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.
NOTE TO PROF: 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.
Just a brief summary of the field trips I attended:
Nguan talk at SIPF: Organised this field trip with Kaitlyn; More info at the post here.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 世纪秘辛： ＳＥＣＲＥＴ HOLLYWOOD HAUNTINGS： CYBWAR
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.
Tools: – 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.
Worksite: 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.
Participation: 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.
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
For this cultural probe, I had two participants for the activity workbook. One, the art therapist we had sat down with to explore her practice – Anna; Two, a university nursing student – Sara.
Visualisation of practice
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.
On a separate page from your visualisation, write out and document the thought processes behind your visualisation.
Interestingly, for this prompt, Sara put herself in the shoes of what it was like to be a client receiving art therapy. She wrote out a story of her grandmother and her feelings towards the matter – in doing so, she is expressing that she thinks art therapy is meant to heal the heart through drawing and talking one’s problems through and to the therapist. Anna drew a sapling that had a reflection of a tree, indicating the nourishment that art therapy provides as well as how how the art her clients make provide a reflection she writes about under 1B.
2. Mental model of ageing and the elderly
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.
Sara, as a nursing student, approached this question from a relatively objective/external/medical point of view. As compared to Anna who went more in depth with regards to the mental health of elderly.
3. Imagine that you are an elderly person.
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)
Take 3 photographs of everyday things or features around you that you feel might pose a problem to the elderly in any way.
The images were provided separately but these were a representation of what the two participants thought about for prompt 3.
I visited a friend, Caroline, who is a freelance digital illustrator – she mainly earns income from working with companies on projects like collateral designs but she also produces prints and merchandise to sell online. She graduated from NAFA 5 years ago and has been doing this ever since.
Tools: As illustrated in the sketch above: – Seagate 4TB Harddisk, to store all her digital files (She has 5 of these) – Sippycup Waterbottle, to keep hydrated but to prevent any spillage accidents – Pantone Color Booklet, to color check with clients, printers, etc. – Wrist guard, because of her drawing injuries, tendinitis, so it helps her to work for longer hours without excessively straining it but it is still important for her to take breaks! – WACOM Intuos 4 Tablet + Pen, about 6 years old and still working good
Interestingly, she pastes a piece of thick tracing paper on top of the drawing field of the tablet to protect the surface and prevent it from being too scratched up – which will reduce the sensitivity in the long run. Many new models of tablets have been released since the Intuos 4 but Caroline has never really bothered to ‘upgrade’ because she feels like she is very comfortable with this and it does the job.
Worksite: She mainly works in the comfort of her own room (which she was not very comfortable with me taking pictures of since it was messy and a private space for her).
Portability: On occasion she brings out her iPad (and Apple pencil) for meetings with companies to do quick sketches on the spot, but she works with this Intuos 4 at-home set up 95% of the time and is most comfortable with. It would be possible to migrate to spaces like cafes or coworking spaces of course, but electricity plugs will be needed due to long working hours and it is important for her to be comfortable in the work environment if not she gets art blocked.
(Left) Various tools that are required for mirror engraving. (Middle) Main body of the micromotor machine. (Right) A few examples of the different bits that can be put into the handpiece – each achieves a different type of thickness and roughness (for lines to be drawn and to suit a range of different materials)
Alicia, the mirror engraver, allowed me to engrave my own mirror, while teaching me the basics of how to do so.
The mirror turned out a lot better than I expected for a first-time engraving. As I was allowed to fully experience the entire process, I had a much better idea of what is needed and various considerations that are needed to make the engraving process run smoothly.
Alicia’s work space (her studio of sorts) was in her own room. She mentioned that she has brought her equipment to other locations (such as art events) as well on several occasions.
This storyworld is based on how we know our world, Earth, today. However, it can be seen as an alternate universe or timeline – it is not a futuristic plot but it does have slightly more advanced technology than what we are used to. It is not set “in the future” from 2018, nor in the past. It exists on its own. In this society, people are born into professions – much like how people in the past were named after their professions (occupational last names such as Mason or Carpenter). The families are also related to one another based on how closely linked their occupations are – for example, the nurse, surgeon and physicist families are “cousin” branches of the main doctoring/medical family. Societal norms are more or less the same. The reputation of these families are based on their competency and value – i.e. doctors have larger roles in saving lives etc as compared to a plumber. However, ‘lower level’ occupations are still able to do well based on their expertise. My main storyworld character is a girl from a family of baristas but wants to invent tools within her field but is met with adversity and judgment from others because it branches out to the capabilities of engineers and inventors. She makes the “latte art stylus” and uses it while working, but it causes problems (like burning her hand or ruining the cup of coffee) because the device acts up.
I have not fully thought of the story progression but I started thinking of this ‘storyworld’ based on the context of this module – the idea of rapid prototyping and creating wearable studios.