This is my presentation slides for today, which covers my brainstorming process, my filtered 18 and final 6, as well as my reference artists for this project. I have referred to both internet sources and books for inspiration.
I am planning to do carefree illustrations for the 6 fictional characters I have narrowed down to, using traditional mediums and will decide afterwards if I ought to digitalise them. As for the individual explanations of each 18 chosen lines, I will be uploading them as a quick video with narration. This is to ensure I do not bore you out with laborious explanations for each line I’ve came up with, since the final 6 is the most important ones anyway. All the same, I do not mind being asked questions about each line. Stay tuned!
As OSS was unable to load my pictures, I took the liberty of making a video with the pictures and clips I shot. I wanted to create as much time as possible to experiment with my materials, to sieve out the mistakes and improve from there.
Mistakes/Reflections from Draft 1:
Bad lighting: The shots were taken at night, so I had to use artificial lighting and the result was unsatisfactory. I made sure to use natural lighting in Draft 2.
Over-Ambitious compositional shots: Big compositions were very ambitious shots to make. Firstly, the table used in studio shots were isolated where mine was a kitchen counter. The background was a grainy-textured white, where mine was a glossy white. Light reflected off the counter, forming bad pictures. And it was difficult to manage all aspects of forming a good photograph as an individual e.g holding up the light, adjusting the props. If I wanted to make a good photograph and retain an aesthetically-appealing portrait of my name (simplicity is always beautiful), I might have to compromise on the number of props I use in my compositions.
Nonetheless, in draft 2, most of the mistakes cleared up.
I went for a close-up shot with use of personalised name cards.
3) Have a conversation with your family member, are there life stories, tradition or experiences about Singapore that you might find?
My Dad used to go “fishing” with his brothers and friends from his kampong district when he was a kid. Even when it’s dark, they would grab their pails and nets, slip out of the house quietly and meet up at some dirty canal or shore, when they know it’s at low-tide. He had many stories about his late night “fishing” adventures, but one of my favourites took place at the cemetery which Grandpa would later be put to rest in.
There was a huge drain or canal in this cemetery, and fishes, shrimps and algae actually thrived in this unusual sanctuary. It was here Dad and his little brother caught an “electric eel” with a gaudy red plastic bag and brought it home to his mom with pride. However, they were both scolded and even punished for their naughtiness, although Grandma cooked up the eel anyway. When I was about 8 or 9, Dad brought me back to this canal to demonstrate how he caught the eel once again, but he slipped into the canal and suffered a cut on his knee. His sturdy nokia phone was also put to rest, thanks to this incident.
Dad built our childhood in such fishing excursions, with other his grown-up brothers and their children. We visited Sembawang Park, Pasir Ris Park and numerous other secret spots in Singapore to hunt for mussels, crabs, fishes . . really, anything we could get our hands on. I recall sitting on a bunch of rocks, trying to cook “mussel soup” using the stone campfire “stove” Dad constructed for me. And wading through muddy ponds at deserted fish farms. Letting bucketfuls of tadpoles nibble at my palms and squishing them to find greenish insides.
Even now, I still missed this way of life. The kampong culture has been replaced with the buzzing city life, where trips to the movie theatres and amusement parks erased the humble and quiet satisfaction that fishing once brought.
I am intending to draw live and record it. I would probably fast forward the video so it has quality drawings with comfortable timing. I would then narrate over the fast-forwarded video. I would likely narrate a couple of stories Dad talked about, and also include some of my thoughts.
I always had this need to express the crazy things I’d imagined of, but am more than often held back by fear of judgement. But through a long series of events last December, I realised that this fear was as if I was punishing myself before others could decide if they actually want to punish me (with derogatory comments). That I ought to learn to trust myself and nurture what I personally thought was good. So this time, I went with my instinct.
It was a great hassle to gather what I needed: getting help from a third party, finding safe but cinematic camera angles, good recording devices, proper lighting etc. Then there was the idea of throwing my personal voice out there. To make oneself even more vulnerable. And having to edit and render the video till 3 a.m. since I did not own any adobe softwares.
I think it was worth it.
It may not yet be of the highest quality, but this is the beginning of what’s to come. I want to tap further into my mind and see what else I can do. Improve with time and practice.
But enough about my background story, let’s talk about the video! The title of this casual-style video presentation is “Home: As We Know It”.
I personally enjoy works that harness interactivity between the audience and the artist. Here are the videos that inspired me:
There was something charming about Alexa Chung’s unique style of fashion journalism. She invited the audience to join her on both her thoughts and interactions with her environment. Similarly, I employed the narrative technique and explored my video from a more intimate perspective.
Although this clip seems far-fetched in comparison to my work, I tested out various camera techniques from the awe-inspiring scenes of Great Gatsby, and achieved a few considerably successful cinematic shots.
Overall, I think I can improve in communicating my ideas more coherently , especially in the upcoming projects.