Greetings, my name is Yue Ling and I am currently pursuing a degree in fine arts. Most of my works are graphic design and illustration projects and I work experience in both fields.
My passion lies in visualising abstract ideas so that a larger audience is able to comprehend and appreciate them. I believe strongly in research and designing for a purpose. The relationship between humans and digital technology intrigue me and digital pop culture fuel many of my works. I am also a strong believer of adding a sprinkle of humour and fun into otherwise serious design.
Check out my personal, freelance and official projects here!
Beamy Dictionary is a printed booklet, perfect-bound for my school project on ‘Geriatric Technophobia’ branded as ‘BEAMY’, a mascot developed to make the project appear more convivial towards elderly.
This illustrated dictionary on social media iconography is based on the principles of simplicity and friendliness and aims to help elderly be able to identify social media icons on Facebook and other social media sites so that they are able to navigate basic user interfaces.
In another post, a Floating BEAMY user interface is also featured. The Floating BEAMY user interface demonstrates how elderly would be able to access a digital database of information available in the BEAMY iconography dictionary on their mobile devices.
BOT-ANY is a speculative exhibition and social commentary of a certain hypothetical future where the pervasiveness of plants are exploited for the assimilation of ‘cyborg plants’ into our everyday living environments, embracing the duality of two seeming opposing themes of ‘Nature’ and ‘Technology’.
BOT-ANY draws inspiration from Harpreet Sapreen’s (MIT) research paper “Cyborg Botany: Augmented Plants as Sensors, Displays and Actuators“ where the concept of ‘Cyborg Plants’ are discussed as sub-categories such as phytosensors/actuators, organic infographics, soft-robotic locomotion and artificial arbortecture.
Meme Almanac is a mini stylised infographic about memes. The almanac analyses various attributes of the memes that appear on my social media feed over the course of a week and also give preface and highlights the legitimacy of memes as the language of popular culture.The act of chancing upon memes and sharing them in the digital realm is juxtaposed to farming, a more organic process hence the term “meme farmer” is used. Thus, I referenced this using more organic materials used in agriculture.
A woven sack fabric was used to package the almanac and plywood was cut and engraved with images of memes that trended the most over the course of the week of recording such that you could put paper over it and shade it to get an imprint (in the same way memes are acquired and spread). The final product was printed on vege parchment paper to produce translucency and an organic texture to contextualise it.
You may access my other deliverables (namecard, cover letter and resume here!
3 Reasons You’ll Love Hello Monday, You Won’t Believe No. 3!
Hello Monday – Just the perfect balance of fun and serious.
When it comes to user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design, Hello Monday is sure to steal the hearts of many people. They are a creative studio specializing in digital branding, products and experiences. Named ‘Hello Monday’ because they aim to make Mondays better for everyone, they create delightful and explorative concepts to their clients though whimsical illustrations and micro-interactions that are sure to be only executed by meticulous professionals in their fields of web design and development.
Hello Monday currently has three offices in two countries (two in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark and one in New York City, USA). Founded in 2006 by founding partners Rasmussen, Anders Jessen and Jeppe Aaen, Hello Monday is now made up of a team of 38 Mondayteers (Hello Monday’s employees) and boasts a total of 117 awards, including the Favourite Websites Award (FWA) and Global Association for Creative Advertising & Design (D&AD) awards. Its portfolio includes some of the clients include well-known organisations like Google, Youtube and MoMA.
01. Their deliver the whole package: experimental micro-interactions to explorative concepts.
Hello Monday projects include an incredible level of meticulousness from experimental micro-interactions to the larger design concepts.
One exemplary project is this project in collaboration with artist and performer Erika Senft Miller in which they designed a website to document her works. The concept of the site, free-exploration, is well-researched and actively mirrors the concept of Erika’s works as well.
On the site, users would have to drag around the virtual space with their mouse, giving them the liberty to freely navigate the virtual space and explore the artist’s works. As you move around, the decorative lines in the background of the page make way for the cursor, creating an interesting interaction. The colours of the page would even change according to the day the project was held!
The best of it all is that Hello Monday documents their projects really well, from start to finish, including all their conceptualising and wireframing processes so visitors to the site are able to better appreciate the behind-the-scenes, and not just the final product.
For more projects with experimental digital interactions and experiences, check these really cool ones out:
Hollow – in collaboration with artist Kate Paterson
Hello Monday also embarks on many meaningful and philanthropic projects such as Jeans for Refugees in collaboration with artist Johny Dar, where they created a website to showcase the jeans from celebrities which were artistically modified by the artist, meant to be auctioned off for a global charity fundraiser to help refugees worldwide.
