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2014 Entries

Water; the creator and the destroyer. When I first began the research process many thoughts came into mind, water as a resource , water a means of living , water that nourishes and provides. Although this would have been the more straightforward path to take, I found myself delving into astrology. Looking at the topic ‘ water’ as a cosmology and as the energy that resides within our subconsciousness.

The astronomical signs most commonly referred to in relation to water are the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Similar to western astrology, in Hindu astrology the signs are divided roughly to those in the zodiac. The Karka , would symbolise the crab in relation to the sign Cancer , Ali the scorpion and lastly Matsya the fish.

From this you would easily find yourself continuing your pursuit for more knowledge regarding the Hindu belief and philosophy.  In Vedic thought , its is said that each of the celestial planets are linked to an element. And it is believed in Veda that everything came from the vibration of  ‘Om’.

A vibration for Jupiter; ether. Saturn for Air, Mars for Fire, Mercury for Earth and finally Venus for water.

Water that is considered to be an original force, the only element which is not  assigned to a divine being. At this point my curiosity had been sparked. Even if philosophical readings were terribly hard to grasp in terms of content and argumentation, I found myself going back to it , like a planet of my own orbiting this new universe I  had stumbled upon.

Shukra the god who  stands on the planet Venus , was born on a friday . Venus then becomes the planet of Friday , which is also reflected in western astronomy. I took it upon myself  to play a little with basic numerology, not only did what i discover next shock me , but  I was starting to believe this is not so much of a coincidence but much calculated genius.

How was it that Venus and Friday , both end up giving you the numerological value of 8.

8 which symbolises Law. The laws of the universe and karma. It represents all that is the material and non material world.

It balances the flow of energy as it creates and destroys . It becomes the echo of the infinite.

From here onwards it was about discovering the ‘khila – panjara’. How everything theoretically placed in believes are calculated and gridded out for visual purposes. Much like architecture.

But the architecture of the universe. All reduced and concentrated to a simple framework consisting of a square within a  circle, divided in segments and with a central meeting point called the ‘ Bindi’. Hindu’s wear a bindi to  represent the third eye. To cap the energy that  might flow out from it or to enhance the energy flow.

With all of my research heading in a nostalgic manner , I decided to  look at a personal topic to focus on. The topic that revolves around ‘ Kollams’. I find myself very fortunate to have had such a culturally rich childhood where I remember my mother drawing these incredibly geometrically complex and detailed patterns. She would ask me to sit by her and watch  while she told me her childhood memories of her watching her mother. Its reflecting back on memories such as these that got me heading towards the art direction and conceptual reference which tied in like puzzle pieces in how the ‘ kollam ‘ as well was based on a grid. A mandala as more commonly known is said to be a visual symbolisation of the universe itself.

‘ WATER  the EXHIBITION’  is my take on tying the philosophical research and readings I had done to the ‘Kollam’  designs I grew up very much familiar with based on aesthetics but not with how deep a take it had on the spiritual side. The aim of the exhibition is  to  showcase a one of a kind Designer’s  art-book. And through this, in hopes to share and have the almost lost  art of ‘ kollam ‘ looked at in a different angle  and to show the depth behind these drawings.

The deliverables :

– Exhibition Preview web design

– Exhibition art – book

– Invites for grand opening

– Dot unit stamp

Preview website 

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The teaser website is to entice and to tweak the viewers curiosity in wanting to know more about the exhibition. The exhibition is direct and self explanatory as it revolves around my take on the concept and tying it together with the kollam rawness.

The set as a whole

This includes 2 variations of invites and its respective sleeves, the art book   with a box cover of a mandala laser cut and the exclusive exhibit stamp.

The art-book

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The symbolic ‘kollam’  placed on the top of the grey box symbolises the kollam that rests over a concrete block much like how I usually see it on the corridor. I wanted it be be such that the audience would be opening the lid, the ‘kollam’ and be actually looking beneath and into the deeper layers that reside in the book.

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The book placed within is placed on its front. Meaning the audience would be reading it backwards. I placed the book strategically on its back because I wanted to remove legibility, to have the words not easily legible so that there is a form of action taken in pursuit of the content placed before them. This them in turn ties back to the process and stages to enlightenment. In a way you could say that the backwards flipping until the core value and message that  is revealed ultimately at the end page symbolise a journey taken by the reader in which I control the speed in which they process the read.

