Tag Archives: Project 3

The Zine – Independent, Social, Radical.

The zine has always had a history of self-expression and social engagement. They were often used by sectors of society that find their content underrepresented in traditional media, and thus decided to create their own content. From my foray into fan culture, I knew zines existed and were very popular, often used for art compilations and fanfiction. Regardless of the content, it was used to bind different committees together.  Be it due to popular culture, or through expressing a political message usually overlooked. I decided to do a quick pinterest search, that slowly accumulated during the course of the project.

Full Research/Moodboard here.

That’s what my research informed me, which of course intrigued me immediately. As a someone who may have stronger social opinions than most, I felt that I wanted to produce a work that could represent my opinions. With the rise of the internet, zines went from being handmade to being digital. However, I still wanted to retain the idea of producing a strong social piece. I went on to consider the different social movements that I felt strongly about: the feminist movement, the civil rights movement, and the queer movement.

In the end I decided to go with the feminist movement to narrow the scope of my zine down to something more specific.

Something else I immediately thought of in relation to the disenfranchised and the marginalised was Les Miserables. This musical is famous for discussing the oppression of those of lower social hierarchy, and the subsequent fighting back of society. Other than aligning perfectly with my feminist concept, Les Miserable was also one of my favourite musicals and had shaped my own interest in social and political issues. Before that, I had always been apathetic and uninterested. I thus felt it was particularly apt.

I knew red  was going to be something featured heavily in the work, being the colour of passion, and also a flag of the revolution in the musical. But seeing this poster, I knew immediately the colour scheme my work will slant towards.

The poem (sort of) was also inspired by the Finale in Les Miserables, which has always made me very emotional, particularly this segment:

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plough-share,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes…
Tomorrow comes!

I knew I was going to utilise part of the lyrics in my work. I then furthered my research by going into my own books.

There was a couple of paraphernalia in this book that with the help of consultations, made me realise I could utilise them in my work. Below are the three specific ones.

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I borrowed the idea of using an aged and yellowed texture as that was what I felt was in common for all three.

Here are the final pages:

cover zine copy zine copy2 zine copy3 zine copy4 zine copy5 zine copy6 zine copy7 zine copy8 zine covers32

I printed the two covers separately on a piece of tracing paper, then bound them all together in a saddle-stitch (the help of the printing shop). The tracing paper was to add a hazy, dreamlike quality to zine, much like the revolution and social movements. A dream for a better world.

Creating the zine was trying and torturous process as I had never worked with Indesign nor did anything design related other than digital painting in photoshop. So this was something completely new to me. Perhaps I went a little safe with my overall design, but I’m still glad I was able to produce a work I am mostly proud of. A good end to a semester in Foundation 2D!

The Library – The Installation.

This installation was some of the most fun I’ve had with a project since school started. In the past, even in Sem 1, I’ve tried way too hard to make my work serious, respectable and “artsy”. I may be emotionally invested and driven as I conceptualise the work, but once it comes down to the actual execution, I lose steam very quickly. Art for me was starting to feel static; I didn’t know how to add life into it. So for this project, I went on a completely opposite route and decided to just have fun. It could backfire on me for all I know, but at least I was able to say that I enjoyed this installation and it is truly something I’m proud of producing. Something I don’t often say about my work.

I am generally of a pretty serious and quiet temperament, but I decided to inject the part of me that loves sarcasm and satire into this work. Ever since I became more socially engaged (and more political) four years ago, I can’t seem to let go of that in my work. I don’t often have very high opinions of bigots and conservative people. And this came across pretty clearly in my work.


Titled A Guide to Sinning Through the Ages, this work though satirical, is still meant to draw attention to the way books have been banned or challenged in numerous countries, sometimes for the most ridiculous reasons. No book is safe from the horrors conservatism, paranoia, or censorship. This installation draws attention to censorship and the issues that many authors face. In doing so it questions literary freedom and expression. It also calls out the fear that a certain sector of society has towards written text.

The books themselves are from my personal collection, ranging from popular fiction to the classics. They are cling-wrapped together to restrict them from being read, but so people can still see through the clingwrap to view the covers. The floating pegs is meant to give a subtle feeling of caging up the books within society’s opinion. It is overbearing and excessive, and hides all meaning of the original books.

A few close ups of the work:

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Description on Artist Label: 

A Guide to Sinning Through the Ages

Viency Lee

April 2016

Text and Image installation, Mixed Media, Variable Dimensions.