The micro-interactions of particles coming together to form the names of celebrity jeans donors mimic the hand-drawn art style of Johny Dar, and the way he artistically modifies the jeans.
For more projects with a philanthropic intention, check these ones out:
As if their top-notch quality work was not enough, Hello Monday is supported with a fantastic office culture. They have ‘office moms’ who act as “cultural coordinators”. They do not have to be female and they help to manage the office and prepare homemade lunch for the office. A glance through Hello Monday’s social media feed also shows how they frequently organise events for the whole team to get together and go on vacations. From the looks of it, Hello Monday is not just another digital agency, but more like a close-knitted family.
Hello Monday’s website also features a comprehensive list of principles to which the Mondayteers align with, called their ‘Code of Honor‘.
These are great principles not just for the Mondayteers, but for all designers to be aware of as well to strike a nice balance between being serious but also being able to have fun with their design work. With this amazing work culture, it is no wonder Hello Monday is constantly able to deliver great projects.
Hello Monday is a great inspiration to me as a designer as they are the perfect marriage between having fun and being serious at the same time. Their projects are proof that even serious topics can be made fun and memorable through intentional design. They also remind me to never stop exploring and experimenting. If anything, chancing upon Hello Monday has sure made my Mondays better. 😀
One of teamLab’s most recent art installations Graffiti Nature: Lost, Immersed and Reborn (2018) is situated in Amos Rex, an art museum in Helsinki, Finland. It is just one of the many exhibitions that teamLab has globally in countries such as France, Japan, and even Singapore. teamLab is based in Japan and is an “art collective” of “ultra-technologists” that consists of engineers, programmers, CG animators, graphic designers, editors and many more positions and is headed by Toshiyuki Inoko. The interdisciplinary nature of their team is well-reflected in their art installations that often deal with using light as paint and the world as their canvas (Mun-Delsalle, 2018). teamLab utilises interactivity and advanced technology used in the development of hypermedia to blur the boundaries between the physical and virtual world and elevate the extent of immersion in Lost, Immersed and Reborn.
Interactivity is a forte of this installation, and further enhances its immersive quality. In Nobert Wiener’s Cybernetics in History, he discusses about the role of an artist as a ‘steersman’; a designer of a ‘catalyst’ that enables a stable reciprocal exchange between human and machine (Wiener, 1954) and we are able to project this concept unto the context of Lost, Immersed and Reborn.
In this digital interactive installation, a virtual ecosystem made of projected light fills up the entire room. Participants invited to interact with the myriad of virtual flora and fauna within by colouring in templates with contours of animals and flowers and scanning their drawings. Once their drawings are scanned, they are immediately transformed into animated graphics that appear three-dimensional and join the rest of the virtual ecosystem where participants are then able to illicit responses by ‘touching’ them. The flora and fauna to which they react differently when ‘touched: the animals within the ecosystem can ‘eat’ each other, if participants do not move, more flowers will grow, if participants step on the animals, they explode into a splat of colours. teamLab uses light as canvas, essentially incorporating real life characteristics of nature into this virtual ecosystem.
How it works:
The idea of entropy within this piece is evident with how teamLab partially gives up ownership of the artwork to participants, who have the freedom to create and interact with whichever virtual element to illicit whatever response they chose to evoke. teamLab’s use of sensors reminds me of John Cage’s Variations series, whereby kinaesthetic sensors were used to record and evoke different artistic outcomes. In Variations V, the dancers were the participants who created different sounds using their movements while in Lost, Immersed and Reborn, the public are the participants who created different visual outcomes within the space using their movements which are similarly detected by sensors.
Since participants’ actions were unpredictable, the visual dynamic of the room was constantly changing in an unprogrammed and indeterminate manner, in the sense that every other day, the change in the room’s appearance would be different from the day before. With reference to Roy Ascott’s quote on interactive art:
“Interactive Art must free itself from the modernist ideal of the “Perfect Object.” (Ascott, 1966)
teamLab has successfully facilitated an organic outcome in Lost, Immersed and Reborn resulted from the unpredictability of participant’s actions, something that would not be achievable without the participation of both man and machine. Giving participants the responsibility of creating the artwork heightens its immersive factor since participants feel like they exist in and are able to affect the virtual world.
