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Wall street: Money Never Sleeps September 24, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration,Writings — wuhuyumo @ 4:52 pm
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So, to celebrate my finishing of my AEP sia, i went out to watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  I am not going to talk about the plot of the movie but rather some of the imagery, which i think ties to the movie well.

One of the imagery used is the idea of bubbles. Bubbles, as we know, is a beautiful illusion that can be easily broken. In the movie, it is linked to the false security and the fraud within Wall Street. The internet was a bubble of illusion, which burst resulting in one of the past economic crisis. As of now, the trend of investment is on green technology such as solar power, wind power etc, and people all around the world are injecting more and more money into this bubble, until one day the fraud cannot continue and the bubble will burst. I have explained this to the best of my abilities however I think i am not coherent and I tried to search for the particular quotes as mentioned in the movie everytime they want to make a philosophical point about bubbles, yet I could not find any ):

The second one is a painting by Spanish artist, Francisco Goya. It struck me as I used Goya as my inspiration for my coursework, as he turned deaf halfway in his life and his whole style of art shifted, resulting in him producing darker art such as the one shown in the movie, Saturn Devouring his Child. This painting is to depict the greek myth of Titan Kronos, who feared that his children will overthrow him and ate everyone of them, except for Zeus of course. In the context of the movie, it is to show family ties and relationships between mentor and prodigy. The painting is first introduced in the antagonist’s office, the antagonist being the one who indirectly caused jake’s mentor to commit suicide, offering Jake a position at his firm. There are a lot of messed up family issues in the movie, Jake being unable to resist his mother’s requests leading her money over and over again, Winnie Gekko and her father who seeked to reconcile with her but ended up cheating her of one hundred million dollars as he felt “betrayed” by her. Goya’s painting would often be interlinked with these issues to emphasise on family ties. The resolution of the movie is also related to the family, Winnie Gekko being pregnant with a son, causing Gordon gekko to want to be a better person. And with this, the antagonist is exposed for his crimes and Goya’s paintings was torn up, which symbolises resolution in the family problems.

There’s quite a lot more of themes and things but that’s the main point.


Sova assignment- Maya Lin and Richard Serra September 23, 2010

Filed under: Writings — wuhuyumo @ 2:31 pm

1. What makes Maya Lim’s work successful in public?

Maya Lin’s work, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is successful as it is simple yet elegant. She used the design criteria such as the design must be apolitical, reconciliatory, harmonious with the site and contains sixty thousand names of those missing or killed in war to her advantage. She especially used the last criteria evocatively, turning the sixty thousand names literally to become the memorial. Her design is a reflective black stone wall with the names inscribed on them. When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. People would be able to place mementos along the ground underneath the names of their deceased friends or family. The tranquility and serenity of the memorial allows for reflection and meditation, making its case to the viewer through subtlety. Also, it is successful as it is elegant and serves its pupose well as a memorial. The reflection of the stone also helps the viewer to reflect and to commemorate the Vietnam veterans.  The serenity of the memorial creates the ideal feel and mood for the viewer to pay their respect for these Vietnam veterans.

2. What does Richard Serra mean by “site specific” for Tilted Arc?

Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc blocks the way of the pedestrains, forcing them to walk around it in order to cross the busy plaza. This is to goad them to be aware of their surroundings. It is site specific as it helps the viewer become aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes, and the viewer would see a diffferent image of the sculpture with every step he takes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer’s movement. Therefore, every step results in not just a change of perception of the sculpture but also of the entire environment.  The sculpture is made to scale along with the plaza, so as to block the way of the pedestrains in a way to force them to realise how their surroundings change with every step they take. This is the main purpose for this sculpture and thus the Tilted Arc is made site specific for this reason.The sculpture is large scale and dramatically changed the aesthetic of the plaza and the expereience of the people who needs to cross this plaza. Therefore, the Tilted Arc is site specific to the plaza so as to challenge new perspectives from the pedestrains.


