Celestial Bodies – FINAL

How does outer space sound like? Celestial Bodies is our interpretation of sounds in space that are created by electromagnetic vibrations from objects in the galaxy. It is an abstract representation of how celestial objects interact in space, and have elements of time travel and space warping.

Here is our final version of Celestial Bodies for MAN (without sound):

The video above does not feature any sound, as we initially did not add any music or sound effects in our work. However, please find our final product with sound included in the video below:

Additonally, below is the link to our previous OSS post showing our mood board and thought process throughout this project.

Mid Semester Review / Celestial Bodies

Mid Semester Review / Celestial Bodies


How Sounds In Space Came About

Celestial Bodies is a project inspired by sounds in space. Because space is a vacuum, sound cannot travel the way it usually does on Earth to reach our ears.

However, even in outer space, sound does exist as electromagnetic vibrations. NASA uses special instruments that detect these electromagnetic signals coming from space objects, and converts them into sounds we would hear if these noises could be produced in the galaxy. The NASA Voyager, INJUN 1, ISEE 1 and Hawkeye space probes used Plasma Wave Antennas to record vibrations within the range of human hearing (20 Hz – 29kHz).

Below are YouTube videos that show the recordings of the sounds in space.

Our Concept & Work 

Our concept also encompasses MAN’s theme of passing, as the space represents the passing of time – from the beginning of time (the Big Bang) until present day. Our work also suggests elements of time travel, space warping and planetesimals. 

We envisioned our final piece to be an abstract representation of the sounds from space, as we wanted to move away from the more sci-fi themes one would usually see related to outer space in movies, etc. Therefore, although beginning our work with a big bang animation, we worked on it progressing towards a more fluidic and beautiful type of movement. In order to achieve a smooth, liquid kind of motion, we used After Effects and particles.

Below are some screenshots and short sample clips of what we have so far.

We are currently working on how to piece the separate clips together and get them to transition smoothly as a whole. We are also experimenting with various camera angles, panning and zooming in/out, etc.

Final Project – Being, Seeing

Artist Statement

Being, Seeing is a photographic series that places a person in solitude to explore the relationship between the state of naturalness derived from being alone and how one would react to seeing reflections of themselves. It is a documentation of both male and female subjects to study their candid responses while being confronted with multiple mirrors displaying reflections of themselves.

Subjects were given about a minute alone in a confined space where no one else was around or watching them and were allowed to move in the area. They were placed in front of the camera, but the photographs of them were taken while they were initially unaware that the camera was shooting.

In addition to photographing the moment people were being very real, this project also involves the issue of body image, through the fact that the subjects were compelled to look at themselves.

Mirrors are typically associated with vanity and self-analysis. Humans habitually check their appearances in reflective surfaces as we have a basic impulse to know what we look like. Perhaps the significance of the mirror has also changed along the way, morphing with society’s constantly fluctuating beauty standards. The pressure to look a certain way physically becomes palpable when one reaches the age of understanding societal expectations and popularised trends, and this may affect some people more than others.

Being, Seeing sought to capture the rawness of its subjects in their entirety, to photograph them while they were behaving as they would when isolated from everyone else, without a façade on, as well as when they were faced with the element of truly looking at themselves.

 FINAL presentation

Process + Reflections for Final Project


For my final project, I wanted to explore the space between a person being fully himself or herself while being awake and fully conscious. My previous midterm project To Be You was a photographic series of people sleeping, as at that point, I found that the only time we were able to be truly ourselves was when we were asleep, because we did not have the control over our thoughts and actions as we would when we were awake. I photographed my subjects in an intimate, close manner, as I wanted to present a sense of quiet peace while they were completely vulnerable and uncontrolled while in their temporary state of slumber.

However, in my final series, I wanted it to be much more active in a sense. I wanted my subjects to be awake and to be fully processing, while at the same time being who they really were, without a façade on. I found that the only way to do that was to seclude them from other people, so that they would not feel watched, or feel compelled to act a certain way. I needed them to feel at ease and able to act as they normally would when alone. This also meant that I could not be in the same vicinity as them, because then I would become a factor in the series, and they would not be completely alone. Therefore, I had to do this with a pre set up camera that would be ready to shoot when I was not physically around.

To do this, I borrowed a mirrorless Sony camera so that there wouldn’t be the shutter sound when firing, and the subjects would not know they were being photographed. I also constructed an enclosed space for my subjects, separating them from everyone else in the studio using boards and curtains so they would have a little corner to themselves.

I also wanted another element in the project, because I felt that it would have been too stagnant, and that it wasn’t interesting enough. At this point, I felt like incorporating the issue about body image in this society, because that has always been a subject that I am personally very interested in, as I feel like society has implemented a certain type of physical body that is constantly being held on a pedestal and popularized for both men and women to follow, and I think my generation has grown up being pressured into following this trend.

