Upon the completion of the mid term projects, we were tasked to further develop our concepts with the help of technology for our final project. My mid term project was titled Dis-harmony, a simply anamorphic perspective installation of a bonsai tree made out of found objects. The concept behind it was simple: to find harmony in the chaos that Covid-19 has caused on 2020. The idea of realigning ourselves to the ‘correct perspective’, and to relocate the balance in our lives during this pandemic period led me to move on and develop ‘the mind, the body and the sounds around us’.

Using similar concept but a different approach, it incorporated the idea of spatial awareness and repositioning to find harmony not in a visual, but that of an audio manner. In the description of the project, I explained that it was an attempt to bridge physical and psychological space, where we follow our innate inclination to make sense of the sounds around us.

First Iteration

The first version actually revolved the idea of transitioning found shadows according to the reposition of each person on the space. This meant a smooth transition of shadows that may be paired with background music to give the effect of ‘harmonizing’ these spaces through taking up different parts of the space. The troubles i went through included: Firstly, the inability to acquire similar shadow effects that sync with one another. I first tasked myself to create a video, excluding the interactivity portion to give myself a rough understanding on how it would work but it was difficult to source for such materials in the first place. Initially, I had wanted to have people model the shadows for me, but due to the short amount of time I had left, it was not a viable solution. As such, I had to rethink this idea and take a different approach when it came to shadow manipulation.

Second Iteration

I wanted to make responsive generative patterns that would link the movements of the participants to the projection. The idea was that our actions would create a visual harmony in space, an interesting almost generative method; except that it could be predicted by the movements in space.

I really liked this ideation and would pursue it further if given more time, thus its limitations. It did however involve the use of Processing and Kinect; two softwares that I was not particularly inclined to. The Kinect sensor was recommended by Bryan, our Interactive Spaces work study, who suggested that it may be useful to track real time positioning through the sensitive Kinect sensor. As such, I’ve spent bulk of my time on tutorials on Kinect, the softwares it could work with, which included OpenFrameworks, Processing, Unity3D and many others.

The depth and possibilities of Kinect were vast, and it created many opportunities to develop the project. More specifically, I was drawn to the idea of capturing raw Depth data and computing it into different elements. There was an online tutorial on YouTube by Daniel Shiffman where he used raw Depth data to calculate the average of pixels and used that to create particle effects in Processing.
Additionally, I found that Elliot Woods from KimchiAndChips made significant progress in using the Kinect and calibrating them to projections, making interesting interactions such as, but not limited to, the manipulating of lights as shown in this video –  Virtual Light Source. Due to my lack of understanding of Processing software, the coding of the Kinect and generative modules did not come to fruition.



Final Iteration

The development was actually discovered by a series of ‘mistakes’. Whilst trying out the colour schemes in Processing, instead of creating uniformed colour changes, much like a rainbow effect, I made a screen of white noise effect accidentally by using color (random(255)) and during the experimentation, the effect grew on me and I finalized it when I added the audio and they went together well. I chose to add audio effects as part of the project as it was difficult to manipulate the visuals on screen, using the minim library I was able to choose songs and add them into the Kinect projection. My impression was that through the code that I made, the audio would play if it senses depth data on the screen. This was a two-outcome programme – play or no play. However, after testing out the code, I realized that the audio reacted to the amount of data being fed into the screen, and when the screen was full filled, the audio played seamlessly. Otherwise, the audio would be choppy and incoherent, even annoying at some point. This aligned well with my idea of ‘making sense’ and using audio I was able to create an unconventional effect that I had not initially pictured, but worked well in my favour.

Music – Sæglópur by Sigur Rós

This project encourages us to slow down and reflect on the ‘sounds’ around us, the noise and discomfort caused by the adversities that we face currently, and ‘piece’ them together by acknowledging them and finding a solution of comfort and serenity through various means and ways. Instead of running away, we hear these noises and look within ourselves for a place of solitude.

What is it that is being communicated?