Today Art Museum September 20, 2010

Filed under: Writings — wuhuyumo @ 5:08 pm

This is one of my favourite places that we visited in Beijing, the Today Art Museum. Usually, I’m not exactly a huge fan of art museums, mainly due to the bad impressions the ones in Singapore gave me, but i love this art museum as it focuses on more Modern art, which was quite interesting as compared to the traditional drawings that the Chinese are used to making. This is China’s first private, non-profit museum especially built to support the development of Chinese Contemporary art.

They say that the first impression counts and the first impression of the Today Art Museum was really good. There are some really cool figurines on top of the building. Also the stairs are basically a slope in the shape of a triangle leading up to the building. The stairs seem quite hidden and adds to the architecture.

Also, there’s these pretty cool sculpture outside> I’m not sure why, but characters like the ones below are quite common in the Today Art Museum, maybe because the artist is a prominent one in China? I’m not exactly sure as the i cannot find the information plaque for the below artist but i’ll try searching

For starters, it actually has a proper functioning toilet. And the toilet was actually rather cool. The toilet was a cross between a squat toilet and a toilet bowl and is in a square shape. The taps are really cool too as it resembles a fountain.

The main point of the museum visit was actually to listen to an artist talk about his work. As he was inaudible and had a unique sounding Chinese dialect, none of us are able to understand him and even our teacher guides fell asleep. Seeing that the talk was pointless, they gave us half and hour to walk around the museum. Though i might not be able to hear the artist, there are presentation slides and i had a rough idea of what he was doing and i thought it was a interesting idea. Basically, he made a life sized figure of a traditional chinese man, I think it was Qin Shi Huang. The artist brought this figure to prominent places in the world and photographed this traditional man in modern society, setting a contrast between the past and the present. Places included New York City, Paris etc.

Despite the large building, the exhibition hall was actually quite small, only a mere 1 out of 5 floors. I think that the cafe/gift shop/conference hall/ office took up quite a lot of the other space. This was the first exhibit and one of my favourite.

It is mainly glass jars of all sizes with different pictures printed on them. There are about 30 different jars altogether. As time was short, i did not had a long time to analyze them, it was basically a look and go process, but from my photos, the first set shows some everyday objects such as a fan, wok and scissors, while the 2nd photo shows organs such as the mouth and the brain. Im not sure about the 2nd collection but i think the first one represents the traditional lifestyle of the Chinese. Despite fans, woks, being everyday objects in most societies, these objects portrayed have a more “Chinese feel” such as the rattan fan ( used by the elderly Chinese), and the shape/type of the work which was popular in the 60s.

This is another one of those rather famous more iconic type of Chinese contemporary Art. Changes are made to cultural posters of the 60s on subjects such as the Cultural Revolution etc. These posters get a more contemporary look when combined with popular brands nowdays such as pepsi. I have a postcard of the same poster mixed with Mont Blanc pen print. I think it’s great seeing that China has developed that the people are able to take their history and add a modern twist to it. Also, their creativity is not stifled as before and artists are allowed to create works such as this with  a hint of irony.

Nice albeit simple installation. The painting shows a rock floating in the ocean and reflective rock statues in front of the painting sort of “extends” the work out of just the painting. There is a simple, peaceful way to it.

Finally, this is a video which intrigued me. it is actually really simple and can probably be found in our daily lives, but somehow i felt intrigued and I must have stood in front of the installation for 5 minutes. Video would be up as soon as i figure out how to upload videos.


Public art SOVA assignment August 25, 2010

Filed under: Writings — wuhuyumo @ 2:39 pm

David Gerstein
Title Momentum
Year 2007
Medium Painted Steel
Dimensions Height 18350mm x Diameter 11187mm

Background information

Momentum, which stands at 18.35m tall as Singapore’s tallest structure, has finally been revealed underneath its canvas on 20 December 2007. This 44 ton sculpture cost One Raffles Quay Pte Ltd S$2 million to develop. This sculpture is firmly hidden under canvas while construction, triggering the interest of the passerbys. Easch spiral tier is progressively unveiled, leading to the unveiling of the topmost sculpture on New Year’s Eve.

