Prologue
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Still from slideshow
Credits

Launch slideshow

In 2009, we reviewed our portfolio as part of our effort to build an office website after practicing for 7 years. We laboriously translated our works from the language of visual-objects into the language of website-ready images accompanied with captions. The process reinforced our conviction about the web's limitation for perceptual experience (versus its excellence for organising information).

Not satisfied to present only works that were simulated for the website, we made an aesthetic slideshow with the intention of sharing the conceptual mental space in which those works were made. We titled it Prologue, a series of mental events that preceded the visual objects. The subject matter (and its intangibility) allowed us to move away from representation towards a perceptual approach. We approached Kangding ray, a talented Berlin-based artist, to use his work as soundtrack.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Music: Dadaist by Kangding ray

Merck's Plan to Win
Area hoarded up for renovation, teaser posters building up anticipation for change
Multi-coloured squares found in Merck's racial diversity posters became the inspiration for the coloured tiles
Media Wall: 7 x 2 m projection along a high-traffic corridor
InfoBar, carved out of a dead corner in the cafeteria
InfoBar signage seen from the cafetaria
Merck cafe schematics
5 communication channels that logically organised Merck's Plan to Win news and messages
Visualisation of corporate strategies
Pharma pipelines visualised as animated coloured pills
Connecting the dots: aligning local sites to initiatives of global headquarters
Common visual vocabulary used to bridge management speak to employees
All departments were represented in 'Everyday at Merck' communication channel
Buz21 - revamped corporate newsletter

This project is about alignments and salmons.

Merck initiated 'Plan to Win' end of 2006, a strategy to push the company from runner-up position to pole in the pharmaceutical industry. Conceived in Merck's Headquarters at New Jersey, USA, Plan to Win was ambitious, multi-prong and impacted all levels of employees worldwide.

The first alignment was of the local sites to Mother Merck. When we met with Merck Singapore manufacturing plant (MSDS) in 2007, they wanted to redesign the Plan to Win noticeboard. It was a pin-up board with the latest strategy news and articles; and on it was hung the hopes of aligning the staff with Plan to Win initiatives.

The next alignment was between the client and us. We declined to work on MSDS' first brief, not believing that it will work. The counter-proposal was to review MSDS' entire communication initiatives.

Our first deliverable was an Internal Communication Report that included findings from staff focus groups and surveys, and design recommendations spanning interiors, newsletter and multimedia. With the Report as a reference, we then proceeded to re-define the brief, working closely with the client.

What about the salmons? Merck Manufacturing Global President Willie Deese visited the Singapore site at the same time of the launching of the Media Wall - a 7m x 2m projection wall with bite-sized transposed digital Plan to Win content. We were honoured by his high praise that the Media Wall content was the best corporate communication piece he had ever seen in his 30 years in the corporate world.

And thus began the upstream swim of a design initiative by a local manufacturing plant. Media Wall was licensed for broadcast in Merck global headquarters and translated for selected sites worldwide in 2008.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Project director: Audrey Koh
Project coordinators: Ong Pei Chin, Gracie Teo
Graphic designers: Eric Teo, Budi Wijaya
Photographers:Tay Liang Tai, Eric Teo
Multimedia programmers: Eio Wee Tat,Tay Liang Tai, Budi Wijaya
Researcher: Audrey Koh
Writer: Audrey Koh
Focus group facilitator: Graham Perkins

Dicklee.com

Launch website

'Use me as a platform to express yourself'. It came from Dick Lee, multi-hyphenate musician, composer, creative director, jewelry designer, socialite and celebrity. A website for his hardcore Japanese fans of more than 2 decades.

The project involved the designer as author and it had a dual agenda. The first was to perceptually engage Dick Lee's die-hard fans. To do that, the website was to be a metaphor of Harajuku, a shopping district in Tokyo where stores of fashion brands with cult following were to be found in hard-to-find alleys. Clearly positioned yet unlabeled buttons revealed photos, unreleased songs, album song lists and news bits. The idea was for Dick's fans to serependitiously 'bump into' information instead of logically accessing them. We thought this would heighten their experience of the website.

