Faith Restored is a project conceived directly in response to the recent increase in negative sentiments towards religions. Initially, my research takeaway was how most religions have the element of water as a symbol of purity, to wash away negativity. That led me to take a step back and examine the contemporary social landscape that religions are set upon; there is blatant Islamophobia, Christianity is mocked openly on social media because of high profile scandals, Jews and Muslims seemingly hate each other because of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict… and these are only some of long list negative attributes associated with religion today. That in itself is an irony, because none of the religions are about that. Most if not all religion preach goodness, uphold moral values and sets exemplary standards to follow.
Therefore, Faith Restored a campaign designed -as its name suggests- restore faith in faith (as in religion). Simply put, it is a campaign aimed at denouncing falsehood with regard to religion, and also encourage people to take action against negative sentiments and hate speech, which have been proven to possess a far more dangerous impact if left unchecked.
The three main collaterals in the campaign are designed to each hold a purpose. The campaign strategy (which I dubbed the A-B-C approach) is as follows:
  1. [A]ction: Taking an active stand against negative sentiment
  2. [B]rief: Educating and raising awareness
  3. [C]onversation: Encouraging conversation to foster understanding
LOGO
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For the campaign logo, it features an incomplete circle (to symbolise something broken/a ‘gap’ that needs to be filled, and in this case, filled with the campaign), where the line the extends from one word to another, which lends to the meaning of ‘restore faith’ and ‘faith restored’.
THE WALL


https://youtu.be/_irWWSRpsX8

Inspired by Donald Trump’s proposed wall, The Wall was constructed with actual hate speech and negative sentiments collected from the media (online, the news, etc) and anonymous survey responses as hosted on NTU Qualtrics. It is important to stress that the comments are real. The intention is to show how prevalent hate speech and negative sentiments, and by extension, how big of a problem it is. Audiences are encouraged to take action by actually removing the messages one by one.
POSTERS
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The posters are straightforward with a clear message – negative stereotypes are one dimensional and myopic. In each poster, an image of the negative stereotype of a particular religion is juxtaposed against one that of what the religion actually entails, in order to bring across that direct contrast between the two. The images are based on actual well-known public figures who have tainted the name of the religion they have claimed, taking action in the name of the religion, despite it being entirely opposite of what the religion advocates. These people are Ho Yeow Sun, Jihadi John and Meir Ettinger. The call to action of the posters is to ‘go beyond the stereotypes’ and to consider the many layers of the issue at hand.
[Click to enlarge] 
CONVERSATION (Online Video)
The purpose of the video is to show the various opinions of youths with regard to hate speech – and to further encourage conversation about the issue at hand. Furthermore, in its construction as an online video that is highly opinionated, it will encourage other users to join in the conversation as well.
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One of my earliest childhood memories is of when I was about three – it’s a bit of a foggy memory but I’m at a beach in Tioman, it’s my first time playing in seawater and I’m having fun.

I’ve always loved the sea, and so this project began with me delving into the idea of oceanic waters, which then led on to ideas of navigation and cartography. Moral philosophy was explored on a parallel track which later converged.

The main deliverable was a 60pp A4 art publication which comprises nine vignettes of curated prose and treated image. Through which I hope to spark meaning through the juxtaposition of navigation, cartography and moral philosophy; a space for the translation and reinterpretation of thought and emotion from designer to viewer.

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In line with the curated prose, selected regions of the world map were treated to become more of abstract expressions of thought and emotion, less of scientific / geographic apparatus. The aesthetic was informed by 19th century etchings while keeping consistent with the modern minimal aesthetic; a meeting of past with present.

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The secondary deliverable was a handcrafted, fully-functional ornamental wooden compass where the arrow may be calibrated by the user to point in any chosen direction. The idea being that while we no longer require such outdated apparatus to navigate, we very much still decide our own existential directions. I point my compass north of west by a few degrees in approximation to America; I’m working towards an Eisner nomination. Where a compass from old would be heavily decorated with flourishes, I kept my compass design minimal in line with the overall design language, again, welding an invention from the past with an aesthetic from the present.

