4D(II) proj 3: Loss

Wanting to create a sense of time, we planned to create a timelapse of daisies in a vase of black ink. The daisies would absorb the ink and become black. However, after 8 hours, the daisies have yet to turn black even slightly.

We decided to improvise on the spot and add the ink onto the flowers by flicking it from a brush. However, this changed the concept of our installation as it was no longer focused on a slow process over time. But we managed to think of another interpretation of our installation that was also successful. Here is the final video we used for our installation, which we edited it in black and white to make it aesthetically consistent with the kinetic aspect of the installation: 

Final soundscape:



4d(II) research: Controversy

Before starting on our final 4D(II) project, we are tasked to identify at least three artists whom created a controversial video, song or performance art installation. The definition of controversy is a prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion. Taking reference to 20th and 21st century artists, this research can be an inspiration to our concluding group work.

  1. Santiago Sierra

Sierra sends out his message of art through a highly provocative series that explores economic and social structures within capitalist societies. Some examples of his work is paying two herion addicts from a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Puerto Rico to take part of an artwork that involves shaving their heads. Or hiring Iraqi immigrants to be sprayed with polyurethane foam (a type of polymer/plastic that can be found in bed mattresses or car seats). These deliberately controversial works examines the impact of capitalism on those on the margins of society, such as immigrants, drug addicts, and manual labourers. Usually invisible to those in power, they are brought into the spotlight in his work in challenging style, presented as objects to entertain—and outrage—art audiences.

“Nothing has changed since the Middle Ages,” the Spanish artist told BOMB magazine in 2004.

2. Angie Hiesl

Suspended twenty feet above the sidewalk, white chairs are attached to the walls of buildings in Montreal with ten senior citizens sitting on them. One is knitting, another folds laundry and a third is eating. All of them appear to be floating above everyday concerns, their strange position adding an enchanting note to the cityscape. The german artist Angie Hiesl concocted this “human exhibit” so that we might view elderly people as works of art. This is where old age is portrayed as an urban poetry, urging viewers to stop and appreciate what is often swept under the carpet.


3. Ryder Ripps

In 2014, artist Ryder Ripps, ‘an artist of the internet’, was invited to spend a night at New York City’s Ace Hotel as part of the Artists in Residency program. In return for a free sleep, he was expected to produce a piece of art for the hotel. He then invited a male and female ‘masseuses’ found on Craigslist to share his room. He asked them to draw whatever they liked, filmed it, paid them $80 and called the project Art Whore.





4d(II) Project 2: The sound of my Heaven


Produce a short 1 minute audio soundscape or sonic portrait of a specific (physical or psychological) environment, person or event only sound effects and ambient audio.


Soundscape to Dictionary.com:

“A Soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment. It can also refer to an audio recording or performance of sounds that creates an experience for the user”

Ambient audio according Mediacollege.com:

“Ambient sound (AKA ambient audio, ambience, atmosphere, background noise) means the background sounds which are present in a scene or location. Common ambient sounds include wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc”

My ideas: 

I boiled down my collections of idea with two things that mean a lot to me, and consulted Lei with what I had:

Day in a life of an Onion

Onion is the name of my 10month old beagle. I think it would be interesting to record his daily routine, which therefore would be more of a physical interpretation of the soundscape. This would encompass both the sound of him as well as the environment he is interacting with.

– Onion waking my mum and I up in the morning (scratching the door, pawing our faces, whining)
– Him asking for food (us cooking for him, his stomach growling, asking him to sit, him eating)
– Then us locking the door and leaving the home for school/work
– It would now be quieter, as he sleeps and do some mischievous stuff till we reach home (running around and chewing/tearing items)
– Us returning home and petting him till we sleep again


The sound of heaven

Due to my religion, I am interested to recreate the sound of heaven, which would be a leaning towards a psychological soundscape. I would have to figure out on what is my personal take on this metaphorical space, rather than doing just a collection of collection of commons sounds associated with heaven. Lei pointed out that the challenge would be how to create a soundscape which does not fall into the “generalised” sounds (bells, choir, etc). And laid out some questions for me:
– Is heaven to a continuation and celebration of life?
– What is the mood you what to convey or evoke?
– What my conceptualisation of what heaven is or is not?
She ended with this statement, “Perhaps it is a good opportunity to challenge yourself with this idea and challenge your audience on what heaven sounds like”.
With her last words, I decided to really push myself and go for idea 2. It is perhaps also a time of personal reflection to my own faith as well. Since it is my personal take of heaven, I would be referring to the Christian bible as my belief and my perception of it is formed from there.


