4D Final Project: Obsession Possession

This documentation post is written in a chronological manner:

Idea 1
Our group wanted to use utilitarian objects to present a narrative. Through discussion and brainstorming sessions, the overarching concept for our first idea is:

A significant development from Naomi and Kai’s assignment 2 where the male lead, Pierre Tan, left her. Lead actress wants to tell –

  1. The story of how it happened through the objects she obsessively collected from her ex during the relationship and what these objects mean to her.
  2. To tell the story of their 1 month relationship through these objects. The short time frame is used to highlight her obsessive behaviour.

Read more about idea 1 here

Consultation 1:

Unfortunately, the feedback we had received was that our story was too convoluted. There were too many ideas brought together — Craziness, sadness, sense of lost, etc. Furthermore, we wanted to present our idea in a non-linear manner. To bring so many ideas together and present it this way, our idea no longer evokes the fuzzy feelin’ we were looking for but instead seem rather haphazard. Our story was also lacking substance. Oh yes, and our request to use the dark room was rejected too.

Major Brainstorm 1:

Story/Plot: We had to defined our break-up story and we decided that our main characters remains as a pair of young adults– an enlisted boyfriend and a undergraduate girlfriend– that broke up due to inherent problems of our society. This story is largely based on Naomi’s personal experience where the differences between the duo was pulling them apart. Some inherent problems the characters faced are the clashing schedules they have that resulted in less time together, the different goals they have in life and the income gap between them. While these problems may sound materialistic, they are the reality. As an undergraduate, the girlfriend is all eager to get things right to prepare for the future whereas the boyfriend may learn to see life beyond the paper chase during his enlistment.

Space: With our request rejected, we were forced to pick a new space. This was a blessing in disguise as we downsized from a room to a cupboard. Firstly, it was easier to fill up a cupboard. Secondly, the limited space creates a greater sense of intimacy which was a big part of our work. Furthermore, we ditched the idea of a shrine in order to better focus on what was necessary. Hence, creepiness was no longer a factor of consideration. Creating an intimate and private space was our main objective.

 Props: Instead of the original 30 objects, we had also reduced to only the necessary objects because 1) it wasn’t necessary to talk about every single day of their 1-month relationship and 2) a cupboard is smaller than a room. Also, instead of merely displaying the objects, some of the objects are of different state from its original state in the film. Eg: the graduation was painstakingly taped together, the fresh flowers had dried and wilted. These changes in objects was to show that a phase had passed and also reflects the girlfriend’s obsession with keeping these objects despite they are pretty much useless.

Presentation: We had decided to do away with the non-linear film in order to convey our story clearly.Instead, we would add a voice-over in order to show that these whole project was from the girlfriend’s POV.

Okay, so we are not going to bore you with the finer details of our plan. The plans on google doc are up here for read if you’re keen! So now, let’s move on to the next exciting step – filming.




All thanks to Kai steady filming skills and Naomi and Chris amazing acting, we’ve managed to film all that was necessary within a day. The first half of the scenes were filmed in school and the second half at Naomi’s house. The key scenes we filmed were:

MC: Main character aka the girlfriend
GC: Guy character aka the boyfriend

Scene 1. Object: Letters and graduation cup
Have a few shots at our school first. GC and MC at school, GC made the first move to write a  letter to MC, passed the letter secretly to the locker. (this is how they first met and from there, take a shot of them studying and spent time together”, Graduates but then GC has to serve the army. MC went on to uni to continue study.

Scene 2. Object: Cologne and t-shirt
One shot of the guy preparing to go out, to celebrate their anniversary (maybe 1 year anniversary?), wearing his cologne, MC hugs him from behind, smelling the cologne.

Scene 3. Candles
GC just books out from army, MC visited him at his house and changed into his t-shirt), but GC just ignore cause had a long day, MC get pissed cause MC is also tired from a hectic day (?), broke out into a fight. (dramatic transition to when the watch stopped……. To symbolically show that from this point onwards everything goes downhill)

Scene 4. Object: Cup again
Different scenes of them arguing of small things and eventually the end.


While setting-up we tried to arrange them randomly but not messily. We wanted some form of order amidst the mess. The key objects had to be touched, letters could be read and photos could be seen. It’s tricky to re-create a mess.

We also added fairy lights to re-create this cozy atmosphere in the cupboard space. We wanted viewers to feel that opening this cupboard is like entering the mind of the protagonist.

Final Aesthetic:

With the projection on….

Final Video:

…bloopers here

Audience Response:

…and a final group photo.

Naomi, Kai, YuQing, Natalie


Site-Specific Storytelling: Possession Obsession

Table of Contents

1. Title + Concept

  • Story and Intention / Motive

2. Artist References

  • Tracey Emin & Museum of Broken Relationship
  • Film Aesthetics

3. Execution

  • Location & Space
  • Lighting
  • Props
  • Footage
  • Sound
  • Smell
  1. Concept:

It is a narrative based idea on:

Everything is a passing moment, what can we do to preserve those memories? Why do people obsess over the physical things that link them to a memory, in hopes to possess it?
Preservation of memories, memories of someone you hold dear, hold true to the heart.

