Skirt Volume Prototype
Some Skirt Construction
Tutorial here: https://howdidyoumakethis.com/custom-fringe/
Identity is an elusive concept. It is a thing that presumably everyone should possess; to know who and what they are. But if there is no singularity in a person’s identity then which is the true you? Under French Psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan’s theory – The Mirror Stage, describes a scenario where a baby meets its own reflection for the first time. That is when it discovers itself, recognizing ‘me’ to be different from the objects in its surroundings. The discovery is centered around desire which is directed outside. Thus, “The not you, are a fundamental part of you.”
IN/EX draws inspiration from the mirror-ing and fluctuation of desires. The idea is mainly translated in the tech part whereby following the sight of the wearer, the exterior is reflected within, in the illuminated skirt. The veil and transparency of the garment is meant to represent the husk of the human appearance that is influenced by external happenings. The face of the mask is best to be covered with reflective elements for the mirror-ing aspect but when attempted it seemed to overpower just the mask and I intend to scatter some around the skirt to bring some balance to the work.
Fashion Show Role & Contribution
I was one of the two that were going to handle the music for the fashion show. Unfortunately, I was not present for the last lesson and am not sure if anything about the themes were discussed. But I wanted to create soundscapes tailored for each garment to bring them into spatial realm. Perhaps cyberpunk inspired.
The topic started with the COVID in its infancy, when it was still the WuHan virus. There was a lot of anger around because of the unhygienic wildlife dishes served in China, that was the speculated cause of the pandemic. It is a reasonable reaction but also a hypocritical one. Sure their exotic diet ended up killing 200 000 people within the span but an average diet is no where not as safe as you believe.
In efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2050, a global goal made under the International Paris Agreement in 2015, global consumption of food especially meat and other animal products need to be reduced by more than 50% of what is consumed today.
More than 45% of the Earth’s land surface are cleared woodland used to raise livestock and on top of that, cattle farming produce large amounts of methane contributing to almost a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.
The best diet out there is actually a vegetarian diet and by switching to less carbon intensive or alternative, an individual’s carbon footprint can be greatly reduced to up to 96%.
A promotional activity for sustainable dining in the form of a Self-ordering Kiosk/phone application.
The final design retains my original intention to redefine how we eat, I decided to focus on the thought process of making meal decisions, imagining it to be part of a larger exhibition or campaign by any sustainable food activist organisation e.g. Quorn, IMPOSSIBLE or IPCC (short for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change under the UN) etc.
The most difficult task was to make the audience more aware of the impact of their choices and that emotional aspect to care is collectively agreed to be through guilt.
Topic: Singaporean Chinese Ethnic Identity
Culture is an ever-changing phenomenon, morphing at every major event in human history. Singapore being an amalgamation of multiple races is a epitome of diaspora; a hot-spot for culture integration. 50+ years down the road, Chinese culture in Singapore seems to have become ‘endangered’ as a distinct gap in ethnic identity between the younger and older generation is formed due to heavy western influences.
E.g. Speak Good English Campaign, Simplified general Culture education for multi-racial community etc
(So I only just saw the email and found out that this was an assignment was due on 28th Feb and am almost two weeks overdue…Oops)
Project management as I perceived, after the reading is requires an overwhelming lot of work and considerations. What a painstaking role! Almost every minute detail needs the attention of the PM, even things like the tone of authority or the feelings of the workers and their well being. That is not bad it is just impressive effort. The job entails more than completing the project but also establishes good work ethic which blows the assumption that being a designer is an exhausting-never-resting occupation.
The reading proposals some structures that help with planning such as the 6 goals and responsibilities. It is a simple list to keep track of the several tasks and check on whether the plan will be successful. I think this may be helpful when being a solo one-man show where the designer handles the entire project on their own. The reading made a point to remind us that, despite juggling multiple roles, the primary goals of the project management should not be dismissed. I was listening to a podcast interview of one of my favourite artist and she mentioned that being a freelancer is 50% art 50% business. Project managing is part of that latter percentage and plays a significant role in sustaining the business. As a creative, we must not get too caught up with the artwork but instead seek a balance for commercial work. If its your own personal work, it is fine to keep going back and refining every little thing. But if the work is for a client and money is involve, the artwork is only part of which they are paying you for.
The Six goals:
1. To reach the end of the project
2. To reach the end on budget
3. To reach the end on time
4. To reach the end safely
5. To reach the end error-free
6. To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations
Alan Lakein’s quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” is pretty assertive but I agree. Throughout the years, I have found that I am a bad planner. My plans are more often than not messy and disorganized, or rather I planned them but am unable to produce as planned. The reading introduces iterative diagrams such as the fishbone which may help in more systematic approaches. The advise of being a generalist and understanding the work well enoguh to plan properly. Then again I am still at the experimenting everything stage and every new project is a new experience.
