I organised a field trip to NTU’s School Of Art, Design and Media on the 31st of October where we observed award-winning watercolour artist Goh Huiying work on her new acrylic gouache painting for an upcoming art exhibition.
Field Trip Attendees:
1. Boo Shangyou (Organiser)
2. Low Jia Yi
3. Ang Xin Yee
4. Allison Kapps
5. Eugene Tan
The purpose of Huiying’s latest art piece was to experiment how colours with the same luminance values but different hues could still create contrast (and an optical illusion shimmering effect in some cases when colours on the opposite ends of the colour spectrum are used).
We got to observe the early stages of her painting process, as she explained to us the ideas and concepts behind her painting and proceeded to draw sketches of the actual painting.
Here is how her amazing painting turned out in the end:
If you’d like to check it out (along with many other amazing paintings), it will be on exhibition until 30th November here:
On a side note, here are another 3 interesting field trips that I attended:
– A Craftsman Journey – DIY Insect Repellant and Moisturiser
– Body Paint Camouflage Artist Emma Hack
– Gem Jamming Session on Traditional Jewellery Manufacturing Techniques
Movie: Oblivion (2013)
One small design decision made in the movie that I realised was the asymmetrically-designed Scav Binoculars. Unlike regular binoculars that have symmetrical lenses on both sides, these binoculars have one side that is clearly a lot larger than the other.
The film is set in the year 2077, where humans have fled the Earth after a race of aliens known as “Scavs” had devastated the planet. Early on in the film, we see a Scav spying on the protagonist, Jack Harper (played by Tom Cruise), using one of these Scav Binoculars.
As a regular movie viewer, one might think that the Scav Binoculars are really strange, and assume that it is alien technology. (Did the Scavs design it that way because they had one eye that was a lot larger than the other?)
However, later on in the movie (spoilers), there is a big plot twist where it is revealed that the Scavs are human after all (they were wearing masks the whole movie so they always looked like aliens to the movie audience). I think the design of these binoculars (by the filmmakers) is brilliant, because at a first glance, one might naturally associate it with being alien technology because it looks nothing like the technology we have in our world today, but upon viewing the movie for a second time (after knowing that the Scavs were human from the very beginning), the binoculars actually look like it could be used by regular humans when you think about it. Each side of the binoculars actually gives a different view (left: visible light, right: infrared) as seen in the image above. Although these binoculars only appear for a few seconds in the film, its the small design decisions like this that really build the world and serve as “easter eggs” for audiences to catch upon repeat viewings.
In the year 20XX, traditional news outlets have become universally banned in the global effort to combat fake news. As a result, citizen journalism has become the main source of news, and individuals now sell their self-recorded news footage directly to broadcast stations that are willing to pay lucrative amounts of money for footage of a high standard. In this video-quality-competitive world, gone are the days of blur and shaky videos recorded on mobile phones being shared on social media, as stable top-grade Ultra HD video footage has become the expected standard across all digital platforms.
In the wake of this newfound universal demand for professional videography, Wonkru Designs has created an innovative camera bag that has the storage space to hold a 12K UHD camcorder while simultaneously having the function to unfold itself into a sturdy tripod.
Finalised Microfiction #1 (Shangyou):
Title: Blinded by Night
Octavia is a freelance videographer who makes her living selling video footage to broadcast companies and alternative media outlets. Although only 21 years of age, she has already become the sole breadwinner of her family of wastrels. Her single mom, Aurora, constantly abuses her emotionally, always convincing Octavia that she is a shameful “useless daughter” who deserves to be tormented. Her good-for-nothing brother, Bellamy, is a delinquent gang leader who spends his whole time doing whatever the hell he wants, which is almost never a good thing, to say the least. Her abusive boyfriend, Lincoln, is a quiet but physically aggressive guy who is overly-possessive and gets jealous extremely easily.
While driving home on her scooter one day, Octavia witnesses a young man robbing an elderly woman. She initially intends to jump in to help the old woman, but suddenly realises that she was carrying her Wonkru Designs Camera Tripod Bag. It was tough making ends meet, and she knew this was an excellent opportunity to shoot some juicy footage that she could sell. It would feed her and her family for at least a week—she thought to herself. Much to her shock, the petty theft turns into a murder, when the elderly woman refuses to give up her handbag, and the young man stabs her in the chest with a knife. She had just recorded a murder on video, and she was completely beside herself. Afraid of being implicated in the crime, she quickly flees the scene with her footage before the police arrive. When she reaches home, she is tormented by her mother once again, and cries herself to sleep as she always does.
The next day, Octavia heads over to Polis Broadcast Studios and offers to sell the footage to them. To her surprise, she is offered US$20,000 for the video, which is more than she’s earned in the past 6 months of covering boring live events! She agrees to sell the video, and leaves the studio gleefully with the full US$20,000 in cash, just as she had requested. Hesitant to tell her family or her boyfriend about her sudden windfall, she decides that she should spend the money on herself for once. After all, she deserved it anyway. She heads over to a nearby Azgeda Autos dealership and spends US$18,000 on a blood red Shadow Valley BR-5—her dream motorcycle ever since she was 13 years old.