What is heaven?

Heaven (Hebrew: shamyim, Greek: ouranos) can mean God’s dwelling place. The Bible says that”The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). God’s throne is also mentioned in connection with the mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:16).

Heaven may also refer to the endless planets, stars, and galaxies of the universe. The Bible says: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place…” (Psalm 8:3).

I think one interesting factor that can be incorporated is the time of the great tribulation, where it says that the world would suffer judgement and suffering before Jesus would come back.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4)

Therefore the concept of suffering > joyous occasion can be played around in my audio.


Who is in heaven?

God, Angels and men and perhaps other beings (though it is arguable)


Where is heaven?

The bible did not tell us the exact location of heaven, highly likely because the focus should be on God rather than the idea of heaven itself. But here are some passages that vaguely describes how the place is like:

1 Thessalonians 4:17,

“17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”


How is heaven like?

A joyful place

Heaven, on the other hand, is for fellowship and eternal joy and, more importantly, worshipping around the throne of God.There will be no one who is blind, deaf or cannot walk in heaven (Isaiah 35:5-6, Philippians 3:21). Therefore the theme of joy is one of the major theme in heaven.

– Reference to the Garden of Eden (a very interesting point)

Before sin came into this world, the world was a physical paradise – a beautiful garden full of fruits, trees, and animals. Possibly, when sin is eradicated from this universe, we will get to live life as God originally intended for mankind when He first created the Garden of Eden.

Luke 23:43, Jesus declared, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

Jesus used for “paradise” is paradeisos which means “a park, that is, (specifically) an Eden (place of future happiness, paradise)”. Paradeisos is the Greek word taken from the Hebrew word pardes which means “a park: – forest, orchard”.

Place of worship

It is said that it is a place where men and angels gather to worship God

Beautiful place

Do I need to elaborate more haha.



As the designing of sounds is an unfamiliar concept, it was crucial to refer to relevant artists to gain an understanding of this craft.

Li-Chuan Chong


Firstly, I googled heaven-like sounds, and found out that it generally falls into the category of ambient sounds.
Ambient music is a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. Ambient music is said to evoke an “atmospheric”, “visual”, or “unobtrusive” quality.  “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting”; according to founding father Brain Eno.
 The use of softwares
One of the more similar tutorials I found that creates similar ambient noise to my inspirations is this:
 But I do not have softwares like FL studios, so I decided to stick to audacity and do more research.
Paulstretch function in Audacity:
Paulstrech is a time-stretching of audio designed for extreme stretching. I used paulstretch in a few of my sounds.
Playing around in Garage Band
I found out that you can also do the same on garage band:
Here are some of the notes that I played with the inbuilt sythetiser and the special effects it had, which was later layered together to create a chord. Other effects like reverb, bass and etc are added when imported to Audacity too.
The sound of the bible
Lastly, after surfing around the net I found this tutorial, which sounds that you could import raw data like PDF files, certain apps, picture and the likes to audacity and the software will turn it into a sound:
So therefore what I did was to important the King James Bible and the New International Version (NIV) Bible with the intention of incorporating it into my final piece. However, as it is most white noise, I played around with the reverb, echo and effects on audacity to make it flow with my final piece. Despite it being a white noise I still tried my best to incorporate it into my music at different parts to Here is a raw version of the King James Bible!
Own recorded sounds
I had to play around with the relevant softwares, using audacity and garageband and a sprinkle of recorded sounds to create my final piece.
Syl, Bridgel and I harmonizing:
It will be played 7 times, as 7 is a holy number in Christianity, representing the creation of the world (and heaven) and the number 7 is also part of many crucial happenings in the Christian kingdom (like the Jericho march, celebration and rest can be seen in exodus 23:10, and many more).
Final piece: 
In the end, I realised that my final piece sounds more like an ascension to heaven rather than being in heaven itself, having the start to sound like being on earth/death, to reaching the last knock which the entire space feels more holy and glorious. Ultimately, it makes me realise it is because my feelings towards heaven is a reverend fear of the beginning of the end more than a joyous occasion somehow. Probably it is because of meeting my creator and facing a judgement of the life I lived on earth,
Not much to say, not more to elaborate from all that I said above other than this quote from C.S Lewis:
“If we find ourself with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world”:


