and gather after they had done hanging the laundry, sweeping the leaves or gardening.

World - Bamboo platform
All of my pictures for this series had no people in them because I tried to portray that even though no one was around, you could still see and feel the presence of Kampung Spirit. It was such a strong thing that helped form what Singapore is now.

Artist Reference: I was inspired by photographer Niki Feijen, who photographs forgotten structures before they crumble and collapse. His images had no human beings around but the furniture, ornaments and clothes left by their owners gave off a presence as if the time had froze. Although he had an eerie and cold setting for his images due to the abandoned buildings, I had used more colours on mine to create a vibrant yet nostalgic feel because Kampung Buangkok still exists today.


This project taught me to look back at myself and learn from past mistakes. I also learnt to appreciate things that helped create what we have today. I had the opportunity to look into myself and understand who I really am.

Although there were times where I almost gave up because the images did not turn out like what I had planned, I persevered and went on to ‘Plan B’. Even if I had to retake the shots, I would. My visit to Kampung Buangkok taught me a lot as well. I made friends with some of the elders, who did not view me as an outsider or stranger at all. They helped me to understand more about the Kampung Spirit and how the community came together as one.