When she reaches home, her mom catches her with her new motorcycle, and begins unleashing a verbal and physical tirade upon her. The confrontation escalates out of hand, and Octavia accidently kills her mother in self-defence. Realising what she had just done, she is completely distraught, but then she looks over to her Wonkru Designs Camera Tripod Bag and an idea springs to her mind. She unfolds the bag and sets up her camera within seconds, and records a video of the blood oozing out of her mother’s skull. Then, she quickly wipes her fingerprints off the glass mug that she had hit her mother with, and phones the police. The police arrive and she puts on a show, crying and begging for them to catch her mother’s killer, and they comfort her, assuring her that they will do so. Eventually, her brother Bellamy arrives home, and upon learning about the situation, assumes that one of his rival gangs had been responsible for the murder.
The next day, Octavia heads back to Polis Broadcast Studios once again, and sells them the footage for US$6,500. The amount was a lot less than the previous video, because this video did not show the actual murder as it occurred. Disappointed, Octavia leaves the studio with the US$6,500 in hand. She had her eye on the brand new Arkadia T-100 motorcycle, but that would set her back at least US$35,000. Then, she has an epiphany. If she wants more money, all she has to do is create more news to shoot video footage of—it’s just that simple. Thus, she begins planning the murders for her next victims—Bellamy and Lincoln.
Finalised Microfiction #2 (Jiayi):
In this world overfilled with citizen journalists aiming to earn great quick bucks by selling their video footage to conglomerates, Max was struggling to make ends meet to support his wife and growing son.
“Get out of my way!” citizen Z shoved Max away with his bulky equipment bag, blocking his camera lens from shooting the latest celebrity scandal.
The constant ‘beep’ ‘beep’ from his phone reminding him of his low account balance broke him out of his mental tirade of that obese man. This can’t go on. Max packed his bags, kissed his wife and son good bye and left, vowing to come back a man with greater prospects.
One month passed, then two, then three… Nothing. Jane did not hear a word from her husband. Strapping her giggling son to her back, she left for the woods – supposedly her husband’s last location detected by his ID chip. It was a deadly place, overtaken by whatever animals were left roaming. Those animals were mad, their family and friends having been rampantly killed by humans a few decades ago. Since then, nobody who entered their territory ever left alive.
Jane sets out to find her husband in the treacherous location, and slowly finds herself warming up to those wild animals. After weeks of searching, she finally finds her husband who had been camping out to film the never-before-seen sights of the wild creatures. Armed with enlightening footage of the misunderstood animals, the couple return to civilisation to set things right again with the animal kingdom.
I’m combining all my findings (Exploring Practitioners + Cultural Probes) together as they seem to overlap in areas and I don’t want to repeat any information! For my cultural probes, I gave my practitioners a set of questions and tasks to complete, as you will see listed down below.
Practitioner #1: ARTIST
Q: Take photos of your workspace
Q: Take photos of your work tools
Q: What are your two favourite colours?
– Black and White
Q: Make a sketch using those two colours
Q: Share pictures of some of your favourite art
Q: What inspires your art?
– Real life, visions, other works from artists, movies and video games
Q: Create an art piece and share your in-progress photos
Q: What do you think could improve your art?
– Practice. It’s always about practice.
Q: What hinders your art creation process?
– Lack of inspiration or understanding of how to translate ideas onto paper.
– Not enough research or observation of real life (if i’m creating life-like art).
Q: Why do I create art?
– As a form of expression that I don’t have words for.
Practitioner #2: FILM PRODUCER
Q: Take photos of your workspace & work tools
Q: How would you describe your job?
– Purposeful, people matter and creative
Q: Take 1 photo a day of anything that interests you (for a week)
Day 1 (Art work)
Day 4 (Screenshot of Avril Lavigne’s new music video)
Day 5 (Art Work)
Q: Who or what inspires you to be a film producer?
– I don’t think i ever grew up wanting to be a film producer. It was a series of open doors that led me to where and what I’m doing today. It’s also something that I grew to enjoy and love.
– Seeing how my role gives me the opportunity to bring people together and connect with individuals personally, brings me joy.
Q:What is the most important skill you possess that helps you with your job?
– Practicing Grace. It’s something that I’ve learnt to be more conscious of over the years. Working with creatives can be painful because everyone wants to express their individuality, thoughts and opinions throughthe works they create. The heart and skill needs to work hand-in-hand to correct people with love and respect, otherwise people will be hurt in the process.
Q: Share some pictures of one of your film sets that you’ve worked on.
Q: What might improve your job?
– More space to push boundaries and the upper management having a greater understanding of the creative process.
