Thirteen students and academics from the Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science’s (LKC FES) Department of Architecture and Sustainable Design (DASD) painted a mural titled “The Swimming Koi Fish” over a period of 14 non-consecutive days from November 2016 to March 2017.
The team consisted of Architecture students Bong Jie Si, Chen Lit Ying, Cheng Hui Wen, Chua Siu Ting, Chuah Li San, Goh Ee Xuan, Heng Vee Yi, Dorcas Lee Xian, Oh Xiao Li, Wong Shi Weei, Jordan Yeap Su Mann, Yeong Wai Kit, and Department of Architecture and Sustainable Design (DASD) Lecturer Tew Bun Teck.
“The mural speaks volumes of what engineering and science are all about. The mechanical wheels represent the scientific breakthroughs of engineering and science which have provided for a better tomorrow. The koi fish swimming among the wheels represent the harmony between nature and the ever changing conditions of the world,” said Yeap.
“Through time, engineering and science have developed a distorted reputation for what appears to be manipulation of the Earth’s resources in a quest to meet human needs. What many do understand is that engineering and science have always revolved around the protection of human populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors, and protection of the environment from potential deleterious effects of nature and human activities,” Tew continued.
The lily pads as well as the mechanical wheels in their repetitive visual forms randomly dot the wall plane to interrupt the mural’s composition into several segregated visual fields. The strategic positioning of the koi fish interspersed between the lily pads and mechanical wheels conjure for the viewers the impression of constant movement, enhanced by the fishes’ sweeping tail motion.
The backdrop was proposed to be in light blue to signify water. However, the team realised that the colour did not give the mural atmospheric depth. They decided to paint it with saturated depth starting at the bottom, and gradually in lighter hues towards the top.
“I learnt a lot from this project. From learning different types of painting techniques from the team to understanding the importance of teamwork and respect for everyone’s ideas and opinions,” said Oh, one of the team members.