The last deliverable was an original song written to tie the entire project together, packaged in a handcrafted wooden case with a foldout lyric poster. Poster stylised as the prose in the main book, suggesting that this is the voice I’m contributing to the dialogue I created. A folk-styled acapella song was treated with carefully controlled autotune, repeating the past / present motif, while the vocals gradually layer into a building crescendo, similar to how the main deliverable, the a4 art book, is an amalgamation of numerous voices.

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References

To The Ends of The Earth: 100 Maps That Changed The World. Chartwell Books. 2012.

Mapping it Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies. Thames & Hudson. 2014.

Atlas of Remote Islands. Penguin. 2009.

Everything Sings: Maps For A Narrative Atlas. Siglio Press. 2010

“Contemporary Authors: Gavin Menzies”. Highbeam Research. 2006

Hui Chun Hing. “Huangming Zuxun and Zheng He’s Voyages to the Western Oceans”. Journal of Chinese Studies, No. 51 (July, 2010)

Ma Huan. Ying-yai Sheng-lan: The Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores

Chunjiang Fu, Choo Yen Foo, Yaw Hoong Siew: The great explorer Cheng Ho. Ambassador of peace. Asiapac Books Pte Ltd 2005

Stephanie Meece (2006). “A bird’s eye view – of a leopard’s spots. The Çatalhöyük ‘map’ and the development of cartographic representation in prehistory”

Finel, Irving (1995). “A join to the map of the world: A notable discovery”.

W. H. Creak: “The History of the Liquid Compass”, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 56 (1920)

Great Thinkers of the Eastern World, edited Ian McGreal Harper Collins 1995

A source book in Chinese philosophy, Wing-tsit Chan

Mandeville, John. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

Peck, Douglas T. “Misconceptions and Myths Related to the Fountain of Youth and Juan Ponce de Leon’s 1513 Exploration Voyage

Lewis, Bart L. (2003). The Miraculous Lie: Lope de Aguirre and the Search for El Dorado in the Latin American Historical Novel. Lexington Books.

Drye, Willie. National Geographic. El Dorado Legend Snared Sir Walter Raleigh.

http://privatair.com/sites/default/files/magazines/12_11_2013 PrivatAirMagazine_Issue48_Winter2013_2014.pdf

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~feegi/carto.html

http://math.rice.edu/~pcmi/sphere/gos5.html

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Four-ColorTheorem.html

http://study.com/academy/lesson/juxtaposition-as-a-literary-term-definition-example-poems-quiz.html

Life in Death

Water > Pacific Ocean > Deep sea > Sea > Dead Sea > Israel > Water supply >  Jordan > Arabs > War > Palestine

This is a rough outline of the research process from the word “water” to what I am doing, titled “Life in Death”. The irony and metaphorical meaning of the Dead Sea is the main theme of this project.

The Dead Sea is dead. Due to its salinity, making the environment extremely harsh to live in, no living thing can flourish under such circumstances and hence, it’s name. However it being dead, life still thrives. The mineral left behind in the dead sea and the minerals that are washed up ashore has known healing properties for curing skin diseases, curing their skin problems. The minerals are also used in skin products as it also promotes renewal of cells. People flock to the dead sea because of these healing properties and some, also to have fun in the water as human bodies can float effortlessly in the water because of it’s salinity.

Ironically, the countries surrounding the Dead Sea are not as peaceful as the Dead Sea. Israel, Palestine and Jordan are neighbouring countries around the Dead Sea, however, they are always having disputes and fights, and sometimes even war. Many innocent lives are lost in this never-ending disagreements between them. The tension of these 3 countries have been going on for many many years, and still on-going till this day.

Despite all the deaths around the Dead Sea in Israel, Jordan and Palestine, it still sits peacefully right in the middle of them three geographically.

