Acrylic on canvas, 2021
Loh Fah Rong, Esmond
Bendemeer Secondary School
The painting portrays the varied living conditions of individuals and families residing in an imagined apartment building. Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, I aim to express how the realities of ‘staying home’ experienced by every person may be vastly different, simultaneously reflecting the unnoticed inequalities of society. The painting showcases familiar characters: the food delivery rider struggling to make ends meet, the student doing ‘home-based’ learning, the yoga/fitness enthusiast, the single mother, the homeless man, and more. The apartment divides yet binds together the disparate realities of these various individuals, inviting viewers to contemplate their own experience of the pandemic and their understanding of what home means to them.
Esmond Loh (b. 1995, Singapore) works primarily in painting. Taking inspiration from his memory and imagination, he creates dramatic and ambiguous scenes that combine both abstract and figurative elements. He graduated in 2019, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, United Kingdom. He won the prestigious 31st UOB Painting of the Year Competition in Singapore in 2012. Thus far, he has had three solo exhibitions, the latest being an online Artsy exclusive in 2018. He has participated in group exhibitions such as SIZE MATTERS: A Question of Scale (2018) at Chan + Hori Contemporary in Singapore; Passages (2015) at the UOB Art Gallery, Singapore and Common Ground (2015) at Shophouse 5, Singapore.