Final Project Post – Group Therapy (Ng Yixian Jo-Ann, Jhnn Ymn, Ho Koon Yee)

Online Documentation (ART OF THE DEBASED)Print Documentation Link

Our website is the ‘auction’ page that also reflects more history and details about the items on auction and the press release for the pre-auction exhibition preview.
The Print Documentation was the Exhibition Highlights Booklet that was provided for interested clients during the pre-auction preview, and have also been sent to registered VIP clients.

As we are using squarespace for the online documentation, it is a trial website and you just need to click “Visitor Access” and enter the CAPTCHA code to access the website! Sorry for the trouble! We promise it’s worth it.

We hope you enjoy! Thank you for the wonderful semester. 

Field Trips – Jo-Ann Ng

Just a brief summary of the field trips I attended:

  1. Nguan talk at SIPF:
    Organised this field trip with Kaitlyn;
    More info at the post here.
  2. DNA Sampling with Prof John Phillips:
    We visited prof’s lab and he briefed us about the various processes of DNA Sampling and showed us the machine and technology used at the lab. Most interestingly, he showed us his own portable studio that came in a big luggage looking box. (Pictures below)
  3. In-Process; a collection of the making of:
    This was an exhibition by graduating NAFA students and the content of the exhibition was really useful for inspiring and showing different ways to document – also general ideas that very interesting like different forms of architecture or product designs.
    (Pictures were not allowed) 

Ng Yixian Jo-Ann (A0142014B) 

Field Trip – Nguan’s Artist’s Talk at SIPF

As part of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), Nguan was a speaker as part of the Artist Talks that was held on 29 September at the National Design Centre.

From the website:
“In his decade-spanning series Singapore, Nguan turns his camera on his native city and reimagines the adolescent nation as an iconic dream landscape. The work examines themes of longing, discombobulation and regret, evoking the narrative complexity of daily Singaporean life while adhering to a meticulous palette of delicate hues. The resultant photographs are meant to seem disquieting yet naive and mythical but true.”

This field trip was organised by Ng Yixian Jo-Ann (A0142014B) and Ho Koon Yee Kaitlyn (A0143645E) and attended by 13 other classmates of ours.

Nguan structured the talk by first listing various elements that he personally adapted for his photographs and how they helped create the dreamlike shooting style he is known for. Behind every shot, there were interesting anecdotes – such as stories behind certain shots and people recognizing themselves in his pictures. He also mentioned various ‘pain points’ of shooting public subjects and waiting for the right lighting.
In addition, he also provided more insight into his books, such as how “How Loneliness Goes” was somewhat of a prelude to his most recently published “Singapore” and the various struggles he had to deal with. 
At the end of the talk, there was a Q&A session where he answered questions that touched on things like the importance of social media in boosting his existence as a photographer, personal inspirations, and his intentional lack of presence within his photos.

Nguan’s choice of camera – the Fuji 6×9 Medium Format – that he has faithfully stuck (having gone through 7 of them so far)  to for most of his photography journey.

After leaving the venue, Jo-Ann managed to have a one on one conversation with Nguan to ask exactly how he moved around photographing.
He clarified that he only brought his camera, 2 pockets worth of film (around 10 rolls) and as of late, his tripod. No bag. When asked why, he mentioned that he felt it was cumbersome to have a bag on him which might get in the way since he is always moving about.

His choice of camera has remained the same for many years now – a medium format Fuji 6×9. However, for no special reason. He’s grown accustomed to the tool and simply sees it as ‘sufficient’. 
Other interesting points he mentioned during the chat was when he clarified that this form of photography is merely his hobby and he does not depend on this for his livelihood.

All in all, it was an inspiring talk littered with humorous moments from Nguan himself, providing a closer look into the mind of a local photographer so popular, his name has become an adjective. 

Small Design Decision – Jhnn Ymn

2046 Movie Poster

I viewed the film 2046, in which the titular science fiction world is situated via mise en abyme within the film’s storyworld: A futuristic realm governed by memory and loss, as crafted by the lovelorn writer, Chow. On a high-speed train out of 2046, the written protagonist is told of the existence of a series of android cabin attendants that cater to passengers’ every need — the only caveat being that one must never fall in love with them.