4D(ii): Alter Ego (research, progress and final video)

Alter Ego:

A second self or different version of oneself, like the opposite side of your personality

Task 1: Name 5 characters or fiction with whom you have a special affinity

Miss Saeki – Kafka On Shore, Main character (unnamed) – A Wild Sheep Chase. Piggy – Lord of the Flies, Melanie Stryder – The Host, The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz – Wicked

Task 2: 5 Public figures whom you have a special affinity

Britney Spears, Steve Jobs, Emma Watson, Mother Theresa, Melania trump

Task 3: 5 people you know or whom you have known

My Mother, My dog, Mr Kan (my poly teacher), My pet bird, Sheng Jia

Boiling down my alter ego,

Miss Saeki: 

  1. Special events for Miss Saeki from Kafka on the Shore:
  • The death of her lover
  • Created a one hit wonder called “Kafka on the shore”
  • She obsessed with the past (of her lover) and becomes a hollow shell that dwells in the past
  • Retreats into realm where time and desire stalls, can shift back between past and present
  • Writes a book of all of her memories
  • To free from her memories, she managed to push another character in the book to burn all her memories

2. Characteristics:

  • Lost in between the worlds (past vs present)
  • Have a strong sense of desire
  • Empty
  • Obsessed

3. Significant symbols:

  • Entrance stone
  • Miss Saeki has no shadow
  • Raining leeches
  • Talking cats
  • Her death after the burning of her notebook containing her memories, meaning she has returned to the other realm

Quote from Miss Saeki:

“‘I haven’t had anyone I could call a friend for a long time…except for my memories.’”

Taxi uncle:

Initially, I wanted to use miss Saeki as my Alter Ego. The part which draws me to her is the way she is obsessed with her memories. Not because I myself is obsessed with own memories, but for the fact each experience is greatly appreciated and stored at the back of my head, replaying the particular moments whenever I have the desire to do so. However, I do not really feel a complete “connection” with her. I was more drawn towards recreating the fictional crazy world that she lives in and the whole idea of an obsession with a memory, which could be greatly explored in a 1 minute video due to its short timeframe.

After considering about it for many days, I met a taxi uncle. He shared his life with me, talking about how different Singapore was back then, and how NTU used to be a kampong area that he grew up in. Our conversation was extremely engaging and it hit me how this part of his personality is similar to mine, being reminiscent of the past and treasuring the time that we had.

Quote from the taxi uncle:

“You know last time everything so different, now Singapore too fast”

*Btw the uncle told me that the land of NTU and beyond used to be a fish/sheep farm with plantations. NTU expanded and the people moved to the surrounding areas in Pioneer/Boonlay. A few of his friends he grew up with became canteen vendors in NIE and some of the foodcourts in NTU. Talk to taxi uncles they have so many stories to share 😉

In conclusion, 

Boiling down both characters made me realise have much I treasure and value memories, which is something important because it builds and shapes the very core of a person. This is the direction that my video is focused on.

