Category Archives: 4D Foundation – 2

Project 2: Sequentiality – Impossibilities of Being

“The only time she has anything resembling a life is when she sleeps because when she sleeps, she can dream.” – Donna Lynn Hope

The Concept

My intention behind this photo series is to convey the idea where dreams are better than reality, and that one would much rather remain sleeping than wake up. From there I considered the reasons as to why one would consider dreaming a better place to reside in than reality. At first I considered the idea of a three part dismantling of a fantasy relationship, but felt it would be too typical. Finally, I considered depicting a person’s fixation on their failures and how this pushes them finding escape in their much brighter, much more successful dreams, quite literally.

Inspired by a personal friend’s trials, I decided I was going to attempt to depict the character’s trial with depression and self-hate in their waking world, and how in their dreams, they are the complete opposite of themselves.

This photoset is really a four part series instead of three:

  1. the Dream: the ideal world
  2. the Reality: the state of being awake
  3. the Deconstruction: flashes between reality and dreaming
  4. the Choice: the ultimate decision of choosing being Dreams and Reality

The first major scene will be with the character in their dreams where they are everything they want to be, and what they hope and what they wish for. I wanted to make sure these two worlds are shown to be separate and a stark contrast from each other from the start.

The second major scene is meant to show the stark contrast of reality, compared to soft colours of their dreamscape. Their reality is meant to be mundane, boring, black and white. There is a boredom to their routine, cold, lifeless and repetitive in a way that does not come from discipline, but from apathy. 

In the third part the character herself becomes unable to discern between the truth and the lies. Dreams and reality start overlapping; she wants so badly to escape to her dream world that her reality has been tainted by her fantasies. This is also where she feels the extent of her failure, her expectations the most, weighing in upon her like a dark cloud.

Finally, she makes her choice in the fourth scene: going back to her Dreams, where she could be so much happier, where her failures disappears and her expectations are realised.The viewers themselves start becoming confused: has the character really been dreaming? Or has she been awake? Was she ever awake at all? Or is this still part of her dreamscape? The ending leaves itself to ambiguity. She could be sleeping and dreaming again, or the pills could ultimately have chosen to take her from her unending, harsh realities. It is up to the viewer to decide.

The reality and overlapping shots are in black and white as I wanted to depict the mundane quality of the protagonist’s life. This is to contrast against the soft, brightly lit colours of her dream. In her dream, her friends are faceless, as is real dreams where you never really truly remember who you were talking to or interacting with. The shots here also include more wide shots to really show off the environment. The reality and overlapping shots are more close-ups, to really get up close and personal to the character and her trial with this illness.

Artist References

My artist references are Katie Crawford and Christian Hopkins.

Katie did a series called My Anxious Heart, whereupon she depicted her own journey with anxiety. Her images depict the many symptoms and effects of anxiety, with dark imagery helps one understand the impact the illness has on her.

Some images include:

Christian Hopkins himself did a series on his own trial with depression. The dark, eerie photographs really capture the essence of his battle with this mental illness. One can really feel how much it holds him captive in his embrace.

The Final Piece


Not only did I gain a better understanding about depression as an illness and it’s effects on their victims, I also learned how to inject more emotion into my imagery. I also gained more knowledge about technical skill and composition, and how to tell a narrative with images so as to form a cohesive story. All in all, it was a very interesting and eye-opening experience that really let me gain insight about a mental illness, as well as the technical aspects of the project.

Task 1B – Fire and Ice

After reading through the poem, the idea of representing two different kinds of destruction came to me. What I decided to do then, was depict the journey of two individuals, braving through and both being the survivor of their own type of apocalyptic world, coming together in a culmination of fire and ice, and yet with the distinction between them as individual elements. For all three photos in the sequence, I took stock images of the internet, and manipulated them using photoshop, but in the end, I wanted to be able to depict the idea of a journey through destruction, and their meeting each other.1.5

The first picture is meant to show the path of a lone man on a journey through an icy wasteland. This one is meant to depict the destruction of the world through ice and how lonely and cold the world would be if it were to happen. It not only depicts the external coldness of the environment he is in, but also the emotional turmoil and coldness within the man as he makes his journey.


The second picture is meant to be a transition from the first image in the sense that now it’s another figure on their own journey, this time through fire. The ground beneath them is literally on fire as sparks fly and  stones glow with heat. Their apocalyptic world is one in stark contrast to the one before. Instead of stillness and stagnancy, this one is wild and passionate. But despite the warmth of the picture, the fire is still clearly burning at the feet of the figure. In addition, the steps of the second figure may be a continuation of the one before, but the journey they are about to take is wholly different from the other.


However, both these individuals finally meet each other in the last image. It’s meant to show the idea of ice and fire coming together, not to neutralise, but to complement. The man is meant to represent the journey of ice and the woman the journey of fire. Two kinds of destruction meet, but they are strangely meld together in complementary shapes. The ending is ambiguous; we do not know what happens to them after they meet, and what this end of their journey were to signify, or whether they would continue their journey. Even the figures themselves are not completely combined; the whiteness of space between them is to show how they are both still very different from each other, and that though the kinds of destruction may meet, they are still mutually exclusive. I wanted to depict the ambiguity of their relationship, but still show the coldness of ice, and the passion of fire within these two figures, that came out of their long journey.


Image sources:

Task 1A – Me, My Object, My World




For the project, I thought it was important that who I wanted to represent in these photos is truthful to myself as a person. Hence, I decided to embark on this project with that in mind: finding images that were true to me.

Me –




For the first part of the project, I wanted to take shots of the things that were closest to me, as I felt they represented me most as a person. My collection of books, my computer, and the belongings I carry with me daily in NTU are representative of the journey I am on right now as a student. As material as they are, they are the greatest representation of my character.

My Object –

For the second part of the project, I started out by looking at the objects closest to my life as well. I realised that Les Miserables is the closest thing to my personality and my character right now. I wanted to find a physical representation of this importance to me. I finally settled on the book because it’s about the book’s transition from musical to movie, as I was first exposed to the musical through the movie. The colour scheme of red, white and blue to show how the book’s ideals can bleed into real life.



I wanted to depict my relationship with the musical itself. The hugging action is meant to show how close it is to my heart, and the book being a part of my face is meant to show how my character and personality was formed through the contribution of this book and how it’s now metaphorically part of me.



The next picture is meant to show my emotional death after seeing the movie, and how deeply it had affected me. It’s influenced my ideas and my character, and I not only wanted to show the emotion I experienced after I watched the movie, I also wanted to depict the dying of my old self together with this book. My exposure to the book elicited a deep change in the way I viewed and experienced the world, and I want to illustrate this in the way I positioned my body.


My World –

For the third part of the project, I wanted to show the importance of a library to me. The aesthetic of the Orchard library particularly appealed to me, in addition to the collection of books. I wanted to be able to document the process of reading in the library, almost akin to a journey.






Starting from the bookshelf to the fantasy feeling of finding yourself lost in another world, to the compact feeling of reading in privacy and the actual movement of reading. I also wanted to show music and media sometimes contributes to that feeling as well. 

Reflection –


From this project, I was able to learn how to weave emotion into the pictures, and how I could convey sequence into my the pictures. All three parts are to culminate in a representation of myself that people can understand. Through the process of the photo taking, I really had to look deep within myself and search for the things that I thought represented me the most so that I could make use of them in the photos. I not only learned more about the photo taking process but I was also able to explore various facets of my character in conjunction with the project. By gaining a better understanding of myself, I was more able to translate the various emotions I felt into the photos that I took.