The second agenda had to do with our hesitancy about a dominant website aesthetic that was led by a fascination with computational speed. Instead, we imagined an aesthetic with hard-edged animated transitions combined with rich visual texture and silent graphic elements. The result: an idiosyncratic expression that was presented using a wide-reaching platform. Sounded very much like our client actually.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Web programmer: Budi Wijaya

Centenary Service
Service book front cover
Service book back cover
Divider page for morning service
Divider page for evening service in a darker tone
Anglican Singapore Centenary Service held at Suntec Convention Centre
Anglican Singapore Centenary Service held at Suntec Convention Centre
Anglican Singapore Centenary Service held at Suntec Convention Centre
Anglican Singapore Centenary Service held at Suntec Convention Centre
Anglican Singapore Centenary Service held at Suntec Convention Centre

The Anglicans celebrated the Diocese of Singapore's 100th anniversary in 2009.

Obviously, the Service book was a useful object during the two (morning and evening) centenary services. After the services, it held the potential of an object of remembrance.

We tried to achieve a book object that was an in-between. It hovered between its explicit function as a Service book and an implicit potency derived from its state as an object being.

Front cover has three rectangles: gold in the centre, atop a larger red and even larger blue. There are also three rectangles on the back cover: scanned covers of the Hymnbook, Book of Common Prayer and Bible, three books that form the basis of Anglican's worship.

The rectangles are silent and expressive of the occasion. They are containers for some kind of meaning, maybe. The geometric shapes retrace the book object, the outer-most rectangle is white. In this act of self-referring, we hope to extend the gaze on a useful object a little more.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Design assistant: Shirlie Tan
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Printer: AlsOdominie

Victoria Theatre Memories
The exhibition in-situ, the foyer of Victoria Theatre
 The unfinished panel and information labels were graphic associations to a work-in-progress
The inconsistent tones of the ply were expressed into a graphic expression
Makeshift installation of fluorescent tubes replaced conventional spotlights
Nuts and bolts replaced the usual 'chrome' picture spacers

Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, built a century ago, closed for a 2-year restoration period in June 2010. As part of the Singapore Arts Festival fringe programme, a photography competition to remember the grand dame before its construction works commenced was held. Winning works were exhibited in 5 venues: Victoria Theatre and 4 regional libraries.

Suggesting the upcoming renovations, a work-in-progress venue, we used plywood to build the exhibition units due to the material's association with makeshift construction. The material's tonal inconsistency became a direct source for graphic expression.

To achieve a visual object that cuts between the newness of a renovation project and the rawness of ply, we worked with our friends at Matchbox who are known for their precise carpentry. The aim: to contrast the material presence of ply with image-like joinery lines.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project Coordinator: Audrey Koh

Gammon PPP
PPP bid folders that were used during submission
Exhibition units being hoisted into the venue
Sticker prints were used to veil the exhibition content from guests before opening
The unveiling of all 6 units were to be completed in less than half an hour
Each exhibition unit was made up of an aluminium lightbox that held a force-curved acrylic panel
Laser cut vinyl text was applied onto the outermost acrylic; content was presented in 2 separate physical layers
Invitation card to the signing ceremony
Project brochure in 4 assorted gradient colours were randomly inserted into event goodie bags
Detail of brochure page layout

A JV by UK's Balfour Beatty and Jardine Matheson, Gammon Capital is consortium leader in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects, focusing in the education sector.

Preparation for a PPP bid takes 12 months or more, involving teams of engineers, architects, educators, bankers, lawyers and other specialists. We were appointed communication consultant and graphic designer for all of Gammon's bids todate (ITE College West, NUS Uni Town and Ministry Of Education SPRING).

Each bid was branded Gammon's with a bespoke identity that informed of the consortium's key themes for the project. A critical stage of the identity design was defining, together with the client, the bid's themes. To acquire the insight to identify and articulate the themes, we were involved from the beginning of the bid preparation. We reviewed bid documents, observed in architectural design workshops and dialogued with consortium team members.

When Gammon won the ITE College bid, we were again engaged to design the identity, exhibition, video and print collaterals for the architecture unveiling event.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Project director: Audrey Koh
Copywriter: Audrey Koh
Graphic designers: Eric Teo, Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Construction: Sun Sing
Printer: PixelTech

Visual Blogging

We read Gerald Grow's article that elaborated the problems many visual designers face when they write using words. The one that stood out for us went like this: "Effort to express thought as clustered, stacked, layered, enfolded, rather than linear." We saw in this criticism something positive, Grow affirmed our belief in the distinctive character of the graphic language.

