Masters Programme (Research)


Our Masters Students

MA (Research) AY 2016 – Student Profile

Muhammad Faisal Bin Husni
​An Art Historical Research into Keramat Grave Worship in Singapore

Keramat graves may be found in many parts of the Malay Archipelago. The Malay word keramat signifies venerated objects; an appropriation of the Arabic word karamah, which means the gifts or miraculous abilities of Muslim saints. These venerated objects include Malay or Muslim graves of significant and holy persons which have become sites of worship. Although the practice is forbidden in orthodox Islam, it still persists in the region. This paper examines the remaining keramat graves in Singapore through the lens of art history by focusing on their objectness. It aims to add to earlier more ethnographic and anthropological studies on the topic. It also aims to highlight a gap in the study of Islamic Art—religious objects that are Islamic in nature yet unsupported by orthodox Islam.

Research Areas
  • Art History
  • Religious Art
  • Social Lives of Objects
  • Materiality and Material Culture
  • Interreligious and Intercultural Religious Practices
  • Singapore Heritage
Supervisor Asst Prof Sujatha Arundathi Meegama
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Hong Chu Yu Grace
​Curatorial Narratives of Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

Examining the presentation of Singapore and Southeast Asian contemporary art in major group exhibitions and curatorial strategies employed

Research Areas
  • Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
  • Curation of visual art exhibitions
  • Southeast Asian art history
  • Western models of framing and narrative-writing
  • Voice and Identity
Supervisor Asst Prof Michelle Lim
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Nor Jumaiyah Binte Mohamed Khamsin
​Contemporary Southeast Asian art practices post 90s.
Kelompok Seni Rupa Jendela

This aims of this research are to understand the production, reception and consumption of contemporary art practices of Southeast Asia through the study of Kelompok Seni Rupa Jendela, argubaly Indonesia’s most prominent contemporary art collective.

Research Areas
  • Jogja surrealism, Minangkabau aesthetic idioms, Islamic geometric abstraction, filmic experience of objects.
  • Theoretical and aesthetic challenges in curating and art criticism.
  • Presentation of art and cultural, historical objects under conditions and developments in a global contemporary art world.
Supervisor Asst Prof Michelle Lim
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Peh Yang Yu
​The Making of Kusu Island: Deconstructing an Illustrated Folktale from Singapore

In the region of Southeast Asia, little scholarship has been done involving the study of the myths of island-creation, unlike the ones in East Asia, North America, Oceania, and even North Atlantic. This research will thus investigate the evolution of an illustrated Singapore folktale of Kusu Island over the past decades, both in terms of narratives and visual representations with references to the changes in society of the time.

Research Areas
  • Island-creation Stories
  • Illustrated Folktales of Singapore
  • Oral History
  • Art History
  • Visual Language
  • Multicultural Literature
  • Singapore Heritage​
​Asst Prof Sujatha Arundathi Meegama
Asst Prof Bacsal Rhoda Myra Garces
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Audrey Ng
​Exploration of new textile application in the area of design

This research aims is to experiment and explore the possibilities that can be achieved through a new form of material application for fashion and product design field. A new form of material that could be explored and shaped by patterned textile integrated structural folds with a touch of cultural element.

Research Areas
  • Textile
  • Folds
  • Material
Supervisor ​Asst Prof Galina Mihaleva
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Yier Zhou
​The Development of Useful Templates for Documentary Storytelling

This Research Project is aimed at the study of a systematical design process to produce documentary films with high research contents.
In order to develop the templates, I am planning to use four documentaries as samples and a few other productions, starting with "Art Therapy in Sweden Kumla Prison" as first case study.

Research Areas
  • Documentary Film Making
  • Narrative Strategy
Supervisor ​Prof Ben Alvin Shedd
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Goh Hui Ying
The Aesthetics of the Nanyang Artists: a close study of their Colour Palette

Research Area:
  • Color Theory
  • Color Science: Human Eye Perception
  • Color System: Munsell Color System
  • Aesthetics in Color
  • Nanyang Artists
  • The development of Nanyang Paintings
  • Nanyang Colors
Supervisor Asst Prof Ng Woon Lam

In the Spaces of Exhibition History: Art Exhibitions in Singapore from the 1950s-1990s

