The Oceanic / Current Convening Strategies

We recently visited The Oceanic at Gillman Barracks, a collaboration with NTU CCA which presented artworks inspired by the complexities of the Pacific Ocean. During my visit there, I saw installations that made use of various approaches to get their message across, and will talk about the 3 that inspired me the most in this post.

Strategy 1: Space

In this particular installation, artist Newell Harry presents his research of the traditions of the Kula Ring with the use of anagrams, photo series, and objects. The placement of the above components are clean and well done, with the anagrams places on the wall opposite the photo series. The main space is saved for display of the objects, which were well lit with spotlights and seated on a raised platform. This arrangement of elements in the installation allowed for the focus to be evenly spread across the artworks and highlighted each piece adequately. My main takeaway from this installation is the even division and use of the given space. As I forsee myself possibly extending my work beyond the video format, I could take notes from this installation and it’s even distribution of space.

Strategy 2: Lighting & Projection Method 

In this installation, Tue Greenfort presents his view of technology and it’s relationship with sustaining life in the ocean. He makes use of a projection of a video about the ocean floor on a piece of frosted glass, coupled with a circular aquarium with jellyfish, submerged in a never ending rotation of water. What first drew me to this installation was the intense coloured lighting which was shined into the tank.

However, what really caught my attention was the video projection. I loved that it was projected onto a non-conventional screen, the frosted glass panel. The use of the glass material ties in with the glass aquarium and gives the entire installation a visual cohesiveness. As I would be doing a video-based installation, the projection method would be something crucial to think about as it can add meaning and aesthetic value to the artwork.

Strategy 3: Sound & Moving Image 

In this installation, viewers are presented with a single screen and a set of headphones. It is a very minimalistic and simple installation, but it was really effective in delivering it’s message. I was able to focus on the video and the headphones helped to isolate the sound. The one takeaway from this installation is the possibility of translating my message through a single linear channel. Screening through a TV set is also another organic way of projection.

why filmmaking

Why filmmaking

As a media student in polytechnic, I was fascinated by storytelling through film. When I was 17, I watched my first arthouse film Chungking Express (1994). I have since been captivated by films outside the typical Hollywood movie template such as Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood for Love and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Améile and appreciate them as analytical art.

Personal & societal perspective on making movies

I think of movies as more than entertainment. Movies often reflect reality and portray its current social climate. Film provided me with a medium to express myself and tell my story to the audience.

Through watching and making films, I discover the filmmaker’s intentions and understand them on a deeper level. I hope to share my stories and deliver an emotional impact through my films.

Foundation 4D II Final Assignment: Site Specific Storytelling – Documentation

Video Installation:  SPA CES

Shoot Process / Behind The Scenes

password: spaces

Like every shoot, there were many problems faced from the beginning, the first of which being an issue with the location. We could not get the house that we wanted at the last minute, and had to relocate the entire shoot literally the night before the shoot. Thankfully, Duane’s house was available and we settled there. However, this brought about another issue. The look of the new house no longer matched what we had in mind. I had  planned a shot list and mood board for the layout of a house we would no longer get.

As you can tell, the film was shot b&w in camera. That was a decision made after a long and tiring process of trying to work around the very richly saturated colours of the house that we had, which was not the mood we were going for. In the end, I decided to just shoot b&w in camera, and Duane came through with the harsh film noir lighting that was perfect for the new look.

Edit Process

The editing process for this three – screen installation was inevitably a tedious one. As seen in the photo above, the first cut was done off three monitors. It was the day right after we wrapped for our first shoot, and Duane was nice enough to let me stay over another day at his house to rush the edit. It was a weird experience editing off three screens at first. After multiple tries, I begin to get the hang of it and everything slowly fell into place.

The complicated part came when I tried doing the sound design. With three separate tracks, I honestly did not know where to begin! In the end, I exported each screen individually and combined them in one complete sequence. Working off a single sequence for sound design was pretty crucial and it worked.

An interesting issue to get around while doing the sound design was: which screen do I give the attention to? As there were literally three scenes going on at the same time, it would be very overwhelming to “give life” to every single screen through sound. I learnt that the hard way, and it’s safe to say my first few cuts for sound were horrendous (no T no shade hahaha).  Thankfully, after many very painful but much needed constructive criticism from friends, I hope I managed to tone down the sound to something workable.

