f Performance Art: boxes of the world unite-Wrap; Beautify; Uncertainty.


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Performance Art: boxes of the world unite-Wrap; Beautify; Uncertainty.

October 8, 2010 /

This is for my elective module:

INT270-Performance & Interaction.

Uncertainty; à risque.

"When faced with uncertainty, how do you deal with it?

Will you choose to embrace it; or to fear & shun away from it?

Uncertainty; à risque.

Dealing with uncertainty is like taking a risk.

You leave the land of certainty and explore the sea of possibilities.

Exploring into this path of uncertainty in life leaves us feeling anxious, confused, doubtful, vulnerable, afraid, excited, curious, insecure and the list continues.

Often, we get influenced by external pressures easily,
and our emotions get stirred.
Sometimes, others can make us feel afraid, simply by influencing us with words.
Sometimes, we rather believe in what others convey to us,
than to take the chance ourselves.
But sometimes, it is that slight uncertainty that makes us sure.

In this simple performance, where I approached the public with a Red Box filled with “things”, I wanted to challenge them to approach the uncertainty.

My aim is to explore the various emotions & reactions
that will be seen on the faces of the people when faced with uncertainty.
I wanted to stir their emotions, by giving them a slight mystery about the things that were found inside the red box. I wanted to see if it’s true, that males are more adventurous than females.

True enough, there were a handful of ladies, who rejected my invite.

But of course, majority of the public took up my challenge.
Some were smiling throughout as they explored the box,
some squinted their eyes, some appeared really curious,

one turned behind to avoid showing his emotions,
and one appeared very lost as I was explaining about my performance.
These upfront emotions, are priceless.

Uncertainty; à risqué.

If you don’t try, you will never know. "

-Shine Koh

More about what this is all about:


this assignment is about performance as action art in a public space,

with people streaming through naturally,

and who may stop and look or get involved in some way.

So for my group- XOB,

which consists of Supei, myself(Shine), & Hui Xin,

we came out with this theme,

"Boxes of the world unite"-

Wrap; Beautify; Uncertainty.

because our ideas all revolved around 'Boxes'.

I had a red box, Supei had a white box, & Hui Xin had a transparent box.


For my performance,

I made this Red Box:

Why the Red Box??


-Red is the most attention-grabbing,it helps in immediately focusing attn on a particular element.
-Red is also mysterious & mentally stimulating.
-Red is hot; it's a strong colour that conjures a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence & warfare.

-Red increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy & encourages action

The Performance

So anyway, on 8th October 2010,
I approached the public at Canteen A area in NTU.
I challenged them

to reach into this Red Box to 'feel' what's inside, with their bare hands.

After which, I had them to write down what they think were inside the Red Box;

& also comment on how they felt throughout the participation.


So, I looked through all the responses..

&, the most common answers were:

- Banana
-Ginger (im surprised many got this right!)
- Furry thingy/furry rod/something furry

Some interesting answers:

-A bone
- Pearl

-Dried Glue

-Some wet stuff
-Orange Skin

Unveiling the Mystery

& so, the answer that will be revealed................


*Shuttlecock; toasted bread; banana; gummies; peeled grapes;
Fatt Choy; Paint roller rod; ginger; & newspaper strips.

Told you guys that there are NOTHING disgusting inside!! ;>

uh, wait a min..
black thing that you see,
is called 'Fatt Choy' aka Black Moss.

It is commonly used in Chinese cuisines,
especially during Chinese New Year period.
So.... it's not what you think okay. ;D

After Thoughts

Some after-thoughts on the "Uncertainty" theme actually links to reality..

Why do we always allow others to influence us so easily?
Why do we steer away from The Uncertainty because of fear,
& not embrace or even challenge it?
& this is so apt, in terms of pursuing our dreams/goals/ambitions.