The fact that these buildings were purposefully chosen; the close proximity that allows viewers to walk through them communicates the curator’s intent on emphasizing the handful of buildings that were involved in the show. This was likely to communicate the richness of culture that the young nation have cultivated in the rather short amount of time. There were a mixture of buildings that reminded the audience of our colonial past – of which helped shaped the present. This was meant to engage the patriotic sense, that despite being once part of colonialism, our forefathers have paved the way for Singapore to become fruitful and successful. The colours shone on the buildings (red and white) was not shocking either as it was obvious that the national colours were apt in the context.


What might the “curators” have to consider to plan such a transformation?


The curators might have thought about which part of the structure on the facade to accentuate. Although the monuments were large, the ‘space’ on the facade was rather limited, in the sense where it would be monotonous to carelessly project lights all over the facade. Instead, parts of the monument such as the supporting pillars may have been ‘playfully’ selected (it could be intentional to highlight the base of Singapore’s heritage) to be projected, and dimmer red lights used to hint other interesting aspects of the cultural institutions.


What alternate ways could YOU imagine transforming these sites to communicate something unique or unknown about Singapore culture?


This event was rather passive in the sense where audiences can hardly ‘interact’ with the monuments. What if there was a way to keep tab on the number of audiences? In light of the COVID situation, we have to use SafeEntry check-ins to locations. In a similar fashion, our action of ‘checking in’ could trigger a different response in the lights, setting an algorithm to it where every response would not be similar, this may peak the interest of audiences to participate in the ‘lighting up’ of these national monuments. While adding interactivity to the piece, we may also take a peek at Singapore’s ‘Kay Poh’ culture (a loose term to describe Singaporeans being nosy, but in a harmless manner), where passerbys may stop and react to participants who are ‘lighting up’ these monuments. The aim of which is to gather more participants through their ‘Kay Poh’ behaviour, while extending the message to Singaporeans that being ‘Kay Poh’ may not be as bad as they think, as a matter of fact being beneficial the event instead.

“Lozano-Hemmer’s work is informed by histories of art, science, technology and diverse philosophical currents. Because of its conceptual complexity it cannot be described as an illustration of any specific school or theory, yet consistently it reveals ‘the fullness of space’ in
relation to both the body and technology.”

Lozano-Hemmer’s work challenges the supposition that buildings control bodies.

In exploring virtual openings in architecture, the city, the body and technology, Lozano-Hemmer could have been pioneering the wave of interactive architectural space that displaces past beliefs and preconceived notions of architecture. By incorporating the body – a reference for which architecture bases its measurements, Lozano-Hemmer extends human imagination to form a sophisticated relationships with facades and interiors. After all, it could be said that buildings are an extension of our needs and desires. The space created has intimate value, constructed by and for the mind, thus each architecture could invoke a myriad of responses, from libraries to solemn slaughterhouses. Lozano-Hemmer’s works have a recurring concept of tracking and surveillance, where technology capture human presence and translate them to unpredictable projections and ‘spontaneous’ actions that interact with the architecture to reveal the next layer of the artwork. Lozano-Hemmer encourages artistic freedom from his participants, allowing them to interact however they deem fit. Lozano-Hemmer tends to break the physical constraints of the architectural space by layering them with projections and simulating control over buildings through motion capture, creating the illusion that we are able to affect the space with our presence.