This research studies exhibition history in Singapore from 1950s to 1990s, with a focus on the exhibition spaces as a both a source of historical enquiries as well as an inherent discourse. The decades between the 1950s to the 1990s is selected as a period in local art-historical context that marks the transition between the modern to the contemporary. The thesis consists of a two-part investigation: firstly, a contextual study of the historical impulses and changing tendencies of exhibition spaces in the selected period and place, secondly a closer grained study of three selected exhibitions using archival materials, interviews and research drawings. The exhibition space is a fundamental aspect of an exhibition, yet it is rarely discussed with ample emphasis. In the Spaces of Exhibition History aims to throw light on how the study of space in exhibition history can present its own challenges, but also be productive in revealing the complex narratives, collaborations and processes inherent in exhibition making and discoursing.

Research Interest Areas:
  • Exhibition History
  • Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art History
  • Spatial Studies
  • Design Research
Supervisor Assoc Prof Laura Miotto

Phay Han
Big Data & Machine Learning in Creative Advertising Applications

Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, with mobile and web connected devices providing data constantly on both macro and micro levels globally. Within the advertising industry, advertising executives design and craft novel approaches to tell compelling stories for brands. Leveraging the power of big data, and feeding that information through machine learning algorithms, self-learning artificial intelligence (AI) networks could potentially be able to provide valuable market-driven insights for creative direction.
My research aims to investigate the potential uses of big data and machine learning within creative applications. Specifically, there will be focus on how Artificial Intelligence systems powered by Big Data, can be designed to generate creative briefs. Through the findings of the research, if gaps are identified, is the potential of developing an enterprise SaaS (software-as-a-service) that could enhance the creative work process within the global advertising industry.

Research Areas:
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Neural Networks
  • Big Data
  • Machine Learning
  • Creative Advertising
  • Media Planning
  • Digital Media
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Entrepreneurship
Supervisor Assoc Prof Jesvin Yeo

Vincent Liew Weh Siang
An investigation on documentary photography as an effective visual method: Documenting the religious practises of the Tenggerese

The research investigates the applicability of photography as a means for documentary work and its role in visual methods.

Research Areas:
  • Art History
  • Documentary Photography
  • Visual Methods
  • Cultural Elements
  • Religious Practises
Assoc Prof Oh Soon-Hwa
Asst Prof Michael Tan

Li Yihan
teamLab and Their Digitised Nature

A study of the cultural specificity of new media art collective, teamLab’s nature-related artworks.

Research Areas:
  • New Media Art
  • Emerging Technologies in Visual Arts
  • Japanese Aesthetics
  • Mediatised Culture and Society
  • Cultural Transformations
Supervisor Asst Prof Kristy Kang

Kong Wen Da Gideon
Critical Graphic Design as Artistic Research through Critical Pedagogy

This research clarifies and develops the practice and pedagogy of critical graphic design through drawing intersections with artistic research and critical pedagogy. As critical graphic design remains a contested term, this research proposes artistic research and critical pedagogy as two key relevant areas of study for developing a methodology and framework for understanding and practicing critical graphic design. A later part of this research examines and employs the researcher’s practice in publishing, design, and workshop-based activities, as examples illustrating as well as contributing to the understanding and applications of this framework and critical graphic design. Outside this thesis, I am also interested in developing visual mediums/methods as forms of artistic research in more specific ways and have been doing so for drawing and photography through independent workshops, writing, and research presentations.
Supervisor Assoc Prof Danne Ojeda

Tseng Ke Ting Christian
Stereotypization and the Films of Stephen Chow

While cognitive psychologists have theorised stereotyping to be a natural (and even necessary) process, the concern here then, is how such arguments can reconcile with the sociological, ethical and artistic concerns surrounding stereotypization. Only by first addressing this can we begin to grapple with the complexities concerning misrepresentation; and this begins by accepting stereotypization as a necessary evil or, for a less loaded term, as an inevitability. With this in mind, this study seeks to analyse the directorial filmography of Stephen Chow through the lens of stereotype theory; and both evaluate and argue the means to which the stereotype can be challenged, and/or subverted even in its own inevitability.