In a scene where one of the android attendants refuse to leave with the protagonist, I was quite taken with a minute design decision that manifest through the character’s costuming: A piece of one-sided, metallic earwear, glowing red along its underside, in consonance with the crimson-lit set. Its function is never explained, nor is it seen to be used by the character. Yet, its sleek appearance, along with the character’s figure behaviour and costuming, help to craft the figure of the android as the unfathomable technobeing incapable (?) of affection.

Small Design Decision – Kaitlyn

Her‘s OS1

Movie: Her (2013) by Spike Jonze

One small design decision I noticed was the operating system (OS1) designed for the near future (think 2050), one seemingly familiar to us but has capabilities way beyond our time (2018). Like modern day operating systems, OS1 offers user customisation but its exquisite intuitiveness and responsiveness – far beyond what Apple’s iOS or Siri can do today – is seen from the creation of a highly personalised artificial intelligence called Samantha, merely based on a casual conversation with Theodore (guy in red). As viewers might have guessed it, Samantha is just as smart as OS1. Subtle hints as such thus frame viewers’ concept of time successfully by bringing them into the near future through future but predictable technology, whose abilities can potentially be extrapolated and anticipated.

Ho Koon Yee Kaitlyn

Small Design Decision – Jo-Ann Ng

Image result for is walle scifi
Aw :’-)

I’ve rewatched Wall-E at least 6 times but I think a (not really that small) design decision that was fascinating about this film was the distinguished shapes between ‘new’ and ‘old’ machines/technology.
WALL-E is a boxy (rusty) old ‘outdated’ with sharp edges, compared to EVE who’s super sleek and chic with curved edges, when all her limbs (and head) are retracted, it creates a seamless silhouette.
This transfers to the other robots in the film as well, such as the rogue robots which all have rounded edges even though they’re not necessarily spherical.
I’m pretty sure the differences between WALL-E and EVE are intentional to help with marketing purposes (easier to distinguish, sells the whole star-crossed lovers ish narrative) but it’s pretty cool that smooth edges are somehow associated with the future.

Image result for wall-e rogue robots
Rogue Robot pals

Share Your World – Jo-Ann Ng, Jhnn Ymn, Kaitlyn Ho

Revised Storyworld

  • Within a cybernetic world where fabricated human hybrids with immensely long life spans are the norm, a small nomadic commune of elderly avant-garde art therapists exists on the fringes of society. Members of the commune have long refused to modify their internal biologies on ideological grounds. Instead, these elderly rebels rely on external, wearable technology to hide their actual age while assimilate into the mainstream.
  • The commune practices artmaking and remains closely bonded together, moving from place to place as a group. Together they cope with ageing, their pasts, and the realities of a cybernetic world that deems them outmoded through art therapy, using tools and equipment integrated into specialised jumpsuits. These specialised jumpsuits act as their wearable, portable studios.
  • The art therapists utilise the wearable studios that facilitate the commune’s artistic production in secrecy and on-the-go, and regulate the art therapist’s own emotional health — the commune is bonded through these continual acts of facilitated artmaking even with the inevitability of ageing.
  • The commune is outlawed and continually chased down by authorities, seen as a threat to public health with their unmodified, vulnerable, biological bodies.

Microfiction 1: Bartender

An alchemical bubbling of polyseuteroxane with saccharified synthetic starches… the bartender plays an important role in the morale of the cybernetic society. In a seedy dive bar within designated nightlife district, the bartender serves all sorts of citizens, from gleaming officiated bodies with smooth 3D modeled torsoes to the outlawed biopolitical bodies that skulk about softly.

Microfiction 2: Commune caught

The art commune is continually on the run – their external technologies and unmodified bodies are considered a health threat to the general population… but the commune knows that these updates, modifications, syntheses are unnecessary; all they need are their bodies, their tools, and their art. Yet, the city and its citizens, and citizen-police keep a look-out, obediently report whenever the ‘dangerous’ art commune is sighted.