This project was done as an (almost) daily blog for about a month, using only images with minimal typography. The idea was to articulate opinions about daily news and cultural observations using graphic visuals. Akin to drawings, these visual objects described our daily preoccupations but whose speechlessness also allowed for multiple readings.

Designer: Budi Wijaya

Experience Union
The brochure jacket is also a stand-alone foldout
A layout spread that was inspired by the stained glass windows at the conserved church
Sample layout page of a featured project
A 2-colour insert was made to introduce the firm's design process and design thinking arm
Stand-alone A2 foldout: 6-color screen print on tactile paper Curious SKIN black
A line diagram of a house was extrapolated into a typographic grid
Other side of the foldout, with detailed information, using the same typographic grid
Website cover page
The line diagram was elaborated into the navigational menu of the website
A dedicated section that explains the client's distinctive design process
The navigational menu for project selection
Sample page of a featured project

Launch website

We were commissioned in 2008 to develop the visual identity and marketing collaterals for Union, when the partnership of 3 offices: interior, architecture and wealth management, was just formed.

Union's office was sited in a conserved church. Renovation of the office was on-going as we met with the clients to develop an identity for the newly formed entity. The physical construction echoed the brand-building exercise through graphic design. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation awaiting the finished product.

Union had an in-house team of researchers, one of whom is an anthropologist. Client's briefing was conducted by a wall covered with research notes and diagrams; the client already had preconceptions on the visual language for the collaterals. It is surely the most comprehensive and detailed brief we ever had. Admirably, notwithstanding the extensive work done by the client prior to our engagement, they were very open to our recommendation to employ another visual language.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Web programmer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Printer: Kin Yiap

Space, Flat
Exhibition gallery entrance
The poster referenced the gallery's uncertain future
Installation of Ian,Rem,Kal
Ian,Rem,Kal
View of Ian,Rem,Kal from outside the gallery window
Ian, 594mmx841mm, mixed media
Rem, 594mmx841mm, mixed media
Kal, 594mmx841mm, mixed media

'Space,Flat' explored the theme of violence found in the inevitable displacement/collision/confrontation of media/discipline/craft in any cross-disciplinary processes.

True to its theme, it was a joint exhibition involving 8 participants from different fields: contemporary art, sound, graphic, interactive media and architecture. Each participant was to react to different 'violent' words (resistance, overload, scrape, pressure) and to exhibit works based on their assigned word.

We designed the exhibition's publicity posters and our design director Budi Wijaya contributed with the artwork titled Ian, Rem, Kal.

Exhibition poster:
In the cliched story of Singapore capitalism, where the 'new' is often built by conveniently tearing down the 'old', we imagined the exhibition venue's (an old Art Deco shophouse) violent future in the literal interpretation of 'Space,Flat'.

The poster was conceived as a project that made use of the spatiality of a flat substrate. By selecting a substrate that was translucent, we prepared a condition for a visible graphic overlap between the 2 printed sides.

A photograph of a building demolition and the typography of the exhibition title were then laid out to 'wrap' around the poster. The effect was akin to an overprint (a printing term to describe intentional overlap of different coloured inks) of both image and text. The visual collision was most apparent in the exhibition title, 2 words that read in opposite directions, both typographically and in meaning.

Ian, Rem, Kal (2008) Artist statement:
A global culture that is fragmented by divisive ideologies is the condition that is situated in this artwork. Our millennium that bears the horrific marks of these divisions sets the stage for 3 involuntary separatists: Ian Curtis' tortured life that led to his suicide, Rem Koolhaas' abandonment of poetic space: his departure from building interiors into the bigness of city planning and Kal El's struggle for acceptance on earth due to his alien origin and his impossibility of being human.