In my sound design, I took inspiration from Eija – Liisa Ahtila’s The Wind. However, as the context of these two films are different, I wanted the sound design to be more muted and minimal instead of the loud howling wind that was used in her work.

Installation Day

We stayed up the night before the presentation to set up the room. We blocked out the windows to prevent light leaking in, and set up the projectors and speakers for a test run.

It was very important that we did that, because the projectors were not calibrated properly and the images were showing up too dark. I had to colour correct the clips on the spot and adjust the clips specifically for projection. It took a lot of work to get the three separate projectors to play with the same look.

I had to adjust the sound on the spot as well, as the room’s speakers had very good bass, which my computer / headphones did not. I ran the sound a on the room’s speakers multiple times before I got it right.

When everything was set, we stuck up the film posters around the room for added interest, while still keeping the space minimal to let the film speak for itself.

Here are the posters:

Reflections

As with every shoot, this shoot was one filled with many hiccups along the way which were thankfully all solved with together with my great team. Many of the issues we faced were blessings in disguise as it resulted in a better product than we would have had before. The process was even more tedious than that of a normal single screen film and it was a good experience trying to shoot, edit and do sound for a three screen installation.

Overall, this was my favourite project so far and I loved the entire process of making this film with my team. All of us worked really well together and overcame all the obstacles while still producing something that we can all proudly put our names on. I hope to continue making films that I am proud of for the next three years of my ADM life.

 

 

 

Art Science Museum Exhibition Reviews

Future World Exhibition : Sketch Aquarium

In this installation visitors are given crayons and paper to draw their own sea creatures which would be scanned in and projected on screen, coming alive and animated. I was immediately drawn to the exhibit when I realised that my drawings could be projected on the big screen. I was interested to see how it would come to life. After scanning in my image, I was so excited to see it swim around along with the other drawings. I was even more shook when I found out that I could physically interact with the drawings through waving my hands in front of the screen, affecting the movement of the animated drawings as they swum around the large projected aquarium.

I chose this as one of my favourite exhibits as it was the one that got me the most excited. I love that it is interactive and allows visitors to have a hand in creating the world that is seen in front of them.

Future World Exhibition: A Table Where Little People Live

In this installation, an entire world consisting of tiny people is projected onto a single table. When left alone, the world functions on it’s own, with the little people going about their usual routine. Upon closer inspection, when you place an object on the table, the tiny people will interact with the object that is placed there, moving around it or playing with it. The tiny characters respond to both the projected and physical environment that they are in, and visitors can directly affect change in their environment.

I chose this as another one of my favourite installations due to it’s interactive quality. Just like the aquarium one, it looked normal from afar, but only when you go up close do you realise that there is more to it. It was entertaining watching the little people interact with the objects I placed on the table and I enjoyed being able to play with it.

Reflections

Overall, I enjoyed the trip of the Art Science Museum. Having only previously been to the Biennale, this was my second time going to an art exhibition this year. One major difference in the installations at the Art Science Museum as compared to the ones at the Biennale was that here, the exhibitions are mostly interactive and invite the viewer to play with the objects in the installation. This gives the exhibitions an added quality of interest. I also love the consistent theme of light in this exhibit.

A similarity I have noticed in the installations that I am drawn to are their interactive qualities. Before this, I had never given video installations much thought. It was a really enriching experience witnessing the variety of video installations here and It was my first time witnessing such projection technology. Moving forward, it would be in interesting thing to think about when creating installations in the future.

 

4D II PROJECT 2: TIES THAT BIND

TIES THAT BIND

PROCESS: SCRIPT 

Synopsis: The love of Jeremy’s life is getting married, but not to him. Betrayed and vengeful, Jeremy makes a decision he cannot take back.

PROCESS: MOOD BOARD 

I created the mood board based on rich, saturated colours for Jeremy’s scenes, and flat, washed out whites for Isaac’s scenes to juxtapose between the two parallels.

PROCESS: SHOT LIST 

PROCESS: FOLEY SHEET 

This sound based project gave me the chance to really explore every minute detail of my film by making my own foley. This is the list of sounds i recorded for my sequence. It was interesting finding various household objects to create different sounds. The process took about 2-3 hours and was really tedious, but fulfilling. Foley really makes the image on screen come to life and gives it dimension and texture.

