Labour (Week 5 Journal)


When you think about labour, in the context of Singapore, you think about maids and construction workers, when you think about the depiction of labourers in art pieces, you think about the very clear depiction of these workers, of them being in the foreground.

However, I think that images that show labourers in the background tend to have a greater impact on me that those that show them in the background. Why? Because it shows the reality of their social status in comparison to those that they work for. For example, the piece I have decided to talk about in this entry is Marriage A-la-Mode 4, The Toilette by William Hogarth, 1743.

I believe that an image like this, while focusing on the wealthy and their lifestyle, also shows how much their servants (labourers) are ignored, not only by them, but by us, the viewer as well. They are painted in darker tones, with heavier shadows so as to not stand in the “same light” as their superiors. They also show no engagement in the social works depicted in the image. They are simply serving with no acknowledgement from anyone.

Author: Josephine

I like cats 8)

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