Yet these separatists miraculously share a commonality: fulfillment through architecture. Ian: The Hacienda, Rem: CCTV tower, Kal: The Fortress of Solitude. If the exhibition title is about an architect's growing suspicion about his profession, then in this case architecture plays the urgent role of being a medium that connects people, regardless of their separatist tendencies. Perhaps this would be a reason for finding space in flatness.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Artist: Budi Wijaya
Assistants: Audrey Koh, Shirlie Tan

Life Stories
Life CD packaging
Life CD packaging
Stories CD packaging
Stories CD packaging

"Traditional, International
Western feelings from my Oriental heart"
The Mad Chinaman by Dick Lee

Life Stories is actually a dual release - Life, a 3-CD compilation of music from Dick Lee's discography and Stories, a 2-CD set of music written for various Asian artistes. Together, they summed up Dick Lee's 30-year musical dialectic as he worked out his signatory blend of East and West.

Less known to his fans is Dick Lee's equally dialectical visual habit: his fascination with Camp aesthetic that contrasted with his liking for Modernist restraint. Hence our desire to share this duality to his fans through the graphic design of Life Stories.

For the packaging, the artiste's photograph was set against a duo-toned, fluorescent background. It was our way to contrast the serious intellectualism of European Modernism with an excessive attitude.

It is revealing that our colour choice is commonplace in Southeast Asian product packaging, an observation made post-project. For the cosmopolitan minimalist the tones may smack garish, but the strong colors are arguably authentic in its reflection of the sweaty full-bodied tropics.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Designers: Amanda Ho, Budi Wijaya

Rice
Primary motif derived from the Chinese character for rice on the front cover
Elaboration of the primary motif into various expressions on the inside flaps of the packaging
Further elaborations of the motif

Rice, by celebrity artist Dick Lee, is an instrumental album that borrows heavily from the gamelan sounds of Bali. We were commissioned to design the CD package; a Dick Lee project always offers an opportunity to explore his iconic East West sensibilities.

The CD package was conceived as a digipak, made up of 6 panels, with printed graphic motifs on each. The Chinese character 'mi' (rice) was the starting point in the development of the graphic. From this Chinese glyphic theme, the final motif was construed into a composition that was unmistakably influenced by European Modernism. The motif was then further elaborated into variations that were printed on each panel.

Designer: Budi Wijaya

Kangdingray.com
Detail of artwork

Launch website

Collaborating with David on his website was like a real-life enactment of his music. The email conversations and the rhythmic periods between responses were akin to voices and tempo. It was beautiful; the way in which we were able to extend our corporeal self-expressions using micro machines fascinates me tremendously.

It was this same beauty that we sensed in David's work. While we had always admired David's general artistic sensibilities, what we enjoyed the most was his beautiful abstractions that were effortlessly human and machine at the same time.

Within his constructs, we sensed the artist's desire to sculpt pristine machines into man's chaotic image - a self-expression that was championed at the expense of dogma.

Artist statement
The artwork included as an appendix in the website was a direct response to David's music. We wanted a visual object whose presence was achieved by way of its internal logic, and that was devoid of any symbolic meaning.

Hence corporeality (image simulations of a hand) was subjected upon an abstract system (the grid) where we would be free to derive a visual result by solely focusing on attributes of colour, tonality, shapes and form.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Web programmer: Ghulam Imaduddin
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan

East meets East
East meets East zine
The prefixed panel lines were superimposed on the endpaper
Sample page from the zine
(L-R) The prefixed panel and the completed page
(L-R) Matei's page before and after Budi's intervention
(L-R) Budi's page before and after Matei's intervention
(L-R) Matei and Budi during their 5-day residency at Kyoto Seika University
We had the privilege to present our work to preeminent mangaka Mr. Jiro Taniguchi (second from left)
Matei and Budi presented East meets East to an audience at Kyoto International Manga Museum

PSF's first publication, East meets East, is a project that dealt with the issue of conflict and contrast. It was originally created for Lingua Comica 3 organised by Asia Europe Foundation and Kyoto International Manga Museum.

Strangers turned collaborators Matei Branea (Romania) and Budi Wijaya (Indonesia) were paired online for 2 months, then reconnected in a Kyoto residency to conclude the work.

To mirror the process of negotiation, the artists prefixed the panel layouts before they even started drawing or writing. Panels were randomly assigned to the artists who took turns to provoke and counter.

There was no storyboard. The narrative developed organically; a play between artists within self-imposed parameters. They created not on blank sheets but on pages with an inherent tension, disharmony and prejudice.

The parallel and criss-crossing stories that unfolded told of Romania and Singapore's contrasting paths towards modernity, expressed in equally contrasting narrative and illustration styles.

