Based on my presentation idea of ‘MONSTER’, I have further dissect and improvise on how to capitalize on this unorthodox concept.So I brought Yasmine Mzayek, a friend of mine (whom eventually became the protagonist of my Zine) out for supper at Thomson, and we happened to had a lengthy conversation over her passion for food and how she felt uncomfortable with certain local food but heads over heels for some others.
The light-heart conversation slowly turned into a darker one, one that led me to realization about how strong the passion for food some of us actually hold that could be somewhat scary if the scenario was slightly exaggerated.
I simply couldn’t stop imagining the possibilities.
Zombies? What if one fine day, we all turn and start eating up each other’s limbs? Would I rely on unscrupulous methods to obtain what I want – food? Would I stab a friend behind his or her back just to get my hands on that Michelin star dish served by Gordon Ramsay?
What if secretly, we’re all monsters?
Creepy Portraits of a Chef Wearing His Menu Ingredients
Spices, radish and carrots, Octopus Ink and seafood
MENU is a new photo series by photographer Robert Harrison and chef Robbie Postma, a duo who decided to combine food and portrait photography in a strange and creepy new way. The photos show Postma wearing his menu ingredients on his face.
Postma is the chef for the cafeteria at the Dutch advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam.
After breaking down menu items into their base ingredients, the duo carefully arranged the raw, unprocessed food onto Postma’s face. Everything was carefully planned and prepared, and the full project took a full year to complete — a single shot sometimes took 9 hours to prep and shoot.
“MENU is what happens when food meets photography on the dark side,” the duo says. “Served on the closest place you can get to a chef’s mind: on his face. The results are startling.”
“Every grain of rice was added by hand, without the aid of digital manipulation,” the image and culinary artists write. “MENU is hand crafted. Just like the best food.”
Ice Cream and fruits
“Creepy Portraits of a Chef Wearing His Menu Ingredients.” PetaPixel. Accessed April 9, 2017. https://petapixel.com/2017/03/23/creepy-portraits-chef-wearing-menu-ingredients/.
Note to self from Tutor : Photoshop it better with a 3 dimensional depth OR go all out on photography + Stylize + Makeup
I was told after consultation with Mimi, that the imagery contents of my Zine are very much trying to portray a distinct style that is achieved from Photography + Lighting + Stylizing and Makeup on a real-life model.
So one of the option was to do a photo shoot and I would first need to source for a willing party to aid me with this ambitious but surely rewarding attempt especially since I’ve never done it before.
I asked my sister-in-laws(had to ask for girls because of the narrative content beginning with my exchange friend) and they were all reluctant to and I also come to realize that such photography could be deemed as degrading for those that don’t come from the arts field.
A friend of mine mentioned that she charge $60/hour for such a shoot. Oh boy, how am I to afford such high cost for a project. Until I successfully source for a willing party, I guess I will have to bank on improving my photo-shopping skill, and it needs to improve tremendously. Also, I will have to illustrate with a more distinctive style to make the Zine content flow.
So I was the first one to take part in the drawing of lots and with the possibilities of all the zones in Singapore, I was allocated with Thomson! My initial reaction was of course with great elation considering that I reside in Ang Mo Kio which really isn’t very far off from Thomson. It’s nearest MRT Station at the very start of Thomson Road happens to be Novena, a place that I frequent way too much as I make trips down to the Hospital almost once every week (no I’m not a doctor haha).
So I did up a little research on why it was named Thomson Road, I mean it could have been Benjamin Road right? (just kidding)
And of course, it was because of this guy!
John Turnbull Thomson (b. 10 August 1821, Glororum, England–d. 16 October 1884, Invercargill, New Zealand) was the Government Surveyor of the Straits Settlements from 1841 to 1853. He made a number of important contributions during his 12 years in Singapore, including the creation of maps of early Singapore, as well as the design and construction of several buildings and other public infrastructure on the island.1His greatest achievement was probably the design and construction of the Horsburgh Lighthouse on Pedra Branca.2 A self-taught artist and prolific writer, Thomson’s collection of paintings, books and articles now serve as invaluable records of the architecture and life of early Singapore.3
In an instant, I knew I had to do Architecture considering that it was Sir John Turnbull Thomson’s effort and results which contributed to a certain extent in some way albeit probably not as huge of an impact as the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew but hell, having a road named after you probably means your contribution meant something yeah?