Undoubtedly, technology is the backbone of teamLab’s artworks, including Lost, Immersed and Reborn. The state-of-the-art technological devices that teamLab employs bank on a long history of technological development. Earlier works such as Sensorama were limited by the level of advancement in technology.
In Sensorama (which was launched in 1960) although technological features such as chemical smell simulation and binocular vision was incorporated, interactive features like a knob or joystick which would translate physical force into a response in the virtual world was largely absent. This made the experience still rather passive and consequently less immersive.
A later example of Aspen Movie Map (launched in 1978) had a touchscreen function which enabled participants to make associative and non-linear choices along the drive route. However, there were still limitations such as only enabling the participant to view the route in intervals of 10 feet and only being able to move in a fixed number of directions and made it hard for participants to be fully immersed in the virtual driving experience.
In contrast to these rudimentary works, the advancement of technology has achieved immense amount of success in enabling the recreation of elements of reality into the virtual world. Current new media is able to expand the physical world by transcending its boundaries. teamLab uses software such as Unity to generate three-dimensional graphics from the scanned images in Lost, Immersed and Reborn. In this way, art is transferred from a physical medium to a digital medium that acts as a representation of participants’ telepresence in this virtual ecosystem. The virtual ecosystem also acts as an ‘informational surrogate’ (Fisher, 1989) that stores a large volume of digital data that helps to mimic nature in a digital medium, for example how the movements of a lizard are replicated in the virtual environment. The flattened three-dimensional graphics also showcase teamLab’s “Fold, Divide or Join” principles of viewer centricity inspired by the concept of Ukiyo-e as Japanese ultra-subjective space, essentially creating a stereoscopic and kinaesthetic visual within a physical room to better simulate a first-person immersive experience.
“Multiple points of view places an object in context thereby animating meaning.” – Scott Fisher in Virtual Environments (Fisher, 1989)
The hardware used in Lost, Immersed and Reborn, includes the use of stereoscopic sound devices, light projection and sensors, which allow participants to be immersed seamlessly into the organic virtual ecosystem, choosing where they want to go and where they want to touch to evoke a response. The pace at which the animals move or respond is controlled by the participants, and not passively moving in a programmed manner at a fixed time interval. With the help of technology, the potential for an installation to grow as an ‘informational surrogate’ becomes immense and the number of possible ways to duplicate reality increases as well.
This can be best represented by the Reality-Virtuality Continuum (below) which presents the entire possible spectrum of immersive works as a category:
It can be observed through previous VR works that as time passes, developments in technology allow for the creation of more complex systems featured in installations that expand the boundaries of computer-human interface towards invisibility, essentially pushing more VR works towards the direction of reality (i.e. augmented reality games like Pokemon Go or camera filters). As an installation that incorporates virtual reality (VR), Lost, Immersed and Reborn is eligible to be considered on the reality-virtuality continuum (Milgram, Paul & Kishino, Fumio, 1994) (Fig. 1) as augmented virtuality since it incorporates real time information into a largely virtual world.
In Lost, Immersed and Reborn, there are various modes of interaction including scanning, touch sensors and sound by which physical force translates to digital response. However, many elements that could potentially make it “The Ultimate Display” (Sutherland, 1965) which is defined to be “a room which a computer can control the existence of matter”. The perfect sandbox would give complete liberty in terms of decision making, engage all five senses and resemble reality so closely that there is suspension of disbelief without thought. teamLab’s design philosophy of bringing people together and co-creativity reflect extremely well in Lost, Immersed and Reborn, even if it’s within a virtual space. Perhaps in future artworks, teamLab might be able to explore the incorporation of other cues that engage more senses simultaneously such as smell and taste; the possibilities of immersion to explore are virtually endless.
Mun-Delsalle, Y. (2018, August 13). Japanese Digital Art Collective TeamLab Imagines A World Without Any Boundaries. Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/yjeanmundelsalle/2018/08/13/japanese-digital-art-collective-teamlab-imagines-a-world-without-any-boundaries/#6d884bd554af
Wiener, N. (1954). Cybernetics in History. In Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality.
T. (2018, August 29). Graffiti Nature: Lost, Immersed and Reborn. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kccLykuaNSo&t=9s
For my Final Research Hyperessay, I am stoked to find out more about teamLab, an artist collaborative group based in Japan that currently is having one of their exhibitions Future World in Singapore! Since I’m taking Viscomm and Programming, I find their works really relevant and hope to learn more about their design philosophy.