East meets East has exhibited in:

Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan (Nov 08 - Jan 09)
NextComic Festival, Ars Electronica Center, Austria (Mar 09)
New York MoccA Festival, USA (Jun 09)
BICOF, Korea Comics Museum of Bucheon, Korea (Sept 09)
International Comic Artist Conference, Taiwan (Oct 09)
Centre to Periphery, Japan Creative Centre, Singapore (May 10)

Artists: Matei Branea, Budi Wijaya
Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Printer: Kin Yiap

50 Collyer Quay
Checkered pattern on the cover, a graphic association with the district's uniform: the tailored suit
A satellite photo was used to clearly show prime location and uninterrupted view of major landmarks
Layout of architectural perspectives with caption-like copy
Video CD secured on the last page of the brochure
Stills from the marketing video

This project, a brochure and video for leasing a prime office building in Singapore's central business district, talked to the top decision-makers in a corporation. We observed that this group needed their information clear and succinct. However, overtly direct messages (without any strong differentiation) tend to be forgettable.

We have always enjoyed designing collaterals that possess a dual quality of communicating messages clearly and evoking associations silently. We aspire towards creating designs that transmit perceptually as much as informationally, convinced that messages that are too easily consumed do not linger.

The result was a brochure-object that bore our visual expression of the building's (and the district's) historicity in finance and Britannia. Simultaneously, the project's key points were presented caption-style; and different paper substrates served to navigate reader through distinct types of information across the brochure.

Design Director: Budi Wijaya
Graphic designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinators: Audrey Koh, Shirlie Tan
Writer: Audrey Koh
Post production: CriticaTV
Printer: PixelTech

Mad Chinaman
Mad Chinaman headshot applied on namecards and T-shirt

Dick Lee, a friend of ours who is also Singapore's most iconic East-West tunesmith, had set up a company to administer all his creative projects. We were very excited when he invited us to design the visual branding for his new business entity.

Mad Chinaman is Dick Lee's alter ego, the name of his company and the title of his most popular album todate. The iconic moniker naturally became the starting point for this project.

We used the client's headshot for the logo, albeit an abstract, European Modernist rendition. The headshot was placed within a graphical context that was inspired by Chinese medicinal packaging. The latter is strongly associated with Oriental kitsch.

To continue the contrast in aesthetic influences, we departed from Modernist colour sensibilities and moved towards the somewhat garish (some say campy) tones often found in Southeast Asian Oriental culture and products.

Designer: Budi Wijaya

TheatreWorks E+O
Brochure cover
The brochure consisted of 2 loose, fold-out sheets
Assembled A1 poster to give an overview of all programs

Constraints always produce the effect of focusing the mind and it was so for this brochure that was designed for one of Singapore's most eminent theatre companies. The limitations were severely crimped printing budget, badly damaged photographs and copious text (annual education and outreach theatre program) to be typeset on very few pages.

Such enforced frugality meant that colour printing was not possible. So we super-sized and organised the information on two sheets of A2 fold-outs with enough visual impact for the heads-of-department in schools.

The photographs were abstracted into tonal values and reconstructed using graphic motifs as tonal texture. These fold-outs may be combined into a sizable A1 poster that contained comprehensive information on program offerings. At that size, the poster proved to be effective along campus corridors plus when pinned up on an office wall, it worked effortlessly as a quick information reference for decision makers.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Graphic designers: Shi Limeng, Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Ong Pei Chin

Donna Sings
The graphic pattern was a study of cool and warm colours. Donna's credentials were laid out on one side of the flyer

Donna Doherty, a Scottish singer, approached us to design a publicity flyer that she could give away at her inaugural performance in Singapore. She had moved to Singapore and hoped to introduce herself to a new audience.

We were drawn to the aesthetic of the plaid's rhythmic weave and related that to one of our own influences, De Stijl at the Bauhaus. We also thought about the Scottish landscape and how it contrasted Singapore's tropicality, a distinction that must be felt strongly by our client.

Those were the considerations that informed our colour studies for the flyer.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Printer: DoubleSix

Numbers
The zine and its packaging
Side 1 of the zine
Side 2 of the zine

The recent financial crisis hit the headlines of every capitalistic city, screaming numbers so big that zeros started to swim surreally. Presumably, these were the same numbers that were influencing policy makers as governments worked to contain the meltdown contagion.

