What is Sky Kave?

Sky Kave is an art installation by FERRY and technical collaborators Rong Zhao, Kelvin Ang and Edric Hwang.

It merges science – the physics of sound – and art to create a new immersive experience. It consists of a suspended projection screen and specially crafted platform chairs equipped with tactile sound transducers that enable the transmission of sound frequencies into physical vibrations.

The platform chairs target different parts of the body with different ranges of frequencies.

What is Sky Kave’s intent?

Sky Kave is first and foremost an educative and exposure tool into Cymatics and is currently used to raise deaf awareness based on its developmental origins. 

Developed around research and interviews conducted with various members of the deaf and hearing-centric community, Sky Kave’s current direction was based on an article about how some of the deaf in the US would stand right in front of the speakers at live music concerts to feel and enjoy music. They would hold empty water bottles in their hands to feel the vibrations on their fingertips as well.

Its current format as lounge chairs was based on existing research about haptic chairs and tactile modality.
SKY KAVE isn’t so much about hearing sound and music, rather, by adding touch and sight to the experience, one can discover and experience new ways of enjoying it.

What SKY KAVE does not want to do is glamourise deafness nor to create a situation to mimic being deaf. With regards to deaf awareness, SKY KAVE seeks to create awareness, understanding, respect and empathy between and within the deaf and hearing centric community through the collaborations formed. 

By putting forth what we have learnt through our conversations and research with the deaf community, as well as showcasing their different perspectives, we want to spark conversations and understanding through the sharing of new experiences.

What about other communities?

Yes, due to the “open source” nature of Sky Kave, all tech and developmental research conducted is made available to anyone who feels this could be useful to work with any community, whether ASD families, the blind, and anyone really!

What is ISSY X EVAN?

ISSY X EVAN is a collaboration created through Sky Kave. Issy is an amazing photographer who happens to be deaf. She collaborated with Evanturetime, wunderkind music producer to create a truly insightful piece about her experience being deaf and navigating her everyday life. A short film that analyses her environment and feeds mostly environmental sounds through the chairs, it’s an eye opening experience where she brings the audience through how she feels or doesn’t feel her environment, and how she connects with what’s around her in a unique way.

Why is forming such collaborations an important aspect of Sky Kave?

The purpose of these kinds of collaborations is to create opportunities for the creation of art borne from those who are differently abled.

There is under representation and lack of opportunities for disabled-led work. These kinds of work not only provide artists from all backgrounds to explore their craft, but by forming such collaborations, we hope to instill respect, understanding and empathy for those deemed by the society as disabled when in fact they are not. We believe long term solutions, inclusiveness and conversations start through understanding and empathy.

Not limited to just the deaf, SKY KAVE is actively exploring opportunities with different communities from the blind to ASD families where our perspectives and our own senses are challenged and explored. Due to the “open source” nature of SKY KAVE, all tech and developmental research conducted is made available to anyone who feels this could be useful to work with any community.

As SKY KAVE progresses and more collaborations are formed, we hope that this work goes beyond the initial phase and concept and that other artists are able to collaborate with us to create relevant and meaningful content for SKY KAVE. By pushing this project into other territories and with each new city that SKY KAVE travels to, it becomes a platform and opportunity to form more collaborations and create new works with artists from that city.

SKY KAVE then becomes a collective effort, using the tech and resources that the installation provides to put forth new perspectives and shared personal experiences. SKY KAVE becomes a traveling catalog of all these unique and different perspectives from around the world.

What are we working towards?

Through the collaborations, conversations and exposing more people to this idea, we ask these questions:

1. Can this progress into something functional?
2. Can a new language for feeling and visualising music be created and used as a creation tool / music education?
3. Can we understand vibrations?

There have been devices like seeingwithsound.com where it’s a software that blind people use to convert the visual field into audio so they can ‘see’ like Neil Harbisson. Could we create a language around vibrations and visuals with regards to music?

SKY KAVE’s ultimate goal is to facilitate and progress towards creating something functional, exploring and experimenting with creating a multi-sensory based language that can be learnt for the appreciation and creation of sound or music beyond just hearing.


Is it possible to experience total deafness as a hearing person?

No. It is impossible to experience total deafness as a hearing person as our bones conduct sound.

Are the ear muffs meant to make us experience what being deaf is like?

No. The ear muffs are meant to reduce the sense of sound so as to elevate the sense of touch. By reducing once sense, it is easier to focus on another.

Within the deaf community there is a very wide spectrum of frequencies that can or cannot be heard by any given individual which varies based on their use of hearing aids, implants, their condition etc.
In no way can ear muffs or ear plugs create an authentic experience about deafness on a whole as it is unique and differs greatly from one deaf individual to another. 

It might give you an inkling of what it could be like but in Sky Kave it is not meant to serve that purpose.

Is there a way to understand vibrations?

Yes, but like a language, it needs to created and learnt. These are known as sensory-substitution devices.


Deaf, hearing-impaired, heard of hearing – What is the right way?

The Deaf community in Singapore prefer to be referred to as Deaf. Hard-of-hearing is also acceptable. Hearing-impaired is generally frowned upon and may be offensive to some. But as always if in doubt, simply ask or clarify!

Based on the SADEAF website:

A deaf person is someone who is completely unable to hear sounds in one or both ears. A Hard-of-hearing” can denote a person with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
The term “people with hearing loss” is inclusive and efficient. Over the years, the most commonly accepted terms have come to be “Deaf,” and “Hard-of-hearing.”

With regards to terms such as deaf-mute, deaf and dumb and hearing-impaired:

 Such terms are outdated and offensive and no longer accepted by most in the community. Media and the general public should refrain using such words too. “Mute” also means silent and without voice. This label is technically inaccurate, since deaf and hard of hearing people generally have functioning vocal chords.
In fact, some have very good speech. Others might have limited or unclear speech, but they are certainly not mute.

In the deaf community, the preferred and accurate terms are ‘’deaf’’ or ‘’hard-of-hearing’’, in line with local and internationally accepted guidelines.

Subtitling and captioning in Singapore

Subtitling and captioning is a very important aspect of visual language for the deaf community. Unfortunately when it comes to movies in theatres, subtitling in English (for English movies) are only available on very select days and times for a very limited period. This means that the deaf are forced to restrict their viewing times to those few windows of opportunities.
Netflix is an excellent example of effective captioning and subtitling.
As a functional tool, subtitling is actually very useful for everyone and anyone, as accents, mumbling and speed of delivery of the actors sometimes causes the dialogue to be missed. By implementing native language subtitling all the time, this will actually help the movies be more inclusive for all theatre goers.


The debate about whether socially-driven art plays a more important role than its autotelic counterpart is art’s ancient equivalent of Laurel VS Yanny. While we aren’t here to flog the argument with more sticks, multidisciplinary artist  Jean Low, aka Ferry, might just dampen our l’art pour l’arttendencies with her musings — for the better.  Fresh from a successful run at SIFA 2018, Ferry talks about Sky Kave, what ifs, social responsibility, and arts for all. – READ MORE

ADN – Point of View

“At the end of the day, it’s about ideas. And if you have a good idea, figure out how to execute the idea.” This was the advice graphic designer-turned-multidisciplinary artist Jean Low had for the Performance Making (P/M) participants, which she herself had received from friend and photographer Lenne Chai. – READ MORE

Review by Alvan Yap.

It was familiar in all the ways which matter to us people who can’t hear or choose not to hear. (At times, I choose not to hear because there is something oh sooo liberating in not having a earmould inside, and which people who don’t have to have every contour of their ear canals filled with a precisely-moulded piece of silicone 9-10 hours a day can only imagine.) – READ MORE