2010 Entries

This gallery contains 41 photos.

Inspired by the complex symbolism of hair in asianic cultures, “visual fabricator” PWEN has teamed up with KERA, a fashion label for the thinking, new age contemporary, to come up with its latest Autumn/Winter collection. “It is hair’s imperviousness as a natural substance that yields the deeper symbolic meanings and warrants the high place hair …

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The mysterious world of Islamic Art has long been fascinating to many, yet hardly explored. Its stylised geometries, arabesque patterning and highly intricate and complex designs look absolutely gorgeous. The medieval tilings in Islamic Art seem to extend on infinitely, usually resulting in phenomenal architectural feats that is difficult to replicate. The concept of Girih tiles may have existed a while ago, and mathematicians and physicists alike have been trying to crack these “codes”, or rather, mathematical systems by which these Islamic artists employed to create such elaborate designs. However, it was only very recently, in this twenty-first century, that physicist Peter Lu, from Harvard University, came to realize that there are just five very fundamental geometric tiles, adorned with special lines called Girih, that make for these patterns.

Lu named these five tiles after the system of “Girih” tiles, a Persian word with the meaning of knotting. It is truly amazing how medieval Islamic designers used such simple geometrical tiles to form beautiful and highly complexed architectural pieces, at least 500 years before Western mathematicians developed the concept.

I feel that this system of the Girih tiles is highly inspiring and greatly associated to graphic design. It is crucial that people learn about this concept and hence be able to replicate such beautiful design in a disappearing art.


Based on this system of tilings, my graphic design project deals with the channeling of information and knowledge of these in an understandable and educational package, showcasing these complicity in easy terms and do-it-yourself activities. At the end of the day, the reader will gain a deeper understanding of these tiles, allowing him to better appreciate this world of mysterious wonder and awe. “GIRIH: A Manual To The Medieval Islamic Art Tiling System” was hence born; a manual that educates the readers through a series activities, such that eventually, the reader himself gets a chance to piece together his own Girih pattern.

There are several activities within the book which allows the reader to interact and play with, getting more challenging as each stage is passed. This guide helps the reader to understand the Girih tiles in a step-by-step guidance, suitable for all ages.

the logo.

GIRIH logoGIRIH’s logo was designed by extracting a segment of the Girih tilings, meant to resemble the small letter “g”. It is a good representation of the complexity and affinity of the lines which are all linked to one another.

Futura was chosen as the typeface for the logotype, as it further enhances the meaning of its geometricity and uniformity, with its typeface design being based on geometric shapes. In this manner, it is just as how the Girih tiles worked, based on a set of rules and guidelines to build upon its system of creation. A tracking of +100 is used to aid in readability and depict elegance.

the project.

THE PACKAGE – The manual for Girih comes in a package containing a couple of components. The package allows for easy distribution and convenient storage of the things enclosed, such as some colour pencils, the manual and several loose activity sheets.

INFORMATION – In the manual, you will learn about what Girih is all about, aided with images and pictures from actual Islamic architecture found over the centuries to explain in great depth the idea behind these lines.

ACTIVITIES – Activities include colouring and matching; all of which ultimately help the reader create his own Girih images with puzzle pieces provided at the end of the book. The reader is encouraged to fix them together, then paste them down and fill them in with their own colours and details.

VIEWING ONLINE – Click the image below to view the entire manual online. Click on the arrows on the left and right to flip the pages.
View GIRIH online


My installaton is based on the celebration of the individual’s memories and dreams.

Inspired from the white Chinese mourning attire worn by the relatives of the deceased, Apart from being a sign of respect, white also symbolizes purity. There is a Chinese belief that death is not an end for the deceased, but a transition to a new life. Therefore, white might also be a representation of a new start, both for the deceased, as well as for the family.

The Concept

Holding a funeral is considered an act of filial piety, where younger generations gather to pay their last respects to the deceased by taking the time to plan and perform rituals. Throughout the duration of the wake, memories are also shared among family and friends – after performing the obligatory rituals, the family usually sits down and chats with visitors, making a point to exchange words with everyone at least once.

I am interested in the symbolic aspect of the mourning attire, as well understanding how the funeral functions not only as a site for reflection and contemplation, but also serves as a communication channel for sharing memories with family and friends. In essence, the funeral is both a place for mourning, as well as a celebration of a new life.

Hence, I will create an interactive installation based on my interpretation of the funeral as a communication channel, as well as using the colour (of lack thereof) of the mourning attire as a medium to encourage the audience to share their memories and dreams with one another.


