Reflective Statement

Research Methods
When I first started doing research for my study, I have encountered some difficulties in terms on how to start and whether I will have enough resources to conduct my research. The keyword that I have chosen, ‘Exoticism’ was something very new to me too but with the help of Studynet and UH Online Library, I was able to find some valuable information and useful text that is related to my chosen keyword. The information have also assisted me in doing critical analysis better. I find that although the UH Online Library might be a little tedious to access, but there are a lot of good academic resources that I am able to find that can eventually be useful as I continue my study.

I also had the chance to make a visit to the local public library in my hometown, Sabah where I managed to find more books regarding on the indigenous people of Borneo, which is also a subject that I am currently interested in to research further. Being able to make a short visit back to my hometown gave me a chance to collect a lot of inspiration and idea as I was walking along the weekly native open market, looking and observing at the lifestyles of the native people trading their goods in the market. I always believe the practice of going out and observe the surrounding to be one of the best sources of inspiration when you are stuck trying to find ideas in the creative field. For inspiration of artworks and designs, some resourceful sites that I frequently go to are Pinterest, Behance, Facebook and design blogs. These sites helped me to work on my idea and also most importantly to work on my design preferences for my project.


I found a wider understanding on my keyword ‘Exoticism’ as I read the book by Victor Segalen, Essay on Exoticism as he mentioned that his definition of exoticism is not what we normally see in tourism advertisement but as something where we are aware of the uniqueness in our own culture and see something ‘special’ out of it. Having read this book, it has led me to pursue my FAT1 project where I wanted to create a project that can represent my roots, culture and lifestyles of native the people in Sabah Borneo. The challenge would be to have an outcome that can connect to the younger generations better and to have them appreciate their own culture as well.

I have also found that Deborah Alden’s paper on fading traditions in Singapore gave a good insight for me to understand cultural authenticity better and also inspired me to look for more ways in reviving the lost tradition and culture from the native tribes in Borneo. I believe with the rich and colourful culture that can be seen in Borneo can be beneficial as future designers are able to find inspiration in creating cultural authenticity in a more contemporary way which can be valued better to young generations. Alden’s paper helped me to look into authentic things that I can introduce or display for my project hence I’ve decided to develop my idea on Tamu, Sabah’s local native market.

Through these research and findings, it has guided me with working on my progress for my FAT1 project as well as the upcoming FAT2 project. It has also helped me to expand my views in understanding my keyword better and also to strengthen my aims for this study, as I wanted to use this ability to develop and create an outcome that can represent my culture well. I am hoping that I can continue researching and looking for more resources throughout this study not forgetting to broaden my personal style in graphic design.

Word count: 633 words.


Segalen, V. (2002) Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity. [online] North Carolina: Duke University Press.

Alden, D (2009) A Fading Tradition: Design as a Portal to the Discovery of One’s Own Cultural Heritage. [online]


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