Invites  

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The concept of seeing through down to what is under instead of grazing the surface applies throughout even with the invites which have dual pockets to hold two versions of the invite.

Exhibit Stamp

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The dots that form the single unit can be repeated  to enlarge the dot formation as and when you wish. If you wish it to be larger or you feel more experimental then you are free to play around with the arrangement.

Conclusion

Ultimately with this project I must say i have gained valuable insight into my own heritage and beliefs. This the very first project in which I couldn’t envision the end product. While I usually have a clear vision of what I should be working towards i only had bits and pieces i had resolved in my head. Throwing myself out of my comfort zone and to keep working my way towards the core of my concept being the universe in relation to the grid.  The most  challenging had to be in the creation of the mandala itself. While its a personal design choice in regards ti the geometry I stayed true to the essence of how a kollam is out together, either going around and encompassing the individual dots or going through them and using them to form line shapes. Though I feel that if I had more time I would have most definitely done a series like what I had in mind initially. Instead of one book and one mandala design, I would have loved to do a collection experimented with in different mediums as symbolic representations of the kollam, of the centre of the universe of what the centre of being is.

Of what Water is ultimately, all and nothingness in one.

Inspiration

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee

I was highly inspired by the above quote and concluded 2 ideas from Bruce Lee. Sustainability and Adaptability. Sadly, these practices were not seen in our modern society, instead we are causing the planet to adapt to us. Many of us were aware that global warming is real and is caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels that pump carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Additionally, global warming is having a measurable effect on the planet right now.

Issue

“Many people don’t realize that we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise…the longer we wait to do something about it, the more change we will have.”

Gerald Meehl, The National Center for Atmospheric Research

Climate Change is the most serious problem we face in the 21st century. Future generations are depending on us. It is up to each of us, as individuals and families, to take action to slow down and eventually reverse the global warming.

One of the most dramatic effects of global warming is the reduction in Arctic sea ice: In 2012, scientists saw the smallest amount of Arctic ice cover ever recorded. Melting polar ice in the Arctic and Antarctic region, coupled with melting ice sheets and glaciers across Greenland, North America, South America, Europe and Asia, are expected to raise sea levels significantly.

More information here: http://www.livescience.com/37057-global-warming-effects.html
Concept

My plan for this project would be creating an interactive campaign to raise awareness of the current situation: Earth is sinking! This idea involve our daily lifestyle as well as things/action that we enjoy. The use of many different colours in the project portray the quote that we often use: Life is full of colours, especially in the modern society. The campaign would showcase how our daily activities lead to a drastic effect on our planet at the end of the day.

Deliverables
  • Standy
  • Mobile Application
  • Interactive Campaign (End of campaign video)
WHATONEARTH (standy)

WHAT ON EARTH? is the title used in this project. It is impactful and creates a cliff hanger feel that would arouse the audience interest to find out what on earth is it about. The standy would be used alongside with the campaign, that encourages the audience to download the mobile app as part of an instructional manual for the campaign. More details and explanation were also given so that user not only follow blindly but also understand the purpose of every item used during the campaign.

 

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WHATONEARTH (mobile app)

The mobile app is design to make things easier for both the user and the staff. User simply just follow the instructions and flash his/her syringe to the staff and they will prepare the syringe for them.

How it works:

  • Choose the colour you like, this determine the syringe colour
  • Choose an activity you enjoy, this determine the tag
  • Choose how often you do it, this determine the amount of liquid in your syringe

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WHATONEARTH (Interactive campaign)

The video explains the overall concept of earth is sinking due to our daily actions.

Hardships

I had too many changes at the very beginning and ended up very lost during the research process. Definitely I felt that I had left my comfort zone and had picked up several knowledge along the way even though they were not put in used in my concept. There are several failed attempts during the execution and was glad that I manage to pull through and finalise my concept, ideas and design directions. Time management was always my worst enemy. If given a chance to restart the entire project, I would hope to do something that is not so mainstream.

