SCHEHERAZADE’S SEA 2016- PhD Dissertation

Scheherazade’s Sea:

autism, parallel embodiment and elemental empathy.

Dawn-joy Leong


A thesis in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

UNSW Art & Design

April 2016



To my father, 

Dr. Leong Vie-Ying (1930-2007).


Please click through for chapters.


  1. Introduction
  2. Parallel Embodiment
  3. Space of Mind
  4. Opulent Sea – Disarming the Myth of Barrenness
  5. The Trilogy 2013-2015 – Creating Clement Space
  6. Recapitulation





This work would not have been possible without the following:


Deepest gratitude to my supervisors,

Professor Jill Bennett,

Dr. Petra Gemeinboeck,

and Dr. Sally Clark,

for your patience, guidance, advice, support, and for believing.

My Lucy Like-a-Charm – my muse, inspiration and guardian angel.

My family:

Thank you, mother, Molly Chye Gek Ong, for your care and fortification.

My beloved baby-sister and faithful champion, Althea Leong,

thank you for always being here, there, and everywhere for me.

Dear brother-in-law, Robin Sing,

thank you for your patience, sustenance and unquestioning support.

My canine nephews, Bizcuit and Tiny Sing, for the cheer.

Much gratitude to my friends who have played important roles in my journey:

Yee Sang, Ho

Rick Johnson

Minh Vuong

Kateryna Fury

C.J. Wan Ling, Wee

Margie Anne Edmonds

Brad Beadel

Gavin Koh

Boon Ling, Yee

Shane Fenton

Andrea Kingan

Colin G. Marshall and Misty Marshall

Shan Patterson and Sally Patterson