The title reflects the nature of the installation – the flow of memories and dreams from one individual to another (Establishing a communication) and the upward flow of water as it changes the physical appearance of the paper. It also relates back to the theme of transcendence in Asian funerals – life as a continuous cyclic flow.


The installation comprises of glassware in varying sizes placed in close proximity to one another. Each glass is filled with water as Asians regard water as an important life source, hence it is held in high regard. Audience participate in the installation by writing a piece of memory or dream they have onto a piece of paper in black ink (Provided in the exhibition). The paper will then be folded and placed into a glass of their choice. The water will slowly climb up the paper, creating a capillary action which seperates the black ink into its basic colour components. Through the process of chromatography, the black and white somber colours of the paper will morph into rainbow. In essence, it becomes a celebration of life through memories and dreams.

The paper is folded into flower forms as it is a natural process for plants to absorb water. As already mentioned, water is held in high regard among Asian countries as it nurtures life. In this context, the water feature in my installation allows our memories and dreams to ‘come to life’ in the form of colours.

Other deliverables include the following:


Printed on watercolour paper, the layout exhibits a ‘flowing’ motion in the text.


Printed on vellum, the folded invite plays on the fading visibility of the text. Unfolding the invite will show the ‘flow’ of letters, especially on the logo.


Glass (Also featured in the installation) which has the frosted image of the logo – a reminder to the participants about the importance of their memories. The minimal packaging allows the clarity of the glassware as well as the frosted logo to be displayed.

Zhou Peixuan

Source of Inspiration

feave is an application inspired by the rich and colourful tradtional woven textiles of Indonesia. These textiles are culturally significant and tells us various information such as the wearers’ political alliances, cosmic beliefs and social hierachies. Simple straight coloured threads gradually grow and become large pieces of beautiful and informational textiles with the magic of weaving.

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Beads were manufactured in Europe and used for trade during the colonial period, such as chevron beads; they might have also been made in West Africa.

Beading culture

Beading shoes and embroidery was a culture produced by the Nonya’s themselves. Beading or the ability to create accessories using beads demonstrated the ideal feminine virtues of industriousness, patience and artistic skill.

Moreover, how much time the female had free time for such labor were also indicators of the family’s social standing and the woman’s marriageability.Being able to bead a shoe was the ultimate trademark of an accomplished Peranakan women.

TiTi means footbridge in Malay.

Which basically sums up my project which is to build a bridge between the disappearing Peranakan culture and Popular culture by raising awareness for Peranakan created products in order to stimulate the market as well as to prevent this handicraft industry from disappearing.

The project aims to create more business opportunities for the shop as well as to give the public more insight to the Peranakan culture and encourage more appreciation for Peranakan handcrafted products. Through the creation of a system both online and physically to raise awareness for the products and services available in the ‘Little Shophouse’.

The physical system.

So since a part of TiTi was to create as much hype as possible for the Peranakan shop, it got me thinking. What would be the best way to advertise something for as little amount of money as possible yet get as much publicity as a newspaper advertisement. I eventually landed on the perfect medium.

A POSTCARD!! yes people a humble POSTCARD, true it is nothing flashy or glamourous as a newspaper advertisement, but hey there are postcard stands everywhere in Singapore and the postcards are FREE!! what better way to get kiasu Singaporeans to pick up something useless that they probably wouldn’t need. Only to find out that the postcard is USEFUL and EDUCATIONAL!!

Although the shop sells many valuable and interesting items, however due to the lack of shop space, many of these items are not arranged strategically to sell the items.

 Hence, due to how these products are place, many potential customers tend to walk pass these items into the stall without really looking at them.There is a need to create a catalogue for the stall. This will allow potential buyers to get an idea of the products sold at the stall and the price range of the products.



While I was doing my research in ‘ the little shophouse’, I realised that the shop didn’t really package their products. So I thought it would be nice to come up with a particular packaging style for the stall. Again..the theme ran around the peony but i wanted to create a packaging that would be specific to that of the Peranakan culture.



There are two stages in the packaging. When the packaging is untouched, it looks like a flower bud. Then when it is open, it looks like a peony blooming with the product the customer bought at the center of the flower. The packaging was specifically designed to be used for Peranakan made products.

The next part of the packaging was how the flower( or flower bud) was to be kept.

The packaging device I used to keep everything nice and neat was….wait for it….a box!! with a nice small opening on top, allowing the top part of the interior packaging to peek out creating a miniature peony!

