The throw-it-all-in stew of ideas |#FYP

Recapping last week’s episode, I have to combine all the distinct elements into one set installation – as till now I still can’t envision the final outcome. Basically, I tried to combine performance actions with the visuals background in OBS to build up a mockup. But I wonder if blatant combination would be really what I want? The best thing to do is to just work on it and figure how it goes on the side.

Understand that sounds are very important, but I am still sourcing for appropriate sounds and have recorded a few but have not started editing them. But at the same time, I am wondering if sounds are really needed in this installation which I am considering of using the physical objects to generate on-site sound rather than a prerecording.

Pioneer Foam Artists //Research

FoamKohei Nawa
Foam in building an environment

Nawa actualised one of the sketches I had in mind, particularly in my foam tryout last week. However, his premise for the installation slightly deferred from mine – through this installation, Nawa investigates the cycle of birth and destruction, whereas mine focuses only on destruction.

Small bubbles (cells) continue to form on the surface of a gently lapsing liquid. They accumulate to form an autonomous structure comprised of foam. Each bubble cannot escape the cycle of birth and destruction, which is not unlike the way our cells operate as they metabolize and circulate. Source:

Cloud Installations, David Medalla
Foam as sculpture and building up forms

Madrid, Cloud-Gates Bubble Machine
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2013
Cloud Canyons No. 3: An Ensemble of Bubble Machines (Auto Creative Sculptures)
1961, remade 2004
  • kinetic, evolving forms
  • Locally, Medalla’s Cloud Canyons No. 24 installed at National Gallery Singapore requires maintanence in the form of topping up the detergent and water before restarting the installation every five days.Sulaiman’s team had to find a brand of detergent that is odourless, water-based and which emits low levels of volatile organic compounds so as not to affect other artworks. Six different brands were tested – each for a week at a time.

Bouquet Final, Michel Blazy
Foam as an installation

Housed in a Cistercian monastery in Paris that dates back to the 13th century, the unpredictable, free-forming foam “sculptures” drape softly and frothily over unyielding metal scaffolding.

Resembling huge swaths of cotton candy, the fluffy, wet mass of foam is meant to symbolize the fragility of life.

Tying up loose ends |#FYP

A Quick Recap
As the title suggests, this update consists of further refinement of the project idea.

Just a recap; I will be doing a project based on the memory of death. The event of death itself is not an end result itself but rather, it kickstarts a series of sequences. In terms of a physical death, the sequences include the pooling of blood to the area of largest gravity, dropping of body temperature etc just to name a few.

I split the process of death into 3 different sections: the Before (~the death), During ~, and After ~. With regards to my own personal memory of my bun, it is as such:

Before – Of choosing the option of death, of enabling it to happen, the signs that lead to it (momento mori)
✓ During – The act of letting go
After – Realising the enormity of the decision and feeling the pain more

I will focus on the During, partly because it has shocked me the most, and is the most impactful of that particular memory of his death.

By clinically examining this particular memory, I wish to indirectly commemorate my bun, by paying tribute to his last moments and also as a form of closure for myself.

The project will take on my viewpoint of the death process, based on my personal experience and what I saw of it.


Branching Out

Of Death.
I tried narrowing down the specific feelings/themes I had during the death, and throwing out certain keywords which might be beneficial in helping me frame my project:

Themes – repetition, disappearance, transient, temporary, abrupt, distant/emotionless.

Characteristics: fragile, brittle, grave, extravagant

Possible mediums: glass, acrylic, paper, cloth, powder, string
*I would prefer the medium to be ‘organic’ and of physical material

Of my Brush with Death
Mentally, my emotions when it happened (During) were as such:
– fear (of what was happening)
– disbelief (of how this could ever happen)
– uncertainty (whether it was the right decision)
– resolution (my brain was convincing my heart that this was the right decision to make)
– shock (I was mentally tired and really could think no longer then)

At the same time, I actually felt a sense of wonder over how fragile life was and how easy death actually turned out to be. More keywords to frame the project:
– floaty
– soothingly eerie
– unbalance
– wonder

I was both wowed, but also traumatised by the experience.

