Archive

2015 Entries-Water Project

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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 The idea being that while we no longer require such outdated apparatus to navigate, we very much still decide our own existential directions.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

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“上善若水. 水善利万物而不争, 处众人之所恶,故几于道.”

The supreme goodness is like water, nourishing all creatures without competing with them, it gathers in the lowest places where men despise, therefore it is like Dao (the way).

Water is the perfect substance according to Daoism. Water always seeks the lowest point and always takes the shape of any vessel into which it is poured. Water always flows downhill, and it always flows around any obstacle. Water seems to be the weakest substance, but it’s really the strongest, a single drop could pierce through rocks and glaciers.

So referring to that particular verse in Tao Te Ching, what does it mean to lead a life that flows like water and harmonizes with nature and how are we going to do so in order to absorb these virtues and attain the way?

Concept

Taoism had a great impact on the development of herbal medicine. Hence, with the use of herbal teas, we aim to achieve wellness inside out. By creating a series of herbal tea for each virtue presented in the philosophy, targeting a particular aliment in us that is hindering our path of attaining “enlightenment” would help us do so.

These teas can be viewed as an antidote for our wellness and also to substitute the virtues and values that are missing from us which we should be learning from this Chinese philosophy verse from Tao Te Ching.

Deliverables

Packaging | Website | Posters

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Packaging

Each tea was represented by a particular herb / flower and the graphic elements shown was created with only organic shapes. This is to show how fundamental organic shapes are and with simple continuous rotation and scaling, they are able to create such beautiful patterns. These shapes are like the virtues in Tao Te Ching, where everything links back to its most basic fundamental form, just like water, which takes in the form of anything that holds it.  IMG_0216

Individual packaging are shaped in the form of a water droplet, and forms into a flower when all six of them are pieced up together.

IMG_0234Sides of each individual tea packaging

 (From L to R) Logo – Type of Herbal tea , Generic tea descriptions , Graphic Elements , Virtue and explanation

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A simple hexagon box to keep all of them together.

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One tea box is able to hold 3 pyramid teabags.

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Individual tea bags has a tea tab with their virtue and graphic elements on it for easy differentiation from one another.

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Combining all six virtue tea boxes together will form a complete circle from the top view with their individual herb graphic patterns on the packaging. This is to show how all these virtues comes together as one and help to bring wellness to you from inside out.

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6 types of herbal tea for 6 different virtues in Tao Te Ching.

(Wolfberries tea, Osmanthus Oolong Tea, Lavender Tea, Honey Lemon Green Tea, Ginkgo Leaf Tea, Chrysanthemum White Tea)

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I want to create the essence of fun through this packaging too, hence this geometric shape of a water droplet. The graphics on the packaging works as a puzzle when you piece all six of them up together. With the use of colours, we are able to differentiate what flavour those teas are.

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Promotional Posters for Tea Wellness

Idea to draw people who are interested in purchasing the tea to the online site. Keeping the poster minimalistic and simple, emphasizing on the water element by combining curved strokes and flowy like graphical treatments to the logo.

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Tea Appreciation Workshop Posters, to cultivate more interest from target audiences and to learn the art of tea ceremonies and drinking tea.

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Website

Relatively simple and clean outlook for the website in order to showcase more of the graphic elements on the packaging itself.

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Concept page educates people on the aim and objective of this brand, how it derives from the chinese philosophy from Tao Te Ching and how this is being connected to this product.

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Tea page was based on the graphic elements found in the tea packaging.

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Upon hovering on each section of the circle, the name of the tea will appear

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After clicking it, a brief introduction of the tea and its health benefits would appear as a pop-up. Clicking the cross button on top of the circle would close the pop-up and goes back to the initial tea page.

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Simple user interface is created for the online shopping section where consumers are able to shop for their tea through this site itself.

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F4 copyIdeation

Water, a sacred and mysterious force that is able to purge the evil, spiritual impurities and many negative aspects faced in life. The moving water force that shapes and guide humanity, is also a power of life.

