Friday, September 14, 2012

Coursework Final (:

Oil on Canvas with Thread
1.5m x 1.0m x 2 canvases
Hmm, they are supposed to be displayed one on top of the other. But they will only be hung up after EOYs so I shall see how it looks like when they are properly displayed.
Well, it will be quite hard to explain my work, but I will try my best. (: There are so many thoughts going through my mind now. I find it harder to explain my work to people and I find that writing SOVA essays seem much easier. :/
When I was young, I used to think that the world is a very nice place - I didn't know that wars, corruption existed and I was a little oblivious to many things that are happening in society. When we are all young, we used to be innocent, and due to our innocence and the fact that we are oblivious to the real world, we feel happier, more carefree. In my case, I felt that my childhood was filled with many happy memories, and that the life I led was more colourful and "pure". I had a lot of stuff toys when I was young(an entire wardrobe could be filled with all the stuff toys that I have!) and I often played with them when I was bored. Stuff toys are symbolic of the happy memories of my childhood. The girl in the first painting represented this notion of happiness, purity and childhood innocence, where she is shielded from the cruel society, hidden in her little shell, playing with stuff toys. The colourful hair represents the vitality of the child and suggests that her childhood life is filled with many colours.The stars hanging from the curtains represent the notion of hopes and dreams of the young child.
However, after the child grows up, she is exposed to the cruel society. As seen in the second painting, she metamorphoses into a lifeless looking "human" puppet. The girl's hair has changed from a used-to-be colourful hair into greyish hair. Her healthy flesh tones have turned white and seem to lack blood flow. It is as if life is sucked out of the girl, which causes her to look lifeless and tired. This represents the fact that many people are morphed into society's toy, controlled by what society wants us to be and somehow, forced to do what society wants us to do. The society becomes the ruthless puppet master and we become the helpless puppets. The person wearing the mask is representative of society's watchful eyes on us, looking over us. Her eyes are not seen, so we cannot see her complete facial features, which gives her anonymity and can actually represent the entire society. She looks at the puppet with a sinister smile... It is like "Big Brother's watching over you" - George Orwell. The stuff toys that represent innocence in the past have morphed into evil looking ones. It represents that as we grow up, everything changes, everything is different and we are forced to face the cruel world.
The puppet is giving a rose to the devil bear. The rose represents happy memories and it represents purity and beauty. However, the puppet is forced to give the rose to the devil. It symbolises that society robs us of true happiness as it controls us. It is like selling our happiness to society(the devil).
The whole work seems to be taking place in a theatre setting. I chose the theatre setting as I thought that it would be an appropriate setting to place puppets. The theatre also represents the notion of a play going on - a show that is purposedly scripted, manipulated and crafted. It is like how our life is manipulated by society in a way. Our life is like a staged show. The checkered floors are supposed to represent the chess boards - we are like chess pieces, being played by society.
The strings of the puppet actually connect the two pieces of work together. The puppet's strings are also present in the first painting as it means that the society has always been cruel ever since we are young, but it is just that we are blinded by this fact, oblivious to the "real world" and living happily in our own world of fantasy.
The top composition seems more simplistic and the bottom painting seems more cluttered with symbols. It also represents the fact that life in the past(childhood) was much more simple as compared to now(the present). I want to go back to being a child again. ):
Colour Scheme: Well, I made use of complementary colours. (: Red curtains vs. the Green checkered floor. Purple eyes vs. Yellow dress. Orange/Gold Frame vs. Blue in different areas.
The colours ae mainly pastel colours, which is quite ironic as pastel colours suggest a notion of lightness and a more positive outlook. Well, it looks like a happy, normal painting at first glance but when one stops to analyse the work, she can tell that some of the symbols used are actually quite morbid and sad. It is like how our society looks perfect at first glance, but there are actually a lot of problems existing in our society if we bother to look deeper. Everything is not what it seems to be.
p.s. you may not share the same views as I do but in this coursework, I think that I am just expressing the darker side of my thoughts. In reality, I think that I am a more optimistic person. (: I think that what I feel is partially true - we are somewhat controlled by society and we have to follow what society wants us to be. Well, we are not oppressed like Lucia Hartini, but we are not that free too, and as Nanyang Girls, we are supposed to be the "top of the top". Society expects us to become successful women in the future, placing expectations on us and somehow, I feel that we are all somewhat controlled by these expectations. Personally, I feel that many people expect me to become a doctor in the future(not that I mind) but I feel that these pre-expectations of the people around me actually control my thoughts in a is somewhat like asking me to do what they want. ><
Somehow I think that I am not making sense. It is really hard to put my thoughts into words. >.< My work just confused me...I hope I didn't contradict myself in any point.
Personal thoughts about my work:
I won't say I am very satisfied by it. There are a lot of rooms for improvement. But since it is my first time attempting such a large scaled painting(my largest artwork as of today), I shall consider this to be a good effort. (: I am glad that I finished(: I was quite worried as I only continued painting my not-yet-half-done painting after musical ended, which was 3 weeks prior to the submission deadline. If I had more time, I would include more symbols and details...
Anyway, I am not that emo! >.< As I said, this is the emo side of my thoughts which I would like to show as people normally don't see me as a emo person(not that I am). Haha, I guess that even as we may be puppets of the society, we should try to live past everyday with happiness so as to make our life more meaningful...(:

1 comment:

  1. Hello Xin Ying :)
    Sharon here.
    I like your blending skills a lot and I think the colours you used in your paintings are very fresh and lively. It cheers me up when I see this whole myriad of colours in your paintings, although it's supposed to be a dark theme. I think you are good at drawing and painting cute and pretty stuff so you should delve more into that area. Nevertheless, good job for coursework!! I find the thought process behind this artwork very meaningful. Many people's courseworks look very mature and their colour schemes are of darker shades, that's why I think yours stands out amongst the rest.

    -have a happy day :-)