And so, back to the project details!

Honestly, I am still pretty stuck over how to formalise the whole setup structure, but meanwhile will continue experimenting and conceptualising it.

Structure of the Project

I tried extruding common motifs of life/death/interesting shapes and converted them into installation structures

Somehow, I became fixated on the medium of black bubbles, on the basis that bubbles are fragile (much like lives), and they ultimately burst, but are destroyed so prettily.

Experimenting with Bubbles

Sketches on utilising bubbles as a medium

I wanted to create black bubbles – black to imbue the feeling of mystery, and for it to surround each visitor to their waist level. Such that the bubbles veils each person, leaving them uncomfortable, and ultimately bursts to leave a mark. Much like how death will ultimately come to each person, the bubbles as a metaphor of death is a constant reminder of it.

Ultimately, I hoped for the bubbles to be slightly hardier (more unb

I tried to visualise my own installation, and tested it out by creating a dummy mockup in paper.

I tried replicating two of the most structures which I was most interested in creating.

Tentative Installation Structure: surrounded entirely by bubbles/foam in various formats

Experiment 1: The plan was to fill the entire space with bubbles, but it turned out different from expected.

Firstly, I forgot to layer the exteriors with a thin film of soapy water thus the bubbles were not able to stick. The bubbles were also too fragile – but after all I did not specifically alter them to be more hardy.

Effects-wise, it wasn’t to my expectations. In addition, the medium of bubbles was somewhat tough to control, and not an ideal medium to use.

Experiment 2: Replacing the bubbles with foam, and fill the entire space with it

The 2nd experiment’s outcome was more similar to what I had in mind. I particularly liked how the black stains were imprinted onto the human figure, as though it ‘leaves a stain’. Despite that, it made me realise how troublesome this medium is, and should visitors ultimately come for the installation, they might actively avoid it instead.

Perhaps there exists another medium, with similar physical qualities to black bubbles but less messy? I was considering using cloth, and will continue to consider it the following weeks.

Overall, I’m glad that I experimented with the bubble medium… though it didn’t particularly work out, I wish to continue working with and explore different physical medium for the project.

Prof Randall suggested that I investigate performative in the project, after I discussed with him an earlier budding idea (not recorded down on OSS) involving audience interaction.

Performance might be ideal in cases where audience interaction is hard to achieve, or if the artist has an intended narrative to build up.

As such, I video taped a few performative actions that might contribute to my overarching theme. However, it is still not yet integrated with the how-do of my project.

Or, here’s a fast-forwarded version of the above video (lacking action #7):

A short description of the actions are to follow.

#1 – Breaking Down (0:00 – 0:45 min)
What follows death is always decay, aka the breaking down of objects. Here, I break myself physically down, with staggering and exaggerated movements in opposition to the natural decay of bodies.

#2 – Clapping to alert (0.47 – 1.39 min)
A gesture attempting to materialise the memory, by redirecting energy spent on thinking of the memory, and translating it into sound. At the same time, attempts to alert others of the death is ongoing, as though through recognition would it become more real.

#3 – Powder Fiesta (1.39 – 2.48 min)
I am marked; for I have tainted myself. With this memory, I willingly chose death as a route for my bun, and with that, I am going to bear this guilt forever, willingly.

#4 – No Face (2.48 – 4.14)
I am ashamed to face, both my fears and all memories related to the death. I do not want to face the truth, nor recognise that it is the truth.

#5 – Slow Hello (4.14 – 4.55)
My actions have been dulled, just like how the sense of time has been altered for me relative to the neighbouring grasp of time.

#6 – Embracing the Inner Self (4.55 – 5.44)
I find peace with myself, but remain unwilling to bare my emotions to others (hence back is turned against camera). At the same time, I become more and more enthusiastic down this route of self exploration.