PROCESS: SOUND DESIGN

I had a total of 7 audio tracks, and labelled them accordingly to avoid confusion. As seen in the image, I recorded and layered VO over the original sound to make it clean and crisp. I made use of effects like reverb etc. to give the VO a realistic room-y echo.

I gave foley a few layers so that i could play around and layer them to make them in sync with my image. I also made sure to listen to every snippet carefully and add cross dissolves on every clip to avoid jarring cuts.

I also recorded ambience noise like white noise etc. to add into the film.

Audio took a considerable amount of time, and it really makes up 50% of the film.

PROCESS: SOUND DESIGN INSPIRATION 

This scene is juxtaposed by using symbolic elements like water and blood. It also contrasts in sound by using the musical score and the sound of the baby crying as a recurring motif. I felt that this scene really worked and drew inspiration from it to build by sound design.

Another scene from The Godfather. In this scene, the sound of the train approaching is used to symbolise the main character’s inner thoughts. This use of non-diegetic sound really intensifies the scene and is an amazing alternative to a musical score. I found this scene extremely helpful when thinking about sound design using non-musical scores.

Lastly, i have this super fun and interesting look into the world of foley. It shows how foley artists use the most random objects to recreate sound. I enjoyed watching it and learning different methods to record foley.

REFELCTION

Overall, this project was extremely taxing, but just as fulfilling. My group and I encountered many obstacles in the filming process – we had to change the entire script due to lack of actors, and reshoot last minute even after preparing and shooting early. It was really crunch time throughout this process, but i learnt from it. I am more sensitive to different methods of sound design in film and still have so much more to learn. Moving forward, I hope to learn more in the area of sound design as I feel that it is such an important and frequently overlooked part of film.

Project: Alter Ego

 

What makes a good story? 

The main goal of this project (and the past few lessons), is to learn how to create real, believable characters that carry weight, and that are engaging and likeable enough for the audience to want to know their stories.

Here’s a summary of what I’ve learnt from the classes on character so far:

  1. To be able to write good characters, there must be character development beforehand. That creates character identity and make their stories interesting and believable.
  2. For the audience to be interested enough to follow the film from start to end, characters must be, to a certain degree, likeable.
  3. Supporting characters are used to illuminate the main characters. This can be done through their actions and dialogue.
  4. A good story usually follows a character through a character arc. the character goes through a change from one mental state to another.
  5. A good story must be cohesive in the way it delivers it’s message. Everything that happens must happen for a reason and point the story towards it’s central themes.

To prepare for this project, I did further research on dialogue in storytelling, and here’s what i found.

What makes good dialogue?

The video above analyses how exactly dialogue is designed in storytelling. I found it extremely helpful while working on this project. Here’s what I’ve gathered from it.

  1. Dialogue is to used reveal character.
  2. Dialogue should tell the goals of the characters, their relationships, most importantly the kind of people they are.
  3. Dialogue allows audience to understand characters more by trying to decipher what they are trying to say.
  4. Action is character. Dialogue is a result of character.
  5. Dialogue is a reaction to character: Action, Reaction.
  6. Dialogue should slowly crescendo and punctuate it with a climax that changes everything.
  7. Conflict is key. Without conflict, there is no story.
  8. Subtext – the intentions for every line said. Distinction between what a character says and what a character means.
  9. When writing dialogue, use insinuation and suggestion to reveal character desires. Show, don’t tell.

Next, here are a few dialogue scenes from some of my favourite films that I think are really effective.

As Good As It Gets (1997) – Restaurant Scene 

In this scene, Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is careless with his words and makes a rude slip when he tells Carol (Helen hunt) that her son is going to die soon. That is an excellent way in which dialogue is used to reveal character. The audience immediately knows what type of person Mevin is like from their short exchange.

Carol is hurt by Mevin’s careless words and stops what she is doing, and stares at him, waiting for an apology. In that moment, the background noise of the restaurant dies down, and the scene is suddenly silent. By isolating the sound, we are left in the presence of only Carol and Mevin and feel the impact of the moment better.

This is, for me, an extremely good example of how good dialogue, when coupled with sound design, really pushes and amplifies the moment in the scene.

Goodfellas (1990) – How the fuck am I funny? 

Here, Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) jokes with his friend Henry Hill (Ray Liotta). Only, he takes the joke a little too far for comfort. In this comical scene, we see exactly what type of person Tommy DeVito is – impulsive, a little crazy and extremely funny. We are also shown the relationship between the two people.