Microfiction 3: Lovers

At the top of Monsoon Towers a cybernetic yuppie couple gaze down at the city from their air-purified, chrome-surfaced apartment… They receive personalised messages of recent sightings of the illegal art commune. Safe in Monsoon Towers, with its security systems, privacy updates, cashless payments, the couple pays no heed and switches on their personal holographic entertainment systems.

Revised Microfiction (Based on Microfiction 2): Citizen-Police


The modified mind is clear and precise, no room for error, synapses blinking, autoanalysis complete to the one-hundredth of a second, all under 0.70082699341 units of time (standard measurement as adjusted for seismic geoshifts and post-neolunar patterns). Looping about the vaporous pools of data gathered as skeins within cloud storage systems above, below, and within, Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT’s embedded transducing chip hidden within flesh picks up audio waveforms lapping against the cochlear. Tides come in, tides go out, brackish flows intermingle and the hertz make themselves legible as electronic signals blinking across the spine, tingling across modified membranes and polyethylene endoskeletons.

A song that has no reason to exist in present analogue soundsystem forms, no reason to echo out in the alleyways of Street 184.558202A (intersecting Avenue 99238.61U). Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT is keenly aware of what this could mean – their logic card does the necessary calculations, re-orientations, telepresence siting, and séances, they gaze from beyond the dense overgrowth of satellite TV antennae to see the outlawed commune, with their clumsy technologies sitting over their aged, withering bodies, the cables and protrusions, the machinery so unlike his smooth, synthetic, spa-treated & regularly moisturised polysiloxane flesh (toner removes sebum produced during the night and balances your skin’s pH.). They are making, making those artefacts long ago rejected as outmoded art, how trite, confusing, utterly repugnant – no sight of systems, of computation, no conceptual basis, no theoretical grounding.

Without even 0.70082699341 units’ of hesitation, Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT sends out the electromagnetic signal for reinforcements.

Cover Art

Explore Practitioners 3: Art Therapist – Jo-Ann Ng Yixian

My group (Kaitlyn and Johann) and I had a meeting to get to know Anna, an art therapist, who specialised in working with elderly in Singapore – in particular, those who suffered from Dementia.

– Bag for carrying all the necessary materials for a session
She mentioned that she had previously experimented with carrying around a trolley bag but found that a backpack was much better to navigate with since she would also have to push her client around in a wheelchair.
Different types and sizes of Paper
– Assortment of paints, markers, color pencils, pencils, pens, oil pastels, etc.
– Water bottle to hold water (and plastic container to pour into)
– Reference materials (such as prints and an art book); to inspire client or provide examples as to what they can draw if they are ‘stuck’ on an idea.
– Collage materials; in case the client does not wish to paint or draw, collage is an easy and accessible medium to create art.

Anna mentioned that it was crucial to bring many options for her clients to work with. If there were not enough options for materials, it would possibly cause clients to feel restricted: an emotion they usually already struggle with in their daily lives. It was also interesting to note that if a client was very insistent on a particular type of medium, Anna would then try to understand why this was so – if it had any meaning, and help the client to process their needs and feelings.

Anna has a variety of worksites that she works in – as she is a freelance Art Therapist. Firstly, there are fixed weekly sessions in an elderly day care center where there are tables and a room provided. Within this elderly day care center, there are both group and individual sessions – particularly designed based on the needs and concerns of each elderly (some might require special care or do not work well in groups). Secondly, there are ‘field trip’ type sessions where Anna will bring the client (usually individual) to various locations around Singapore and work outdoors.
Hence, it is very important for them to find locations that are not too crowded, have sufficient space that is able to sit at for a long time, and generally a comfortable space that the client can create art in.

