(work in progress)

The city, the superorganism created by humanity. Yet with this increased closeness, there is an increased sense of loneliness. A bustling city trapped in its own solitude; an unnatural sense of stasis.

Inspired by Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings, I was fascinated by the idea of the cityscape having the superficial outlook of normalcy but yet with an uncanny sense of unfamiliarity.

The cityscape is presented with an evocative air of solitude despite the closeness. There are visible signs of life, anticipation juxtaposed with an unnatural sense of stasis and unfamiliarity.



Artist's Statement:

A work exploring the alienation of the city. As the city grows, the city becomes a foreboding place.

Many years ago, I when I was travelling in Malaysia I came across huge concrete windowless buildings, in the middle of oil palm plantations. Later I saw them in small town, huge 2-4 storey buildings without windows, some even resembling houses, except for the fact they did not have windows. Then after a few years, I learnt they are birds’ nest farms. The swallows nest in the interior of the structures and the birds’ nests are collected for consumption.

Years later I went army, we trained in what is called a Fibua Village, a mockup small town for military training. From far it looks real, with signboards, lamp posts, staircases, alleys.... but the uncanny appearance begins to unravel.
The shops and houses do not have furniture inside, the doors and windows were empty frames, no fittings, and no signs of life. So real, yet all is a simulation. So close to civilisation yet, all is a mirage.

These experiences struck me deeply.