Bali is a picturesque paradise island that captures the attention of many all over the world. Balinese Gamelan also display elements of water through the style they play their music. Techniques such as interlocking and syncopation are greatly used and played at high speed to create the illusion of running water.

Majority of the Balinese are fervent believers of Hinduism and water, again plays a significant role in this religion. They rely heavily on water for spiritual, environmental and sustainable purposes. Therefore, water is treated as divine and worshipped with great respects and intentions in Bali. One can never finish listing the uses of water in Bali, it is an integral part of the people’s lives. It is not just water; to them it is their “Holy Water”.

Holy water also represents “Sea of Milk” in Hindu mythology, a well-known narrative in Hinduism. In this religious narrative, there was one thing in common – Movement. Every scene depicts characters physically moving and tension between various parties.

Aim

In this project, I aim to convey the idea of movement that will be featured in a dome exhibition – Mystic; through the use of visual and auditory sensory experiences from the narrative of the Sea of Milk. The audio created for the dome exhibition is a sound art track that has influences from the Balinese Gamelan, heightening the feeling of being in a Sea of Milk. The exhibition is segmented into four sections, which helps the viewer absorb and enjoy their linear experiential journey that allows an immersive experience at the same time.

The four sections:

  • Embarking on a Journey

Mount Mandara radiates at it’s peak, showing a sacred world of paradise that holds a great magical power. Gods gathered here to discuss on obtaining the elixir of life.

  • Overcoming Obstacles

In order to obtain the elixir, the heavenly Gods and underworld Demons have to work together to churn the sea, as good things come forth from the churning.

  • Churning and Battle

Naga Atupura lifted the Mount Mandara and placed it in the Sea of Milk. Naga Basuki wrapped himself around the mountain. Gods and Demons started churning the ocean of milk, till smoke, fire and poison spilled everywhere. Bhrama intercede and stopped the chaos. Tritha Amrita appeared in the middle of the ocean with the elixir in her hands. Gods and Demons eventually broke out into a great battle, as both parties want the elixir for themselves. Shiva took control and killed all of the demons.

  • Peace Restored

Peace was restored and the Gods shared the elixir amongst themselves in Mount Mandara.

Deliverables

Flyer/Poster // Motion graphics & Audio Sensory projection // Website Layout

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Flyers used to publicise the event. It could also double up as a Poster event.

3D Playblast of the exhibition’s exterior.

3D Playblast of the exhibition interior.

Sneak preview of the 4 Dome’s interior.

 

Original versions of the 4 part Motion Graphics before mockup.

Dome 1

Original versions of the 4 part Motion Graphics before mockup.

Dome 2

Original versions of the 4 part Motion Graphics before mockup.

Dome 3

Original versions of the 4 part Motion Graphics before mockup.

Dome 4

Web design and layoutmystic-01

Web mockup on a computer. This web design aims for a friendly user interface.

Final Thoughts:

It was a very challenging but again a really rewarding process, having to constantly steer myself to clear directions whenever I feel lost at any point in time. Definitely feel like I am pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but in return for a steep learning curve, it was worth it.

By Li Sze Pui U1330796L 

Do we take the little gestures of gratitude we do as wholly habitual? How bad can keeping it bottled up be for the people we interact with?

Masaru Emoto’s The Hidden Messages in Water has become somewhat infamous among the scientific community for claiming that water fed with positive words can crystallise into more symmetrical and beautiful formations, while water fed with negative words freezes into irregular and unclear shapes.

Naturally this form of pseudo-science is controversial in its scientific foundation, but of note is the question that a surprising amount of people formed from the theory:

If words can affect plain tap water in this way, then won’t the effects be carried over to humans, who are 70% water?

Positive Psychology is still a relatively new study. Its origins date back to William James’ time (1842 – 1910) although the term was first coined by Abraham Maslow in 1954 and it was Martin Seligman who founded the study as its own field when he became President of the American Psychological Association.