Conservatism! Paranoia! Censorship! Why the hell are we so afraid of books? Since books were first written and published, every single genre has contributed to the long list of books deemed unsafe for general readership.

“A Guide to Sinning Through the Ages” is a one stop shop where you can see how attitudes towards certain types of content have changed throughout the years. People sure can come up with the wackiest reasons to challenge and ban anything they want to. What on earth is so terrifying about a bunch of words on flimsy paper? These guys seem to have an idea.

The next time NLB decides to pulp some books because certain sectors of Singaporean society think they’re inappropriate, come find me with a copy! I’ll be glad to add them to this display of all-round idiocy.


Why the obtrusive title? After extensive research on my book choices, I came to the realisation that a lot of these books were often withdrawn from libraries due to fundamental religious reasons. Books like Harry Potter or The Picture of Dorian Gray often appear to contain material that spoke against the Bible, and thus became vilified for it. Witchcraft and homosexual overtones were what these books were known for. And it’s the reason why they got banned. Because it was a sin.

This was a common theme for most of the books I chose, and thus the title of the installation was born.

The installation also showcased numerous library cards, thirty six of them to be exact. There are however only fourteen individual ones that were repeated to fill the whole installation. You can see each one below.

annefrank darkmaterials doriangray endersgame frankenstein hamlet hp3 leavesofgrass lesmis lookingforalaska lotr perks thg2 twilight

All in all, I really had fun with this project. I’m not sure where exactly this satirical piece will take me, but it was great nonetheless. A good end to my semester in Foundation 4D!

The Library – Research

This project took me a long time to conceptualise. First of all, I always have a desperate need to connect with my work. I need that motivation of feeling passionate about what I was doing and the message I was sending. I sat myself in the library for three hours, staring into space, into the ceiling, at the books. I probably came off as insane with all the looking around I was doing. I ended up having quite an artist block with this project initially, because no matter what idea I tossed out, I hated almost all of them.

(Unfortunately, I lost most of my pictures and sketches so I only have the three below. Sorry. 🙁 )

After rejecting about five ideas or so, I finally came up with three I was quite okay with.

Noise Installation


Cascading Book Pages Installation


Censorship Book Installation


Finally after much pondering, I found that I was most passionate about the last concept.

I did a lot of research (Goodreads was a great help) about different banned books from all over the world. Initially I was going to go with something more serious, but after seeing the ridiculous reasons books were getting banned for, I decided to alter my tune.

I came up with a list of possible books I wanted to use for my work and their respective information:

  1. harry potter
  2. hunger games
  3. perks of being a wallflower
  4. his dark materials
  5. looking for alaska
  6. twilight
  7. anne frank
  8. picture of dorian gray
  9. brave new world
  10. the da vinci code
  11. frankenstein
  12. lord of the rings
  13. and tango makes three
  14. leaves of grass
  15. hamlet
  16. fifty shades
  17. lolita
  18. ender’s game
  19. les mis

The place I decided to utilise for my installation is this particular area. I thought the structure was interesting, and I could utilise both the pegs and the pedestal in my work.


Initially I wanted to toy with visual imagery but it ended up making the book (and the protagonist) look like they were on a hitlist. So that idea was scrapped.

Initial Test Concept:

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(Felt a tad bit disrespectful too since she died during WWII in terrible conditions.)

I decided to alter the concept to library cards, as that’s what people used to borrow books before. Most of the books that I mentioned were also explicitly banned by specific libraries in different countries, so I figured this imagery would be cohesive with the entire installation. I obtained this base picture on google, before editing it  to reflect the details of the book.

vintage lib card original

My first test image:


I ended up changing date due to censored for greater clarity.

I also approached the work with a more satirical and sarcastic tone. As someone who is much more on the serious side, this is something I have never really embraced before. It ended up being an extremely interesting process for me as I developed my work.

Project 3: EGO

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In this series, I attempted at something less literal, and decided to go for less physical traits that would describe me. The first row is meant to show a full skeleton, where the traits here show something close to the foundation of my character. Hence, being embedded in my “skeleton”. For row two, the traits here are still important, but are more external. The last row means to depict a human body formed through different panels, fully fleshed and formed. This is because when the other two traits were to be combined, it would result in a complete being.

The shapes behind each figure is meant to provide a window of escaping and to show a cohesive statement of shapes.


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