Tension and Stability
Growing up, I shared a bedroom with my older brother. I have a drastically different personality from my brother, who was more introverted and short fused. Often, we would find ourselves arguing over trivial matters that would further deteriorate our relationship and that ended up splitting us into different bedrooms. Coming from a strict family, we would often be disciplined for our misdeeds and altercations between us would end up getting us into more trouble with our parents. We seldom had the opportunity to rationalize with each other, as our parents would end up ‘resolving the matter’ for us in the form of disciplinary actions. When I shifted out of our shared bedroom, the physical separation evolved into an emotional separation. My parents run a small family business, growing up we would have to go down to their workplace and help out as much as we could. My brother hated doing so, and as much as did not enjoy the process(that was ever so tiring), I helped out whenever I could. Through the years, I helped run the family business to lessen the burden of my parents as they were getting old, and often pondered on my brother’s reluctance to involve himself. As we were not close, I found it hard to try and communicate my thoughts to him about the situation and I never gotten to understand his point of view. At home, we could not stand one another’s presence and would often pick on one another’s flaws, the pent up emotions we had led to tension between us unequivocally. As we are now adults, I am past our childhood ‘mishaps’ and can only try my best to make up for lost time. Despite not having the ‘best brother’ I could ask for, I am glad that I am not the only child.

Stability came with the structure we had in place as a family. I used to hate the fact that I got caned a lot as a child, that tough love was my parents’ method of choice when it came to parenting us. The transition from primary school to secondary school was rather shocking; my parents allowed me to live out the ‘rebellious phase’ in my adolescence. The disciplinary methods lessened and I had to make my own choices and be responsible for my own actions. That gave me the opportunity to learn from mistakes and my decisions and allowed me to make informed decisions when it came to planning and time management. We would often joke about how we were ‘taught a lesson’ in the past, and that made us bond as a family. Fast forward, these experiences and protection that my parents offered us made me think about the different aspects of home that made me feel uncomfortable, unforgettable, immense joy and calm. These structures shifted along with growth and as such formed the idea of home for me. When COVID-19 hit us, my ‘structure’ of home shifted as our family business temporarily put out of work. As we could no longer physically set up shop, we converted to doing deliveries in the meantime and put me and my brother to work. I was in charge of driving my brother around while he made the deliveries. Both of us rose up to the occasion where we had to be responsible for the food we put on the table, and through working together, my brother and I developed a stronger relationship. The Circuit Breaker (or lockdown), made us reflect on our roles in the family and the two of us contributed to the ‘structure of our family’.

As I pen out my thoughts, I thought of the kinetic sculpture: Kinetic rain – the world’s largest kinetic art sculpture in Changi airport Terminal 1. Each module consisting of 608 raindrops, have a motor attached to each one of them. Each of these motors aid in the coordination of the thousands of raindrops that shift in beautiful formations. This, to me, re-enacts the harmony of space and time of my establishment of the feelings I have of home. Home has constantly changing meaning for me, and this structure represents the ever-changing moments of the fond memories I have of home. These raindrops utilized the vertical space to provide us a spectacle – thousands of them moving in the own path, yet creating such harmonized movements that were simply fascinating to watch.

The sculpture inspired me to think about my own variation of how I would use space as an attempt to communicate my feelings of home.

Taking a little bit of inspiration in form from slide puzzles such as this.



Our intervention revolved around triggering spontaneous movements, uncoordinated muscle memory while being partially bound to another person. Using Lydia Lunch’s spoken word poem, we took to ourselves sporadic movements dictated by the audio which led to multiple instances of pulling and pushing. The harsh words triggered mildly violent responses as we negotiated with one another, reacting to and interpreting the words spoken. This created a fast paced and reactive piece that in time, taught us to understand the response we had to each other, and therefore making it seem more fluid as time went by. The entire process lasted for mere minutes, which we found ourselves breathing heavily after. The intervention was performed in a restrict space and the blanket acted as a physical bond that held us accountable to each other’s movements.

Despite having little to no physical contact, the intervention made us trust one another with our reactions. This created a profound experience that left me in almost a trance, being emotionally absorbed by the audio triggers that left me dwelling on what happened. The intervention was inspired by the exploration of intimate communication without speaking through our muscle memories. Given that everyone has a different interpretation of space, movement and of the audio triggers, it is likely that each process is never the same and different outcomes would emerge from this experience.