Take a look at this paragraph:

“ So I’m going out there.
And I’m going to do the best I can.
People are going to get in my way.
Things are going to bring me down.
But I’m going to keep going.
I’m going to reach as far as I can,
for every thing I’ve ever wanted.
And I’m not giving up.
Because that’s what you do when your dreams are more important than your fears.
You go out there and ignore the odds.
You focus on one thing- that your dreams come true. ”
— K. Boulden

This paragraph motivated me a lot,
when I was facing with
on the choice of career after I graduate.
(which is soon, because I am already in my final yr)

Undoubtedly, the choice that I've more or less decided on,
is filled with uncertainties & challenges,
yet I decided to go along with it,
I decided to embrace the uncertainty.

It wasn't really because it has been my "dream" since young,
but rather,
I just do not want any regrets.
I do not want to look back a few yrs later,
with all the:

"it could have been.."
"what if.."
"why didn't I?"

It was that uncertainty that made me sure,
that I want to give it a try.
I want to leave the land of certainty
& explore the sea of possibilities.
Soon, the uncertainty will become a certainty;
be it good or bad,
at least I'll know.

Last but not least,
I'll like to thank all of you who participated in my performance act.
Thanks for being so spontaneous.
Thanks for willing to take the risk.
Thanks to my lovely grpmates: Hui Xin & Supei as well!

It was exceptionally fun with you two girls!
I had fun,
& I hope you enjoyed it as well!
Check out my grp mates' performances:
Hui Xin:

So....... how do you feel after knowing what were the stuff that inside the box?
What do you think of my idea for this performance & interaction project?
Do you like my idea of linking this to reality?

free feel to drop a comment yea? ;>


Uncertainty; à risque.

If you don't try, you'll never know;

If you don't try, you miss all your chances. :)

  1. Im pretty sure that I felt a banana inside.. gross! nevertheless, this was an interesting activity. keep it up!

  2. Hey, guess I'm one of the ladies who dare to try ya? It was an interesting experiment (:

  3. the way you approached us.. made it seemed mysterious & creepy.. lol. nevertheless, well-done! the other 2 projects were interesting as well =)

  4. The Uncertainty factor was well portrayed and it would be a real risk putting my hand in the box if there's something in there that bites me...luckily no live animals were used and killed in the process..Haha!!

  5. A very good theme to explore. 'Uncertainty'is a concept applicable and relevant to everyone.And your interactive performance act is a really interesting way to explore this concept. Although the act lacks novelty, in the sense that "Guess whats in the box" activity has been commonly played and used before, the ability to link and explore 'Uncertainty' using this experiment is indeed a fresh and out of the norm kind of idea. People see uncertainty as an intangible feeling, but you were able to link it and explore this feeling in a appealing, interactive way through the sense of touch. This adds on an individual touch to your theme. Good link!

    Probably you can further address how your conclusion from this project can be related to real life experiences, that will be very interesting. Like how uncertainty can actually lead to people minimizing their dreams because they fear to face what is in the 'red box'. (haha! maybe a ticket to the dream job?)

    Nice video! Great job!

  6. hey thr!! thks so much for the comments!! keep them coming ;D

    K; i must admit the banana got a lil' gross after the whole thing. i think if you see the aftermath of the box, you'll kill me. hahahh

    Jacelyn; hey tho i dno who you are in person alr, thk you so much for being so spontaneous!!!!

    Anonymous; i wanted to stir your emotions & see how you all will react :) thks for dropping a comment!

    Loh; i told some of them that thr was a furry thingy inside, which may move. & some of them thought i was doing cruelty to animals!! no way!!

    OKbom!; thks so much for the long comment ;D & i'll definitely consider your suggestion. think i'll add that in.. :)

  7. Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
    Its a awesome theme that u explored and I'm sure that in the progress, you have managed to inspire the participants to begin the journey out of their comfort zone and become pioneers of the future.
    Great job done there!=)

  8. I think that this experiment is really cool! Its a good idea to use different colour boxes. People's reaction to the different boxes should be quite interesting to compare=)