The financial side of project management is the most stressful, anything, as long as money is involve is stressful. I got into disagreement and trouble for it a couple of times and it was not fun. Lastly, I think the part about making sure the assignments are specific in terms of objective, duration and level of effort is really useful for self-motivation in not only commercial work but personal projects as well.
Bukit Brown Index #132: Triptych of the Unseen was exhibited at Gillman as part of Singapore Biennale 2019. It is a large scale installation consisting of a stage, a three part video performance and an archival collection covering the uproar around the redevelopment and destruction of Bukit Brown Cemetery back in 2011 to 2014.
The set up was a familiar sight, adopted from traditional Chinese Street opera often performed during the Hungry Ghost Festival. The significance of it is that it is a common space where the dead and living meet to enjoy, in this case, as the writing on the red banner connotes, the nostalgic or tragic saga of Bukit Brown. It is a place of tribute and offering to the visiting dead; perfect choice in setting.
I think Post Museum, the creators of this artwork, has achieved their aim “to encourage and support a thinking and pro-active community in this piece.” In an interview from OnCurating, they were asked about where they think they stand between the centre(state) and the periphery(independent). Their answer spoke about who public space belongs to? Saying that Singapore adopted a place management strategy to inject ‘heart and soul’ into the city. The strategy had been used by other cities such as New York and Paris and is referred to as “placemaking”. It is directed to developing participatory communal places and improving quality of life for its residents. It is after this point that their response really raised questions for me. Post Museum raised a point that placemaking should not be exclusive to urban planners and the government, it should be a shared decision. Because we are all enagaged with said space, thus are always participating in the placemaking process. Post museum may be referring to their artistic practice but I find it prevalent in this project.
I picked to write about this work because it is closely related to my idea for FYP; revolving around culture, heritage and identity. Why heritage should be preserve and how it ties to belonging? Bukit Brown cemetery may house many graves of pioneers such as Tan Lark Sye (1897-1975), entrepreneur and co-founder of Nanyang University and Chew Joo Chiat (Joo Chiat estate) but why is it important to conserved them? What reasons is there to be upset other than the fact that digging graves is disrespectful? Triptych of the Unseen first featured at Substation in 2018 and the artistic director then spoke of heritage as a form of control. He said “heritage really largely is not just about the past, but the way you define the past also determines your present and future.” It is a deceivingly harmless topic for one so political. (at least in Singapore) I wish to go into more detail in my next post about my FYP ideas so the discussion shall end here.
The meat of the story is literally in the content of the work. The three part video performance, taking on the perspectives of the ‘Ghost,’ ‘Activist’ and ‘Bureaucrat’. It depicts the struggle of space in Singapore through moral contradictions of the three characters and their relationship with each other. The choice for implementing the virtual reality setting was to “trap the spectators and performers within this ‘unseen’ tragicomedy where they ‘are condemned’ to watch and perform this act endlessly.” When you enter the virtual space, you are sat in within an ‘ghost’ audience as everyone is wearing a opera mask. “Unknowingly we all become victims to the priorities embedded in the grammar of the city.”
This is an example of biomimicry in the field of architecture, borrowing the natural interior structure of African termite nests to create sustainable buildings. The Eastgate centre has managed to achieve 10% less energy consumption compared to other conventional buildings its size. That is an impressive feat to be able to regulate temperature of a mid-rise building without air-conditioning or heating.
So how do these self-cooling mounds work?
African termites feed on a fungus that they farm in their mounds and these fungus can only grow at 87 degrees F. Since the climate in Africa ranges from 35 degrees F at night to 104 degrees F during the day, the termites invented a series of cooling vents to maintain the interior temperature of the mound.
Through constant opening and closing of these vents, the termites are able to suck in air at the lower parts of the mound, through the tunnels and up to the peak. These vents are also always under construction as new ones are constantly being built and old ones are plugged up. It is a brilliant way to regulate temperature naturally considering that hot air rises up and cool air sinks.
Despite that, it should be noted that the series of vents are regulating the temperature and not exclusive to cooling. The system also works with other materials as the Eastgate Centre is made out of concrete. The outside air that is drawn in can be warmed or cooled by the building mass depending on which is warmer. Similar to the termite mounds, the air is through the multi-storeys and offices before exiting out the chimneys at the top.
The energy sustainable building not only benefits the environment but also the people. The owners of the Eastgate centre saved $3.5 million for air-conditioning that was omited from the design and this helped the tenants with 20% lower rents than it neighbours. Both an climate and economic solution.