Overall, this course really had been a roller coaster ride, driving me crazy!!! but on the other hand, exciting and ‘wow’ at how much concept that can be derived from ‘water’ itself.

~signing off! CHINAMAN

Concept

Deriving from Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments on how our emotions, words and thoughts can affect the forms of water, leading to his finding about ‘Hado’ which means energy, the wave motion, which the basis is the energy of human consciousness.  Going deeper into the research, reaching to how energy of a living thing can affect the other living organism. This links to how herbs, from the nature can affect the energy in our body. Everything that we do is infused with energy which we do it. In the Ayurveda medicine, herbs can be taken to balance our energy and consciousness.

Intention

To promote healing and balancing human’s consciousness through natural methods. Also to create a balance by knowing your own mental types.

Deliverables

1. [Within the Root]

Based mainly on the American Institute of Verdic Studies, ‘Within the Root’ is a summery of their findings about Ayurverdic Medical and The Three Gunas which were related to our human consciousness. With a summary of the information about Ayurveda medicine, this book leads the reader to finding out different mental types of themselves and hence, looking into herbs which help to balance the energy in the body. Titling it as ‘Within The Root’, basically to means all these energy, consciousness are within us.  Triangle and square elements were used to express that square represents the balance, and triangle representing the power and energy. Violet was used as it symbolises spiritual awareness.

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View the full book here: http://issuu.com/zxoen/docs/vc_root/1

In the book, there is a booklet of a mental constitution chart, allowing reader to discover their mental types.

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Colours representing the mental type will appear when it was being folded down to mark as an selection. This is designed to allow the test to be retaken. The test is suggested to be taken by a close friend of the reader or anyone who he or she is close with, to ensure the better result and accuracy for the test.

2. Mobile Application – The Mental Constitution Test. The mobile application allows user to check their mental test anytime, any day. Also, it allows them to invite their friends to take the test for him or her to check the difference in the results.

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There will be a very brief introduction about the aim of the test. The user can choose to skip the introduction.

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Keeping the screen simple and with minimal items is to ensure focus and user are not allowed to go back to the previous question if they wish to change the option. The option button will appear according to the colour of the mental types.

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The analysis after the test.

3. Packaging design for the herbs. Using the same element concept, triangle and square, the base of the packaging is a square, when it is opened, there is a square formed at the opening. White was used as the base as it is the colour which represents the most ideal, pure and balanced mental type. Also, herbs can be differentiated or labeled according to their colours at the side of the packaging. It will appear better to be on the white base.


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WATER IS A SOURCE OF ‘LIFE’

Water is a source of life. It is clear that no one could survive without water. But I question myself, what is ‘life’? Why is water a source of ‘life’? Many explorations and research were made and the use of water ranges from utility, harvesting to worshipping. The term ‘life’ in that phrase did not only direct towards our daily realm we are living in currently. It expands to the heavenly world, to the world of God and beliefs. It then occurred to me that water is such a beautiful element that it stands as a symbol of the two worlds; heaven and earth. What is the difference between cleaning and cleansing?

Being a believer of God, I personally felt that there is a beauty in understanding the metaphysical reasons behind everything. Not everything can be explained in logic or science. Some things can only be understood through emotions and feelings. Timaeus and Critias, a dialogue between Greek Philosophers, touched on the existence of man kind and on reasonings on why men were made in such a form. It holds a more metaphorical meaning towards life. And since I’ve already denote that life is a co-existing world of heaven and earth, I’ve decided to pursue on finding a connection between the science and philosophy of the human anatomy.

SCIENCE PHILOSOPHY BOOK

This book will incorporate the teachings of the human anatomy in terms of logic and in terms of philosophy. The system of the book was taken inspiration from a phrase from Timaeus & Critias where it stated that “The body of heaven is visible, but the soul is invisible, and partakes of reason and harmony, and being made by the best of intellectual and everlasting natures, is the best of things created“. Taking the concept of body and soul, the book will focus on understanding some parts of the human anatomy in a biological view and in a more metaphorical view.