Research Areas
  • Film Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Ethnic and Racial Studies
Supervisor Assoc Prof Sebastian Grobler

Tan Peng Chai Adrian
Re-reading The Artists Village through new contexts

The Artists Village (TAV) is re-read through a new methodological focus, where the artistic strategies of the artists collective are examined and relooked in new contexts. Through the research, a critical discourse opens up and encourages new narratives on Singapore art history through a study of collectivism and collaborative art.

Research Area(s)
  • Singapore and Southeast Asian contemporary art
  • Art Collectives in Southeast Asia
  • Participatory and collaborative art
  • Public Art and site-specific art
Supervisor Asst Prof Sophie Goltz

Yu Fengyao Jasper

It seemed that the role of food photography has evolved and grown to become a prevalent subject in the recent years. This research examines the different roles of photographed food from 5 different photographers across different time periods and the study of different visual impacts in culture coming from food photographs found on social media platform, Instagram.

Research Areas
  • Food in Art
  • Food Photography
  • Photography History
  • Visual studies on Food Photography
  • Visual Impacts of Food Photography
Supervisor Assoc Prof Oh Soon-Hwa

Teo Sie Peng
Neo-Nanyang : Art in Singapore through the Eyes of Artists (1970-2018)

This research proposes a critical reexamination of art in Singapore through various tropes and strategies employed by local artists, traversing and intersecting the city’s key developments, post independence till today. In a transnational world, the dilemma of situating regional art remains elusive. As such, what does art mean in Singapore? How can artists and their practices, against the city’s inherent multi-ethnic landscape, contribute to constructing different frameworks for art in relation to society; here and elsewhere? Currently, much of the data generated is institutionally driven, consisting of museum catalogues, artist directories, a few monographs and economic reports. They tell part of the story.

Artistic Research, by nature subjective and interdisciplinary, may offer a more insightful tale. Through Narrative Inquiry with interviews, texts, images and artworks, it is proposed that the content generated will help shape new form, against the backdrop of coexistence. Within those coordinates, new modes of perception may emerge, inclusive of and beyond current conceptions of art and aesthetic in Singapore. Neo Nanyang denotes that experience, in and outside the places of art.

Research Area(s)
  • Modern and Contemporary Art in Singapore
  • Southeast Asian Aesthetic
  • Art and Transnationalism
  • Artistic and Art-based Research
Supervisor Asst Prof Sophie Goltz

Tan Ming En Melvin
Approaches to visual identities for Large-scale International Contemporary Art Exhibitions: Art Biennales in Singapore from 2006–2016

A study into visual identities for the the Art Biennale of Singapore. Given visual identity’s common use, this area has been over-looked and under researched in such exhibition events, until recently. The report aims to be a beneficial frame of reference through Singapore’s exemplification of the burgeoning independently-funded curated model of large scale international contemporary art exhibitions (LSICAEs) across the world, particularly in Asia. At large, the paper demystifies the roles and processes of visual identities for LSICAEs, substantiating the possibility of a specialisation for cultural identities. Contextually, the case study considers local and ideological inclinations that would inform the outcome of visual identities.
Supervisors Asst Prof Laura Miotto
Assoc Prof Danne Ojeda

Chong Yee Cher Cheryl
Reintroducing the Chinese poetics through visual design

This research project aims to explore potentials of visual design through reinterpretation of Classical Chinese poetry. It sets out to stimulate interest, establish a deeper emotional connection and appreciation of Chinese poetry through different non-linguistic means. Furthermore, examines potentials of poetry and visual design in this digital era, to bridge traditional and contemporary art/design practices in Singapore and beyond.

Research Area(s)
  • Visual Design
  • Chinese Poetry & Philosophy
  • Poetic Expressions
Supervisor Assoc Prof Cindy Wang I-Hsuan

Chun Wan Ying Rachel
Rekindle Moments: Exploring Participatory Music, Intercorporeality and Well-being of Seniors in Dementia Day Care Centres

The ageing population in Singapore will give rise to the prevalence of dementia. A diagnosed person may be predisposed to social isolation, loneliness, stress, depression and a further decline in functional abilities. The oversight of the social aspects of care, quality programmes and engagement can hinder opportunities for self-expression and growth. Despite the rising demand for Dementia Day Care Services, there is little discussion on the interrelation of social networks and the options for activity participation in achieving of well-being.

My research seeks to enhance the routinely structured day activities by introducing a creative music-based programme, where I will exemplify on how the music-making experience can contribute to the well-being of participants while exploring a practice framework and the reciprocal relation of Intercorporeality on the well-being of seniors with dementia.

