Our consciousness will be changing according to the society we are living in, our sense of reality or illusion is an amalgamation of our memories and experience. So our reactions to people in society are very much depends on consciousness. The material world seems so real to us, but the way we live in it, the way we communicate with people is so precarious and illusive.

I am interested in the urban condition and what lies beneath the façade of a person. My aim is to present the grey area of the above understanding in this fast changing society. Some of us judge people purely by appearance, or some will judge even without seeing them. So does the body really matter? Perhaps we care too much about this material body, and any happiness or sorrow it brings us is only illusion.

Plato insists that ‘artists are just creating appearances, not the actual real things’. When I transform my consciousness onto the paper, they become representations of my experience. And like what Picasso said, ‘Art is a lie, but it is a lie that makes us realize the truth’. My concern is to try to see below the surface of these ‘fact of uncertainty’ to have a deeper understanding of human condition.

My works show both reality and illusion, both logical and illogical, with surreal sense of searching and finding, of veiling and revealing, presence and absence. This is the grey area in my understanding of the uncertainty of human’s mind. Neither real nor dream.

‘The only way to have a sense of self in these selfless postmodern days is by committing oneself totally to the theatrical illusion of self that art creates…’
- Donald Kuspit’s writing on
Yasumasa Morimura’s Photographs

Janice Chin



Figures in my artworks are being engaged in improbable but not totally impossible task, filling up the whole picture frame. With the expression on one’s face, it tells the moment and feeling that the eye cannot see. It deals with the metaphorical comments on human condition, struggling in silence for survival.

The creation of ‘Dual Series’ (or Twins Series) is an inspiration from my newborn twin nephews in 2004. It explores the longing of one’s spirit to seek greater meaning as well as the need for an identity. There are times when we face relentless questions. Instead of struggling in loneliness, we tend to rely on the other ‘self’, regardless of one’s real existence. The discovery of our own 'self' is the way to free us from our own frame.

My new series of men figures (titled ‘Comforting Stop’) deals with the inner feelings as well. However, it concerns more about the inner feelings of men themselves instead the relationship of men and women (breasts). Just like women, both sexes are trying to seek greater meaning as well as an identity. However, stress and pressure restrict us from breaking free. We face our truest side when we are left alone. The breasts here symbolize a kind of protection. By extension to childhood, it reminds us of mothers who protected us from all world’s evils.

My artworks show a particular intensity, a particular tension, that is present in people. What i am painting is not the real and not the unreal but rather an unconscious feeling. I do not feel the need to capture everything exactly as what it is in so-called reality. By using my own colour scheme and creating works which are in a surreal, dream-like atmosphere comes closer to capturing what is more real to me. Human’s mind is largely resilent, while admitting one’s weakness, there is a way to break us free from our own frame. My fondest wish is for these images to speak to your soul.

Some (most) of my paintings portrayed human figures with their eyes shut as if in denial of the ongoing changes of the social environment. Yet it also indicate a sense of longing for hope and a better future.

This is my personal, emotional form of art which should be thought provoking. The artist, like the philosopher, is fully committed to a truth-seeking activity, trying to see below the surface of things and acquire a deeper understanding of human experience. My only wish is the viewers would get some special feelings of something personal from my artworks.


Janice Chin