#6 – Reach for the Stars (5.44 – 6.17)
In a childish play attempt, I attempt to reach the goal (the aircon) within the camera screen. No matter how happy I might be, this treasured bad memory will always be a part of me.


The pertinent issue is to come up with a game plan for the final project rough guide as soon as possible.. of which I am still exploring.

The bun and me

This post will be a very quick and short summary of what happened.

My favourite and most recent picture of him

This is him, Sharcia the local bunny, but more frequently referred to as small boy.

I first got him as a birthday present when he was barely a month old, back in 2010. He has stayed by my side (whether willingly or not), and saw me through numerous school changes and growth. I liked our feeding hours, seeing his wee little nose bob up and down, up and down, and him going crazy over snacks which I would give him frequently.

One of my favourite memory with him was during his younger days, when I bought a cup of soya milk and sweet, and shared both of them with him.. not sure what I was thinking. But I always do share food with him whenever I eat fruits such as watermelon or mangoes.

Another favourite memory of him was of him escaping his cage, and hopping onto my bed waking me up in the early morning. I awoke to feel a warm and fluffy ball at my feet, and remember kicking it cos it was annoying me. Turns out the ball moved, and I forced myself awake groggily to look at the bun. Mind you, my room and where he stayed in the cage were at opposite ends of the house… this bun really knew his way around.

Him 2 years back at the common staircase

He was practically a little dog, running and hopping around, biting everything in sight. He was friendly, unafraid of strangers, and would lick people’s hands fervently. In return, he would demand head scratches, and loved them to bits.

More than a few months ago, he developed extremely picky and bad eating habits. His pellets would be half finished, hay untouched (or barely touched), but still he looked normal. I tried all ways to mediate it, by changing his food, introducing new variety of food… it worked for a while, but later on it didn’t. I just put it down to him being a picky eater, but was worried on the inside. Gradually, he became thinner, and had bad poop. Every time I wanted to bring him to the vet, he would miraculously improve the next day. I would actually procrastinate, as I was busy working nearly everyday, myself holding down a total of 3 part time jobs.

Until that very day.

I woke up, and he was extremely listless. I clearly remember feeding him a piece of his most treasured snack.. but he ate one, then refused. This was the moment where my darkest and greatest fear came through – I had no moment to waste, and had to bring him to the vet ASAP.

Funnily enough, I found enough strength to calm myself down and google for appropriate vets to bring him to. I brought him there, and the vet had to do emergency care for him, telling me that the prognosis was extremely bad – he had fever, heatstroke, GI stasis (which could be fatal for buns).. and long story short, I decided to put him down that very night and regretting it so so so much. Even till now.

As much as I don’t want to think about it, I feel like I have to recap the memory, and even think of the pain as retribution for choosing such a path to go with.

#FYP | The Rabbit Idea

The Physical Body
Why not show it as it is, literally? I had my ideas, thoughts and possible pathways to explore – problem was translating the ideas onto the physical body, whatever it was. But after seeing Hiromi Tango’s Lizard Tail and Amanda Parer’s Intrude, both of which literally translated ideas into physical form, I thought that perhaps, I wanted to try it.

Lizard Tail (Breaking Cycle) by Hiromi Tango

Lizard Tail (Breaking Cycle)
Part of the Exhibit: Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
6 May 2017 – 27 August 2017

In the artwork, Tango investigates the idea of the lizard’s ability to drop their tails, and how we similarly do it with difficult memories and emotions. The lizard’s tail becomes a symbol for Tango – to nurture, protect and regenerate.

At the same time, she transforms her feelings into the object itself: as she weaves, she considers, and untangles the emotional knots she has.

“I accept that some creature is visiting me, and together we wrap our memory, emotions and trauma. It is quite an aggressive energy and I don’t want to reveal it to others. Other times, a tender energy visits me, and with it, I carefully examine the emotional threads and weave them together. The process is quite simple, but I need to stay focused to see the invisible threads in order to untangle them without feeling overwhelmed.”
– Hiromi Tango (2017). 