For my 1 minute video selfie, I decided to do one of those Take On Me video memes with the icon head turn at the start. The original music video by a-ha depicted two settings, one being real life and one being an sketchy, illustrated fictional setting. By applying this outline filter, I wanted to show that I like to be projected as an imaginary goofy persona online which I may not reflect upon first impression in real life.
Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914
I compounded another meme on top of it by intentionally playing the recorder horribly.
By using memes as a theme of popular culture, I am able to portray my own sense of humour that shapes my art style through this video, in the sense that I do not really adopt a neat, stylistic style of design, but rather one that is just ever so slightly self-derogatory and relatable to other people.
Also, I filmed this video right in front of the lift of my floor, the space right outside my house which is my space of comfort but yet not in a public space. This shows how I’m not really comfortable with completely exposing my weird side publicly, but I like to slightly step out of my comfort zone and take things slowly.
P.S.: I was intending to do some sort of a dance cover but then I realised I have no dancing skills… I guess I’m still not too ready to embrace my ‘sloppy’ side on the internet………….
|| In Angry Women (2013) by Annie Abrahams, female participants had their webcam screens lined up in a 4×3 grid and vocalised their anger in front of the camera. This entire project involved 24 participants, and none of them knew each other.
Having previously done a research critique on The Big Kiss by Annie Abrahams, I was really interested to see what Angry Women was all about.
Watching this video was pretty unsettling for me, and probably to others too and there’s a reason why.
When on social media, we send messages out to our friends, coupled with emotions embedded in our messages. Sometimes, it is also broadcasted to the public, not just our friends. Either way, we are likely to curate an image of ourselves online via these multimodal messages, and more often than not, create an idealised version of ourselves.
The emotion of anger is seen as a rather negative emotion since it implies conflict between two or more parties. Following this understanding, it is only logical to conceal our angry sides online. Now this may seem a bit contradictory to the proliferation of rants in online posts, but is definitely different in the sense that we are still somewhat hiding behind anonymity and not showing our faces, which also partially equate to our real identity.
In Angry Women, these participants were strangers but had to reveal their faces to each other, leading to them being a little cautious at the start.
” It was tough and courageous, but we are moving on 🙂 – very interesting and tumultuous.
We are still struggling to express our anger and we also still have difficulties to co-construct in this situation of lonely togetherness. It’s exciting and sometimes overwhelming to try to transgress one’s limits.”
– from http://bram.org/angry/women/
In fact, research has shown that people regularly suppress anger in order to maintain healthy and successful social relationships.  Only by being in this space curated by Annie Abrahams under a ‘No Exit’ situation could they take some time to fully unleash their fury (much like She Hulk transformations, which is terrifying to watch).
Exploring anger as an unglamorous side being exposed also parallels how Annie Abrahams works her way around and embraces glitches on the more technical side of this medium, as seen from how she turns a malfunctioning webcam into an artistic expression. 
” So instead of dwelling on the frustrations of the network connection, she finds inspiration, and perhaps more importantly, she sets up compelling situations that allow her and others to make critical observations about connection and disconnection. “
– Randall Packer
Since Annie Abrahams has a background in biology, she uses social broadcasting as a tool for investigating and testing out hypotheses that she forms about human behaviour. In Angry Women, the 4×3 grid is a curated ‘Alone Together’  setting whereby participants are able to see each other all at once over the ‘Third Space’ (as coined by Randall Packer), and since it is a continuous take, they have to deal with the situation of “No Exit”, where they are forced to reveal unglamorous sides of themselves that they would normally unconsciously avoid doing so to others.  This social situation would not be possible without the aid of technology and social broadcasting capabilities.
Perhaps by learning how to embrace our ‘sloppy’ sides online, this could transform parasocial relationships into much more genuine ones in the future.
 Riet, Jonathan Van’T, Gabi Schaap, and Mariska Kleemans. “Fret Not Thyself: The Persuasive Effect of Anger Expression and the Role of Perceived Appropriateness.” Motivation and Emotion42, no. 1 (2017): 103-17. doi:10.1007/s11031-017-9661-3.
|| The term Digital Identity refers to the way that an individual chooses to present and depict themselves in online and digital communities (the Third Space). An individual’s digital identity is largely curated by themselves in order to portray themselves in a favourable manner.
In Eric Erikson’s fifth stage of psychosocial development individuals start to question their identity and personal values starting from adolescence, and henceforth embark on a life-long journey to resolve their ‘identity crisis’. The Internet allows individuals to experiment with self-identification in a virtual space, serving as a tool or platform for individuals to satisfy their innate curiosity. 