Design Concept of Book

Again, based on the phrase, my design concept revolves around the idea of overlapping with the consideration of the choice of materials. The body(being the biological viewpoint) will be printed out on normal paper whereas the soul(metaphorical view), will be printed out only on tracing paper, to emphasise the idea of the soul being invisible. The notion of overlapping creates a sense whereby the body and soul have to be able to be as one in order to be able to read it. Without the body, the soul is lost.

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PROMOTIONAL VIDEO 

The video is an accompaniment to the book. Playing more towards the motion of the type, I was trying to create a serious look and to transfer the idea of overlapping from the book to the video. The background sound is nothing but sounds created by the human body as I did not want any distraction from the content.

POSTER

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Advertorial posters were made in such a way to create a sense of curiosity to people. The metaphorical quote which was overlapped over the anatomy drawing was intentional, an expression of conflicting ideas (logic vs emotions).

PROCESSES & PROBLEM SOLVING

Initially, I had the idea of overlapping two books but the process of making people find the right method on how to overlap two separate books was very messy. It was clear that it was not being thought through. Also, I’m glad that I’ve decided not to pursue that idea as I realised that the content of the philosophy perspective was very limited as I was only referring back to one source. Hence, I’ve come up with the idea of having the two parts of the book to be infused into one. This not only made it simpler for people to read it but it also emphasise the idea on how the soul is diffused in the body and does not exist in this realm once there is no longer a connection.

Making the video was also a difficult task for me as I personally am not very good with such programmes. Hence, I kept it very simple by simply playing with type and trying to make it fit in as much with my existing system.

In conclusion, going through this process of making the Science Philosophical book was not easy. The research part and the gathering of contents was one of the more tedious task. I’ve limited the content of the human anatomy to focus only on 5 human organs. I’ve learnt a lot during the research process in both biological viewpoint and philosophical. And it really amaze me how Greek Philosophers could come up with such theories, depending only on emotions but somehow making sense. How Plato explains the existence and the placement of the heart is filled with such beauty, making it very poetic.

After understanding the concept of body and soul due to the many research I’ve made, back to the question on water; what’s the difference between cleaning and cleansing? Cleaning is the cleansing of body but cleansing is the renewal of the soul.

My point of entry into the project The Meanings of Water in Asia was through alchemy. One of the places where alchemy flourished was in the Arabic world; it was also believed that the word ‘alchemy’ was derived from the Arabic ‘al-kimia‘. In alchemy, it is proposed that all matter is made from the four basic elements: fire, air, earth, and water. Those four basic elements are then said to be a synergy of the Three Philosophical Principles: sulphur, mercury, and salt; it struck me as curious that the four elements, and by extension all matter, can be synthesised from these principles by varying their ratio; for example, the water element is has the highest concentration of the mercurial principle, hence it inherits the cold and moist qualities of mercury. Isn’t that interesting? Water is water because it exhibits the properties of philosophic mercury. That being said, I came to the conclusion that water is merely an expression of the mercurial principle, and that in all matter there exists the mercurial principle.

The Three Philosophical Principles also correspond to the different aspects of human existence. Sulphur represents the spirit, mercury the soul, and salt the body; it is said that the mercurial aspect of human existence is what motivates it forward; it provides directionality in our existence. I immediately thought to myself that it would an interesting project if I could map this directionality that philosophic mercury represents; is it possible to map directionality in reality? Initially, I was content to map out within a photograph the levels of kinetic energy captured in that frozen frame in time, but I felt that this approach was somewhat literal. It felt like a flat answer to my previous question. At the same time, I had an inkling that ‘directionality’ was not the most appropriate word to express the mercurial principle; while it was not wrong, but it was not the right word. So I decided to focus my attentions elsewhere to give myself some breathing space from this issue.

While I had my concept development set on hold, I had to flesh out the visual aesthetic of my system. My starting point for this aspect was from my own photography experiments; they were an exercise in cropping a photograph and finding compositions within the boundaries of the photograph. It was at this time where I was reminded of M.H.J. Schoenmaekers’ book Principles of Plastic Mathematics in my Survey of Modern Art module, when we talked about De Stijl and how Piet Mondrian chose to use horizontal and vertical lines in his works due to his exposure to Schoenmaekers’ ideologies. The visual aesthetics of the De Stijl movement then became another key influence in my system. The challenge, then, was to combine my own photography experiments with the ideals within De Stijl.