Intrude by Amanda Parer

Intrude, Amanda Parer @National Gallery Singapore

The usage of rabbits here contains a slight contradictory message – cute they might look, rabbits are actually considered pests where Parer hails from in Australia. However, Parer attempts to use the cutesy image to entice people to notice the underlying environmental message it (rabbits) brings.

Referencing the ‘elephants in the room’, the large bunnies force us to confront the issue headfirst.

Thus, I thought to look at rabbit-related phrases, and came up with a few:

Horse and rabbit stew referring to unpleasant things being of a larger proportion to beneficial things

Go down the rabbit hole – a situation that is strange, problematic, and becomes increasingly chaotic

✓  Rabbit’s foot – a good luck charm

Of these, I was the most interested in the rabbit’s foot and subsequently did more reading up on it.

Rabbit’s Foot
Some history on the foot: considered a good luck charm, the rabbit’s foot has a macabre history behind it. According to an article by Kim Nagy for Webvet, the belief hails from animism which bestows objects with spiritual powers. Obtaining part of the animal would give the holder some of its strengths, such as improved fertility or swiftness in the face of danger.

One interesting point to note that the luckier the rabbit’s foot was to be, the elements involving how it was killed had to be more inauspicious than ever. Firstly, it must be a real rabbit’s left hind foot, the luckiest feet originating from rabbits who are killed or caught in a cemetery. After which, various superstition exists on how to get the luckiest feet – the rabbit must be caught during a new or full moon, or on Friday the 13th. The foot should be cut off the rabbit while its alive, or it be caught by a cross-eyed person.

Folklorist Bill Ellis quotes an earlier advertisement selling the foot, exemplifying this,

“…the left hind foot of a rabbit killed in a country churchyard at midnight, during the dark of the moon, on Friday the 13th of the month, by a cross-eyed, left handed, red-headed, bow-legged Negro riding a white horse.”.

I love how the ironic this is: that by capturing the rabbit through the unluckiest ways, we aim to get good fortune from it.

The Modern-day Rabbit Foot
Based on’s article, real rabbits’ foot keychains are still easily available on the internet, tourist shops or casino vending machine. However, in my experience, I have not seen an actual rabbit foot being sold, but a furry alternative remains in fashion stores.

Rabbit Fur Keychain

This is the closest keychain I can see inspired by the rabbit’s foot, however it should be noted that these keychains are only for aesthetic purposes, and have no such superstitious value (to my knowledge).

The Rabbit’s Foot and…. FYP?

I did some rough sketches, but somehow feel a lack of direction to go about it. These sketches were mostly for installations, something I think I foresee myself doing. However, the sketches mostly replicated artworks which I’ve seen before, and am unable to express the message I would like to bring across.. all I knew was that I wanted to make something physical. Perhaps I was relying too much on the rabbit metaphor?

After talking to Prof Randall, we thought that it might be better to extract the themes of my bunny, and work with it. With themes, it was easier to both narrow down and explore the concept more accurately.

Key Ideas and Topics
Loss, grief, memory, and fear

One famous method to categorise grief would be Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle (aka 5 stages of grief) from her 1969 book On Death and Dying.

The 5 stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Without delving too deeply into the cycle, I found my own experience not fully ascribing to the cycle, and sprung onto a new situation. I was in denial yes, but at the same time, I too felt helplessness, was bargaining with myself, frustrated at making the wrong decisions, and in shock. I was everything. It was as though my grief was an emotional replacement for my bun, evident that everything has happened and was not just a figment of my imagination.

An Occupation of Loss, Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon’s An Occupation of Loss tackles grief through acceptance, and she investigates how the living uses rituals and monuments to deal with loss. In her work, performers stay inside large concrete cylinders and grief, forming a cacophony. In a way, she accepts the grief, and moves on, but acknowledges it. I find this aspect very enthralling, or giving sufficient space to this whole new process of grief.

