Melvin Tan Ming ‘En

Discourse Publication
of Snakes
in Art & Culture
A Cultural Conservation &
Design Thinking Theory Project


By Melvin Tan

ImageWe see similar characteristic traits of the way snakes are perceived as powerful or to be feared. But how different are they from one place to another? In this research, we discuss the possibility of instinct through a cross-cultural visual assessment to eventually use these findings to reassess our approaches and reflexivity in cultural conservation.

Reflexivity in Representation is an investigation into the human interpretation of snakes. This is a three part inquiry addressing how our perception of these reptiles are not very different from one culture to another, proving a certain instinctive collective unconscious. This project believes in the creative role our understanding plays in sustaining culture, art and designs all over the world.


Pt • 1
Flexa Mandala
Hexagon Flexagon

ImageThe different parts of the Flexa Mandala

~ImageThe texture of the Flexa Mandala reflects the Snake Skin in it’s truest form. It holds the manifestations of different serpentine intepretations of mandalas. 

~ImageEvery Mandala has a different number to describe the uniqueness of what each contains.

~ImageUnfurling the Flexa Mandala is approached from the centre, it blooms like a lotus flower.

~ImageThe instructions would clearly describe the workings and process of this special mandala piece

~ImageThe wrapper is made from hand folded glassine paper that produces the idea of a snake shedding it’s skin it is wrapped with, to unveil a renewed form which in this case, is the Flexa Mandala.

~ImageThe Flexa Mandala collapses into a triangle and opens again at the top in an infinite algorithm that alludes to the Mandala’s central conception as a cultural symbol.

~ImageWe will observe the many ‘flexes’ of Mandala Applicaitions from Chinese, Grecco, Mesopotian, Celtic, Jewish and Indian decent.


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