Motive of this installation:

To allow people to delve further into the obsessive nature of someone who cannot let go of the past and struggles to hold onto memories that are fleeting.
Memories are fleeting moments, hence we understand the meaning of collecting objects so we can preserve and remember them.


It is a significant development from Naomi and Kai’s assignment 2 where the male lead, Pierre Tan, left her.

Lead actress wants to tell –

  1. The story of how it happened through the objects she obsessively collected from her ex during the relationship and what these objects mean to her.
  2. To tell the story of their 1 month relationship through these objects. The short time frame is used to highlight her obsessive behaviour.


A collection of 30 items as mementos to represent each day of the month


Photographs of him sleeping Fingerprints Retainers
Sound Recordings Used Scotch Tape Used Underwear
Used toothpaste Toothbrush Dental Floss
Old clothes Shades Dried Contact Lens
Used condom Towel Nails
Protagonist’s diary Wax Comb
A lock of hair Water Bottles Belts
Blanket Shoes Socks
Shaver Post-it notes with msg Ugly portrait of him
Deodorant Forks and Spoon Cup (In the film already)


  1. Artist Reference for Concept:

Tracy Emmy, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (1963-1995)

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en-GB&v=15jVnBlt6e0&gl=SG

Emin creates an intimate space through the use of a tent and narrates her personal story through the visuals displayed. Photos, names and letters of the people she had slept with are stuck up on the interior of the tent.

INSPIRATION: We’re using the idea of a limited space to reflect the protagonist’s intimate thoughts and experience. Visuals do not stand alone but coexist with the footage, space and sound to depict the theme of our work, which in this case, the protagonist’s obsession of her ex-lover.

Museum of Broken Relationships, Copenhagen, Denmark

Using objects that the audience can touch and feel and experience for themselves (e.g. reading a diary), it will be able to give clues and insights on the characteristics on the protagonist as well as the person she is obsessed about.

The amount of items as well as the nature of the items could also further accentuate the obsessive behaviour and mindset of the girl.

Artist Reference for Film Aesthetics:

Movie: See You Tomorrow (2016)

There was a scene in the movie where the main character reveals the collection of items he has collected and saved in the boot of his car that were from his relationship with his passed on ex-lover. He was unwilling to let go of the memories tied to this person despite it being many years since his lover passed on.

Amélie (2002)

1:57:20 Towards the end of the movie, we the scene of Amelie and Nino riding on a bike captured in a sepia tone colour. The footage is also fast forward to create a sense of fleeting moment. Short snippets of Amelie’s solo shot are cleverly interweaved as if to remind audience the story is about the Amélie.

  1. Execution
    1. Location
      Dark room: To give an unsettling feel
    2. Lighting
      Red tint: To show desire
      Projection of Footage: Footage will contain glitches to create sudden brightness in the environment. Also, the film that would be played to reveal the meaning of the 30 objects in the course of the relationship. This is used as a visual accompaniment to the installation.
      To depict fleeting memories of their one-month relationship. It will be fast forward to create the sense of fleeting moment where details cannot be examined.
    4. Props
      30 objects to narrate the story of their one-month relationship. We will also experiment with mirrors with lipstick messages written all-over it and images of Pierre to depict what lead actress wanted to see everyday
    5. Sound:
      Replaying of sounds, music, recordings.
      Eg. lullabies of the male lead singing for the girl
    6. Smell:
      Musky smell with a tint of cologne: To reinforce her obsessive behaviour of wanting to preserve his smell.
      Diffuser labelled ‘his smell.’

Shrine stored in a storage unit in the basement

Ideas for Room Execution


4D Assignment 2

We decided to use the curry murder as our parallel storyline. This is an amalgamation of the genres each of us hope to explore — psycho thriller and familial relationships. Furthermore, a murder scene AND a cooking scene were  potential scenes for us to explore sounds with footage.

Chronologically, the curry cooking happened after the murder. However, we decided to condense both events together to narrate the parallel storyline.


The plan initially was to liken the action of cooking to the murder scenes – eg stabbing of victim could be liken to pounding with a mortar. However, there was limitation with props and space and we did away with the idea.

Instead, I distinguish the 2 storyline via visuals -murder scenes are darker while the cooking scenes are brighter. The murder scenes are darker while the cooking scenes are brighter.This was referenced from The Dark Room (2010) by Eric Z. Yang

While both storylines have very similar visuals -largely photographs – red lighting in the dark room and florescent lighting in a modern lab helps viewers to differentiate the 2 different context.

After editing the main storyline, I decided to add in an opening sequence as an introduction. (I got the idea from this video but it got removed D:) I used the similar opening sequence from Momento where the visuals were all reversed. I want to show that the bowl of curry is the main focus of the video and the making of the curry was uncanny.

From the pervious lecture, I have learnt the effect of digetic and non-digetic sound (bg music) in films. This was something fresh for me because being musically-challenged, I had never paid close attention to sound in films besides some really good soundtracks.