Definitely, the loss was startling – how can one quickly adapt to a change in routine, a loss of something important in your life? After all, humans thrive on routine. Grief results from this loss.

While I do understand that the process of my bun leaving is centred on grief and loss, I am more interested in exploring the concept of memory. Memory of my last moment together with him, the previous time spent with him… It feels distant, as though it has never happened before. Rather than focusing on loss/grief, I want to make sure that his PRESENCE is still there.

Perhaps, that will be what I will focus on.

Photographer Jennifer Loeber created a project ‘Left Behind‘, which matches objects her late mother left behind to photographs her father took. In her artist statement, she stated that it was a ‘confrontation’ to her tragedy, and it directly connects the otherwise ordinary objects to the beautiful memorial of her mother.

I like the confrontation, and rediscovered poetic memory of her mother. She acknowledges, and addresses it properly, rather than shy away or disregard it.

Momento Mori

A typical momento mori painting
Vanitas, Still life with books and Manuscript and a Skull (1663)

(Random update: I didn’t realise that I did see this painting before in real life a year ago and even snapped a picture of it!)

According to Tatemomento mori refers to an artwork ‘designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the shortness and fragility of human life’. Translated from latin, it means ‘remember you must die’.

The momento mori and a similar genre vanitas picture became popular in the 17th century, at a time where the majority believed that life on Earth was merely a preparation for the afterlife. In these artworks, symbols of mortality, both directly and indirectly referring to it, are included. In the momento mori, common symbols include skulls, hour glasses, clocks and dying fruits or flowers, whereas the vanitas portrays musical instruments, wines and books, reminding us of the vanity in world pursuits.

Both genres remain a candid reflection of life and death, and a reminder of passing time. It does not trivialise death, but rather prepares one towards it as a final end goal. It is just what it is. It is not positioned as something to avoid, but something we accept.

These genres continue to be explored by artists today.

Life and Death in Art
I particularly liked Beth Lipman‘s One and Others, where she arranges a still life of glass and flowers – items commonly used as tribute for the death – at the top of a coffin which has been customised to fit her.

One or the Other (2011)
Beth Lipman

The clever use of glass, a medium she is quoted saying

“Glass has a perpetuity, or immortality to it. Even though glass is fragile, it mimics the life cycle. It has a duality to it. It’s fragile and perishable, but also perpetual.”

both pushes and reminds one of death. Lipman becomes the symbol of death itself, and imbues herself with the artwork.

Another famous work concerning the reminder of death would be Candy Chang‘s Before I Die.

Momento Mori and my fyp
Facing death directly. Being candid and acknowledging it. Instead of death being a poetic end at the end of one’s life cycle, I want to make a varied version of the momento mori, one which extrudes and glorifies that memory of death (not before it happens).



Intrude – Public Light Art Installation

Duality: Beth Lipman’s Glass Still Life


#FYP | The Birth of the Chimera?

[Updated 11/6/17 with clearer diagrams]

Moving on!
After feedback from Prof Randall that perhaps I could concentrate on the concept-building for now, I decided to do so. Without a clear and strong foundation in the conceptual phrase, it might hinder progress.

As FYP’s duration lasts almost a year, it was important to find a project that I am willing to stick with and spoke to me on a personal level. Hence, I charted out topics and areas that I was interested in exploring first.

My Art Preferences
Several topics that I am interested in/want to include in my project:
Repetitive visuals
✓ Surreal, immersive
✓ Change in perception and understanding of object through differing viewpoints
☓ Projection-only visuals (dislike the simple sensor-feedback loop)
☓ Light ‘sculptures’
☓ Lack of meaningful interaction

I compared 2 installations which I visited personally, and tried to weed out ideas which I liked/disliked to better understand my own preferences.