Feldman Method

Momentum is a steel sculpture which shows colourful figures in an upwards spiral motion. This sculpture is generally red, with occasional figures painted in bright colours such as blue, green, yellow etc. Each figure has different postures but generally show a sense of movement. The topmost figure is holding a spiral which gives of circular motion.

The sculpture’s layers upon layers of figures in an upwards spiral motion represent the populations high energy and a continuous cycle of progress. This work pays tribute to Singapore’s present and past generations, for without their toil, strength and ingenuity will not have become the dynamic metropolis it is today. The sculpture signals the vision, continual commitment by everyone to help steer Singapore into a vibrant global city. It is also a goal for Singapore, to be ever-improving gaining momentum along with the world as times change. The bright red colour gives a vibrant feel. Similarly, the bright rainbow colours add live and since each figure is painted differently, it symbolises the different races in Singapore and how we move on in harmony together. The figures are in poses of movement we shows that they have momentum and are everchanging and improving along with the times, to become the global financial hub it is today.

On the whole, though I think the sculpture is slightly out of place to its colourful and lively nature, I think the sculpture serves well as an icon of the CBD area. It adds life and colour to the business district and also serves as an encouragement to the people to gain momentum and continuing to progress. This is the goal of Singapore – to gain momentum along with the world as times change. Therefore, this sculpture successfully describes the goal of the country, serving as a reminder to the passerbys. Its whimsical, lively nature makes it stand out against the city skyscrapers, making it a unique icon of the city.

Environment and adjacent area around work

Momentum is located at Finlayson Green, which is the Capital Business District (CBD) of Singapore. The nearest MRT station is Raffles Place station. This sculpture is located in the middle of a busy cross junction along Finlayson Green, and its 18.35m height makes it a distinct icon around this area. Buildings surrounding this sculpture include AIA building, One Raffles Quay, One Marina Boulevard and Ocean Financial Centre which is still under construction.

Biography of artist

David (Dudu) Gerstein, born in 1944, is an Israeli sculptor. He is a sculptor, a painter and also an illustrator. He is most known for his sculture works, which are located worldwide, though most are still found in his homeland, Israel. He works in different metals and other materials. He creates dream-like figures in an attempt to break down the barriers between art and its audience. Gerstein creates universal colorful and layered images of still-life composition, urban landscapes and human activity, witch always retain local and autobiographical elements.


I think that this sculpture is indeed site specific. The location was first chosen, then One Raffles Quay commissioned David Gerstein to create a sculpture specific to this location. The main reason Momentum is placed on Finlayson Green is in hope that it becomes a landmark and icon for Singapore’s CBD district. I think the sculpture do serve this purpose as it shows many of the qualities of a blooming business district. It is in the heart of the CBD district so as to enhance the character of the city, and to act as a landmark for Singapore’s business and financial district. Developer of this sculpture, David Martin announced that “We hope the Singapore public will embrace this distinctive sculpture and in the fullness of time we believe it could become as iconic for Singapore’s business and financial district as the ‘Charging Bull’ sculpture is for New York’s Wall Street.”

Personal response

I like the sculpture as it well portrays the goals of the Singapore CBD. The sculpture suggests progress and improvement, which is what the CBD area is doing -to improve Singapore as a world renowned financial hub. The sculpture is also applicable to Singapore culture, with rainbow coloured figures which in a way represent the different array of races in Singapore. Thus, it shows a harmonious Singapore moving forward as a whole. The Christmas tree –like figure also reminds the public of its origin, as it is first unveiled on 20 December and the whole sculpture is unveiled on New Year’s Eve. The unveiling of the sculpture was quite an important and grand even back in 2007 and therefore, it can said that the unveiling of the sculpture is an event in Singapore history.

Also, I think this sculpture is beneficial to the CBD area as it adds life to such a serious business district. Momentum is a very lively, whimsical sculpture and would make its stand well amongst the skyscrapers of the city. It contains deep meanings yet it reminds the passerbys of the lively side of Singapore.