[2D II] Final : Project 1 Typographic Potrait


My main concept for this project was Irony. I wanted the audience to discover the real me by themselves through these pieces. For all of the four panels, I had use a ‘base’ as the background and ‘cut-off’ sections to the typography itself to symbolise that there were more than just that.

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Exercise 1 : The Self Inventory

This exercise will help you explore your own life issues and identify your personal themes. These exercises work in tandem with the development of your artistic voice as a story teller/director and can help you focus your sources or inspiration and topics when developing your story ideas.

Memory represents a change in who we are.

Our habits, our ideologies, our hopes and fears are all influenced by what we remember of our past. Below are some of the memories that I had as I grew up.


  1. A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to Polytechnic
    I remembered the first day of school when I alighted the bus, I suddenly felt out of place. I was quite lost being surrounded by a pretty different environment. What left a deep impression on me was the group of students shouting vulgarities casually.
  2. Caring for a sick pet
    I used to have a tabby cat who was very active and lively. Even if he was sick, he showed no signs of it. The time when I was told that he had a kidney failure, I thought he could easily pass through it. However, I had to witness his health depleting until he was very skinny. I was quite traumatic when I saw him suddenly gasping for air as we were enjoying the morning breeze by the gate. I felt helpless as I cried for my mom, until he made a loud shriek and stopped moving.
  3. Best friend’s engagement
    My best friend and I had been friends for almost 15 years now. We were always joking on who would be the one to wed first. When she got engaged, I was the only one from the class to attend it as I promised her to keep it a secret from the others. I was proud and happy to be able to be by her side and witness the blessed day.
  4. Moro Island
    My ancestors on my maternal grandmother’s side were from Indonesia, specifically an island called Moro, Riau. Although the island was not like what you would imagine (soft beach sand, clear water, amazing nature view), I was proud to have it as part of me. When someone asked about my childhood memories, that was the place I could relate to.
  5. Adopting my first kittens
    Almost three years ago, I adopted a pair of black kittens from a family friend. Although I was annoyed at them for making so much noise and urinating everywhere, they never failed to brighten me up with their ridiculous antics. They have turned my impression on cats 180° as I used to hate cats.
  6. First stage show
    I was part of a Production Crew during my Polytechnic days. On my first official show for the Polytechnic’s Dance concert, I was in charge of playing the music and screen graphics on cue. It was a big event as people paid to watch. During rehearsals, I was really nervous and confused when the Stage Director was directing. I almost cried when I made a mistake. However, on the day of the real show, everything went smoothly to my relief. I felt a sense of achievement as we celebrated.
  7. Night walk
    I had attended a freshmen orientation camp from Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design. It was not a surprise if the committee members had organised a scary night walk. However, I was not expecting it to be that scary. As design students, they were really creative at creating the ‘ghosts’, the graphics, the sound, the atmosphere etc. They were very realistic that I shook with fear. Some even cried halfway through the event.
  8. First job interview
    You tend to get really nervous when it comes to your ‘first’. I was called down for an interview during my internship. It was my first official job. The night before, I had prepared myself with all the possible questions the Director might ask. Even when I was climbing the stairs to the office, I was mumbling to myself. To my surprise, the Director was very friendly that I completely forgot about the answers I prepared.
  9. Mother’s major surgery
    A few months ago, my mother had to undergo a surgery involving a wall tumour on her left chest. I thought it would just be normal surgery but when I realised that it was near the lungs and heart, I knew it was going to be major. The night before the surgery, I had spent most of my time with her as she was really scared. She kept saying things as if it would be last day. Those words made me scared as well. I waited patiently at the operating theatre for 10 hours until the surgery was over. Although I was sad to see the tubes attached to her body, I was relieved she was recovering well.
  10. My favourite band’s concert
    I had begged my friend to attend a concert with me. It was my first concert so I did not want to feel lonely. I was completely wrong. Even before the concert started, the atmosphere was really hyped up that I felt so thrilled to be there. As the band members appeared, the stadium was filled with screaming fans. I could not help but laughed. My heart was thumping against my ribs as the loud music boomed into my eardrums. I even forgot that my friend was with me.

From the list I created above, I would have categorized them into the following sections;

Culture Shock

1.   A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to Polytechnic

7.   Night walk

 10. My favourite band’s concert

Preparing For The Worst

2.   Caring for a sick pet

 9.   Mother’s major surgery

A New Beginning

 3.   Best friend’s engagement

5.   Adopting my first kittens

 8.   First job interview


2.   Caring for a sick pet

 5.   Adopting my first kittens

6.   First stage show

 9.   Mother’s major surgery

Different Expectations

2.   A transfer from Madrasah (Islamic school) to polytechnic

4.   Moro Island

Hello, my name is..

A new semester, a new class and totally new classmates.

I was quite nervous when I was entering the class. Since I was just allocated to the course, I did not attend the first 2D class so I thought everyone should have known each other by then except me. However, everyone were surprisingly friendly and cheerful that I felt welcomed.

I managed to catch up and introduced myself using the ‘Hello my name is’ card activity.


Hello - Typography

  1. Typography
    Grey background – I get really uncomfortable when wearing bright colours as I dislike being the center of attention. Therefore, I am always seen in neutral, dark or dull colours.

    Partly hidden ‘DINA’ – I can be a little shy and quiet when I am in an unfamiliar place or amongst people I do not know well. So I tend to ‘hide’ behind people and just observe my surroundings.

    Colours and Partly visible ‘DINA’ – However, as I grow older, I knew I had to change that to go beyond my limits. Being in the design industry also made me aware of the network and social interaction between different parties. Hence, I would like to improve myself by opening up more even if it takes time.

    Hello - Abstract

  2. Abstract
    Marbling Effect– Marbling has been one of my favourite patterns as it is very fluid and spontaneous. While doing this technique, I realised that life can be as spontaneous as well. Similar to marbling, there is no concrete set of rules to insure success in life. Something might work out for one person but it might not work for the other.

    However, be experimental and learn from mistakes. Even after all those hard work, you might end up with a beautiful and mesmerizing result.

    Hello - Conceptual

  3. Conceptual
    Black Cat– I used to hate cats. I just thought that they were really annoying creatures. However, that impression made a 180° turn when my family adopted two black kittens. Now with five cats at home, I am known as a typical neighbourhood cat lady.

    Cat and Me – I tried to show the close relationship I have with my cats by portraying us by nuzzling our faces against each other.

    Stars and Moon – The white speckles and moon represent night time. As they are active during the day and disappear somewhere in the house, they will tire out by night and start to climb on my bed to cuddle.


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.