Lee Yun Qin’s Moonflower and Ran Hwang’s Becoming Again; Coming Together

Both Hwang and Lee’s installations were instagram-friendly, and limited in interaction. However, my appreciation greatly varied amongst both works: while I really loved Hwang’s installation, I felt that Lee’s Moonflower was muted, and limited in visual appreciation and engagement value. It also felt more static – perhaps due to the fixated nature of the project, rather than Hwang’s, being more attractive as it relied on other mediums such as projections, sound and assorted visuals.

In addition, I felt that Hwang’s installation had a strong overarching theme over it, in terms of the subject matter and theme. It later contributed to how I appreciated the work, and created meaning about it for myself. Thus, I knew that I did not want to rely on a purely visuals ‘show’ for my own project.


Visualising my Interests

Mindmap: Underlying Ideas and Aspirations

In summary, I thought that this concept was really important and clearly what I want to include in the work:

Basically, I wanted something familiar, yet unusual enough to capture attention, It would give off an eerie level of familiarity. The work will not be too rich in meaning, but enough to provoke thoughts. At the same time, I was reminded very strongly of memory, that ‘what you see is not what it is, but rather a memory of how you want to interpret it, or how you expect it to be’. There is a gap between reality and perception. This is one aspect that I hope to imbue into my project.


The Chimera

An artist rendition of the chimera

The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of more than one animal.
– Wikipedia

Mindmap of the topic ‘Chimera’

I thought of the chimera, which was a good character to describe how I see myself and my artwork. As someone who studied science in my pre-tertiary school, later went on to work myriads of part-time job and joined different club activities, I saw myself as a Jack of all trades. Similarly, the chimera, a fearful juxtaposition of different animals, was also a hybrid like me.

My project will after all, be a reflection of who I am both as a person and as an artist. As such, I want to be able to extrude and magnify this quality within my artwork, perhaps of it having different facades to it.


More Technicalities

Project Technicalities: Staying Medium

Medium-wise I’m still a little hesitant in going past the installation format. Of course, I’m still open to any format, but find it hard to present my idea in another way for now. Several ideas I had include placing the artworks into photoframe and create a gallery-esque booth, else creating a gallery ‘haunted house’ version. I also did think of creating a chimera machine-sculpture lookalike but did not like the idea of a contained person.

With reference to the above picture on the right, the thicker lines suggest greater desire to work with the linked object. With FYP being the final and grandest art project I have ever attempted in my life, I want to be able to end it on an ambiguous note – creating hope (through thoughtful questions), yet not finalising on its outcome. Perhaps I would create grander works after this, or perhaps not. The future is unknown.


#FYP | Idea Conceptualisation

Time left to complete FYP! 

This first post marks the start of my #FYP journey. For a start, I aim to cement the idea and have a general direction of the working steps by the end of my summer holiday (end July). The entire set of weekly fyp progress reports/updates will take on a more casual prose and ‘info-dumping’ style, intended to help me to consolidate all my thoughts and information. But then again, I’ll see how it goes.


Initial Idea:

Layout of initial FYP idea

My Initial Idea(fyp_05_2017) comprises of a series of hooded strobe lights, which can be swivelled to change the direction of the strobe lighting. It’s intention was to deconstruct our exterior space through the way we see, and create a different experienced environment. At the same time, a corresponding abstract, static sound will accompany the installation, beating according to the strobe light flashes. The sound and light installation will restart and replay in a loop after every ~8 minutes.

3/4 view of initial idea set-up


Project Status (so far..)
My initial idea did utilise my preferred medium and topic: of light, and space. However, comments given by various professors during the final presentation ranged from that the project was being very much fleshed out, and I would need to push it further. Also, I felt like I have not utilised the medium to its maximum potential, and was just scraping the surface of its usage. One pertinent question was also of me needing to test out the actual set-up in the actual space, as aesthetics was extremely important in pushing the atmospheric feel of the piece.

Aspirations for FYP
Honestly speaking, I felt detached to the project, and it didn’t speak to me on a personal level yet. I have been struggling in finding what I like recently; I felt like my tastes have changed. A year back, I would have liked to work on this but perhaps not now.