Key words for the idea: 

To start this entire project, I read up the definitions of certain key words that came to my mind:

Reminiscent: To remind one of something/absorbed in or suggesting absorbing in memories

Longing: Having or showing a yearning desire

Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past

Remembrance: Have in or be able to bring to one’s mind an awareness of

Video concept:

Many ideas ran through my head, here were some of the areas which I thought I could do my video on:

  1. The easiest would be showing my personal favourite memories to people

2. Reenact the entire scene where I talk to the taxi uncle

3. Tap on textures and sounds (suggested by Lei)

I decided execute the third idea, something of which I am unfamiliar with and have not touched on before. It was difficult for me to start the entire project because videos of textures and sounds only were very foreign to me, therefore scouting  Vimeo really helped shaped my video’s direction and the aesthetics. In particular, Charlie McCarthy was my main source of inspiration as his videos were able to capture daily, familiar things so beautifully. Moreover, his video is able to evoke certain emotions to me. This is therefore something I want to challenge myself in my minute video – to evoke certain emotions and feelings to memories they had in the past.

To capture texture, I decided to use Macro lenses to up up close and personal with the things I capture.





I decided to go forth to filming with my gut feelings. Therefore no storyboard was created for the video. But as a guideline to the visuals I wanted to have, I have a moodboard which I studied very closely as a guide for the video.


I went around filming “aimlessly” for a few days, carrying around the DSLR and hoping to capture beautiful things that has meaning to me and hopefully my viewers. I also wrote a script, which help shaped my video too. Here is the script:

Dear viena, 

Don’t forget.

We all grow old, 

and things become distant. 

But don;t forget. 

Keep the days of your youth close.

And simple parts of life that makes your heart warm.

Even those moments when the emotional affliction is too much too bear.

Don’t forget.

Experiences shapes us, 

like the waves of the ocean shifting the landscapes. 

So future Viena, 

I hope you managed to ground yourself in the past, 

and remember those small fleeting moments. 

For without memory, we are not us. 

So Never forget. 


Especially since we are talking about memories here, I thought why not write a letter to my future self! To make things more meaningful, I kept in mind that this is really a video that I want my future self to watch. So this video have a personal attachment to me 🙂


Decisions of the art direction and why:

– Everything is intentionally made to be blurry because memories are faded and unclear anyways! To create this effect, I made use of bokeh effects. Also, I actually played the clips on my laptop and filmed it again to make the kind of effects you see in this video. An idea I got from here, one of my inspirations. It was just something I wanted to try out and have fun with. I liked the effect as it enables me to get super close up clips and made things more blurry.

– Warm colours were utilized when doing my colour correction. Also, lens flare effects were use from a freestock footage and blended into the video, using “screen” mode. You can particularly see it from 17 – 23secs, which enhanced the “feel” that particular scene and the entire video as a whole.

– I also played a lot with the sound effects! An inspiration I had from the previous 4D lessons. This time I spent more time editing the audio than the clips itself. Again, you can see it most particularly from 17 – 23 secs when I talk about the hard parts of life and you can hear fighting sounds at the background

– If you have not noticed, there were no images or footages of me! As anyway, all these “memories” makes up “me” anyway. It was challenging in that aspect because it meant that I had to fill the 1 minute with more “gut feeling footages” that I had to source. But I personally like this concept and idea!

– – To make my video more “vintage” and more “old feel”, I wanted to add a vingette effect. There was something online which I explored called the shoebox effect.


screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-2-07-08-pm screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-2-07-30-pm

It looks like this! But my own shoebox failed, which I think is due to the thick tracing paper that I could only find. But it was all good, and I will definitely try it out in my own time again. Another thing that could be tried which is called the pinhole camera (also DIY-able!).

In conclusion, 

I was honestly super unconfident about this video as it is a really new area for me. However, I am glad that people liked it! But there are definitely areas in which can be improved, like the narration and more of the audio that can be pushed. But what I am glad is that this project allowed me to push myself in different areas and to explore on many things and techniques (like it is my first time using macro lenses, it was such a pleasure!). This project was an interesting one for me.

Thank you for reading this far! Hope you enjoy my video as much as I enjoy creating it.