Project 2: Sequentially – Impossibilities of Being

Camera & Len: Canon 6D + Tamron 24-70mm F1.8
Software: Lightroom, Photoshop & iMovie
Location: My House, Merely Ice Cream, Orchard MRT station
Cameo: My bestie Germaine Tay 🙂
Photographer: Lena & Germaine (Ice cream shop scene), Felicia (MRT scene) and Myself.

Short Synopsis 

Me & Myself is a fictional story about Sylvester being stuck inside his phone out of the sudden and how he started to interact with him (mirrored ego who’s in the real world) across different space. Desperately wanted to get out of the phone, sylvester tried to sabotage him’s relationship with his girlfriend in order to get his attention, not realising that he was sabotaging his own relationship as well. After the girlfriend decided to broke up with him, he fell into a depression state. Sylvester felt really bad and tried to cheer him up but to no valid. Him accidentally spoiled the phone in the end and thought it was best to go back to sleep so that he can end the bad day. Out of the sudden, the phone started to work again. The story ended with him receiving a text from the girlfriend and Sylvester appears again…

So what is reality?

Story Inspiration

This story was inspired by my own bad experience with my mobile phone which has spoiled on me for a few occasions. It made me realised how I couldn’t live without my phone and have gradually become a phone slave. Hence, I came out with this idea of being trapped inside a mobile phone, and show how obsession with mobile phone can ruin my life.

Art Direction

I wanted to insert a bit of my personality into this photo montage, hence you will see a lot of exaggerated facial expression to give a comedy feel. I did not reference to any movies or artist and decided to kept it really simple to bring out the storyline instead. Hence, you guys will realised there are a lot of moment-to-moment, action-to-action transitions and a few scene-to-scene to bring the across space from home to ice cream shop and then back to home.

To make the story interesting, I decided to not fall into the wake-up-and-it-was-just-a-dream kind of story, but instead, I decided not to bring the main character out of the mobile phone so that it will allow the audience to form their own conclusion. I thought it was a huge risk to take because the audience will end up being confused by the ending. I also wanted to highlight on how even though I know it was bad for me, I still continued to be dependant on my phone.


It was a really fun assignment to make! I struggled a little bit during the start of this assignment to think of a story. I thought it must be really magical and abstract since we could use any medium for this assignment. I went for the simple approach in the end and decided to apply what I have learnt during 4D class. I spend quite awhile to plan every single frame because there are 2 different space: the real world and the virtual world. I have to first take a series of photo with white background and then uploaded them to my mobile phone before I could start shooting for there scene. It was really confusing for me and I have to retake a number of shots so that the story flows well. but overall I’m quite pleased with the end results 🙂

Fire & Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. 


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Project 1: Picture Story – Curating Self

This assignment gave me an opportunity to use series of pictures to show the other side of me that has always been hidden behind the mask. Through this assignment, I want to create a very huge contrast between how people perceived me as and who I really am.

Part I: Me

I grew up in a very traditional Chinese family, where religion and traditions plays an important part of our lives. Being a typical “Gen X” who seeks to fit into the modern society, I, a self-proclaimed freethinker and individualist have never once allowed myself to be conformed by religion and traditions. So, how do I balance between tradition and modernisation?

4D PART I-1The photo above was taken in a temple that I have always visited since young. To show the rebellious side of me rejecting my roots and welcoming the new, I was back facing the statue of gods that people worship towards. It was accompanied by my “uninterested” facial expression and deliberated set of clothing that I wore to bring out the contrast between my traditional background and the modern influence that is embedded on me. I also want to show how my culture has shaped me as a person, hence I strategically used two hands to put the joysticks to signify that even though I tried my best to oppose conservative ideas, it still runs in my blood.

4D PART I-2IHence it leads to the second photo of myself, wearing the same set of modern clothes in a tradition hawker food market doing what most typical local Singaporeans do – “Lim Kopi” and read Chinese newspaper. It shows how I, a typical gen-x embrace traditions eventually.


The last photo of Part I was taken during the 7th month ghost festival, where there were performances out there. That was my sister on stage and I chose to take it in bottom up view because I want to show the kind of view I had of my sister performing when I was young. This photo shows the kind of environment I was brought up in, that involves both Chinese religion and local art.

Artistic Influence:

Lei pointed out that this set of photos reminded her of Royston Tan’s work. I kind of understand why she felt that way. Royston Tan always focuses on the uniquely Singaporean human interest stories or tales about the community and my photos has a hint of his “881” film – very localised and nostalgic. I am a big fan of his work and maybe I might have referenced his work subconsciously.

Part II: Object and Representation of Self 

The last photo of Part 1 that talks about performing art kind of flows through part II which shows the relationship I have with music and musical instruments. Music has always been a big part of my life. I play a few musical instruments such as Piano, Guitar and a few other Chinese instrument (I was in Chinese Orchestra in high school). I choose guitar as my object because it has been with me for years even though I don’t really play it well. Also, my Piano was destroyed due to personal reason. So I feel that I have been keeping the guitar subconsciously for a reason and maybe because I can’t live without music.

The 3 photos below show me interacting with my guitar in different ways, often exaggerated. The first photo was me sleeping with my guitar. I thought it really brings out the relationship I have with music, and it shows how I can’t live without them. The second photo depicts a happy moment I have with music while jamming alone at home. Lastly, a very exaggerated way to interacting with guitar – playing it while I was in a toilet. When I show my friends this photo, their first reaction was to laugh even though it gives a very calm, B&W tone to it. I think it’s because of the exaggeration. However, I want to make a statement that music is part of my life, hence it’s normal to me.