In his article in “Facebook and Philosophy”, Wittkower suggests similarly that:
“Facebook gives us the same richness of interaction because it, too, fails to determine the meaning of our relationships and communications.”
In other words, the customisability of online social media platforms gives people space for creativity to invent new meanings out of any content posted, thus creating new content identifiable with the self. All the seemingly meaningless things that we post onto our profiles contribute to our digital identity and shape this indefinitely aberrating form in different ways.  We are able to put up whatever we want to define ourselves, even if it is an idealised image.
The absence of a social context also liberates us from shaping our output such that it conforms to a particular social situation; this gives us freedom to post whatever we want, whenever we want online.
In Carla Gannis’ solo exhibition “Until the End of the World”, she explores technology as a medium to depict herself in a virtual context as a character model. 
“Gannis’s process the work should be understood as a conscious interplay between portraitist, portrait and the camera itself. “
With the use of augmented reality in a virtual space, the possibilities for depicting the self visually are endless. This contrasts the mundanity of the image of self in real life in the sense that we are not able to portray what goes on in our minds, as part of our identity in totality. Others are only able to perceive what they see of you.
The idea of using the Internet as a tool to better express ourselves is also evident in the gaming realm, where the virtual re-embodiment of players through self-extension and self-aggregation allow them to build a whole new identity that is idealised, yet closely related to who they are in real life. 
In conclusion, we utilise the Internet as a platform to explore the idea of self. Even though our potrayal of self online may be idealised, there is, to a certain extent, an inherent undeniable truth about who we are in real life, echoing the idea of how technology is an extension of ourselves in an online “global village” (McLuhan).
 Images, Self-Images, and Idealized Identities in the Digital Networked World: Reconfigurations of Family Photography in a Web-Based Mode by Luc Pauwels (Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium).
Pauwels, Luc. “Images, Self-Images, and Idealized Identities in the Digital Networked World: Reconfigurations of Family Photography in a Web-Based Mode.” In Digital Identity and Social Media, ed. Steven Warburton and Stylianos Hatzipanagos, 133-147 (2013), accessed March 04, 2018. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch010
 Until the End of the World, Carla Gannis. http://carlagannis.com/blog/prints/until-the-end-of-the-world/
 Onlineidentity construction: How gamers redefine their identity in experiential communities.
PINTO, DIEGO COSTA, et al. “Online identity construction: How gamers redefine their identity in experiential communities.” Journal Of Consumer Behaviour 14, no. 6 (November 2015): 399-409. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 4, 2018).
 McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1964.
|| The Big Kiss (2008) is a 3 hour live webcam networked art piece by Dutch Performance artist Annie Abrahams, where Annie and her co-performer are physically separated from each other and have themselves perform the act of kissing recorded separately.
In a interview with Randall Packer on Third Space Network’s Networked Conversations, Annie Abrahams observes that there are two main reactions to the performance: either fascination by the eroticism that can be evoked without physical interaction, or awkwardness as a bystander who is witnessing this bizarre dissected makeout session of 2 strangers. She explains that the product of this artwork is not the live performance itself, but rather the meeting with her co-host (who was a completely stranger), and the process of discussing what to do in the performance. While performing The Big Kiss, both performers had to visualise pictures in their head and ‘draw’ it out with their tongues, mimicking the action of French kissing.
Annie Abraham’s attempt to expose the ‘sloppy side’ of people (or as we call ‘unglamorous side’) in spontaneous performances like this online juxtaposes the glossed image of online personas that we present to strangers who chance upon our profiles online. In the context of love and intimacy, there are dating applications that people turn to to find love, such as Tinder, Lively and Hinge.
The limitations of these applications are that people can only form “parasocial relationships” (Internet and Emotions by Tova Benski, 2013) with others, since the only information they have is someone’s profile page, and the only people they interact with is the other party’s online persona. They are never in touch with each other’s true personality; rather they are attracted to the illusion that someone has created of themselves in this “egalitarian cyberspace” (Love Online by Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, 2004), with all the ‘unglamourous’ sides filtered out.
The Big Kiss effectively draws a parallel to this social situation and presents it in a compressed, physical performance that emphasises society’s simultaneous desire and fear when it comes to physical intimacy. Perhaps more could be done to thrust the the online world into reality so that people can begin to rediscover the experience of sharing physical space and touch again, rather than being enclosed in our own “magic circles” (Benski,2013).
The Big Kiss (2008) by Annie Abrahams [5 minute version] https://vimeo.com/2070207