This study deals with the opposite of what was imagined of psychology before the 2000s, which was basically “psychoanalysing people for anything wrong with their behaviour and curing mental illnesses”.The idea of positive psychology is the notion that the absence of mental problems or emotional turmoil does not equate to a mentally healthy individual. Rather it is the humanistic approach to living happily that indicates a good mental foundation.

This study is rather slow to catch on in Asian countries, particularly because we’re of a high-context society where our communication is mostly implied instead of being literal. Authoritarian methods and the ‘tiger mom’ are common parenting tactics that had only begun to be questioned just before the turn of the millennium, as meritocracy has an extremely firm root in the Asian society so therefore any method to let children get exceptional grades is “justified”.

As a result of such a social influence, the Asian personality even in Singapore is said to be withdrawn and carrying a knee-jerk reaction for holding back expressions of any emotion, including joy. This results in a society that lacks certainty that anything positive is happening in an individual’s life since all other people’s emotions at this point are speculative. Asian children, from a young age, learn by themselves that saying things like “I love you” or “I’m glad you’re here” are embarrassing and awkward even to their own parents. Hardly anybody questions the relationships in the family, and a common worry for both parents and children alike is if they are actually loved and appreciated in the household, especially if the family is not especially stable.

My goal is to bring the expression of love and gratitude back into the daily lives of children (and secondarily their parents) by incorporating the show of gratitude into mediums that children of schooling age can enjoy.

I’ve been told that the design should be colourful and DIY enough to appeal to most children of both genders, but yet not overtly childish so as to not to push away the ones who don’t like being treated as children. The aesthetic of the project emulates water and dissolvable vitamin tablets in the shape of a heart, which brings the idea back to Masaru Emoto’s theory that started the inquiry and serves as a metaphor that it is something humans would need to stay healthy.
My first medium would be a party game named Thank You for Letting it Out; basically Truth-or-Dare: Small and Nice Acts version.

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The box is a clasped one to keep it closed in case someone shakes it.

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There are 80 cards in total: 2 sets of 18 variations for both Truth and Dare, plus 8 “Keep-it-in” cards which function as passes.

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The rules (for 2 or more players):
1. Each player takes turns to draw either a Truth or a Dare card. Dare cards usually contain more points than Truth cards.
2. Once a player draws the card, they have to do what’s written on the other side, and they’ll earn the points as shown on the heart tablet.
3. If the player draws a Keep-It-In card, he/she is allowed to pass any future turn by returning this card to the bottom of the respective deck and shuffling it.
4. If the player does not have any Keep-It-In cards but wants to pass, 4 points will be taken from that player.
5. The game ends when 15 minutes is up or the cards have run out. The player with the most points wins!

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This game encourages thought on what and how he/she is grateful towards interactions in daily routine and also prompts players to disclose information about their view on gratitude, allowing the players to bond in a positive manner.

My second product is a wall calendar with the title Thank You for being here all year.

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Every month brings a theme for children to show their creativity in decorating the top of the poster.

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There are random dates highlighted in red where users are encouraged to use the Thank You for the Vitamin app to send a nice message to their parent (or anybody else).

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Stickers are packaged with the calendar. When the user gets exceptionally thanked, thanked someone, received a Vitamin etc., they can stick one of the stickers on the date.

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do1j0gThis calendar is supposed to prompt users to notice thankful acts more in their daily lives, be it from themselves or from others. This practise can form a habit once they find themselves doing it everyday.
My last product is an app named Thank You for the Vitamin. It is a cross between a simple message platform and a status updater, with the purpose of giving a bit of positivity to somebody’s day.

 

The app has a constant wave animation in the background.

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Once the user has registered, he/she can log in based on category (parent, child, friend etc.)

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The main screen is a calendar showing all the Vitmains received this month, and if the Vitamin is tapped, the message will show.

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To send a Vitamin, tap on “Send a Vitamin” and select a templated or customisable message.

