In Singapore, a society that is shaped on the belief of meritocracy, the Ps – proving, pleasing, perfecting, performing are so overpowering that many of us land into the dark pit of self-doubt, a sense of not being good enough. Ever since infancy we’ve been trained to hide our natural expressions and also repress the negative but instead to put on a mask of strength and happiness. So much of our lives are spent attempting to muffle our vulnerability and put on a facade. How often do we actually allow others to see our true feelings, our raw authenticity, fear and lack of solidity?

Many a times, too much of this negativity can also take a toll on our mental health. This vulnerability that we try bury will always resurface and haunt us, owning us, often times the toxicity of it rapidly accumulating just as much as we try to avoid or run from it. Ashamed or fearful of opening up because of the thought that we are alone in this and the thought of being thought of weak pushes us away from revealing it. However, it is not weakness but courage. Courage to being share out loud about our own imperfections that we have battled with. Only when we decide to own our vulnerabilities instead of being owned by them, can be truly find the strength to truly take a step forward and open up to new possibilities, belonging and positivity.

Courage because this “weakness” is the source of our strength and way of connecting with other people and develop a sense of bonding and empathy.Through telling our stories we can understand ourselves better and find our commonality with others.  In this rapidly fast paced world that we are living in, it is time we take a moment to slow down and really, just listen and reflect.

My project focuses on how our insecurities and self-doubts are not our weakness but our strengths. Instead of being owned by these vulnerabilities where it eat us up from within, spending our whole lives running from it, we should instead own our stories, which will then allow us to have the courage to take a step forward. It also opens up opportunities to connect and develop bonds with other people, you are not alone in your vulnerabilities. It is also our own stories that make each and every one of us so unique. It’s never easy laying them all out on the table but my project aims to be a starting point to encourage people to embrace our imperfections in a world that demands for perfection. Because stories of our past, it shapes the story of our future. Because it also instantly create human connection and who knows, where this connections can lead to.


  • Installation to be an experience
  • To realise that it is better to face it then avoid, turn weakness into strength
  • To realise we are not alone in our vulnerabilities
  • People to reflect on themselves
  • Cultivate empathy for each other and develop a sense of bond (to both listen and share)

My project was deeply inspired by these Ted talks that shed many interesting insights, especially the one by Brené Brown, I really recommend others to watch her talk as well.

Key points from the talk:

Angel’s cocktail

  1. Increase Dopamin levels
  • Effects: more focused, more motivation, memory
  • By: building suspense, cliff-hanger
    • Audiences created situations around this, imaging how the rooms look like
  1. Increase Oxytocin levels
  • Effects: more generosity, trust more, bond more (feel more human, feel more relax)
  • By: creating empathy for the character
  1. Increase in Endorphin
  • Effects: more creative, more relax and more focused
  • By: making people laugh

Devil’s cocktail

  1. High Levels of Cortisol
  2. High Levels of Adrenalin
  • Effects: Intolerant, Irritable, Uncreative, Critical, Memory Impaired, Bad Decisions

Key points from the talk:

“When I wrote it out loud, I was no longer being in a vacuum, no longer hiding within myself that I was afraid to bring out. I took the initiative and I laid it out on the table. There, it’s mine, it’s not something that rules me anymore. People who reads will say “me too” or say I think I have that same problem. 

“With every “me too” it was no longer a thing to shame me or feed my self-doubt and could take steps and move forward with life.”

Realisation point -> change 

Key points from the talk:

“when you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak. when you ask people about belonging, they’ll tell you their most excruciating experiences of being excluded. and when you ask people about connection, the stories they told me were about disconnection.”

“vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

“Vulnerability is not weakness, nor is it optional. We can’t opt out of the uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks that are woven through our daily experiences. Like it or not, vulnerability is coming, and we have to decide if we’re going to open up to it or push it away.”

“Brown believes there are three shields we use to protect ourselves from vulnerability: perfectionism (doing everything perfectly); numbing (using alcohol, drugs, food or work to deaden true feeling); and ‘foreboding joy’, the dread that kills happiness.”

“Courage, she discovered, comes from the latin “cor”, meaning heart. The original definition of courage was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

―Brené Brown

Key points from the talk:

“sharing your story is an act of vulnerability, it requires allowing yourself to be seen. but with vulnerability comes power.“

“when we give our story voice, we allow them to resonate in the heart and mind of the people we interact with. As soon as the story has been told, the power multiples to exist in both teller and listener. “

“traces of our past shape the narrative of our future and continue to influence the stories that we tell”

Possible general aim:

  • To allow for an immersive experience possibly by engaging the various senses.
  • For it to be relatable or provoking personal.
  • To be memorable and perhaps pulls on one’s heart strings.
  • Maybe aim to change one’s mindset or perceptions of things.

Possible areas to explore:

  • Projection mapping
  • Interactive Screens
  • Installations
  • Lights
  • Space / Set design


Theme #1 : Identity

  • often we forget about our past is what makes us who we are
  • hidden stories,setiment,memories,emotions of people
  • objects/places makes up our identity
  • there is a child in all of us. it is there but not there?
  • idea of unexpectedness? change people’s perception of things


Theme #2: Environment

  • Combination of fantasy world and real world (scenic/nature/animals)
  • Calm, pretty but there is a darker truth beneath it / facades?
  • One moment it can be good , then it can turn bad quickly as well


Theme #3 Lost 

  • overthinking obsession, lost in sea of thoughts,
  • thoughts like “always not being good enough”.
  • mix of a calm and chaos
  • in a sea of people, surrounded yet time feels still / standing on ground but heads in the cloud
  • place for people to calm their minds, reflect and feel safe to share their inner souls/ true selfs?
  • depending on people’s mindset of things