18 00 15 - 18 00 15 + + Translated aIt was at this point when the word ‘intent’ made itself apparent to me. I was preparing to return to concept development when it struck me that that particular word, intent, carried more depth and appropriateness than ‘directionality’. Hence the focus of my project moved to intent: how it functions, how it manifests, and how it interacts with people. As such, I needed a platform where I could share my thoughts about these these methodologies that I have developed, as they are not easily grasped. Using the Three Philosophical Principles as a guide, each of the deliverables correspond to each of the individual principles.

Deliverables

DISSERTATION ON RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES NO. 1  >>> soft copy
*If you are keen on reading more about how I further developed the concept for my system, do download this PDF document to read it. It seems that when I try to read the file online, nothing shows until I reduce the size to 60%, which makes for a less than ideal reading experience. Here, I will only talk about the intention behind the visuals and form of my book.

My first deliverable embodies the sulphuric principle; that is to say it is the spirit of my system. I have written a short dissertation regarding my methodologies and how they function in context, and I have presented it in the form of a book. While a book ultimately is a book, it does not mean that it should look and feel like any conventional book. It should infuse the essence of its contents into its form and visual aesthetics. With this in mind, I set about making a book that would embody the concepts that I have been developing all these while. The book is in a landscape orientation, but when it opened, it transforms into a portrait orientation. In addition, it is bound with an accordion bind, which once again transforms the primarily horizontal page into a single long, strongly vertical spread when opened fully. In terms of page layout, it is a two-column-within-a-landscape orientation, which once again becomes two vertical forms within the horizontal form of the page. This is done so to strengthen the visual language of verticals and horizontals that Schoenmaekers had inspired me to develop. In addition, when the reader lays the book flat when reading, the act of flipping transforms the page from the horizontal state to vertical state, before returning to the horizontal state; in between states, diagonals are created as well.

Book 1 Book 2Book 3The way I have typeset the book is an echo of the of the visual language that I have developed from my initial experiments in photography. The wide leading in conjunction with justified-with-last-line-aligned-left paragraphs creates white spaces in the body text, similar to visuals of my artwork. The reason I have chosen to justify the paragraphs instead of aligning them to the left is a matter of visual unity: if I were to align it either left or right, the type of white spaces created becomes far too jagged to resemble the aesthetics of my art work.

VARIABLE TRANSLATIONS (video installation with motion and light sensors)

This deliverable embodies the mercurial principle; that is to say it reflects my intent of my system. Building upon the idea that a photographer produces a physical representation of the visual reality around him/her, this installation removes the photographer from the equation and is fully automated. Here is a general plan for the entire installation (including Fixed Translations):Layout 1ExteriorFor this installation, I am proposing to construct a 3 x 4 x 18 m structure with three rooms inside, as seem in the first illustration. Variable Translations will be located at the middle room, and below you can see what the installation does:

PrintMoving imageThis development of this installation arose when I realised that while I was able to created my artworks through photography, the methods use were static. As my artworks are a reflection of reality, it occurred to me that reality, the present, is in motion. That would mean that working from photographs can only reflect the stilled reality within that frame, which does not convey the sense of movement in reality. As such, the came up with this installation as a way to address that limitation. By using a motion sensor, the screen on which movement is represented by the moving white bars, moves from a photograph to a mirror. In doing so the participant becomes part of of a few dialogues, with me, the artist, as well as themselves as the screen functions as a ‘mirror’. This installation is name Variable Translations precisely because of this; as my work is an experiment in mapping and translating intent in reality, this name shows how the installation reflects the changes in reality before it.

FIXED TRANSLATIONS (digital archive + memento)

Lastly, Fixed Translations embodies the salt principle; it forms the body of this project through the forms of a physical object as well as a digital archive. It has always been a particular interest of mine to observe the reactions of people towards an artwork. In my final deliverable, I decided to allow the participants a chance to frame themselves as a way to gather ‘feedback’ from them. A brief description of how this part of my system works:Untitled-2

The act of selecting a frame can be said to be a metaphor for photography; surely this is a manifestation of their intent onto my art work? This is the other answer that I have come up with with regards to my static methods. By allowing the participant to choose a still, they value add to my art because they can see different things from me and vice versa. Hence, my art becomes more diverse because it is subjected to the tastes and preferences of other people who can choose what is to be within the frame; reality is not only reflected through my eyes but also in the eyes of others as well. This reduces the risk of stagnation should I be the only one generating all these images.