Art I created during the session

We asked Anna to demonstrate what a typical art therapy session looked like with us as participants. She started off with getting us to draw for 5 minutes – anything we wanted. (5 minutes because we were running on a tight deadline but usually it would be longer and would come with warnings of the time running out so that the clients could prepare themselves and not be caught off guard.) She then asked us some questions about what we drew, or how we drew – based on her observations. It allowed her to understand how we felt and what was going through our minds – but also through the process of doing so, she was able to help us understand ourselves.

I think what was interesting is that she tried to make us aware that art therapy was not meant to pin point the exact problems and diagnose clients. But instead, they were meant to encourage the stimulation of the mind – especially useful for clients with dementia – and to engage in works and understanding of our processes that would allow clients to come to terms and understand themselves and their situation better.

Ng Yixian Jo-Ann (A0142014B) – Practitioner 3/3

Cultural Probe: Design & Findings – Jhnn Ymn

With the art therapy practitioner we’d interacted with, our group decided to develop several prompts that were related to art-making and ideas related to the elderly.

Within our group, we each came up with an activity related to art-making and the elderly. These centred around abstract visualisation, word association, and photography. 

Design Probe: Workbook with 3 activities, each self-recorded

  • Goal: To investigate attitudes towards art therapy for the elderly as a creative practice and ageing from the perspectives of an art therapist and general populace
  1. Visualisation of practice
    1. Through the abstraction of your emotions, experiences, influences, and relationships to wider contexts, represent your practice through colour, line, shape, pattern, or any combination of visual elements – as long as you do not use written words. You may use any number of pages you wish.
    2. On a separate page from your visualisation, write out and document the thought processes behind your visualisation.
  2. Mental model of ageing and the elderly
    1. You are given a list of 7 words below. Based on your own interpretation and understanding of their meanings, implications and/or relationship(s), create one or more word trees using the words as prompts. You should come up with at least 10 other words to create your word tree(s), excluding the given prompts. You may use any number of pages you wish.
      1. Elderly
      2. Death
      3. Ageing
      4. Health
      5. Mobility
      6. Values
      7. Stereotypes
  3. Imagine that you are an elderly person.
    1. Take 2 photographs of objects or elements around you that were integrated to accommodate the various needs of the elderly. (e.g. ramps and railings for the elderly who are unable to navigate up the stairs)
    2. Take 3 photographs of everyday things or features around you that you feel might pose a problem to the elderly in any way.

These activities were then compiled into a workbook form, which was provided to a practitioner.

Exploring Practitioners 3: Art Therapy – Jhnn Ymn

I was able to meet an art therapist who works in multiple mediums, tailoring her approach to her client’s needs. As such, her tools spanned across multiple artistic mediums, such as for watercolour and collage.


  • Watercolour set (pans and tubes)
  • Brushes
  • Colour pencils
  • Crayon
  • Reference images
  • Clipboards
  • Different types of paper
  • Images for collaging
  • Scissors
  • Glue

She talked about how she worked predominantly with the elderly now, and emphasised the use of artistic processes and creation to engage their attention. To her, it was important to emphasise that art therapy was not about creating final works, per se, but allowing one to engage with the processes of making to spur further positive effects such as thinking, engagement, and openness to share about personal processes. These would act as gateways towards sociability and introversion, allowing one to develop a sensitivity to their internal worlds and harvesting that positively through art-making.

Worksite — Elderly care centres, Field trip sites

Her practice was diverse in working both with physical centres where elderly would take part in therapy in a group setting, and more individual sessions which involved field trips to spaces such as parks which would allow them to paint subject matter like flowers.

She actually had 2 bags to lug her tools around with! She mentioned things such as needing large art equipment, as large paper sizes were important for elderly to have the space to manipulate materials with.


We then engaged in a quick art therapy like session, which involved us making anything we wanted for a set period of time. Afterwards, we would talk about our works and processes and how that would tease out interesting notions about our own personal psyche.

Overall, some difficulties faced by her were as follows —

  • Transporting of materials
  • Seating for the art therapist — her clients were usually wheelchair-bound, but she herself didn’t have spaces to rest
  • Lack of suitable spaces for clients to paint outdoors — whether wheelchair accessibility issues, or the space being too crowded, which led to her clients feeling too shy