I wanted to see how my subjects would behave when confronted with themselves, so I placed mirrors all around them – on their left, right and in front of them. In a way, this documentary project was almost like a social experiment or a study to photograph the raw and organic way people would react.

Finally, after getting my subject to stand in place, I would excuse myself from the room, and let my subjects react freely to their reflections while unaware that I was photographing them.


I think this was the first project I truly felt for, one that I had to consider long and hard to achieve the final results. It required a lot of fine tuning and a considerable amount of thinking and planning to narrow down what I hoped to achieve out of it, and what factors and issues to include or photograph.

That being said, I am quite happy with the project because I feel I have tackled two issues that I am struggling with – feeling able to be myself and body image. It was very interesting to carry this out, because for my project, the process was very important. Essentially, without the process, the project wouldn’t have been able to work. What was especially fascinating for me was to try this out with more than 20 people, to see how they would react, and really watch their expressions and mannerisms.

I am usually comfortable working with people, but that is because my work process often includes speaking to my subjects prior to photographing, so I get to know my subjects a little more. This project was pretty new to me because I wanted to leave everything as natural as possible, so I didn’t get to have a solid conversation with my subjects before shooting, which was a fresh experience.

I’m not sure how and if I would like to continue this project, but I think if I were to continue this, I would like to continue photographing multiple subjects because I feel like as any study in regardless of the field it is for, should have a plethora of subjects to get various results. I might also photograph subjects over an age range. I stuck to people in their 20s for this project as I felt connected and that I wanted to examine people near the same age as I am, but I might want to cross check and see how this would hold different results and observe how body image might impact people from diverse generations.

Kindred Artists (For Final Project)


  1. Paul Strand

Born in New York City, 1890, Paul Strand was a photographer in the 20th century, who, with other renowned names like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, was famous for establishing and popularising photography as a form of art.

He was particularly known for his street photography, which was thought to be very honest and captured subjects in their natural states because he would go to extreme lengths to hide his camera from them. He would use fake lenses and prisms so that, for example, when his camera was pointed in the direction opposite to his subject, it would actually be capturing a photograph of the subject without them knowing.

Essentially, this allowed him to photograph people without posing them or alerting them with the presence of his camera, as they would not have their guard up or behave in a manner that would have been different from their usual routines. They would have been fully themselves in a public environment.

2. Neringa Rekasiute, We.Women (2014)

Rekasiute is a Lithuanian photographer who developed a photographic series based on women and body image. In her project, 12 women were photographed in the same setting, each with a full length mirror placed in front of them, where their reflection and their bodies are captured in the photographs. 

The project starts with a simple illustration, where the subjects are asked to draw how they see themselves in the mirror, allowing them to fully digest how they usually feel about themselves in their physical aspects. Following that, the photograph is taken, with each of the women having a different expression when looking at themselves. 

We.Women ultimately sought to question the definition of beauty it’s effects. It showed how women reacted to seeing themselves in the mirror with the stereotypical global standard of beauty engraved into them because of how the media has portrayed a certain type of body to be beautiful.

The Life of Things – Exhibition @ Esplanade

The Life of Things exhibition can essentially be broken down into three different parts:

1) Subliminal City:

  • UuDam Tran NguyenSerpent’s Tails
  • Lim SokchanlinaUrban Street Night Club, Wrapped Future, National Road Number 5

2) Relics:

  • Phan Thao-Nguyen, Tropical Siesta, Education of a Poet
  • Sarker Protick, Exodus
  • Sim Chi Yin, One Day We’ll Understand

3) Museum of Modern Sympathy:

  • Kevin Fee, Misfortunes of the Inanimate, To Live and Let Live 

I felt that the whole exhibition did not really manage to successfully curate all the works of three components into a concise manner. The topics and mediums used for each work did not hold much relation to one another. For mediums used, there were photographs, videos, paintings, and a large physical installation.

However, personally I did enjoy the differences between all three parts of exhibition individually as I felt that each time I went to a different location, I was inspired by the freshness of the artists’ ideas was thoroughly interested in the work.

I especially liked Serpent’s Tails, Wrapped Future, Misfortunes of the Inanimate and One Minute Sympathy.

Serpent’s Tails by UuDam Tran Nguyen

I really enjoyed the use of three different screens to show the work instead of the usual one screen that would allow the audience to solely cast their attention on the centrepiece. I think three screens worked for this project because it contributed to the organic and disorganised feeling that I got from the work pertaining to pollution because of the overuse of motorcycles in Vietnam.

The footage was also chaotic, yet visually engaging because of the colours and the way the shots were taken. There was a good mix of abstract, close of shots as well as parts that allowed the viewer to see what was happening in the surroundings.

