Precariously Mundane I

Pastel and Collage on Paper

152 x 84 cm


Private Collection

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‘Precariously Mundane’ is a stage that describes Singapore society and many big cities in the world:
pre·car·i·ous   prɪˈkɛəriəs - [pri-kair-ee-uhs]


dependent on circumstances beyond one's control; uncertain; unstable; insecure: a precarious livelihood


dependent on the will or pleasure of another; liable to be withdrawn or lost at the will of another


exposed to or involving danger; dangerous; perilous; risky


having insufficient, little, or no foundation: a precarious assumption.

pre·car·i·ous·ly, adverb
mun·dane   mʌnˈdeɪn, ˈmʌndeɪn - [muhn-deyn, muhn-deyn]


of or pertaining to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs.


common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.


of or pertaining to the world, universe, or earth.

This is the magical space in my mind …
The place I live in …
Noisiness vs silentness
Crowdy vs emptiness
Superficial yet profound …
Rich in emotions …
Full of treasures …
Neither logical or illogical …
Neither dream nor real…

‘Precariously Mundane I & II’ are constructed imaginary spaces, with the use of little signs to draw viewers back to the reality, the society they are living in. The embodiments of my ‘self’ here is the embodiment of city-dwellers. The first piece shows an outer appearance. There are a big crowd but with sense of quietness and isolation. While in the second piece, there are fewer figures, but with communication.

Lots of little figures show subtle relationship among them. They convey sense of loneliness, alienation, fear, reserved, eagerness and excitement. There is also eagerness to evoke resonance with their viewers.

The architectural setup resembles some PC games setup. What I am trying to present is a virtual world, an encapsulated space like the society we are living in. The use of two-point perspective with some illogical setup is illusive.

I choose to dress myself with more modern clothing in futuristic look. This is my interpretation of city-dwellers. The clothing, colours and architecture setup in this series of works play both contrasts and harmonious in their way to interfere one’s visual perception.

The exit sign in ‘Precariously Mundane I’ resonate with the photography cutout that move beyond the drawing area. They question the real exit. Additionally, the showing of blank area also gives another insight to painting about what is real and what is not.

Our consciousness is based on our experience and memories, just like what I have portrayed in my artworks are my personal experience to the society. I am trying to show the grey area of this understanding, to present a neither logical nor illogical, neither dream nor real world we are living in.


Janice Chin