Part III: My World

I chose Pasir Ris Park as the location because I spent most of my childhood there with my dad. Unfortunately, he has passed on 2 years ago and since then I have never visited that place. My relationship with my dad was kind of drifted off since I was 14 years old, so this set of photos really meant a lot to me.


I started off with the photo above. I named it “A Sea of Memories”. This was taken in pasir ris park and I wanted to show that I was “flowing” back to the memories I had with my dad.



I placed the 2 passengers bicycle in the 3 photos above as a signifier to signify the absence of my dad. The photo of me seating at the back seat really brings out the absence of him, because usually there will be passenger in front to control the bike (My dad always took the front seat). I was also kind of inspired by Cindy Sherman to dress up as a character. I tried to achieve the kiddy look by wearing T-shirt tucked in my shorts, colourful socks and lollipop in my mouth.

Final Documentation of Photos on the Wall

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A Design Film Festival 2016: In Pursuit of Silence

“In the noise of the modern world, silence is fast becoming absent. As much a work of devotion as it is a documentary, Patrick Shen’s film powerfully begins with an ode to John Cage’s seminal silent composition 4’33” then passes as a piece of meditative cinema that explores the human relationship with silence and sound, and the impact of noise on our lives.”

I thought this was a very interesting film, so I bought the ticket to watch it next week! You guys should check it out too!  This film pays tribute to John Cage, who wrote an iconic yet controversial music score that has no music notes in it – 4’33”.  The entire piece consists of silences — silences of different lengths. My then piano instructor shared with me that there will never be silence during the performance, because the audience make all sort of noises when they sat in the music theatre. I was wondering how this film is related to 4’33”. I might update this post as soon as I’ve watch the film (IF I have the time).

Where the Wild Things Are by Sutthirat Supaparinya

About Sutthirat Supaparinya (สุทธิรัตน์ ศุภปริญญา)

Sutthirat Supaparinya is a Chiang Mai-based visual artist whose works in a wide variety of mediums encompassing installation, photography, video, sculpture and writing. Through her work she questions the interpretation of images, text and sound in the media, using simple everyday images to explore larger issues. Her recent projects focus on the impact of industrial activities on other humans and the landscape. Sutthirat is also seeking to cultivate a freedom of expression through her art practice.

Sylvester Tan

Preliminary Reading

The video started off with rural landscape of Makara, New Zealand, mainly capture the movement of objects due to the gust of wind. Few words to describe my initial impression of this piece were “Tranquil”, “Imperturbable” and “Calm”. There was no sound of wind, but it was replaced by the sound of Electromagnetic Field. The sound of electromagnetic fields layered over the images created the unexpected, making the whole viewing experience kinda unsettling.

Secondary Reading

The use of electromagnetic field was probably inspired by the “noise pollution” cited by some the residents. The artist is known for using simple everyday images to explore larger issues such as the impact of industrial activities on other humans and the landscape. Hence, I personally feel that the artist wanted to create an experience for the audience, as if they were physically in Makara to experience the combination of the beautiful landscape with eerie man-made sound. The artist wanted to make a statement on how man-made object such as the wind turbines that help to generate electricity for the people, could possibly make a negative impact on the environment and the residents living there.

At the right corner of where the audience were sitting at, an old-fashion TV was placed on top of a pile of wood while it was playing a video of seagulls flying all over. The artist probably wanted to make a statement on how people has long chosen technology over nature (TV on top on a pile of wood), and they rather watch the seagulls from the television (electricity is required for the TV) than actually watching them with their own eyes.

Perhaps, the artist wanted to question the audience: “Is this what you want to hear/experience while watching the beautiful landscape of Makara?” “Have we all subconsciously chosen man-made energy and technology over nature?”

Cheok Bao Le

Preliminary Reading

Initially, when one sits down to view the video, it’s the odd sounds of electrostatic sound waves matching up with the motions of “wind” being captured in the video that confuses me. Calming scenery and some weird sounds that match up. To add, the vintage TV that greets me the second I enter the room also doesn’t spark much interest as it showcases a seagull (?) flying thro while the TV sits on top of a pile of wood.

Secondary Reading

As i sat and listened and watched, the sounds and graphics combined began to have an unsettling effect on me. Uncomfortable with the feeling of seeing invisible motions of this natural force “wind” but never actually hearing the flapping or beating of it against something is really weird. Captured is also pretty things, the rainbow wind catcher(?), simple things, sheep grazing as the gentle wind lands on them or merely humans gazing afar as the wind from shore hits them. It prompted me to feel as though we humans are using every method to gain energy, even if it means using something as pure and nature as mother nature’s wind. As if we are tainting earth with our never ending desires as we sought for alternatives to feed it. So is wind energy truly that great… It would still impact the earth regardless as we tap into this “renewable energy” that holds ” invisible discomfort” as well.

As noted in her bibliography on her website, Sutthirat often uses sound, imagery and text (using simpler everyday things) to evoke us to think about larger than life issues. I think she has been successful in promoting awareness in important matters that we usually never stop to take second glance at.

Filzah Binte Shafiee

Preliminary Reading

The artist illustrated wind through the choice of subject matter. The impact of wind can be seen can be seen through the crashing waves and how the flowers are moving according to the direction of the wind. The landscapes that are shown are very calm but the sound that accompanies them make the entire film very unsettling. This technique is called non-diegetic where whatever you hear from the film would be opposite of the images shown on the screen. 

Secondary Reading

Sutthirat Supaparinya is a Chiang Mai-based visual artist whose work includes video and photography. She explores large problems using simple everyday subject matter. There is a recurring theme of the impact of industrial activities on other humans and the landscape. There is a sense of contrast between the uncomfortable sound and the serene images. This feeling of discomfort causes viewers to question the impact of man made machines and industrialisation on nature. This brings across her intention to bring about the awareness of environmental problems.