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Type out the message and either send it immediately or add it to a queue, which delays the message to a set time so that someone can receive messages in a spread period of time instead of getting a lot of them at once.

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Flick to send the packaged Vitamin.

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When a Vitamin is received, tap to dissolve it in water and the message will show. The Vitamin will then be saved in the phone calendar. Tap to view previous messages.

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This app is a simple and accessible way to compliment, thank or cheer someone up. Since it’s much less stressful to express emotions through a virtual means than physically, this app allows people to make expressing positive thoughts a frequent thing.
Conclusion:

The design process was quite a struggle for me since I don’t have any primary sources on what would motivate children to use something. Someone then told me to not underestimate children since kids today are much more mature than they seem and a childish design may turn them away. So I revamped my entire design to a much more simple interface and worked with as little of a range of hues as possible. The results are much easier to reproduce and animate and I was quite glad I got the advice.

With these 3 products, I hope to promote a better mindset for everyone, but especially children. It can be suffocating to grow up having to keep every compliment and word of love bottled up, wondering if we are hated when in actuality it’s often the opposite. If this could make anybody’s lives even a bit happier, I’d be satisfied with what I’ve done.

 

References:

History of positive psychology: http://mina.education.ucsb.edu/janeconoley/ed197/documents/Froh_TheHistoryofPosPsych.pdf&ved=0CCcQFjAAahUKEwj__bSehZjJAhUWCY4KHbLiCs0&usg=AFQjCNGuui3H4fh7clGUFPQXVVrMGrhP-g&sig2=BTfsQ6p1ien5nRbjVb9r9Q

Masaru Emoto’s experiment:
http://is-masaru-emoto-for-real.com

Founding fathers of positive psychology:
http://positivepsychologyprogram.com/founding-fathers/

Lew, W. (1998). Understanding the Chinese personality: Parenting, schooling, values, morality, relations, and personality. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
Rinn, R., & Markle, A. (1977). Positive parenting. Cambridge, Mass.: Research Media.
Chua, A. (2011). Battle hymn of the tiger mother. New York: Penguin Press.
Snyder, C. (2002). Handbook of positive psychology. Oxford [England: Oxford University Press.

The Beauty of Idioms 成语的力与美

Idea Generation:

This project first started off with the 成语chengyu: 饮水思源 where I discovered how certain Chinese Idioms are closely linked to Water. 成语chengyu are mostly derived from ancient literature and the meaning of a these 成语chengyu usually surpasses the sum of the meanings carried by the four characters, as they are often intimately linked with the myth, story or historical fact from which they were derived.

Not only do majority of the characters in the 成语chengyu belong to the Water category, these characters are also made up of Water radicals. In addition, the myth,story or literal meaning are closed linked to Water.

Selection of 成语chengyu:

饮水思源 |  yin shui si yuan

The three characters namely 饮 水 源 belongs to the Water Category. The literal meaning of this 成语chengyu is closely linked to Water:  This 成语chengyu reminds us that when we are drinking water, the water you are enjoying to sustain our body should not be forgotten or ignored.

In addition, looking at the Oracle Bone Writing of the four characters in 饮水思源 closely related to Water: 饮 is composed of a pictorial of the wine bottle which indicates to savour, 水 is composed of the pictorial of flowing water i.e. three rippled lines indicating flowing water, 源 is composed of pictorials of cliff and flowing water which indicates the source of water.

血浓于水 |  xie nong yu shui

The characters 浓 水 belongs to the Water Category.The expression 血浓于水 literally means that compared to water, blood is thicker.

The myth behind this 成语chengyu is closely linked to Water:  In ancient China, people often identified their lost families by checking if their blood could blend together in water, so the idiom is used to indicate a deep connection. The connection or relationship between people are akin to water and the kinship between parents and their child are akin to blood.

水滴石穿 |  shui di shi chuan

The characters 水 滴 belongs to the Water Category. The expression水滴石穿 literally means constant dripping of water wears away a stone.