All in all, this picture pretty much sums it all up! :D

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Inspiration for DODO Some legends have a timeless quality because they transcend time and culture. Legend of Ana Kola (the orphans) explains the origin of the beads used for making Lawo butu(above), a ceremonial tubular skirt worn by the Ngada women in Flores, Indonesia. It is a simple story about human greed and over-consumption, which …

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The main inspiration for this project came from the double spiral motifs found in South-East Asia. Symbolically representing the intercommunication between opposing forces, I related the double spirals to our fingerprints -marks of our individuality. Very much like the meaning behind the double spirals, the uniqueness of our fingerprints are a metaphor of our co-existence with each other, despite being very different in terms of our intrinsic traits.

With the fingerprint as my main focus, i decided to make my work an exploration of the human identity. Society has become ignorant of the consequences that their actions have. The idea of the individual and focus on self has cast aside the fact that our identities are also formed by our actions and how they affect people.

Therefore the aim of the project is to create a greater awareness that we are what we choose to do (choice and consequence); our identities are made unique by our actions and choices. With it, I hope to make people think more about what kind of mark (fingerprint) they’ll want to leave on this Earth.


The title “This Road” serves 2 purposes: it represents a choice made (The pathways we take in life), and also questions the wisdom behind it (Why not that road? Or the other road?)


To achieve the project’s aim, I will construct a fingerprint maze with branching outcomes from a myriad of choices made at the many junctions found inside. With every choice made, the participants will be able to see the immediate outcome of his choice at the next junction. At the end of his journey, the participants will be able to view the outcome of the choices he/she has made and see for themselves how it has impacted others, after which, he/she would be given an option of either living with their choices or backtracking to make new ones.


The project will have the following deliverables:

  • The Logo
  • The Invite
  • The Traveler’s pack
  • The Fingerprint maze


The decision to make the logo a container logo is to adhere to the theme of choice prevalent in the project. By making it a container, the different elements of the logo can be used together or separately, in a variety of combinations and colors. The use of different aims to expand the number of visual choices the viewer can make – as he/she can now take different colors as well, instead of just choice. The versatility of the colors (they can be swapped and mixed) is an attempt to suggest an infinity in choices.


The concept behind the invite also reflects the idea of choice. The 4 invites, each bearing a different phrase (pertaining to choices) and container logo, promotes user interaction. Every word in their individual phrases can be torn out and rearranged to form a new one, should the user choose to. The bottom portion remaining is the actual invite, and bears instructions on what to do. Each invite would also bare the project’s main motto: “Life is all about the road you choose to take”


Since the maze represents journeys taken in life, I decided that the deliverables should naturally adhere to that concept. The traveler’s pack is a companion of sorts, helping the participants in their journey. Once again, white is the thematic color, while all the items are bare in terms of design, as it allows participants to customize their own packs and items – once again alluding to the idea of choice.

In the bag are the following items:

    • A blank Journal
    • A cylinder of color pencils
    • A set of stickers

The journal allows participants to plot their paths and make note of their choice – in a sense the finished journal would be a “fingerprint” of the person. The color pencils provided compliments the journal and the customization aspect, yet it also becomes a metaphor of choice as well;  apart from having to choose a color, participants can also choose to mix colors and form new ones (hence complimenting the logo’s concept as well). Finally the stickers contain different variations of the logo and lets participants choose how they want to use them.


The maze is meant to be large in size, to hide that it is shaped like a fingerprint. The participants would only find out at the end of their journey – to suggest that their choices in the maze has created their own unique mark. White is constant through the project, even in its deliverables. The choice to make white the thematic color of the work is because white represents a clean slate, free to choose and alter. As the participants wander through the maze, the white would also eventually be dirtied, leaving them to ponder on how their choices have left a mark in the space, like a fingerprint.


We leave fingerprints on everything we touch, people, places, objects. They are a representation of where we’ve been, and what we’ve done. They are OUR marks on this world, whether good or bad. It that sense they symbolize our actions and choices. The fingerprint is also a metaphor for the uniqueness of Man – in the spiritual and physical sense (thoughts, personality, genetic makeup and actions), it defines what sets men apart from each other.

Another point is that the fingerprint in today’s society is a database that records every decision we’ve made – a mark of sorts. Fingerprint data Is the very foundation the Criminal Justice System. The fingerprint today is a public testament of our triumphs and failures.


A maze is a metaphor of choice and the representation of the paths that we may take in our lives. It offers branching choices, each leading to a different end. However, the use of the maze in this project visualizes these choices and their immediate impact, letting participants see the consequences they reaped with their choices. It also offers them the choice to either then see it through or trace back their steps and take a different road – The opportunity to turn back time and erase their regret. It serves to make them ponder on the choices they may face in their own lives, past, present and future, and the outcomes they may have (had).