IMG_2960 postcard 1 IMG_2962What was particularly interesting to me in these selected frames was how they interact with each other when placed close together. It creates a sense of continuity and move from one frame to the other, an echo of the kinetic visuals of Variable Translations. While I may have titled this part of my system as Fixed Variations, when the selected frames are stringed together, they start to function as a film reel. This is also precisely why I decided to keep a digital record of all the frames that the participants have selected. When I have accumulated enough frames, I would be able to observe how these frames work off each other. This, then, becomes beneficial for me as what is to be a memento  for the participants also serves as extended research for my system.

Conclusion

Personally, this project came quite naturally to me as the bulk of it was in the concept development. I am actually quite happy that I have arrived at this point; it is often in research and experimentation that new points of view are discovered and created. That is not to say everything was smooth sailing though. I have often been chastised for skipping steps in developing a concept; this results in a less then idea translation of my concepts to other people as they are not me. I think that is the largest takeaway form me: be more sensitive to other people.

Deriving from the Sanskrit language,”Songkran” means to pass or to move into. The meaning implies to the passing and the moving of the sun, the moon and the other planets into one of the zodiacal orbits. And the Grand Songkran Festival which falls in Aries indicates the new era of the Thai New Year. In true spiritual sense, Songkran is a time for renewal, reflection and the cleansing of the soul.

The Songkran festival is very much related to water, since people believe that water splashing will induce abundant rainfalls in the incoming year. Water is also a symbol of fertility and is used to clean up bad things. As a result, water is used widely in different ceremonies and rites of passage. Before the current practice of vigorous and fun throwing of water in Thailand, it started with a habit of gently sprinkling scented water on the shoulder or back of friends as you wished them Sawasdee Pee Mai (Happy New Year!).

Now, tourists flocked to Thailand on this occasion to join in the water fun, anybody out on the streets will not be spared of the water throwing. However, putting the water festival aside, how many people knows the traditions, origins, and value of Songkran? As the water festival becomes more eminent, there was an uprising concern of losing the value and traditions of Songkran.

CONCEPT

The purpose of throwing water is to wish your friends and family a happy new year and convey your blessings to the other party through water. The party that receives it gets cleansed of misfortunes and struggles from the past, while refreshes oneself for the brand new year. Between the giver and receiver, water in this context acts as a medium, a messenger/conveyor, to deliver a message, blessings, or well wishes. Water contains a message.

Extracting the idea of water being the message itself, I question about how water can expresses itself, how can it be the message? I decided to illustrate my own interpretation of Songkran using the water element.

DELIVERABLES

Postcards | Website | Merchandise

POSTCARDs

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A total of 5 postcards. From top left to bottom right: Abundance | Cleansing | Reflection | Blessings | Renewal

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Back of the postcards.

To educate people about the origins and traditions of Songkran, the back of the postcards contain both the descriptions of the illustration and the purpose of using water during the New Year.

MERCHANDISES

T-shirts & Totebag

The merchandises can be bought and worn/use during Songkran.

Tote Bag

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T-Shirt

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WEBSITE

The purpose of the website is to sell the prints and merchandises, to announce the dates and events as well as to give some background on Songkran.

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Home Page

Illustrations on the page are colorless so that it does not take the attention away from the prints

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About Page

 

 

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Shop

Selling of prints and merchandises. Images are grayscaled first. Color will appear once the mouse hover over.

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Once clicked on the image, it will brings you to the details and purchase page.

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View Cart page

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Contact page

FINAL THOUGHTS

Beside it being the first few attempts at illustrations, due to the on-the-surface understanding of Songkran & Thailand, there were struggles in trying to tie both illustrations with the traditions and culture of Songkran. I was hoping by choosing the right color themes from Thailand Art or themes that represent strongly on Thailand could help with the bridging of the two together.