The concept:

Appreciating the beauty of these 成语chengyu which consists four characters yet these four simple modern looking writing carries a wealth of meaning and values. In today’s society where the passion and interest in understanding the Chinese language is depleting among the youths, I’m using a soft and subtle approach of storytelling and an interactive manner to promote interest in learning these 成语chengyu and at the same time instil in the youths’ values associated with these 成语chengyu.

The deliverables: 
Illustration Book | Installation | Postcards

Installation

This installation aims to look into the four characters in these 成语chengyu and how the characters have evolved in the Chinese writing system. 

The Chinese written language is largely, though not exclusively, pictorial. By looking the type character dated back to the Oracle Bone Writing, it pictures ideas, objects, activities before transforming into today’s modern Chinese characters. They are combinations of basic elements that describe what the initial type character is intended.

For example, the word 饮(meaning:To drink/savour in Chinese) was created using a pictorial graphical representation of wine bottle, hands serving the wine bottle in the Oracle Bone Writing system, literally picturing the meaning of the word. The word 水(meaning: Water) was created using the picture of water droplets, composing of three rippled lines indicating flowing water and then transformation into today’s modern character.

Therefore, by looking at these graphical representations, one is able to picture ideas of what each Chinese character Hanzu is trying to convey. And through this understanding and summing up all the understandings of the four Hanzu characters in the 成语chengyu, one can make sense of what each 成语chengyu is trying to convey.

饮水思源:

水滴石穿:

血浓与水:

This installation is made interactive, the viewers can remove the different characters from the light box and have fun with it, creating various overlaps and contrasts.

Postcards

The postcards is accompanied with the installation and is also a takeaway for the viewers of the installation. It consists of the detailed explanation of the evolution of the Chinese characters in the Chinese writing system in general. In addition, it also tells the audience what each basic elements,radicals or pictorials in the character represents and is trying to convey.

For better view: Deliverable 3

 

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Illustration Book

The Bilingual Illustration book is a fully illustrated collection of 成语chengyu stories from the 3 chosen 成语chengyu ,namely: 饮水思源 | 水滴石穿 | 血浓于水. Illustrated stories serve as a subtle yet powerful way to instil the values that each 成语chengyu is trying to convey while reading the short stories.The approach I’ve taken to create the graphics is through the use of the different radicals in the four Chinese characters in the 成语chengyu itself.

The Bilingual Illustration book is made interactive as it comes together with a Light box. Every page of the Illustration Book consist of 3 layers with a slight change in graphics in each of the layer. The change of the graphics is in line with how the different radicals have evolved in the writing system in the installation.

Illustration BookIllustration Book 2

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Viewers can read the 成语chengyu stories over the light box and learn how the different radicals have evolved in the writing system while reading the short stories.

Full graphics available
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TOPIC – Honey & Bees
Through my explorations of water, I found the subject of honey, as well as the bees who create this wonder liquid. Honey has played a crucial role in many places in the world since early civilization and history. It has been used as a medicine, a food, an item used for worship and even in crafting, among many other uses. We also owe it to the bees for their pollinating of our crops. Without them, we would not have much of the food we have today. This liquid along with it makers, the bees, is rich with fascinating history buried by time. The current state of the world has the bees slowly dying out and disappearing without a clear reason why. These set of items have several goals: serve as way to learn about this fascinating history, to bring up bee awareness and to subtle talk about taking things (bees and honey) for granted.

My deliverables are:

  1. Book – Bee of Yore
  2. App – Bee Buddy
  3. Website

BOOK
The book talks about the impact bees and honey have on ancient human history. It features three countries, which has significant impact, India, China and Egypt. In an attempt not to stray too far from Southeast Asia countries, North America was omitted in place for Egypt. Among the topics discussed in each country’s chapter, the end of each the subject of the current state of the bees in each area. As the situation in general isn’t good, this serves as comparison on how things are compared to the past where bee and honey were highly thought of and sought after as well as not to take such things for granted. The objective is for readers to find out more through the app mentioned at the end of the book.