Here is our final video:

Project 1: Alter Ego

[Note: The following work process is recorded in a chronological manner.  A lengthy post ahead!]

I have always watched films as form of escapism and was more keen for characters (and plots) that were starkly contrasting to who I am. Nevertheless, I had slowly recapped the films I’ve watched and read new books to look for characters that ‘share a special affinity with me’

[Fictional Character]

4) Ben Whittaker –The Intern (2009)

3) Huang Brothers – Fresh off the Boat

2) Amélie Poulain – Amèlie (2001)

1) This random Thai girl from a commercial by MetLife Asia: My Dads Story – Dream for My Child



[Famous Figure/ Public Figure]

4) Khaled Hosseini – Author

3) Warren Buffet – Billionaire

2) Jeannette Walls – Author of The Glass Castle & Columnist

1) Liu Wen – Model

[People I know]

3) Natalie

2) Zihan

1) Paula

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-1-24-41-am screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-1-25-32-am screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-1-25-52-am

After contemplating, I decided to pick Paula and Liu as my character as they would form a more interesting relationship.

Paula, being a teenager and on her way to becoming an adult, had lots of insecurities and questions about her future.

Liu, on another, was at the peak of her career and often seek for advice and interviewed for her unique experiences.

Their experiences would compliment one another.



During our adolescent years, we would have lots of insecurities and questions about our future. It’s not wrong to ponder about these questions but when we get older, we would eventually realise that these questions were unnecessary, albeit inevitable. It’s more important to live in the present.

Plot (still working on)

Gathering information for her thesis paper on celebrity entrepreneurship, 21-years old Paula was made to interview Liu Wen, a successful model-turned-business-women.

Visual hints:

Reading materials: Young Paula reads self help books on securing a bright future while Liu reads memoirs.

Body Language: Paula is excited and also nervous about screwing up the interview. Liu, on another hand, is rather composed.

Reference for the transformation from adolescent to adulthood (ie outfits and behaviour).

As the show revolves about a boy through his adolescent years, it would be fit to reference for the visual changes in the protagonist as (s)he gets older.

Reference for cinematography for interview scene:

(Bright Star, 2009)

Reference for Liu’s character (as an senior being interviewed)

Translated version:

Final Work

[Edit: Updated the old video link with a HD version.]

[Exhibition Review] Animal Farm Video Series (2015) by Ching-Hui Chou

[Exhibition Review #1]

Animal Farm Video Series
By Ching-Hui Chou

Art Stage Singapore 2017

I chanced upon the ‘Animal Farm’ by Chou Ching-hui, a Taiwanese artist, at Art Stage Singapore 2017. Videos works are rare in art fairs hence, making it hard to miss especially with its three-channel video set-up.


Ching-hui Chou. Animal Farm Video No.7 8’4’’ (2015) Taken at Art Stage Singapore 2017, Chini Gallery

While this snapshot shows the three screens simultaneously playing the same scene, there are selected parts where only one screen plays a different scene and some other parts where all screens play different scenes.

Due to time constraint, I could only watch one (out of 9 films). The film started with a pristine setting where a myriad of beauty tools laid across a counter. Someone then picks up one of the tool and starts ‘beautifying’ a toy doll. Then we see a teenage girl applying makeup while looking intently into the mirror, as if almost unaware to her surroundings and the camera. There is almost no dialogue for these scenes yet a lot is conveyed through the well-curated setting and careful choice of props. The pristine setting, the deliberate placement of props and the controlled movements of the actress reiterates the notion of order throughout the film.

This ties well with the theme of the work regarding the ‘inescapable yet gradually numbing human condition in the contemporary social and cultural environment (we) lived in’. The title ‘Animal Farm’ is not an allegory for the English literature book but a rather a metaphor of the modern contemporary society. ‘Farm’ here refers to a caged environment where the living is confined within and onlookers could watch them from the outside (and past judgment). This draws parallel to our modern day society where we tend to create ‘cages’ for ourselves such as keeping up with beauty standards. (I don’t think I explain this well but s’okay)

What I really love about this work is that every single aspect of the film is carefully curate, likening every single frame to a well-composed painting. The details of the setting are all constructed, the props are carefully selected and placed and the actress has an almost perfect elegance to her movements. Mastery of light control is definitely reflected in the film and the thoughtful (slow) camera panning allows viewers to study the finer details of the work. (It’s like the technical aspect of Wes Anderson films but a totally different style!)

The artist had also created a series of photography works under the similar title – ‘Animal Farm’. The photography works are just as great as the video works in its narrative through details. I could stand there for a whole 5-10 minutes studying the 108cmx148cm photographs. To shoot the photographs in a zoo definitely adds value to the work and its meaning.

While the videos ‘can be viewed as extensions or variations of the photographic works of the series’, I personally think it is an extension as it introduces the dimension of time and creates a more immersive environment. The videos were more effect in conveying the monotony of contemporary lives.

Nevertheless, both works has its own merits.


This work is nice. The price tag is even nicer.