PROJECT: Outside In

it all started from driving around a New Village with my dad one day. having nothing to do, I looked at the houses and realised that I don’t actually hate all grilles (I used to hate it and dreamt of a house with only windows without grilles). also, kampung folks have much better taste in colours than city people.

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PROJECT: Child's Play

teleport  to project page

teleport to project page

it all started when we had a down day coming in the office so my sifu, Eunice let us try something on our own, whatever it is, as long as we use food as our material. after a few scrolls through Pinterest, I came across this image. more Google Search led me to the original artist's page and boy, he made a series out of it (click the right button till you got to "Winter Games for Kinfolk")!

so the day came and we shot this.

you know how ideas just come and go, like when you're sitting in the toilet tryna poop? I only added the poker cards and the classic tableware for a little twist so that my photo doesn’t come out the same as my inspiration’s. but they're so Malaysian that I thought, "hey, why not make an entire series that's Malaysian?" and boom, here we go 'cause nothing excites me more than having an idea that I can put into form. 

so my family, my boss and I started throwing some snacks and toys from our childhood into a list. then its sourcing for the materials - the most challenging part of the project. I think the worker at the confectionery store at my hometown already knew me by now 'cause of the frequent visits. though our family could be considered as a hoarder, I still needed to search for many things. and sadly, I had to cross out some ideas and come up with something else in the process. (a part two perhaps?)

the idea came so fast that honestly, I wasn’t prepared enough for it. I never thought of how to actually set the crackers up as a house of cards. damn, I didn't even bring enough crackers. but thankfully we have everything I need in the studio. here's a shoutout to Eunice for being a collector (translate: hoarder XD)! so lucky to have that iconic kopitiam cup and saucer.

wasn't part of the plan but Eunice suggested it. it's fun thinking of ways to execute it and then how to Photoshop it.

a lot of the process went like this - just winging it. on one hand, I like that it pushed my creativity and kicked me in the butt to make me try harder this time and all the time after that. it's always fun to come up with a solution to shoot it and then make it into the final image. also, to make impromptu stop motions. on the other, I actually regretted it a little. I'm not one who's good at drafting (my mates always laugh at my storyboards that I did for school :() but a lot of things could've been better if I put more time and thought on it, like planning out the colours and layout. lesson learnt.

despite that, I still enjoyed every moment creating this. it's my first time working indoor with studio lights and surely I still have a long way to go in mastering it. but I can't wait for the day that I'm good enough to be able to play around with them. kudos to my sifu for letting my try! also, you know I always love a Photoshop challenge and because I'm terrible at the kitchen so here's a very crappy GIF of my photo manipulation work-in-progress.

one of the few stop motions I made on-the-fly. catch them all on  my Instagram !

one of the few stop motions I made on-the-fly. catch them all on my Instagram!

many heartfelt thanks to Eunice for her guidance, for giving me space (figuratively as well as literally) as an outlet for my creativity and for pushing my boundaries. also to my mom, who usually nags a lot when I try to take anything from our home for my project, but instead willingly gave me anything I need this time, especially her support, even when she has no idea what the hell I’m up to.

my gratitude also goes to Sum and Pui San for pointing me to my material source, and to Yi Hsien for bouncing ideas with me for the verrryyy last piece. (it's really a matter of racing with time.)

Pacman is something I wanted to do from the very beginning but I had no idea how to execute it other than using Ligo raisins and Tiger biscuit. I had a hard time looking for something to make the ghost.

Pacman is something I wanted to do from the very beginning but I had no idea how to execute it other than using Ligo raisins and Tiger biscuit. I had a hard time looking for something to make the ghost.

lastly, thanks to my family for throwing just about anything to me, hoping that it would help. love everyone at home and I'm forever thankful for the incredible support from my friends. <3 A-Star-Star for those who're always with me on any journey I take.

to wrap it up, here's my favourite from the series! comments, feedback and constructive criticisms are welcome. I hope you like the project and you see your childhood in each piece. :)


SONGS WITHOUT WORDS: Optimism Pessimism

悲观乐观 – 严爵
(Pessimistic Optimistic – Yen-J)


another piece for Songs Without Words. there’s another version but apparently Im bad at photo manip (gahh!) so let’s forget about that. I came out with different edits tho, mixing different downloaded actions (yes, Im lazy and I don’t bother to hide the fact) and experimenting with exposure. and yea, apart from photo manip I realize Im bad at doing light leaks blahhh.

for the reason above, I can only hope that viewers are smart enough to get the picture. heh, sorry. I actually did this once but wasn’t that satisfied so.

anyway, I like Yen-J’s songs especially when he’s still new in the industry although this one’s not popular. it’s basically about being optimistic in his style of lyrics-writing (a lil Crowd Lu-ish). pretty straightforward.

I’ve been an optimistic kid for my whole life until I started to see things differently recently. you know, as the saying goes, rose-coloured glasses have their thorns, you have to pay the price for everything in life, including being optimistic. optimistic people always think things are not at their worst, yet. like what my friend used to told me two years ago, “whatever shit happens it’s not as bad as the sky falling right? even if the sky falls, it’s only fluffy clouds.”

one day, the sky will fall (like in Chicken Little) and you will realize that clouds aren’t fluffy at all. one day when the worst has come… I don’t know, maybe you’ll be broken into pieces so irretrievable that you give up on any hopes.

although being optimistic hurts (sometimes), I don’t see any good in being pessimistic. yes, go worry about the empty half of the glass, but no one’s gonna fill it up for you.

maybe we should be the realist. or maybe we should just be the opportunist. drink the water to quench your thirst, use the water to water plants so you get more oxygen, etc. though I still dunno what’s the price of being the opportunist or realist. please tell me if you know.


SONGS WITHOUT WORDS: Yellow

Yellow - Coldplay

“Vincent Van Gogh used to eat yellow paint because he thought it would get the happiness inside him. Many people thought he was mad and stupid for doing so because the paint was toxic, never mind that it was obvious that eating paint couldn’t possibly have any direct correlation to one’s happiness, but I never saw that. If you were so unhappy that even the maddest ideas could possibly work, like painting the walls of your internal organs yellow, then you are going to do it. It’s really no different than falling in love or taking drugs. There is a greater risk of getting your heart broken or overdosing, but people still do it everyday because there was always that chance it could make things better. Everyone has their yellow paint.” – anonymous

something I read from Tumblr a while ago. and yeah, I agree with that. everyone has their yellow paint.

haven’t been using my brain for some sorta conceptual shoots for quite some time yea this was supposed to be done in February and the original idea was totally different but the concept still the same and I want it to be more Instagram-ish and when I told this Van-Gogh-eating-yellow-paint story to my friend we had a debate on what paint tastes. she said bitter I said sour. I dont know maybe we should really try it.

anyway, most of the time Im inspired by the songs I listen for the ideas I come up with (or crap, whatever) so one day, I have this idea of taking photos and naming them with song names and this whole thing is also named after “songs” (not really sure if it could be considered “songs”) which is Songs Without Words by Mendelssohn yea I know Im good at linking stuffs up I think I deserve an award. but Im not really sure how much Im into this (demotivated, forever and always) maybe after this I will ditch this whole idea. man, I really dont know.

anyway (ahem), this is Yellow because when I read the lyrics it felt like it’s written for some sorta depressed person (I checked it up, nope, it’s not but I happened to follow a bunch of teens on Tumblr who kept reblogging all these depression-related stuffs) and the first line of the lyrics is “look at the star, look how they shine for you” it reminds me of Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night so yeah.

wow, this is one long post. have a good day. :)