Through working on this idea, I realised that I wanted something more tangible, something that you actually hold and touch. At the same time, I still wanted it to be an experience, but go beyond an experience of sights and sounds. I wanted touch, which I felt was missing when I went to similar-sorts of installations that relied on mainly projections. I wanted it to still remain immersive, engulfing the entire space.

I’m going back to the drawing board, and consider picking out an overarching topic for this installation, perhaps it might be easier to approach it that way.

My research took me on field trips to actual exhibits on-going at the ACM and the National Gallery. This comes at a great time where really interesting exhibits were being brought in by the museums.

I went to the Joseon Korea exhibit at the Asian Civilisations Museum where I saw this piece that struck me with its beauty.


  1. Becoming Again: Coming Together by Ran Hwang

I loved how Hwang played cleverly together with the physical, projection lighting and shadows, and realised this was what I wanted to similarly portray in my own work – blending different mediums. The mixed media artwork. The columns of the museum were covered with curtain-strings to form a projection wall for the Joseon couple to be projected. The wall where the flowers and the phoenix were projected on was made from acrylic/glass (?) sheets pinned with flowers. In this organised chaos she manages to create a flowerbed.

Hwang’s work made me realise the limitations of my thinking: that I was far too stuck on creating flat spaces to project light on. I’ve got to test out different materials that I may be using soon after finalising the concept. In addition, Hwang’s choice of materials also reflects and ties in closely (through symbolism) of the subject. Perhaps it is a technique that I could adopt in choosing my materials.


2. Homogenizing and Transforming World by Teamlab

I also popped by Teamlab’s artwork at the National Gallery.

The same exhibit was shown at the National Gallery Singapore

To me, this artwork felt similar to my intention for fyp, yet I felt like something was missing. Was it that the idea (of touching an object for it to affect surrounding objects) was too watered down? Visuals-wise it was a definite win, but interaction-wise I felt that something was missing. Interaction was indeed missing but also not required in Hwang’s above work. However, in this artwork, it was pertinent as part of the input factor and feedback to the audience.

Perhaps going on a weekday where there were little audience affected how I enjoyed the work, as the communal play factor was lacking. The balls could be there as a medium, enhancing the mechanism of play or mediating for play between the audience.

Thoughts and how to proceed on
Visiting these artworks have made me slightly clearer about the setup and possibilities available for my artwork. While I may still be stuck at the ideation process, I would be exploring more of the technical aspects the following week. Here’s my game plan for the following week:

  • Sound (to research more on sound, and learn how to create/tweak sound other than just cropping and altering the notes)
  • Read up on how to do projection mapping (to explore options)
  • Build up on idea – will need more time to consolidate and chart out what I envision

FYP Proposal: WOA (working title)

Refining the details and more thoughts

Project Outline
The project will focus on fostering an experience within a space, instead of the interaction at this point of time. Ultimately, I would still want to include some degree of interaction but will focus on creating the experience first.

With regards to the artistic direction, it will remain minimalist, stripped down to the ‘element’. The project’s light projection will now project planes of light parallel to a human body.

Conceptualised version of light projection (rough sketch)

Above: a small snippet of the visualised light projection; the light rays will form walls which are solid, yet the walls ‘curve’ around the viewers like a maze. Repetition of the light waves will be conducted throughout the entire space, to create a visual depth.

The light projections will now include coloured lights, to further push across a visual depth. (Under consideration: allow viewers to toggle with colour filters and change the colours).

After more research, the project will reference the following artists to better reflect its ideal:


James Turrell, Breathing Light (2013)

Turrell’s Breathing Light effectively creates an atmospheric space with an even lighting to promote a surreal, out of the world experience. Similarly, the intention for the project is to achieve a similar atmospheric condition, of creating an entirely different, immersive, contained experience.

Despite similarities in medium, my project would instead integrate additional dimensions, whereby the possibilities for variation of lighting schemes are maintained. Despite that, it would be good to examine the visitor’s reactions and use it as basis to predict how the audience would react for my project.


