Gabriel Isaac Goh’s Items of Curation.


This photograph was taken from a Huffington Post article headlined, “Yes, Some New Jersey Students Have To Go To Schools That Look Like This”.

Our chosen topic is on the academic pressures children face in their Singaporean youth, and how parents can assist in alleviating at least some of that pressure. But this photograph is more of an emotional inspiration for the former part of our topic.

The big emotion garnered here is definitely sympathy for the subject’s plight, shown by her saddened face and the actual desolate condition her classroom is in. This amplified by the subjective color scheme, Black and White which presents a sombre mood. The detailed texture through a deeper depth of field and the natural lighting casting minimal shadows provided by the window emphasize the rawness of the image. As such, the small space of the room condenses all items in it, hinting to the pressing issue at hand that is troubling the teenager.

The use of visual cues to persuade the audience graphically is something hope we can use in our project. The extremely naturalistic setting gives deep insight into the cultural perspectives of the issue highlighted here (students’ plights and helplessness, learning in such poor school conditions) and evoke strong elements of Pathos to put the human condition (Ironic academic-related cause to her psyche) damaged here into the spotlight.


This photograph is taken from an article titled, “How To Help Your Child Deal With College Application Stress”.

The theme that is suggested of parental assistance rendered to stressed children is in line with the call to action of our project, for parents to lighten to immense stress their children are put under by academics. The eye-line of the adult here towards the child’s troubled face, accompanied by a face of assurace of the former. This accompanied by the hands that physically connect her body to the child and the trouble-casuing laptop simultaneously, which shows a determined effort in easing the child’s stress.

The low depth of field, as seen by the blurred background, brings out the emphasis on the 2 subjects and indicate the importance their story is. The elements in this image point toward a cultural perspective in the Western world of parents being encouraged on establishing a physical and emotional presence in assisting their children. One that is not established in Asian society, which favours a more tough love approach.

Though not all elements will be incorporated in such intensity into our project, the overall emotional draw to the audience is what is desired to be shown. The piece of bread on the table is the next element that the audience is drawn to and this is an inspiration for our work as food items are a heavy contrast to books or laptops that are culturally associated with academic stress. It gives much needed texture to the image and has an emotional appeal to the audience, as it is culturally thought that food is fuel for the mind.

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