The work done for the book on Bintan in the early 2000s had all the components of a proper academic research, except that it was done outside Academia. But this first taste of historical and ethnographic rigour made me realise that scientific academic research was my calling. It made me accept "discipline", something I had rejected after running away from a ballet class at the age of five years old. With the Phoenix, as I like to call the Bintan book, I learned how to enjoy the stubborn determination required from historians and ethnologists to gather the pieces of a cultural puzzle one by one and see the picture of a resurrected moment in time slowly emerge. It made me relish in the patient search for the scattered parts of a narrative to thread the flow of its forgotten message in the present. By 2004, I knew that the unrelenting, obsessive quest for the long-awaited intellectual revelation of an elusive "truth" made me feel complete. The finished book said how much I had I enjoyed every bit of the process, even the tedious finishing-line of footnote editing, the brainless exercise without which a paper is not completed.
Master thesis on the apparition of the photographic concept in relation to the development of the English garden landscape design in the second half of the 18th century. Completed in 2006 under the supervision of Adeline Kueh for the Master of Arts - Fine Arts,
Open University - LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.