Project Heatwave (Concept)
Digital Mockup, Digital illustration on Adobe Illustrator
'Project Heatwave' is a self-initiated project idea that I came up with after gaining inspiration from art and my surroundings. Through personal experiences and research, I found out that Singapore is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world because of our skyscrapers and the high volume of human activity.
With this, I thought of 'Project Heatwave', an initiative to help people visualise what climate change is doing to our city. In this project, I drafted out illustrations which I envision as murals to be installed along the streets, painted in thermochromic paint (paint which can change when the temperature changes). I hope that through these interactive visuals, people will be more environmentally conscious and will be motivated to play their part to protect our environment and our home.
While looking through student portfolios from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), I came across 'D&AD Pantone: Project Monsoon'. In this project, the students wanted to bring back colour to the gloomy monsoon season in Seoul South Korea by creating murals using hydrochromic paint (a special formula which changes from transparent to opaque when it gets wet.) I was inspired by how art can interact with the environment and wanted to take that idea and put it in the context of Singapore.
With the recent drastic weather hitting Singapore, I was interested in finding out more about what climate change is doing to our environment.
It was only recently that the heat started to become unbearable, and I asked myself, 'how can this be?'. There have been many green initiatives implemented in Singapore, many of which encourage individuals to make changes in their lifestyle. However, it is still not enough. Professor Gerhard Schmitt said every effort counts, because “every individual in Singapore controls about 30 per cent of all the energy consumed or produced here”.
Though there have been trends that come (and go), such as bike sharing and drinking from metal straws, people soon become lazy to continue implementing these good habits in their lives because it may be inconvenient. I also observed that another reason why people (including myself) fail to keep up these habits is because climate change is gradual and invisible. People do not put in the effort because they can't see how their effort is contributing to the environment.
I was also inspired by Olafur Eliasson's work 'Ice Watch'. His work consists of twelve glacial ice blocks in the shape of a clock installed at City Hall Square, Copenhagen. It serves to be a visual and physical reminder of the impact of climate change as the ice would melt in front of the viewers. I wanted to bring that impact into Singapore’s context, to help us see what’s happening to our environment.
I have always been more comfortable with realism and drawing from life. So this time, I wanted to challenge myself to create more stylised figures. I started off with basic shapes and I liked how it layered on top of one another.