Q: What hinders your job?
– Nothing that i can think of at the moment. Really happy with it.
Q: What tool might be helpful in making your job better/easier?
– A bigger desk.
Practitioner #3: PRO GAMER (Or rather, ex-pro gamer, as she used to represent Singapore in Command & Conquer world tournaments, but not anymore.)
– Take photos of your workspace & work tools
Q: How would you describe being/having been a pro gamer?
– It was nerve wrecking, intimidating almost, because no one really took female gamers seriously back then (or they would have an idea about what they should be like). And with everything you put a great deal of investment in, it’s a lot of time spent in a virtual world and away from other things that matter.
– It taught me how to hold everything with a loose hand and sportsmanship – while I always hope to win, it is not the sole purpose of why I game.
Q: How would you describe the difference between a pro gamer and a regular/casual gamer?
– The stakes are a lot lower. As a casual gamer, I enjoy playing more story-driven genres and taking my own time to build a world that I’d love to stay in and not just survive. In competitive, I’m always training myself to click faster, throw myself in all kinds of situations to formulate better response actions to counter my opponents.
Q: Do you still enjoy video games as a pro gamer?
– Yes, for sure.
Q: Why do you play video games competitively?
– For the challenge, but I rarely do it anymore.
Q: What improves your ability to game competitively?
– A lot of practice, understanding of the game and purpose as to why I would even put myself in such a position (it has to be worth my time).
Q: What hinders your ability to game competitively?
– Now: Toxic players. It was not like that in the past games I played competitively. Back then, competitive players collaborated with one another to break boundaries together and shared strategies with their opponents to get constructive feedback – So that the gaming community could move forward and learn as a family, even though they knew that they would still compete with one another in competitions or on ranking ladders.
Q: What might help you become a better pro gamer?
might help you at your job/hobby?
– Maybe a new keyboard or headset? But those are wants, not needs.
Prototype Design (For the Artist):
Creative Practice: Making Board Games
Tools needed to make board game prototypes:
Dice play a core role in many board games, and I realised that cutting out paper dice without the aid of a printer can be quite the hassle, so I created a model and a prototype of what I call a portable dice maker.
The portable dice maker is the same size and thickness as a regular ID card, making it easy to store in your wallet or put in your pocket. The final version of the product would likely be made from lightweight aluminium so that it would be both sturdy and light. To use the portable dice maker, simply place it over any cuttable surface (doesn’t have to be paper, it can even be leaves), trace the outline of the dice onto it, and cut it out. It is extremely convenient and simple to use, and it will allow you to embrace your board game/gambling habits wherever you go!
Practice Storyworld: (Sorry for the outlandish story, I’m a filmmaker)
Micnova MQ-MSP07 Pro Triple Camera Carrying Chest Harness System
Micnova MQ-MSP07 is a multifunctional vest specially designed for photographers.
The MQ-MSP07 allows you to carry a camera, lens, camera flash, and tripod (each weighing up to 10kg) simultaneously. This is suited for photographers who want to carry their equipment on their body hands-free and switch between them swiftly without having to rustle through large camera bags trying to find the equipment they need.
The MQ-MSP07 is made from nylon and mesh fabric, making it lightweight and flexible, while still being able to support the weight of most professional photography equipment. The vest is designed to disperse the weight of the equipment evenly to the chest and back, making it suitable for photographers who intend to go on a long journey.
Utility vs Fashionability:
I believe this vest is more geared towards utility than fashion. It certainly doesn’t look as pretty as some of the designer-brand camera bags out there, but it certainly has a lot more practical use than those. A regular camera bag usually places the weight of your photography equipment entirely on your shoulders/back, but this vest distributes the weight of the equipment between your chest and back much more evenly, and you also don’t have to dig through your bag to find what you want, as previously mentioned. Thus, I would say that this vest is geared more towards active use of photography equipment, while camera bags would be geared more towards transport of said equipment, as this vest is probably not something you would want to be casually walking around with in shopping centres or on public transport.
The Live Lid snapback cap can be used by pretty much anybody in a huge range of professions (any profession that would allow/require you to wear a cap). It serves as a unique way to simply express yourself or even advertise for your company or favourite sports teams.
The Live Lid has an embedded 2.8 inch LCD screen on the front panel that is capable of displaying any static image. The high definition screen connects to your phone via WiFi, allowing you to upload any image to complement your look.
Although the website doesn’t get into weight specifics, the LCD screen is supposed to be very lightweight and the cap doesn’t weigh much more than a regular snapback cap, making it almost/just as mobile as any regular snapback cap.
Utility vs Fashionability:
The Live Lid certainly places heavier importance on fashionability over utility. In terms of utility, there isn’t much this cap does that a regular cap doesn’t do (even as an advertising tool, you could technically sew your company’s logo onto a regular cap), but the customisability afforded by the LCD screen allows you to make it match your look and express your individuality quickly and easily.