This is essentially a history book for an age group (roughly 18-25yrs old) that may have an interest in world history but unable to digest or sit through huge amounts of text. There is typographic play and illustration elements on most pages so the reader stays visually interested. The summary at end of each chapter sums up key points for each section for quicker reference.

APP
The book talks most about ancient history, thus the app is more about the modern and current situation, especially in regards to bee awareness and conservation. It serves as link from the old to the new.

The app is meant to be an interesting and periodical way for players to learn. Players are tasked with taking care of bees with the incentive that if they do it well, they can earn and win prizes such as vouchers or specific items. This is done via the players earning of game currency in the app in order to buy supplies for the caring of the bee. This currency is earned via two way, watching short educational videos about bees and or taking the quiz. These can be done once every 6 hours. Depending on how long each bee lives and how well they are taken care of, players are rewarded with points for their efforts which then can be used to claim prizes.

WEBSITE
The website serves to advertise the book and the app as well as link and tie them together. It gives brief introductions and preview images for the two products. The ‘Learn’ gateway serves as a link to outside sources of information and related organization. In a sense the app and book serves as a jumping board for this learning. As the internet has a wealth of knowledge that is so big, this brings users in the right direction with trust worthy and correct sources.

  1. Book – Bee of Yore
    Design decision: Clean layout & illustration, not overwhelming, chapters are color coordinated with orange (as main) being repeated throughout. Half tone dots resemble bee combs.

Load and view full book here:

2. APP – Bee Buddy
Design decisions: Bee design made less realistic for appeal. Illustration matches book for consistency.

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3. Website – Advertising book & app
Design decisions: Has book and unique illustrations. Kept style consistent.

*Please IGNORE COLORS of the main page displayed on wordpress.
Use the fullview linked below instead. Could not upload new version due to issue with wordpress*

For full viewing:
Main Page

Book Page

App Page

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Kappa

I took water in its significance to the folklore of the land of Japan, bringing into the picture, the water kami, the Kappa, also known as the kawataro, amongst many other names.

Kappa are humanoid creatures about the size of a 6-8 year old child, though some have reported them to be as tall as a 10 year old. They possess scaly skin in colours from red to blue and green, and have webbed limbs. On their head is a sara, a depression that must be kept filled with water. It is water that grants Kappa their magical powers, and an empty sara  may mean the Kappa may lose its powers or even die. While often depicted as mischievous in local folklore, drowning horses, looking up kimonos and sometimes fondling women, Kappa are capable of good, and may bring good fortune and help irrigate fields when befriended.

To this day, however, the image of the Kappa as malevolent remains. Seeing how Kappa, as a kami, was feared and used as a warning to many, despite the Shinto belief that kami are infallible and err, I decided to create items for the gift shops at the kappa museums (which have, generally low ratings), seeking to possibly inform opinions on the Kappa in relation to its being a Suijin in Shinto terms.

My deliverables are thus:

A informative handbook (split into three)

I split the book into three considering portability, and the fact that the third section contains recipes embracing the cucumber centric diet of the Kappa, and that aspiring cooks would not want to bring the entire volume, to the kitchen, especially when book 3 features recipes cards that may be detached. 20151119-DSC09623.jpg

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Book 1 introduces the shinto faith as a context, speaking on concepts of animistic kami worship and setting the stage for Book 2.

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Book 2 introduces the Kappa itself, its etymology, folklore and related subspecies of Kappa (in a poster detachable from the back of the book) 20151119-DSC09627.jpg

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Book 3 is a recipe book with detachable recipe cards that also function as postcards, for snail mail sharing20151119-DSC09628.jpg

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A kappa doll – to bring comfort.

 

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An app – that goes along with the third section of the handbook

 

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app2.jpgapp3 copyapp5.jpgapp6.jpgapp7.jpgapp8.jpgAll these go in a kit (attaching on flickr because for some reason my file won’t go up without errors), though items will still remain available separately as an alternative.