With the support of Asia-Europe Foundation, 4 artists from the cities of Berlin, Bucharest, Tokyo and Singapore banded together to tell stories of smaller numbers. The numbers-themed strips were fictitious reality, creations drawn from actual observations on-the-ground.

We designed Numbers as a fold-out from an A4 to an A1. To logically organise the 4 stories, each artist was assigned a process colour: magenta, cyan, yellow or black. We wanted to create a literally stripped reading of the work, where the visuals were absorbed all at once and not forced into the narrative flow of a bound book.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Printer: AlsOdominie

Cicada.com.sg

Launch website

The founders of Cicada were art collectors and at home in discussing conceptual ideas and engaging with perceptional visuals. We recalled the design process to be great fun, and some meetings were rounded off by an impromptu guided tour of the artworks found in the office.

Undoubtedly, the clients' persona encouraged us to explore a website that though animated, was subtle in movements and visual effects. This direction was underscored by the clients' landscape design approach that seeks the state of tranquility. It is a quality often associated with Asian landscapes, a characteristic of Chinese landscape paintings.

The soundless website drew inspiration from the cicada's scissor-grinding noise. The texture of its song was transposed into the website's visually rhythmic yet random animated transitions.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Graphic designer: Eric Teo
Web programmer: Eio Wee Tat
Project coordinator: Audrey Koh

Dubai Mall
Still from Dubai Mall marketing video
Still from Dubai Mall marketing video
Still from Dubai Mall marketing video
Still from Dubai Mall high fashion presentation
Still from Dubai Mall high fashion presentation
Still from Dubai Mall retail presentation
Still from Dubai Mall retail presentation
Still from Dubai Mall retail presentation
We translated our research of Dubai into infographics to support the Dubai Mall sales team
Emaar's impressive portfolio was presented as a picture based slideshow. Text info could be accessed on demand
Architectural perspectives were organised using the building facade image as navigational menu
The leasing solution that enabled global executives to track the lease status of every retail unit
Display units that were designed for the sales gallery

Dubai was in a frenzy to build, not just a street but an entire New Downtown. And everything was in superlatives: world's tallest, largest, grandest. Plus within the shortest timelines possible.

Adding to the pressure, Emaar was our first international client, and our first design project for a retail mall owner. We had to rapidly get up to speed on the client's business and target markets through observations at operational meetings, attentiveness to client's feedback and extensive (speed)-readings of every relevant material we can get our hands on.

We were quite sure the breadth of the commission (sales gallery's display units, giant 3D lenticular perspectives, sales video, leasing interactive application, general retailers presentation, high fashion presentation) was matched, if not exceeded, by the depth of our immersion in our client's business.

It was an intense period of designing precedents, of creating marcom objects that simulated the client's ambitions and aspirations.

Design director: Budi Wijaya
Project director: Audrey Koh
Project manager: Trupti Varma
Project coordinator:Ong Pei Chin
Graphic designers: Shi Limeng, Budi Wijaya
Multimedia programmers: Sulistyo, Budi Wijaya
Application programmers: Ditto, Sulistyo
Motion graphic designer: Xavier Oon
Researcher: Audrey Koh
Copywriter: Audrey Koh

Baanngg! Baanngg!
Notebook packaging, a turbulent stock chart
Cover design, either in black or red
Marble patterned endpapers
Hole punched pages of the notebook
Project title and credits

At the end of 2008, the world's financial system was in a state of violent disruption. Century-old institutions collapsed and national treasuries bankrupted. The disorder was creating a new order.

We were moved by the systemic transition and decided to design an object that captioned the condition: a disruption of the accepted, an intervention into the familiar.

Our intervention was to disrupt the familiar notebook by punching holes through it. Does a notebook page need to be pristine to be written on? Is the function of writing impaired or heightened with the holes? We were inclined to think it was both. The discomfort of adapting into a new condition would also heighten one's sensitivity to the environment. In the context of repairing the broken economy, such discomfort is preferred to lulling familiarity.