With that, I found my first focus for my first trip of this Neigborhood Explorer project.
Private Apartments along Thomson Road
One of the many Condominiums by Thomson Road
Majority of the materials used in the architecture around this area of Thomson consisted of the above materials which are Blue tinted Mirror Glass, Timber and Concrete finish with different color of paint finish as their facade. This selection of materials spots a very modern look for an architecture in contrast with the other older buildings which was spotted a couple of streets down the long stretch of Thomson Road.
What a long way Singapore had come from planting trees all over Singapore, and in this age, we have many creative methods to provide a purposeful and aesthetically pleasing structure in this case, a vertical planting module which holds the flora which attract them faunas. This is a stark difference from what we can still find along, or rather will find a lot of along the Upper Thomson Road area where huge plots of land are still undeveloped and probably won’t be as those are protected areas and most probably used for the Army as the training ground purposes.
Vertical Planting Modules found outside Starbucks at United Square along Thomson Road
Did I mention that Thomson is a long stretch?
Old buildings beside United Square
One of the older buildings around the modern building at the start of Thomson Road which stood out really obvious. These buildings consist mostly of concrete with paint finish and certain portion of the facade are painted with really tacky colors such as bright green, yellow and blue.
SC Global / NEWTON 200 along Thomson Road
Traditional Shop-houses featuring plenty of different cuisines of food
This Traditional Shop-houses were spotted with a lot of different cuisines…
and these varieties of food stretches further down with more delicious food
… which stretches further down Thomson Road all the way to Upper Thomson Road which based on map reference, could possibly be the distance of Novena MRT to Yishun MRT as a gauge of how long a stretch Thomson really is.
The topic food also branches out to possibly a new focus for myself as I’ve asked around so often about what do they think of when Thomson is mentioned – FOOD.
More old private apartments with the construction of the church of St Alphonsus along Thomson Road
image taken from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/67998490
Rather Old Private Apartments right opposite Novena Square and Velocity
This marks the start of my exploration around the residential area which range from terrace houses to really old HDB buildings. It was really quiet around this area around evening time even though people should be coming back from home by then.
The overall feeling this building gives off is really quite depressing and somewhat creepy?
This area feels a bit like Malaysia, but of course it isn’t. There really wasn’t much special stuff that really breathe Thomson, elements that I could instantly relate to Thomson Road/ Area.
As I delved further into the neighborhood of old Architectures which still doesn’t show much. By now, I was really unconvinced about doing things related to Architecture but I couldn’t let it go yet, so I sticked to my plan and explored further.
We could tell the huge difference between the older buildings as compared to the modern ones. There’s a stark difference between the two of them, in terms of colors, structure and aesthetics just as mentioned before, but it all aims to serve the same purpose – housing families.
On a side note, that right there (on top left) is really amazing, I wish I could go up there one day and see how it looks like and enjoy that spatial experience from that high up.
I’ve finally reached Thomson Flyover by this point and I spotted something really interesting that resides underneath this Flyover which happens to be a Futsal Court – a smaller pitch for football. There were families and their children playing a game of football which is always a nice thing to see. However, it was nothing helpful towards my Zine to be honest which was quite a bummer as I had lots of hope looking from the outside.
Source – Straits Time
Source – Straits Time
With a slew of old-school restaurants and buzzy new hipster joints, some of which are open round the clock, Thomson Village near Upper Thomson Road is a magnet for diners in the evenings and on weekends.
IN UPPER THOMSON
They don’t just park illegally and block your gate, but shout and disturb the residents late at night.
MR LEE, Thomson Ridge resident
But the area’s popularity has created parking and traffic problems, with multiple instances of illegal parking occurring regularly, and residents in nearby estates complaining about restaurant patrons who park in front of their gates and block their cars.
To prevent the situation from deteriorating, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has banned additional eateries from opening in shophouses in sections along Jalan Todak, Soo Chow Walk, Sin Ming Road and Shunfu Road, as well as Upper Thomson Road.