Vincent Van Gogh’s mighty obsession with houses and nests; his letters of which he shares to his brother describing his art and his thoughts behind them may reflect his longing of a peaceful, relational space in which he creates through his actions. As someone who is often shunned, a crevice forms within his intimate space, a sense of longing lingers in his head space. The nests and thatched cottage painted may be unconscious actions that he use to materialize his needs. No matter where we are, our priority will always to create a shelter for ourselves to put us out of harms’ way. It is not merely a shelter, but also a space for us to be unarmed and feel an ease of mind. The space which allows us to be in meditative almost, of which we relive experiences that are positive in nature. I had recalled a jungle survival course which I had undergone in my national service days, in which we created temporary shelters in the form of A-frame structures deep within the jungle. Though it may be temporary shelter,  I took the liberty of creating one that was big, sturdy and ‘perched’ a large root enough to shelter me from the rain, though it took more than a day’s work. The reality of the elements motivated me to work even harder, the first night I had not managed to construct a sufficient roof to shield me from the continuous rain from dusk to dawn. In which, I have learnt that suffering is part of home-making, like how birds press their breasts against the nests to created a solid structure. I have also realized that every one of my friends had their shelters slightly different, each catering to their own needs. Although the shelter was really meant to be a test, every shelter was made good based on instincts.

Gaston repeatedly recalled his discovery of his first nests and the profound experience and memories that would accompany his find. The exuberance in his recollection highlight the importance of the discovery to him, a body that witnessed space through a singular object which some may only identify as an reference to a physical home. The environment of which a bird chooses its nest intrigues me. Must the tree present certain values for the birds to choose its resting? As a human, it would be difficult to make a decision between two trees in a forest, as they would appear identical and we can only guess that the birds chose based on gut feeling. As humans, we choose locations based on practicality rather than gut feeling most of the time, but many will think twice before separating from their ‘old homes’. It is beyond a physical space of shelter and it transcends to a space of precious memories that are grounded to the location.

The breakdown of Space in that it is a complex set of ideas, transcend that of a physical space in which we build our lives around. In fact, it provides a deep overview of how Space and our bodies interact, in that we are in it, that it in us. The spatial values, as propelled by the notion that space has a bias toward the front and right not only coincides but is agreeable with values shared by Feng Shui and Daoism. I do subjectively agree with the ideals of spacial bias, in which it is human nature to keep relations of positivity to the front and ascend. In the English language, we often associate ‘Reaching the top’, ‘Paramount’ and ‘Climbing the ranks’ with the idea of moving forward and achieving beyond our expectations. The idea of progression is always associated with moving upwards and into the future, thus following the diagram in Figure 2. As I am recently intrigued by the principles of Feng Shui, I have created certain co-relations that was asserted through the text, in which both have mentioned the hierarchy of space. Briefly speaking, China has long upheld its beliefs in Feng Shui and has shown through its cultural background that even the name 中国 (China), is loosely translated to Middle Nation, which indicates its assertion that it believes to be the center of civilization, an exemplification of elevation of status in relation to other nations.

Feng Shui teaches that we are one with nature, and that everything around us have energy (Qi), and in order to create an environment that channels positivity, we should orient our surroundings to the South East. As mentioned in the Text, the Ruler faces South and the Sun, and the Left, which represents the East, which is the direction in which the Sun rises. In metaphysics, the understanding of ascension and being ‘one with nature’ leads us into the mountains, where it is believed that that is the dwelling of the immortals, in which that is the place closest to Heaven. Thus, the relation that higher is better is reflected through Feng Shui as well. Feng Shui teaches about Space and how we can command it in our lives to enrich our habitability, create better environments that ultimately enhance our intentions of success (and not directly giving us success). In religious teachings, we are taught that Heaven is in the skies and Hell is beneath. This creates the hierarchy reflected in our modern society, where we are subconsciously subjected to this spatial relation. Previously, I believe that we have all been acquainted with such understanding, that we are living in the principles imposed by space, yet not having revelation about the philosophy surrounding spatial studies. In the future, I hope to revisit this reading after gaining a more in-depth understanding of Space and its values.