The graphics were obvious references to the financial meltdown. The front cover had streaks aligned to the holes. Turn to the back and stood an upright bear, punched through. It was a much needed message of hope for us, the riddled bear would ail in time to come.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Paper sponsor: Antalis
Printer sponsor: Kin Yiap

Office Wall
The wall divided the studio (left) from the office (right)
The longest side of the 3-planar wall
Plywood sheets applied like wallpaper onto the wall
Graphic pattern from inside the studio

We built a 3-planar wall to organise our office into two working spaces with opposite qualities: a contained studio and an open office.

We were drawn to the poetic uncertainty of our landlord renewing the office lease and went for plywood, a material commonly used for makeshift structures.

For this project, we explored the graphic possibilities of the material without altering it. Its inconsistent tones (ply are essentially wood sheets made from different trees), precut 4ft x 8ft size and various thicknesses were our self-enforced premises. In the end, we applied the material like wallpaper, using the variant tones to create a graphic pattern. The result felt like a wall-object that was both substance (a wooden wall) and simulation (a wallpaper print).

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinator: Shirlie Tan
Contractor: Matchbox Interiors

Unmarked box
Unmarked brown box affixed with a warning label
The ham wrapped in a millitary ration band
A camouflage bag was custom sewn as packaging

Post 9/11, unmarked brown boxes took on a sinister meaning. And even more so when the box was tagged with a red warning note. Reacting against the climate of fear, our office attempted to subvert the visual language of the unmarked box with optimism.

It became our 2006 Xmas gift for friends, clients and associates - a box containing a piece of ham for thanksgiving dinner. The ham was packed like a WW2 military ration, complete with labels and a camouflage bag, a design decision that had to do with how most people chose to remember our office name.

As we were handling perishables, production logistics were tricky: coordinating delivery of frozen hams island-wide and arranging ahead for recipients and/or their secretaries to store them chilled. Plus the bespoke camouflage bags had to be rushed out over a weekend. It made the many compliments we received for this gift all the more satisfying.

Designer: Budi Wijaya
Copywriter: Budi Wijaya
Project coordinators: Audrey Koh, Ong Pei Chin

Tidal Vectors
Video still
Video still
Video still

Artist statement
Sydney-based artist extraordinaire, James McGrath invited us to contribute a set of time-based digital visualisation as part of a larger exhibition held in Museum of Sydney in 2000. James' piece was titled Tidal Vectors, a digital installation that worked as a poetic visualisation of Circular Quay's historicity. Our short video pieces were there to complement James' main video.

Our work was based on the wind maps that were charted to inform shipping vessels of the crucial information. We imagined the maps as objects that contained kinetic energy in a poetic sense as they recorded wind trajectories. Hence the resulting animation of the map's cartographic lines and their shadows in a rhythmic wave-like motion.

Artist: Budi Wijaya

Fascination
Plate 0001
Plate 0010
Plate 0100
Plate 1000

Artist statement
This work was done for an exhibition during the Month of Photography at the Singapore Art Museum in 2002, curated by London-trained and Singapore-based artist Terence Yeung.

There was a title but no brief. The title hence became self-fulfilling as we couldn't take our eyes off it, having no other subject to turn to. The clue finally came from observing a fascination with digital technology, in particular with digital imaging among photographers. With the ubiquity of Photoshop, photographers were soon 'making' their images on the computer rather than 'capturing' them on camera, complicating the line between a photograpgh and a digitally created image.

We presented the point by entering a fully computer-generated work into a photographic exhibition. The work was a set of digital imagery made up of 'layers' that were 'built' in a 3D software, a Constructivist-inspired virtual collage. These were reproduced into static prints, somewhat dissimulating the virtual into material. In a way, we asked the question of whether photography was really a simulation of the real or whether it was an act of realising the virtual since day one.

Artist: Budi Wijaya

-+ commission

Client Commission

Self Commission

Prologue

Slideshow

In 2009, we reviewed our portfolio as part of our effort to build an office website after practicing for 7 years. We laboriously translated our works from the language of

Merck's Plan to Win

Focus group/ Multimedia/
Interiors/ Newsletter

This project is about alignments and salmons.

Merck initiated 'Plan to Win' end

Dicklee.com

Website

'Use me as a platform to express yourself'. It came from Dick Lee, multi-hyphenate musician, composer, creative director, jewelry designer, socialite and

Centenary Service

Service book

The Anglicans celebrated the Diocese of Singapore's 100th anniversary in 2009.

