Fairytale Posters by Chynna Ang

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Chynna Ang is one of the 114 students who will be showcasing her Final Year Project at the GSA Singapore Degree Show 2017 opening on 17 June at SOTA Gallery, Level 2.

“The brief was to communicate “not being afraid of failure”, without any words. I used the Three Blind Mice, Three Little Pigs, and Humpty Dumpty, all whom have failed in their fairy tales. The mice had their tails cut off, the pigs had their houses destroyed, and Humpty broke. The idea was to show how they overcame that adversity and succeeded after their failures, embodying the idea of never being afraid to try again.”

The show runs until 23 June. 

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Spotted! Polina Korobova

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Notion of riot, glitter as a weapon, re-introduction of the colour pink, powerful female figures: Russia-born Polina Korobova talks us through her semester at LASALLE, where she is working towards a BA in Fine Arts.

“It all started after watching “The Punk Prayer”, a documentary based on the story of scandalous female collective, Pussy Riot. The documentary made me realize a lot of things, especially the idea of making a statement with your work – that evokes, educates and provokes the audience or your own journey. The documentary not only showed the power of the people’s voice but also the power of an all female collective and how much more chaos a female figure can have especially in a country like Russia. Coming from such conservative and limiting background made me question my limits, as an example my first experience wearing the famous Balaclava was truly terrifying. The entire time I was thinking of what my dad would say and how scared he would be for my work to be shown in Singapore. I was told that there is something controversial about exploring political sensitivities that I faced in Russia and now exploring them in Singapore still being in a sensitive spot – an international student. Wearing a mask for the first time made me so paranoid that I decided to dedicate my work to facing my fears and becoming stronger.

Exploring the notion of femininity and chaos as for me these were the biggest milestones of the documentary itself. Pussy Riot are sworn to anonymity, hence the colourful balaclavas members use to hide their faces, even when giving interviews. “It shows we can be anybody,” says a band member who goes by the name Garadzha, wearing a hot-pink ski mask and matching stockings. After that documentary I implanted the balaclava into my research as a tool to make my appearance more powerful and dangerous.

The balaclava became a subject in my work. First by making them myself from scratch, and afterward by challenging myself to find out where to purchase one in Singapore, which was an experience by itself. I studied how people react when they see it, and I observed how I feel when I wear it. Treating it just like material I decided to experiment with shapes, colours and designs. Working with balaclava felt dangerous and I wanted to explore what else can feel dangerous but also brings empowerment.

Just like balaclava glitter has a certain image attached to it. Glitter is usually associated with girly behavior, shinny and kitsch. Throughout the course of those few months I deeply concentrated on the material by adding, mixing, and covering it. I found out that the idea of the objects if placed differently can confuse the usual perception and portray it the way you want it to be portrayed. Hoping to not only annoy everyone around me with it but also make me and others believe in the power of glitter.

I discovered so many other subject matters that seemed badass to me but are associated with gentle femininity to society. Looking at powerful female movements I started mocking Punk-like behaviour in videos and photos. Creating an illusion of inexistent movement or subculture. Coming up with imaginary, face covered alter-ego became a way to express myself and bring attention to materials and subjects in use.”

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Squeezy Peasy by Edmund Zhang

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Just in case you’re kicking yourself for missing the NUS DID Graduation show,  we’ve prepared a roundup of some fine thesis projects we came across in the last couple of days.

Today’s pick is Squeezy Peasy by Edmund Zhang, featuring a table lamp and a portable speaker operated through the gesture of squeezing.

“Much of the tactile interactions in our daily lives center around tapping and sliding. It led me to wonder if I could propose an alternative and ’softer’ way of interacting with everyday objects through squeezing, which though familiar and instinctive seemed to be relatively undertapped as a product interaction.

Drawing metaphorical relationships between interaction and function, the objects conjure satisfying and engaging user experiences. The series of two objects features a table lamp that increases in brightness the more it is squeezed, and dims when a plug at the rear is pulled out. It also includes a portable speaker that increases its volume the more it is squeezed, and gradually quietens when it is set upright.

The body of the products are of resin plastic, while the squeezable parts comprise of a flexible silicone outer skin with a soft foam core within. This combination of materials was chosen after numerous explorations with various materials as being the most optimal for its “squishy” properties while being comfortable to the touch.

All in all, I was ultimately trying to see how I could encapsulate an emotive experience (in this case, the sense of innate joy which is inextricably linked to squeezing) into a physical product.”

 

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Lest We Forget by Jamie Teo

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Embroidery artist and Arts Manager Jamie Teo tells us that she has an interest in the preservation and documentation of heritage, finding a way to let the past live in the present.

Her latest project, “Lest We Forget, is inspired by the memories of her maternal grandmother. “It highlights the idea of remembrance – lest I forget who you are and lest you forget who you are. Going against the ‘Great Man’ theory, I seek to prove the influence of any and every individual. I am always uncontrollably brought to tears when I speak of my grandmother and by way of making the linoleum plates, I carved out the imprint she has left on me through every passing day. This work seeks to prove the importance of personal histories and to give voice to individual narratives. This is my act of remembrance.”

Lest We Forget was created during a five months mentorship programme under the tutelage of Joseph Chiang of Monster Gallery and will be shown at the Working Proofs: Young Printmakers League exhibition from 16 June to 30 June.

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In Love by Dyan Hidayat

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Dyan Hidayat is a Year 2 student, majoring in Photography at the School of Arts, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University. Earlier this year he worked on a project titled In Love, a photography series about the performative nature of romantic love.

“The series centers itself through a simulated relationship between me and my collaborator, Nicolas Ow. We were classmates during our freshmen year and In Love is our first collab. Prior to this project, none of us had experiences in romantic relationships. The series juxtaposes almost candid images of romantic love with textual documentation of how we, the performers, felt towards each other during the entire process. The images were made with disposable cameras with the intention of creating a convincing quality of rawness and vulnerability, often times felt while in love.”

Full series here.

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