Research Area(s)
  • Ageing
  • Arts and Health
  • Dementia
  • Health and Well-being
  • Participatory Music-making
Supervisor Asst Prof Michael Tan

Lam Choon Khee
Exploration of the impact of Virtual Reality in the field of Installation Art.

Installation Art in particular has been evolving in parallel with Virtual Reality, a multi-dimensional technology which has opened up fresh options and facilitated complex and inventive forms of illustrative and immersive experience. This research aim to explore the aesthetics and theoretical impact of Virtual Reality on Installation Art and discovering new ways in which virtual reality can be exploited and examining new kinds of artistic expression.

Research Area(s)
  • Virtual Reality
  • Installation Art
  • Multi-dimensional technology
  • Traditional Art Conceptualisation
Supervisor Assoc Prof Benjamin Seide

Liu Qingqing
The Humanisation of Chinese Ghost Tales: Interpretation via Creative Graphic Illustrations

This research examines the Chinese ghost tales from the Six dynasties to the Qing dynasty which can be more representative of the humanisation during this period. A range of graphic illustrations will be created based on the analysis of selected tales and related Chinese folklore art elements.

Research Area(s)
  • Chinese traditional ghost culture
  • Chinese traditional literature
  • Folklore art
  • Graphic Illustrations
  • Visual language elements
Supervisor Assoc Prof Jesvin Yeo

Ong Victor
A Future of VFX Post-Production: “Autonomous Rotoscoping”

With the growing need for Visual Effects (VFX) within the contemporary film making industry, there is also a need for redevelopment in viable technology to improve workflow efficiency in production. For decades rotoscoping artists have had to go through the painstaking manual labor of masking footage frame by frame, ensuring a clean separation of foreground elements from the background. As VFX companies operate on an increasingly tight profit margin, the industry often neglects artists production values. In 2011, the Visual Effects Society addressed in an open letter stating VFX artists were taken advantage by working longer hours for lesser income.

Twenty-one VFX companies closed or filed for bankruptcy between 2003 and 2013. The most high-profile case is Rhythm & Hues during 2013, the post-house for Life of Pi that won the Oscar for VFX the same year. Despite numerous technological improvements to softwares capable of bringing better control and speed to the process, the need for artists to manually configure selections remains. Looking to the future, groundbreaking AI development is growing across cloud platforms and these are currently used to assist in healthcare technologies and many other professional fields such as smart vehicle development and television broadcasting.

This dissertation asks whether such technological developments in other research areas can be utilised for autonomous rotoscoping in the field of visual effects to ease production time and improve efficiency or cost effectiveness. It examines the digital production needs and issues of the cinema industry and the technological applications of computer ‘image recognition and detection’ between the years 2003 and 2019, to which I propose a theory on the future development of applications for the cinema industry itself. Furthermore, this study anticipates the digital future of VFX and the integration of AI through production in cinema, confirming Rama Venkatasawmy’s conclusion from his book, “The Digitization of Cinematic Visual Effects: Hollywood’s Coming of Age”, that the future of cinema will be irremediably intertwined with further industrial research and development in corporate technoscience in general and in computer programming and digital imaging in particular.

Research Area(s)
  • Multimedia
  • Visual Effects
  • A.I
  • Computer Science
  • Deep Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Image Recognition Technologies
Supervisor Assoc Prof Benjamin Seide

Olivia Wong Yee Rhu
Reexamining Rephotography in the Age of the Internet

The internet age presents us with the possibilities of endless virtual space, rich cybercultures and by consequence, innovative methods of creative image-making. For example, relatively recent lens-based technologies such as Google Street View have provided resources for artists who work with photography in the internet age; practitioners no longer have to venture into the physical world to capture and document because the internet has brought the world to their screens—a wealth of images readily available to appropriate, collate, and manipulate. This thesis intends to look at the practice of rephotography and the appropriation of images to investigate how technology impacts our perceptions of spatial reality beyond the virtual paradigm, and by extension, the internet as a boundless terrain for explorations in photography.

Research Area(s)
  • Rephotography
  • Virtual and Physical Space
  • Lens-based Media Art
Supervisor Assoc Prof Oh Soon-Hwa