Obviously, the Service book was a

Victoria Theatre Memories

Exhibition units

Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, built a century ago, closed for a 2-year restoration period in June

Gammon PPP

Visual branding/ Brochure/ Video/ Exhibition units

A JV by UK's Balfour Beatty and Jardine Matheson, Gammon Capital is consortium leader in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)

Visual Blogging

Slideshow

We read Gerald Grow's article that elaborated the problems many visual designers face when they write using words. The one that stood out for us went like this:

Experience Union

Visual branding/ Website/ Brochure/ Foldout

We were commissioned in 2008 to develop the visual identity and marketing collaterals for Union, when the partnership of 3 offices:

Space, Flat

Poster/ Art installation

'Space,Flat' explored the theme of violence found in the inevitable displacement/collision/confrontation of media/discipline/craft in any cross-disciplinary

Life Stories

CD packaging

"Traditional, International
Western feelings from my Oriental heart"
The Mad Chinaman by Dick Lee

Rice

CD packaging

Rice, by celebrity artist Dick Lee, is an instrumental album that borrows heavily from the gamelan sounds of Bali. We were commissioned to design the CD package; a Dick Lee

Kangdingray.com

Website

Collaborating with David on his website was like a real-life enactment of his music. The email conversations, birthing of ideas and the rhythmic periods between

East meets East

Zine

PSF's first publication, East meets East, is a project that dealt with the issue of conflict and contrast. It was originally created for Lingua Comica 3 organised by Asia

50 Collyer Quay

Brochure/ Video

This project, a brochure and video for leasing a prime office building in Singapore's central business district, talks to the top decision-makers in a corporation. We

Mad Chinaman

Visual branding/ Namecard/
T-shirt

Dick Lee, a friend of ours who is also Singapore's most iconic East-West tunesmith, had set up a company to administer all his

Theatreworks E+O

Brochure

Constraints always produce the effect of focusing the mind and it was so for this brochure that was designed for one of Singapore's most eminent theatre companies.

Donna Sings

Flyer

Donna Doherty, a Scottish singer, approached us to design a publicity flyer that she could give away at her inaugural performance in Singapore. She

Numbers

Zine

The recent financial crisis hit the headlines of every capitalistic city, screaming numbers so big that zeros started to swim surreally. Presumably, these were the same

Cicada.com.sg

Website

The founders of Cicada are art collectors and at home in discussing conceptual ideas and engaging with perceptional visuals. We recall the design process to be

Dubai Mall

Leasing application/ Video/ Marketing Presentations/ Display units

Dubai was in a frenzy to build, not just a street but an entire New Downtown. And everything was in

Baanngg! Baanngg!

Notebook

At the end of 2008, the world's financial system was in a state of violent disruption. Century-old institutions collapsed and national treasuries bankrupted. The disorder

Office Wall

Interiors

We built a 3-planar wall to organise our office into two working spaces with opposite qualities: a contained studio and an open office.

Unmarked Box

Direct mail

Post 9/11, unmarked brown boxes took on a sinister meaning. And even more so when the box was tagged with a red warning note. Reacting against the climate of

Tidal Vector

Digital visualisation

Sydney-based artist extraordinaire, James McGrath invited us to contribute a set of time-based digital visualisation as part of a larger exhibition held in Museum of

Fascination

Digital visualisation

This work was done for an exhibition during the Month of Photography at the Singapore Art Museum in 2002, curated by London-trained and Singapore
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PlasticSoldierFactory (PSF) is an art+design office based in Singapore since 2002. The office's agenda is twofold: making art for businesses and making businesses for art. It is cross-disciplinary both in profile+practice.

Budi Wijaya, founder+design director, is architecture-trained. Project+research director Audrey Koh was a practicing lawyer and dotcom survivor. Before joining PSF in 2004, Audrey was co-founder of a legal technology company with an Asia-Pacific reach.

PSF enjoys long-standing and highly collaborative working relationships with global companies from the United States, United Kingdom, Middle East and Asia.

In 2010, PSF off-shoots FameMoneyPower to publish visual objects.
6 Indus Road
04 - 08 Singapore 169588
+65 67424024
hello@plasticsoldierfactory.com