Could they be metaphorically like the Dead Sea?
Could there still be life in death for them?

 


 

A contemporary art exhibition space will be set up to convey this message.
Accompanying a booklet that will be available at the exhibition space as a take-away for the visitors.
And a poster, promoting this exhibition space.


 

 

Exhibition

A top down flat-lay view of the exhibition space.
Literally taking the concept words of “Life in Death” to the overall layout of the exhibition.

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Overview of exhibition space.
The walls are the walls of the border between Israel and Palestine. There will be a levered tank of Dead Sea water in the middle circle section and a pile of Dead Sea salt in the middle of it. The exhibition booklet will then be placed on top of the pile of salt where people can take home.
The exhibition is design in such a way where people coming from the respective section of the “Death” layer will cross-path in the middle “Life” section in order to see the other sections from the “Death” layer.

 

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The writings of the accounts of people in the country regarding the other two neighbouring countries.
A gun wrapped in their respectively flag hangs in the middle of the section representing the war and deaths present in their countries.

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Flat layout of the countries in the “Death” layer.

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Architectural model of exhibition layout

 

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Booklet from the exhibition

Booklet will be places in the middle of the exhibition on the pile of salt from the Dead Sea. There will be a handwritten summary text in the booklet summing up the text on the wall in the booklet for each of the country’s thoughts. Tracing paper is used to show the layering of their thoughts and the ethereal feeling of life in death. Minimal colors are present to show the contrast between life and death/ white and black.

 

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Exhibition Promotional Poster

The exhibition promotional poster also has tracing paper behind the dye cut of the circle to show that the word ‘life’ is literally in the black circle of ‘death’, showing a layering effect on the viewer.

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So is there Life in Death?

 

title_slate_gameWHAT

The Ganges river is now heavily polluted due to the consequences of certain choices that humans have made. It’s role has changed from being a source of healing to a source of sickness and death. However, we still have the choice to reverse this.

WHO

The people on the internet. Use the power of media to pressure those who contribute to the pollution. In such cases, instead of telling the people directly that they are destroying the river, a better way would be let them experience the damage themselves. 

WHY

The pollution of the Ganges has many harsh consequences. It’s healing factor is now severely compromised due to the willful actions of humans. The concept of choosing to throw something filthy into a holy purifying source just because ‘it can clear it’ is rather odd and selfish.

HOW

A 50 page art book (Main), a game preview (With two original tracks), and a designer toy.

Note: Serious games are simulations of real-world events or processes designed for the purpose of solving a problem. Although serious games can be entertaining, their main purpose is to train or educate users, though it may have other purposes, such as marketing or advertisement.

The funds collected from the toy will be donated to activist efforts to aid the spread of awareness about the river’s state. A short interview will also be included with each toy, with each design representing the ‘status’ group of the interviewee (Eg. Doctor/ patient/ fisherman etc). This would give buyers further insight into he personal lives of those connected to the Ganges.

 

Game Narrative (featured in the art book and the preview): 

3 levels

Level 1: Based on the assassination of Swami Niganamanda. The player is identified as a spy/ worker from an organisation that contributes to the pollution of the river. Play against the timer to find your target and complete your mission.

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Level 2: Player is now tasked to control the poisonous waste/ put them into chemical pods to be dumped into the river.

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Level 3: Player now plays as the organization boss after sacking his worker for being too incompetent to dump things into the river. He takes matters into his own hands and proceed to release the waste in bullet like forms. Gain points by hitting moving targets.

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Level 3.2: Something ominous happens, the Goddess ganga now appears and urges him to stop. However, he does not and launches an attack against her. This level is played by the number of times the spacebar is pressed in 60 seconds.

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Ending: Ganga, now enraged,  unleashes her powers and flood the whole screen. animations_4.jpg

View the booklet here

Art booklet and designer toy

 

 

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Link to game preview and soundtracks:

http://delta-1000.tumblr.com

(Play the song while looking at the gif screenshots~)