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Our Masters Graduates

MA (Research) AY 2015 – Graduate Profile

Alan Chong Wei Lun
Brief introduction

My name is Alan Chong and recently embarked on a journey to learn the ropes in Chong Tuck Tong Chinese Temple, at the same time, I am also practicing pottery with my own little workshop at home complete with a potter’s wheel.

In retrospect, there are various factors that attracted me to ADM when I applied. To name a few, it was the position of the school within a technical environment which gave me the impression that art can be pursued anywhere by anyone. Secondly, the chance at experiencing varsity life and culture within an art school was something that I could only dreamed about. Last but not least, being able to express myself artistically with different medias.

My most memorable moments in ADM was meeting new friends, burning midnight oils to rush deadlines. On the other hand, the architecture of the school is something that I am proud of whenever my friends talk about it. The most important lesson I have learned only came to me during my FYP - that I am not restricted and defined by our vocation but by our ability to adapt flexibly. On this vein, the soft skills that I picked up when studying in ADM could be adaptively applied in the Temple environment that I am working in right now. In sum, my journey has been filled with ups and down always be ready to work on it persistently, eventually there will be a better path ahead.

Masters thesis title

The Metaphysical Symbolism of the Chinese Tortoise

Research Areas
  • Visual language
  • Symbolism
  • Chinese cosmology
  • Geomancy
  • Parallelism
  • Taoism and Buddhism
​Supervisor Asst Prof Nanci Takeyama


LIEW KONG MENG
Brief introduction

I’m currently a PhD student in the Cognitive and Behavioural Science programme at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University. Before this, I completed my Bachelors’ degree in Music Composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, NUS, and my Masters’ in Research here at ADM. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, I’m interested in understanding how aesthetic experiences, such as watching a movie or listening to music, shape our feelings, thoughts and behaviour, and most of my research work is dedicated to that.

Masters thesis title

Meaningful Noise: Auditory Roughness and Dissonance Predict Emotion Recognition and Cross-Modal Perception

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now, I’m working on a couple of research projects as part of my PhD- I’m running a multinational study looking at how cultural thought patterns, such as holistic or analytic thinking styles, influence the way music contributes to our overall well-being. I’m also developing a Japanese version of the Aesthetic Emotions Scale, which aims to measure and sort the emotions one feels during an aesthetic experience, which could be from activities such as appreciating art, watching a movie, or simply listening to music. Finally, I’m also researching the neurobiological foundations of emotions, by studying brain activity during movie-watching.

What was it that attracted you to the ADM when you applied?

There were a number of reasons - the beautiful campus, the diverse facilities, but I’d say the deciding factor was being able to work with my then-supervisor, Dr. PerMagnus Lindborg, as we had several overlapping interests and really hit it off.

What’s the best thing about studying at the ADM?

Again, so many great things! If I had to give just one thing, it’s definitely the freedom to research what I wanted to research. Having just come out of an undergraduate programme in music, I was lost as to what to do, how to do it, and even what it meant to do research. Thankfully, the faculty at ADM were all patient and supportive, and I was always given the freedom to try out new ideas or explore new areas, even if they were outside the traditional research domains at ADM. I was also encouraged to have a co-supervisor from outside of ADM, Dr. Suzy Styles from the School of Social Sciences, who helped tremendously in the interdisciplinary research that I was doing. Over the course of the MA programme, as I gradually stumbled my way along researching all sorts of strange perceptual phenomenon, the environment at ADM was always conducive and generous, be it with logistical support from facilities or equipment, to simply having many opportunities to bounce ideas off faculty and peers.

What’s been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

It would have to be my final research project at ADM, which was also my most ambitious project - I had planned out a new composition to be performed at a concert of electroacoustic music, and as the culmination of the research I had been doing thus far, combined art and science in performing dual roles: as a creative expression of art, and also as a perceptual experiment. The premiere was a success and the results of that experiment were published in Frontiers in Psychology, a major peer-reviewed psychology journal. Personally, it marked the intersection of where I had come as a composer and where I was headed as a researcher, and it would not have been possible without the support given by ADM in terms of advice and technical assistance.