This is a great example of how dialogue is used to show, not tell. The screenwriter trusts the audience to watch a scene that seems like it is saying nothing, and infer things like character traits, desires and relationships from it.

La La Land – Dinner Table Scene 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrDpChjmBHU

This is a pivotal scene in the movie. Mia (Emma Stone) reminds Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) that he is not doing what he wants with his life, while Sebastian is in denial.

Here, the dialogue between the two reveals so much about the desires and state of the characters. Sebastian is at a good place financially, but is no where close to fulfilling his dream of opening a jazz bar, or playing the type of music that he loves. Mia is working her ass off to get one step closer to her dream of getting a break as an actress, and wishes that Sebastian would do the same. It also shows the relationship between them, and reveals their conflicts in mindset at this point of time, which is a key factor in moving the story forward.

Again, sound design is used to amplify the intensity of the moment – the record stops right when the emotions are the highest, allowing us as the audience to feel everything the characters feel.

To me, this dialogue scene works wonderfully in serving drama, conflict and acts as a turning point for the entire film.

Keeping my research in mind, I went ahead and started developing characters of my own.

Character List

We were tasked to list people in our lives & those that we know of / look up to, and further develop their characters to create a dialogue scene. Here are the people in my list:

Fictional Characters

  • Ellis Lacey – Brooklyn (2015)
  • Hubert Minel – I Killed My Mother (2009)
  • Steve – Mommy (2014)
  • Mathilda – Leon the Professional (1994)
  • Charlotte – Lost in Translation (2003)

My favourite characters struggle with issues like family and personal identity, which are issues that i relate to very well and am interested in exploring.

Some similarities that I found from the fictional characters that i relate to are that they are all going through transitions in their lives, and face the tough decision of deciding where they are headed next. They are flawed, they have been hurt before and they are definitely very strong.

Public Figures

  • Lynn Ramsay – Director

Lynn Ramsay is a film director, writer, producer and cinematographer best known for her films We Need To Talk About Kevin, Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar. Her films deal with the recurring theme of death and it’s effects on the living. I love the themes that she deals with and the fact that she wears so many hats in the film industry, and wears them well. I look up to her as one of the women in film.

  • Sav Brown – Writer, Poet

Sav (Savannah) Brown is a poet that I came to know about through youtube. She is my age and I relate to a lot of the topics she deals with in her poetry, such as anxiety, self – worth and insecurities as a creative person. She is a person on the internet that I would really like to be friends with.

  • Bertie Gilbert – Filmmaker, Actor

Bertie Gilbert is a filmmaker and actor that is also my age. He has directed and starred in many of his own short films, and is not afraid to make mistakes, learn from them and create again. He is always working on a new project and I really admire his spirit. I hope to be able to create many films like him and dare to make mistakes in the process.

  • Lilly Singh – Youtuber

Lilly Singh is a youtuber that does comedy and vlog videos. Although i don’t watch much of her comedy content, I do enjoy her vlogs very much, and admire her spirit as a person. She is extremely positive and hardworking. If you watch her vlogs you will see that she is hustling everyday to create things and never stops working towards her goal. I love her positivity, focus and work ethic and look to her whenever I need motivation.

  • Ellen DeGeneres – TV Host, Comedian, Actress, etc.

Ellen is my favourite talk show to watch. I love her positive spirit and kindness towards everyone. When I am in tough situations, I would always watch segments from her show on youtube and it would immediately make me feel better. I agree with and support issues that she cares about, like her  for her LGBT community. I really love her and think that she is such a strong woman.

People in my life

  • Daniel – Father
  • Judy – Mother
  • Sean – Best Friend
  • Lina – Best Friend
  • Ashraf – Friend

As for the people in my life, I chose people that were the closest to me as I can understand and relate to them the most. I know the struggles that they have faced, and their character traits very well and find that there are a lot of interesting themes and topics that can be developed from there.

Characters Developed

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Main Character – Sean

For this dialogue exercise, I chose Sean as my main character. I relate to him the most as we share many similar personality traits. He also has an interesting character background, and has faced struggles and hardships in his life – as we all are, he is not perfect. I found those qualities really engaging and worked off them to write my script.

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The Story

Sean is a character that is insecure about relationships with people. this stems from the trauma that he has from his mum leaving him at a young age. He is also stubborn and overly conscious of people’s opinions of him, which leads to many conflicts in his relationships.

