Props As Signifier

Hello! My object for today’s assignment was a photograph of my family when we first went to the US! I remember this moment very clearly, because as an aspiring animator, I’ve always dreamed of visiting California and go to Disneyland! This photograph was taken while we were walking towards Disneyland from our hostel, and because it was the autumn-near-winter period, it was a little chilly, so we were all prepared to bundle up – including our heads. My sister and I had just bought our beanies from a nearby store, and before taking the picture, my dad wanted to try it on. My dad and I then exchanged hats, and when he saw his reflection, he said “Oh Man, I look like an onion!” – Hence, his expression x)

This photograph is hence very meaningful to me, and I was excited to explore the various ways I could bring more meaning to it in today’s assignment.

Object as an Icon

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Object as a Signifier


Because I’m currently staying on campus, I’m away from home most of the time and so don’t get to see my family as often as before. And so every moment I spend with them when I return during the weekend is always bittersweet, because I knew I would soon have to leave the next day. This, to me, was quite a significant personal development as before, I was extremely excited about moving in to hall and staying away from home, where I wouldn’t have to deal with family issues or responsibilities. It was only up till recently that every time I left home, I would find myself wishing time could stretch a little more to allow myself more time with my family. The series of photographs I took below is hence a reflection of me being excited to start on my university journey, leaving my home and family behind, how the memories of the time spent with my family before university were so fragile due to everything else I have to deal with currently, and how I now seemed separate from my family.


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Action of me dropping the photo: reflecting how easy and quick I was to leave and be away from my family.

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Action of me holding the photograph against the wind: The wind nearly blew the photograph away had I not held on to the tip tightly. Reflects how much I’m trying to hold on to a memory like the one in my photograph, and the wind representing all the things I have to deal with while I am in university, making it hard for me to remember and cherish such family moments.


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Action of me taking the photo behind the pillar, which shadow formed a line that ran through my photo: Me being in the shadow depicts how I now seemed separate from my family since I no longer spent as much time with them.


There was also another photo I took on the rooftop, where I took a photo of my photograph against the stairs, where there were tiny flowers growing at the bottom. The composition made it look as if it was a tombstone mark (which is the reason WHY this photo was not chosen because I don’t want any bad luck / karma 8\). However, I did like its composition and how it brought a different meaning to the photograph.

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Thanks for reading!! Much appreciates 🙂

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