I feel like this was good for me in relation to my own project because it presented the information in a abstract, micro manner that focused on textures.

Wrapped Future by Lim Sokchanlina

I also enjoyed Wrapped Future as I feel that I can learn from this type of documentation style and presentation. I think Wrapped Future is the type of pure documentary work that creates a beautiful photograph, but at the same time keeps the style very clean and direct, presenting it to the viewer in a clear manner. Everything seems natural, in the sense that the subject matter had been photographed the way the photographer found it, and has not been altered or staged.

I also felt that the subject matter was very vibrant and carefully chosen because they all worked well together as a series.

Misfortunes of the Inanimate by Kevin Fee

I found this series very interesting as well because of the level of detail the artist gave to each photograph. The artist was likely to have been very alert to keep a lookout for his subject matter since I feel that things caught in an unfortunate situation are not easily found if one is not conscientiously looking.

I also felt that the size of the prints (about postcard sized) were just right for the work, as it was a good pairing with having 72 photographs up. The size also gave the work a more intimate kind of feeling. I think the fact that the photographer had 72 photographs contributed to making this series successful because it is one that requires many photos.

However, I am interested to know why the artist chose to photograph this series in the night/flash kind of aesthetic. 


Kindred Artists (For Midterm Project #1)

  1. Lavender Chang, Unconsciousness: Consciousness (2013)

Lavender Chang is a Taiwanese born conceptual photographer who now works and lives in Singapore. Her works have been exhibited at multiple shows, such as the International Orange Photo Festival in 2010, China, Singapore Art Museum, Mizuma Gallery and Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York in 2014. 

She has also won awards in various competitions like The Crowbar Awards and Noise Singapore.

Unconsciousness: Consciousness (2013)

The image shows the passage of time during the person’s unconscious state passing, uncovering the abstract that is under our reality. When the environment is constant and his body and the light is the only movement in the image, the bed becomes a stage. The person becomes a performer. These images are performances created overnight as time passes around the sleeping body.

2. Leonardo Magrelli, Meerror (2016)

Magrelli was born in Rome in 1989, holds a BA in Design and Architecture from “La Sapienza” university in Rome. In the last years his works has been featured in several printed and online photography magazines, and has been displayed in collective exhibitions and festivals.

Previous physical and online exhibitions include: A Smith Gallery, Black Box Gallery, Darkroom Gallery, Life Framer, F-Stop Magazine.

Meerror (2016)

The Meerror project shows what mirrors reflect when we are not in front of them. It consists in a series of photos taken facing a mirror, so we should see ourselves reflected in it, but we don’t, as if we were invisible. The result are real images, that exist in the world, but that we can never witness, for we are their own interference. In fact, we will never be able to observe directly what a mirror shows when we are not facing it, because every time we step in front of it, the image that was reflected a moment before is modified by our appearance. Only disappearing, we can observe reality without alterations. 

Thus self-portrait and still life collide, creating images that are both the things and none at the same time. In fact, up to where is it legitimate to speak of portrait? Each one of these pictures premise it and is the result of the cancellation of a self-portrait. Yet is our very absence, an absence that turns these images into still lives, that triggers the mechanism of the picture.

3. Elinor Carucci, Closer (1900s to 2000s)

Born 1971, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year.

In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included many solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery and Gagosian Gallery.  Some group shows include The Museum of Modern Art New York and The Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Closer (1900s to 2000s)

Carucci’s work is first and foremost about the nuclear family, but also touches upon the related topics of intimacy and mortality. Her parents, grandparents and spouse are the central players, each of whom she portrays gently but unflinchingly in her images. Her color photographs work with a definite color palette, regardless of whether or not this was intentional; there is a mesmerizing quality to the serene blues and vivid reds set against the myriad tones of bare skin.

Documentary Project Write Up + 5 Statements


\ ˈslēp \

A condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.


When consciousness is taken away, it allows people to be in their most natural state. Once fully asleep, the ability to be perceptive or aware of their surroundings and themselves is distinctly decreased. Sleep also reduces the lack of control people would normally have over themselves when awake.

Because there is no consciousness and control, an individual is also the most vulnerable to being who he or she truly is when asleep. It is when man naturally and temporarily cease the constant grasping for who they are.

In a way, people are in a state of being truly themselves in their rawest form only when asleep because it allows us to stop consciously processing reality.

This project is a series of photographic triptychs showing the places people sleep, to document where people are the most unintentionally comfortable being themselves.

  1. Almost everyone puts up a front while being with other people (could be in words, actions, or everything as a whole)


  1. While asleep, people are in their most natural state because there is the inability to have conscious control over themselves


  1. Is sleep a form of escapism from reality?


  1. During sleep, I am the most comfortable with who I am, because I am unaware


  1. Can anyone be 100% comfortable with who they are (emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc.)?