In my story, Sean is waiting for his girlfriend, Val, to finish getting ready to go out. He discovers that her gay best friend has been sleeping over and is not happy with it. A whim of jealousy leads to a dramatic fight.

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While working on my script, I tried to keep the dialogue light and natural, while still revealing both Sean and Val’s characters. I used sub – text while I was writing it to make sure that every sentence in the scene is said for a reason, and works to show Sean’s character.

INT. ROOM – NIGHT
SEAN and VAL in room, VAL is getting ready in front of the mirror.
SEAN
Ready to leave?
VAL
Just awhile more. JOSH is coming over to get his stuff.
SEAN
Josh?
VAL
Yeah, he’s getting his things from the sleepover.
SEAN
He was here last night?
(I can’t believe you slept with him)
VAL
Duh? I just told you. He’ll be here any minute.
A beat.
SEAN
I want you to stop being around him.
(I am jealous that you are so close to him)
VAL
Josh?
SEAN
I don’t think both of you have to be together all the time. He’s always got his hands all over you –
VAL
What?
SEAN (CONT’D)
– it’s disgusting, really.
VAL
He’s gay!
SEAN
People are talking! My friends think you’re fucking him.
(Everyone will think that I’m a loser now)
VAL looks at him in disbelief.
SEAN
Are you?
VAL
Am i WHAT?
SEAN
Are you fucking him.
VAL
NO! Of course not! You don’t trust me?
SEAN
I see the way he looks at you.
(I don’t trust you.)
VAL
OH MY GOD. He’s GAY. Stop being so sensitive!
SEAN
Well maybe if my girlfriend wasn’t so easy and let every “gay” touch her, i wouldn’t have to be.
(I am hurt that you discredit my emotions. I have every right to feel this way. You are wrong.)
VAL glares at him. She walks out of the room, slamming the door.
CUT TO BLACK.

 

After writing the script, I made my shot list to help me visualise how the scene would play out and to prep for shoot.

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The Scene

Keeping in mind my earlier research, I tried to play with the sound design to emphasise the drama. I used rain as my background sound to give the scene more texture, and lowered it the the most dramatic point where Sean says “Are you fucking Josh.” to give it more impact.

I also graded it blue to fit the mood of the scene and used orange to give the image balance.

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Reflections

I must say that I’m genuinely glad to have done this project. I feel that I’ve learnt so much more about what goes into writing a good story with believable characters.

Although I found the research and character development extremely tedious at first, it really paid off when I started thinking about story and script. It’s so much easier to draw from a character when you’ve developed it thoroughly. This project has also pushed me to do some research on my own. From it i have learnt more about how to design dialogue to make it interesting and how to use it to develop my story. It was extremely useful as I have always struggled with writing dialogue and would stick to using just images to convey my message.

Thinking deeply about the type of characters I relate to also made me realise that I was strongly interested in some themes that I didn’t know I was into before. That will definitely help in the future when I think about the type of stories I want to tell.

Overall, I am pleased to have learnt so much from this project and am looking forward to improving more in future assignments.

In A World… Sequential Imaging

TILDA SYNOPSIS

In a world of loneliness and isolation, documentary filmmaker DAVEY discovers TILDA – a woman who remembers her past life. However, due to tabloid news outlets butchering her story, she no longer does interviews. DAVEY is intrigued by her and is determined to make a documentary about her. One day, he sets up an “accidental” run – in with TILDA and persuades her to do the documentary with him. She resists at first, but reluctantly agrees after realizing that his intentions are pure.

As the documentary progresses, their relationship deepens and DAVEY develops strong feelings for TILDA. TILDA tells DAVEY about an affair from her past life and reveals that she has not gotten over her old lover. DAVEY realizes that he does not stand a chance with her and keeps his feelings secret. Soon after, he finishes filming and leaves in a cab with the footage.

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EGO.

FINAL PROJECT: EGO

For our final project, we were tasked to come up with 4 rows of designs representing “me + setting = outcome“.

We were not given any medium restriction for this assignment. I knew from the start that photography was the medium that I wanted to use in my work. However, I was also used to just capturing images in camera without digitally altering them very much. I knew that to incorporate the element of design, I had to push myself beyond plain photography and find new ways to communicate visually.

 RESEARCH: ARTIST REFERENCE 

After plowing through many collage artists with varying styles of design, I finally found these 3 artists (and 1 film) whose style and work resonated with me very much.