There were also struggles in trying to put both illustrations and text together on the same page for the website. Because the display of illustrations by itself is strong enough (due to the strong lines), I had to manage the illustrations to tone it down a little such that the hierarchy in the text will come forward. It was probably one of my weakest point in designing and I definitely learn a lot from it.

In all, I am glad I was pressed on to trying something different. Conceptualising an idea from water was interesting and new, even though the struggle is real, I did learn something from this project.

 

 


Concept

The concept behind Jiva – atma was triggered from the significant role water had in Hinduism. Upon further research I came across complex and philosophical concepts to the path towards liberation in Hinduism. So what is actually liberation? – The path to liberation is not easy. The inner self also known as the soul, is bonded in the endless cycle of rebirth (samsara) because of the karmic law. With the practice of meditation and selflessness ones atma may someday, after several lifetime, be able to break free from the cycle of rebirth and achieve liberation. Liberation is the ultimate state of oneness. Hard to grasp what I just said?

Simplification to these complexed philosophies became the concept behind the jiva- atma (inner self) exhibition. The project aims to share the philosophical phases of the inner self from rebirth to liberation. The concepts are specifically shared via interactive and contemporary metaphorical means. It was aimed to make understanding of the concepts easier to the general and new aged audience.

What ideologies will be shared?
The project aims to share ideologies such as Samsara (rebirth), Karma, Practice of Yoga and Moksha (liberation) in Hinduism.

Why interactive exhibition and not other mediums?
I strongly believe that the process of physically experiencing the metaphors followed by coming across its revealing content creates room for effective learning. Also interactivity triggers curiosity and engagement which is key to truly understanding any kind of concept.

Systems used in this project

Conceptual system     (click to view)
Design System       (click to view)

Deliverables
1 Invites – Print and Edm
2 Metaphorical series – 4 sets of metaphor, each consisting of 1 or more products, revealing texts and a poster
3 Website 


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Print invites and EDM
– to inform
– 2 mediums used to attract more audience to the exhibit.

Design
The colour black and white is a contradictory colour to the vibrant spiritual culture in Hinduism. However I aim to trigger interest with the alarming use of colours. Having said that the simplicity of the colours and design layout with plenty of negative space enhances the concept of reduction much like how I have aimed to express complex ideas using simple metaphors.

                 Print

print2 print1

                EDM 

edm*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design


2

Metaphorical Series
Each metaphor reveals the concept after or while experiencing the physical product. The act of revealing ties in with the project’s intention of unraveling these complex ideologies. Moreover the act of revealing enhances the user experience and shares an intended strong statement. The exhibition posters aims to briefly share the ideologies that its metaphor represent. The design style of the poster and all other written context within the metaphors stay consistent with the idea of reduction and simplicity as mentioned above.

Metaphor (1)
Samsara 

The water in the clay pot represents the atma (inner self), the pot itself represents the physical body of a being. Audience will be made to break the clay pot on an acrylic container. Upon destruction of the pot one will observe that the water remains at its original state, much like the concept of samsara, where the atma remains despite the death of the material body. The water can be transferred into another material containment, in this case the acrylic container —this is a representation of the process where the atma is able to possess one material from to another, endlessly until it reaches Moksha.

Demonstration Video

Pictures of metaphor in use

poys

IMG_9723

Exhibition posters


POST*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design

Metaphor (2)
Karma

This metaphor focuses on representing the karmic law of cause and effect. Following the instructions one will be made to make a circular mark around the black piece of paper. The marks can be only seen at the next white page. The circular mark they had made then creates a visual hierarchy drawing the audience’s attention to read the content. By using a wooden tool to go over the black page one is not able to see the marks they have caused, much like the concept of karma where one may be ignorant towards his/her actions. The white page symbolises the act of the karmic law of effect in the next lifetime, where one’s doing is experienced and observed. The use of black and white pages can also be perceived as ignorance and realisation of the karmic law respectively.