Dada was an artistic and literary movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland. It arose as a reaction to World War I and the nationalism that many thought had led to the war. Influenced by other avant-garde movements – Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Expressionism – its output was wildly diverse, ranging from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting, and collage. Dada’s aesthetic, marked by its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes, proved a powerful influence on artists in many cities, including Berlin, Hanover, Paris, New York, and Cologne, all of which generated their own groups. The movement dissipated with the establishment of Surrealism, but the ideas it gave rise to have become the cornerstones of various categories of modern and contemporary art.
It was the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of art. Dada. [Internet]. 2017. TheArtStory.org website. Available from: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-dada.htm [Accessed 01 Feb 2017]
MOST IMPORTANT ART OF THIS ART MOVEMENT
“R. Mutt’, however, was an unusual name, with comic overtones, and this might have given people a clue as to its falseness. Later in life, when asked whether ‘R. Mutt’ was a pun on the German word Armut meaning poverty, Duchamp was quoted as explaining:
Marcel Duchamp, ‘Fountain’ 1917, replica 1964
Mutt comes from Mott Works, the name of a large sanitary equipment manufacturer. But Mott was too close so I altered it to Mutt, after the daily cartoon strip “Mutt and Jeff” which appeared at the time, and with which everyone was familiar. Thus, from the start, there was an interplay of Mutt: a fat little funny man, and Jeff: a tall thin man … I wanted any old name. And I added Richard [French slang for money-bags]. That’s not a bad name for a pissotière. Get it? The opposite of poverty. But not even that much, just R. MUTT.
(Camfield 1989, p.23.)” Howarth, Sophie. (April 2000) revised by Mundy, Jennifer. (August 2015) “Fountain.” http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-fountain-t07573 (1 February 2017).
“Duchamp was the first artist to use a readymade and his choice of a urinal was guaranteed to challenge and offend even his fellow artists. There is little manipulation of the urinal by the artist other than to turn it upside-down and to sign it with a fictitious name. By removing the urinal from its everyday environment and placing it in an art context, Duchamp was questioning basic definitions of art as well as the role of the artist in creating it. With the title, Fountain, Duchamp made a tongue in cheek reference to both the purpose of the urinal as well to famous fountains designed by Renaissance and Baroque artists. In its path-breaking boldness the work has become iconic of the irreverence of the Dada movement towards both traditional artistic values and production techniques. Its influence on later twentieth century artists such as Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst, and others is incalculable.” Dada. [Internet]. 2017. TheArtStory.org website. Available from: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-dada.htm [Accessed 01 Feb 2017]
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Duchamp created a new way of looking at an object at it’s literal value – what we call conceptual art
Dada artists are known for their use of readymade objects – everyday objects that could be bought and presented as art with little manipulation by the artist.
The introduction of chance was a way for Dadaists to challenge artistic norms and to question the role of the artist in the artistic process. – Many artist were exponent on Hans Arp’s law of chance whereby he incorporate the chance factor into his creation of works of art which went against all norms of traidtional art production in which preparations were meticulously planned and thought for before the execution of completing the artwork.
Dada artists are known for their use of readymade objects – everyday objects that could be bought and presented as art with little manipulation by the artist. The use of the readymade forced questions about artistic creativity and the very definition of art and its purpose in society.
The only woman in the absurdist Dada art movement of the 1910s, German artist Hannah Hoch pioneered an edgy style of photomontage that’s showcased in a major new exhibition.
One of the originators of Photomontage
In terms of composition, the artwork by Hannah Hoch (image on the left above) was one that I really like among the others. Somehow the composition shows me a large head of a lady and a small body and with the recurring patterns, it really caught my eye. Well, she is one of the originators of Photomontage, right? I’m sure her composition skills would be second to none considering that she’s such a famous artist during the DADA art movement.
Personally, I thought the artworks of Hannah Hoch’s were pretty minimal(image on the right above) and not what I usually try to produce. Then again, my works from Semester 1 was previously thought of as ‘too much’ as I tend to fill up way too much of a canvas when there are room to be lesser. So I thought Hannah Hoch’s work would be a good reference for me as to how to keep things minimal.
However, one artist that Mimi introduced to us in class got me so amazed with his works. He’s none other than the legendary, Stefan Sagmeister.
The thing about Sagmeister’s artworks for me is that it works really well despite looking so minimal and clean.
Well, I guess the time is now for me to talk less and do more by start working on my A4 canvases for Que Sera Sera. 🙂