Artist #1 – Man Ray

man-ray

Man Ray was an American visual artist. His artwork spans from paintings to photography, all of which are very surrealistic, and sometimes dark. I have always loved surrealistic and dark artwork. That might be why he was the first collage artist I came across during my research whose work I really connected with.

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I was very inspired by how he plays on foreground vs background in the two collages above. By doing so, he not only adds visual interest to the image, but also gives the image depth and focus. To me, this style is very sophisticated as it shows a lot of thought being given to both the subjects and composition. Each image tells a story and provokes thought about the subject matter displayed.

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Rayograph (The Kiss), 1922 – Man Ray

To me, the image above is the epitome of the phrase show, don’t tell. The simple horizontal split in the center and the superimposition of hands on top of the faces adds so much meaning to the piece without directly telling the viewer what to think. It evokes curiosity and leaves much room for interpretation, which is something that I strive to achieve in my designs.

Artist #2 – Hannah Höch

hannah-hoch

Hannah Höch was a German Dada artist. She was one of the first people that started photomontage, whereby actual photographs are cut out and layered on top of each other to create a collage. hannah-hochOut of all her collage work, this piece caught my attention immediately. I was drawn to the way she used an extreme close-up of a mouth and blew it up to cover the entire face. The stitching of the pieces together with thread also added an element of pain to the final image, making it a very strong and unique piece for me.

This is the piece that heavily inspired my designs for me + friends = extrovert.

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Artist #3 – Davis Ayer 

davis-ayer

Davis Ayer is a visual artist based in Los Angeles. He does film photography and his works are dreamy and whimsical. I first came across his work on Instagram, and fell in love with his style immediately. I especially love his use of double exposure photography, which adds layer and interest to his images.

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Like the first two images from Man Ray, he uses foreground vs. background to convey the story. The use of the pink in the subjects vs. the blue tones in the background helps to add contrast and interest to the image.

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In this image, he layers the image with a double exposure of the girl, and separates them using colour.  Though it may be one of his simpler images, this one in particular really inspired me. Here, the complementary colours red and blue are aptly used to convey the message.

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When I saw this image, the first thought that came to me was wow, this is so gorgeous. Again, the complementary hues red and blue are being used. I love how he layered the flowers over the girl’s face, making it look as if she is trapped/suffocated by beauty.

The way Davis Ayer collages using double exposures and his use of colour was a huge source of inspiration for my designs in my me column. 

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Film – The Taste of Tea 

the-taste-of-tea

The Taste of Tea (茶の味 Cha no Aji) is the third film by Japanese director Katsuhito Ishii. It’s imagery is extremely surrealistic and unique.

girl-head girl-field classroom

In the images above, the little girl is enlarged and placed in various environments, looking at herself. The quirky, unconventional style of the film is extremely intriguing. The style is something I would expect from an animated movie, where literally any composition is possible due to illustration. I love the way the film juxtaposes the image of a person with different environments.

The style of this film was a major source of inspiration for my entire outcome column, where I used different backdrops to represent my inner feelings.

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DEVELOPMENT

Firstly, here are my four lines.

me + cinema = devotion 

me + friends = extrovert 

me + fantasy = dreams 

me + grandma’s house = nostalgia 

I chose the four settings, cinema, friends, fantasy & grandma’s house as these are the places and situations whereby I feel for and emote the most in my real life.

me + cinema = devotion

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Meaning: I am an avid lover of cinema. It is my passion, and film is ultimately the area that what I wish to work in for the rest of my life. As with all areas of the art industry, film is an extremely difficult one to survive in, especially for women. It is one that requires a huge amount of devotion to the art to be able to preserver and stick with it as a career choice. Hence the line me + cinema = devotion

Color Scheme: I chose to use monochrome harmony and colour all the images in hues of blue to represent the aspect of despair in devotion.

Me: I chose to superimpose roses over a photo of myself. The roses represent the passion and love I have for cinema.

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Cinema: I superimposed a picture of a classic old hollywood kiss over an image of myself behind a layer of lace. The image of the classic old hollywood kiss is an iconic image of cinema and it symbolizes cinema. In the photo, I look as if I am reaching out through the lace to kiss the image of the couple on screen. I chose to use lace in my photoshoot as lace represents sensuality and desire. The final composition represents my connection to cinema and my passion for it.

