U N I V E R S I T Y
C O N S E R V A T I O N P O R T F O L I O
Reverie follows the narrative of five girls in chronological years, watching them grow as friends. There are four chapters within the series, where each chapter is a stage of the girls' lives, exploring the challenges they face with self-identity, friendship and womanhood.
The first chapter sees the girls as children – free spirited and carefree. This chapter of their lives, almost a whimsical daydream, of them playing in the garden.
Their lack of self-identity is represented by their identical white dresses, at the same time symbolising purity and innocence. As little girls, we have our own secret lives and games that we play while our parents are not watching. Exploring the very start of their friendship.
The second chapter sees the girls enter a new stage of their lives, going to school, where their friendship develops over time. We see the bonds that form between the girls, exploring isolation and challenges with trying to fit in.
The third chapter sees the girls manoeuvre through the digital age. Time being spent being disconnected from one another.
The black represents the vastness of the digital space and social media platforms, almost like a black hole. The dolled faces, almost like a mask, is juxtaposed with their outfits, stripped down raw, representing the vulnerability of the girls. The scales represent the balance between irreality and reality.
It explores the challenges girls face growing up in this social media driven world where we create a false persona for everyone to see.
The last chapter of the series see the girls reaching womanhood. They have gone on with their individual lives, forging their own identity. We see them in nature, away from the digital space, reconnecting with one another again.
Strong and empowered – celebrating the becoming of a woman.
The Geology of the Lizard Peninsular was a project I shot and wrote about the rocks and history of Kynance Cove, UK. I dabbled with microscopy whilst working on this project where I photographed the red serpentinite, found at Kynance Cove, under the microscope, showing its fiery red particles, which is due to its magnesium and iron minerals.
It was intriguing to learn about the origins of the rocks, just my looking at its minerals, we can tell that the rocks originally formed part of the ocean floor and records the part of the Earth's mantle just beneath the crust.
B O O K B I N D I N G & F O R M A T S
Threads is a book that talks about my childhood and growing up in Singapore. It was self-bound with a perfect bind. Through this project, I researched into different binding techniques, and learnt how to make a leather hardback cover.
Together with the binding and cover, I threaded certain objects in each photographs, representing the ties I have with my family, culture and heritage.
This was the final product.
Imain, faith, is a documentary series that documents Muslim women and their relationship with their faith. I sat down with them to ask them questions, mainly on how they rediscovered and strengthened their faith throughout their lives.
Researching on Islam was a crucial part of this process. Having grown up around Malay Muslims, I was interested in finding out more about the religion itself and how people connect with their faiths. Experimenting with printing on this particular recycled paper, taking inspiration from the old manuscript of the Holy Quran. Instead of printing on thin layers, I opted for a thicker material, a symbolism of the strength of their faith and relationships my subjects have, throughout the years.
A Girl Away From Home
A Girl Away From Home was a continuation with my book making, this time including curation and design.
AGAFH was created to be a platform for female Asian creative to have their voices heard and their talent shown. The book features the work of various creatives' inputs within the narrative of a fictional diary of an Asian girl, being away from home. The book touches on topics such as culture, heritage, racism and identity. The book hopes to celebrate photography, illustration, graphics, poetry and stories through creative ways and to speak about important issues/challenges that Asian females face.
The first book started out with a mock up, where I kettle-stitched the book together, with a cloth hardcover. And I later reproduced them with a printer.
And below are the mock up for the second book which is in progress.
N Ò T
W E A V I N G & M A C R A M E
N O T started out as a hobby, learning the 13th century technique of knotting, Macrame. I started making simple things from plant hangers and then to creating bags. One of my personal passions is interior design and fashion, and hence, I wanted to create accessories and wall pieces.
To Sit Near
The word Upanishad comes from a Sanskrit compound that means ''to sit near”, “sitting near devotedly” or “secret teaching” and it reflects the early Indian practice of sitting near the feet of the reverend or guru, who passed on the oral teachings that he had received from those that came before him.
To Sit Near seeks to open up the discussion on religions, and the ways in which we interact and have these religious exchanges with the people around us, giving rise to diverse interpretations. It also aims to open up discussion on what religion/faith is to an individual, but more importantly, to discuss how we truly live in a world with varying shades of grey. How do we view faith in this current day and age, compared to before?
The woven piece embodies the varying religions which have weaved in and out of our time, the people that have come and gone from this earth, and the teachings that have been passed down through scriptures or objects. The symbolism of pluralism and the grappling sinew we have through time as human beings. Through the perspective of materialisation, the weave opens up conversation around questions of how the dichotomies of embodied experiences and religious views can be shifted.
I also worked with sound design Artist Berukera. The track titled 'Chayamaya' was created as a response to the idea of To Sit Near. It is played while viewing this work.
The Heritage of the Khmer People
I delved deeper into the history of Cambodia and the Khmer people when I visited the beautiful country. Visiting the astounding UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, unravelled a whole new world of the Angkor Empire and their reign. Having dominated South East Asia for almost 600 years and were one of the most powerful civilisations in the medieval times, it was fascinating to learn about their engineering and technology, forward thinking and rich heritage that is still so prevalent in modern day Cambodia.
Walking around the different temples in Angkor Wat, I was able to imagine the bustling grounds which the people of that time stood on. I learnt about the strong religious ties, while visiting the Preah Khan Temple where 72 garudas, a Hindu mythological creature, guard the sacred grounds. The Bayon Temple where 200 large stone faces were built, said to be the likeness of Jayavarman VII, ruler of the Khmer, and the Buddha. This shone light on the shift from Hinduism to Buddhism during the reign of Angkor.
The Ancient Khmer believed that all life came from the Sea of Creation.
They adapted to the extreme weather conditions, and water became the focus of the ancient Khmer. Their ingenuity in the engineering of reservoirs that irrigated their crops, lead to the flourish of their economy.
The Khmer engineered different techniques such as soil compacting that enabled them to build incredibly strong roads that were able to withstand the extreme weather conditions. With these artieries of roads, Angkor was able to propel their political power and cultural heritage over the region.
Visiting a silk worm farm was one of the reasons that lead to my interest with the understanding of fibres and textiles. Seeing the work that went into the making of Cambodian textiles, I wanted to learn and understand the processes.