Parallels by NONOTAK (2015) and White Canvas by Cocolab (2016)

White Canvas by Cocolab

Both Parallels and White Canvas present more suitably the idea and outcome the project wishes to achieve, albeit with differences. The idea of repetitive forms hailed from White Canvas, but I wish to further simplify the light forms hence the usage of planes. At the same time, I feel that the usage of projected light planes can further increase the ‘wholeness’ and the large scale of the project.

As per the previous update, I would like to harness projectors onto the roof tentage of the truss room, and the projection will hail downwards.

The smoke machine still remains, as it contributes to better visuals of the light rays.

I am still exploring related concepts but have shortlisted several ideas that might relate to the project: the black hole (in space), stormy weather, haze.

Ongoing Concerns
– Would have to test out the lighting to determine the outcome of the lights
– Of not having visitors stay beyond a short period to experience the project (trying to further interactivity in the later half)
– Would prefer to integrate more analog elements within the artwork, instead of pure projections

FYP Proposal: Walking on air (working title)

Walking on air (woa) is an interactive installation that allows visitors to trace their own paths in a smoke-filled environment, and experience being above the clouds.

Concept: Creating an otherworldly experience, an experimental space where the body becomes the instrument. Individual bodies are disregarded, and instead become part of the bigger picture.

Logistics: Smoke generating machine, strong light projector, video camera, all situated within a contained room (tentatively truss room)

Functionality: In woa, a smoke generator will create a foggy atmosphere in the room, and the projector will continually project a wavy line into the smoke at a height slightly above the calf. When light is projected into smoke, a smokey, surreal form independent to the initial wavy line is created. This creates the illusion of clouds forming, and walking above or on clouds. When there is movement, a motion camera tracks the movement and a light trail formed by the movement (eg walking) is immediately projected at the location where movement is detected. Where movement overlaps or take longer to move, the light trail becomes brighter. Over time, the light trail will dissipate (with the dissipating effect) and fade away, resuming the original sight

There will also be an accompanying soundtrack to the installation. When the new light trail is created, a musical note is played, extending for the entire duration of which the light trail exists. When the light trail fades, the volume of the accompanying note will also fade away, proportionate to the brightness level of the light trail. Each light trail will generate a musical note in a randomised pitch; it is hoped that the different walking styles of people would generate a pleasant harmony.

Colour for the light beam would be restricted to only white, to reduce visual distraction and to preserve an ethereal feel. Music notes would similarly adopt a

Technicalities: MaxMsp would be used for motion tracking, and also as a sound synthesiser.

Aim: For woa, I wish to achieve an ethereal feel bordering on minimalism, and going back to the basic, rudimentary elements. The visuals and surroundings are kept sparse, and available elements kept strictly little. However, I want to imbue a slight element of play, to make interaction engaging and open to all age groups. It is hoped that visitors leave the installation entranced, as though they had just visited an alternate world. At the same time, a slight element of bodily displacement would be created, with the visitor, having an extremely wide movement range but without a set moving path within this changing, unfamiliar environment.

Inspired by Anthony McCall’s You and I, Horizontal, ideally, my installation would also bring across a simple sensation using the most basic instruments.

Interaction: Walking, running in the path of the light, backtracking, circulating


Artist References:

1.You and I, Horizontal II (Anthony McCall)

You and I, Horizontal: Light beams into the smoke

The usage of the smoke and light beams originated from this work. However, I would like to push it further and make it more interactive with accompanying sounds.


2.On space time foam by Tomàs Saraceno

On space time foam

I would like woa to adopt a similar premise – immersive, playful, yet simple. Perhaps I could analyse the movements and behaviour of visitors who took part in the installation and predict how they would behave in mine.

3.El Claustro by Penique Productions

El Claustro

Penique productions changes the space by blowing up a balloon and wrapping all the items in the surroundings with rubber. Here, they have changed the space visually.


Production Schedule: Here