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Devotion: I photoshopped an image of myself against a backdrop of mountains. I have always found the image of mountains to be very calming and peaceful. At the same time, they are also tremendous in size. They literally emerge from the ground and stay rooted in one spot for the entire span of their existence. To me, that represents determination and devotion. I digitally manipulated the collage such that it looks as if i am part of the giant hills. It represents my quiet devotion and dedication to cinema.

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me + friends = extrovert

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Meaning: As with many people, I feel introverted most of the time, but the extrovert in me is brought out when I am with my friends. These are two vastly contrasting sides of myself and i wanted to bring that out in my design.

Colour Scheme: I used the complementary hues red and blue in this series to show contrast between introverted vs. extroverted me.

Me: I digitally double exposed an image of myself and coloured one side red and the other side blue to show the introverted (blue) vs extroverted (red) sides that exist within me. I added a closed lip on top to symbolise how I am usually introverted. This image was inspired by Davis Ayers’ one where he used a similar effect on a girl.

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Friends: Here I used an old picture of myself with my friends. I layered open mouths over all of their faces to show the extroversion when we are all together.


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Extrovert: I placed myself within a desert background and placed the open mouth in the position where the sun would be. In a desert, the heat from the sun is so strong that the ground seems to shy away from it. By composing my image in such a manner, I wanted to show that the extroversion brought out in me is so loud that my usual introverted self would shy away from it.

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me + fantasy = dreams

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Meaning: I love escapism and enter fantasy worlds through my imagination and dreams. I tried to show my state of mind when I am in my fantasy world in this series

Colour Scheme: I chose to use monochrome harmony and colour all the images in hues of blue to represent the calming effect being in my fantasy world and dreams has on me.

Me: I flipped an image of myself with smoke from a shoot i did previously. I found this image to be very whimsical and dream-like. In the final image it looks like there are 3 versions of me (2 at the sides and 1 in the middle).

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Fantasy: I collaged an image of a body part, my lip, and a space background. Here, it looks as if the body part is the landscape and my lip is the moon. It is very surreal and represents my fantasy world.

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Dream: Here, I collaged myself in a sea of waves to represent my dream-state. I chose to use waves as the backdrop as waves are both calming and whimsical.

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Big waves - Hawaii

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me + grandma’s house = nostalgia

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Meaning: When I am at my grandma’s house, i feel a sense of nostalgia. This is triggered by certain small objects throughout the house, and makes me remember my childhood. I tried to bring across the sense of nostalgia in this series.

Colour Scheme: I chose to use monochrome harmony and colour all the images in sepia to give it a nostalgic touch.

Me: I collaged two photos of myself and that were layered with bokeh in-camera. It represents me looking at myself from a different perspective.

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Grandma’s house: Small objects around her house trigger this sense of nostalgia towards my childhood. I took photos of a few of those items and collaged them together.

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Nostalgia: I photoshopped myself in a background filled with green hills and little children running in the foreground. I chose to use the hills with little children to represent an earlier time in my childhood that I can never get back again. The final composition shows me looking down at myself in the past, a visual representation of my nostalgia.

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REFLECTIONS 

Overall, this has been a particularly challenging project for me. In the beginning, I was very worried that I would not be able to pull it off as I am not an illustrator, and photography is the medium that I am the most comfortable and familiar with. Many  of my classmates are well versed in those areas and I was really afraid that I would not match their standards.

Even though I had thought of using illustrations and mixed media to render my designs, I decided to take a risk and stick with what I knew best – photography and digital manipulation. Even so, I knew that I had to really push myself with the digital manipulation and collage factor to show the element of design that this project was all about.

Time was a major issue while doing this project and I honestly struggled to even get any rough ideas out. Even though time was not on my side, I still wanted to have the element of authenticity in my designs, as my themes were very personal and close to my heart. I did so by taking numerous self portraits and photos of some of the real objects that I would be portraying in my designs. I specifically did not want to use found images, especially for the lines me + friends = extrovert and me + grandma’s house = nostalgia as those were intimate and personal settings that I wanted to keep as authentic as possible.

This project has not been easy and I really struggled a lot. Looking back, I feel that I could definitely have improved and grew more in the aspect of design if i had time to get consults on my designs in the process. However, I am glad that I pushed through and kept researching to find a way of digital manipulation that I liked and could work with. I finally found styles that resonated with me and worked off them to develop images that I can proudly call my own.