Do you have any advice for current or future students?

Find a supervisor that can help you grow. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with fantastic supervisors, and they have played an instrumental role in helping me grow as a researcher. Sometimes the advice can be a little confusing, but there’s much to be learnt by understanding where they’re coming from.
​Supervisor
Co-Supervisor
Asst Prof PerMagnus Lindborg
Asst Prof Suzy Styles​
Websites https://twitter.com/itskongmeng
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kongmeng_Liew


Nicholas Ong Thian Chai
​Lighting Design for Paintings with Selected Artefacts from Nanyang Style Paintings as case studies

Research Areas
  • Lighting design
  • Exhibition design
  • Art history
  • Architectural Lighting
  • Perception and psychology
  • Physics of light
​Supervisor
Co-Supervisor
​A/Prof Andrea Nanetti
Martin Reiser​


Zann
Brief introduction

A self-taught and self-funded photographer, Zann began her first serious foray into photojournalism after the tsunami in January 2005. Since then, she has covered humanitarian and socio-political issues in the Middle East & Asia. Her works have been published in Time magazine, Le Monde, Geo Italia, L’expresso and other publications in the US, Europe and Asia.

Zann’s works have been exhibited in various prestigious photo festivals such as Noorderlicht 2006, Visa Pour L’image 2007, Reportage Australia 2010, Angkor Photo Festival 2011 & 2013, Arles Photography Salon 2012, Chobi Mela 2013, Palm Springs Photo Festival 2013, Copenhagen Photo Festival 2013, Obscura Photo Festival 2013, Pingyao Photo Festival 2015 and the National Museum of Singapore 2014 among others.

She has also covered “Mental Health Issues” in Singapore and was featured in the Asia Exposed 2 series in late Sept 2011 on Channel News Asia which won a silver medal in the Best Social Issues/Current Affairs category at the New York Festival International TV and Film Awards 2012.

Zann has also spoken about her self-initiated and self-funded projects at TEDx Singapore 2012 and her photo documentation of Iran at TEDx Kuala Lumpur 2012. She is also a judge for NOISE Singapore 2013. In 2014, Zann received the Magnum Foundation Emergency Award for her work on “Remember Shatila”. She was appointed as a cultural ambassador for the Singapore Internationale in 2014.

Zann embarked on her second MA in Journalism in Aarhus Universitet, Denmark under the Tan Kah Kee Scholarship from 2016-2017. *Zann funds her work by teaching English.

Your Ma/PhD Thesis Title

Ethical Issues Concerning The Photo-Documentation Of Palestinian Refugees in Shatila Camp

What are you working on at the moment?

Freelance Photojournalist/Writer

What was it that attracted you to the ADM when you applied?

The fact that I can combine my research which spans two diverse faculties – ADM (Visual Arts) and RSIS (Middle Eastern Politics)

What’s the best thing about studying at the ADM?

Meeting the BEST supervisors – Kenneth Feinstein (ADM) and James Dorsey (RSIS). They are both amazing people and highly professional and knowledgeable mentors. I still remain in close touch with them and will always do. (It is a huge shame and loss that Assoc. Prof Kenneth Feinstein is no longer with NTU)

What was the most important thing you learned whilst you were at the ADM?

Be very careful who you choose as your supervisor. The wrong one will ruin your thesis. Assoc. Prof Kenneth Feinstein kindly took me under his wings in the final 8 months prior to the thesis submission deadline (in which I almost completely changed and overhauled my work). He was absolutely instrumental in ensuring that my 2 years of research was not conducted in vain. BRAVO to Ken and James!

What’s been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

None, I never rest on my laurels.

Do you have any advice for current or future students?

Pick your supervisor wisely!
​Website(s) https://www.instagram.com/zann_huizhen_huang/


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