Demonstration Video

Pictures of metaphor in use

karma metaphorIMG_9753 copy

Exhibition poster

karma

*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design

Metaphor (3)
Raja Yoga

The game provokes one to balance both thoughts and physical movements in order to meet the game requirement of filling all the indentations with the metal ball-bearings. The ability to unite both thoughts and physical movements to reach a “focal point” serves as the metaphorical expression of the concept Raja yoga. Raja yoga is a practice that helps to bring together the inner thoughts and body to create balance for the purpose of meditation. The elevated woodblocks found in some of the games serves as a symbol of obstacles, much like the distractions in our minds one may have during the course of a meditative practice. It enhances the idea that without overcoming obstacles and distractions one is not able to attain the state of balance for mediation.

Demonstration Video

Pictures of metaphor in use
IMG_9749IMG_9747
IMG_9652note: instructional tags are placed to direct the audience in all metaphors found in the exhibit.

Exhibition poster

raja yoga

*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design

Metaphor (4)
Moksha

The bottle, anthropomorphic symbol, acts as an illusion of containment that forces the mind to see everything as separate, like the air within and air outside the bottle. Upon moksha the atma (inner self) in this case represented by the air within the bottle cannot be differentiated as it departs from its material body— the bottle. In the ideology of Moksha when the atma (inner self) achieves liberation it attains the state of oneness by becoming one with the world. The metaphor — air represents the ultimate state of oneness. When one is not able to differentiate the air within and the air outside the bottle, they will be thought provoked .

Demonstration Video

Pictures of metaphor in use

ya1 IMG_9663 IMG_9667 IMG_9668 copy

Exhibition poster

moksha

*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design


3

Website
Each exhibition poster is tagged along with a QR code. Scanning the QR code will direct the audience to the website that will have detailed explanation of the concept and the metaphors used. The purpose of this medium is to enable audience to learn more about the concepts at their own time, after visiting the exhibition. The website is not given away in the invitations and one will only be able to access it from the visit to the exhibit and onwards. This is to secure the element of experience and effective understanding – aim of the exhibition.

Inspiration for the way the website system works:
After attending a talk regarding the development of museums held by an Italian museum historian, I learnt that audiences do not prefer overload of information. Also in this era, audiences have tendency to enjoy information that can be portable, allowing them to learn more at their own time and pace. Inspired by the talk I had create my website system to be able to act as a set of “archive”. Because my concept is very deep and complex, 1 poster for each concept will not do justice in presenting the concept in its whole entity. The website comes with more elaboration and information about the concepts and the exhibition. This will enable the audience to learn more about the concept after their visit to the exhibit, at their own time and pace.

The following link will direct you to the website preview.

Website    (click here to view)

some images from the website:
main page   a page in the metaphorical series   a page in the metaphorical series2

*note the thin lines around the border for blog visual purpose. Not inclusive in the actual design

QR Codes to be scanned:

QR

Image of the website outlook in application.

IMG_9713 copy


Reflection:

I came across many hardships in this project, especially in translating such deep and complex concepts. The idea of using metaphors for this project popped up one day as I found myself using simplification to explain the concepts to my circle of peers who were not really convinced when i had just explain the concept as it is in theory . I then realised the power of simplification and decided to do more with this idea. Coming up with the appropriate metaphors needed intense planning as the use of wrong or dual meaning metaphors could cause easy misinterpretation.
I feel like during this course of project I came out of my little box where i am easily influenced by everyone’s else’s idea and way of thinking. This project somehow became a part of me with the freshly “baked” metaphors out of my head.
Secondly, I feel that I have missed out in putting up the working in a real space to have a sense of its visual appearance in a real set up, with more time I believe i would have been able to do more for this project.

The project had taught me the importance of conceptual thinking process.  Concepts do indeed enhances a design and brings more value and meaning to it. Most importantly i was able to learn about the heart of Hindu ideologies, this was a more personal enhancement for me. Overall, i had a good time and learning experience working on this project.

 


Reference to the information seen on the website

http://www.godrealized.com/glossary/Meaning-of-Moksha.html
http://www.rajayogis.net/content/raja-yoga
http://www.yogaindailylife.org/esystem/yoga/en/170300/the-four-paths-of-yoga/raja-yoga/
http://people.opposingviews.com/comparison-concept-karma-hinduism-jainism-buddhism-6688.html