Bauhaus Shapes & Colours | Sweep the floor or there will be fines!



Title: Sweep the floor or there will be fines!


The title and inspiration for this work is not as cheerful as it seems. Taking ideas from childhood warnings like ‘Don’t swallow your orange seeds or a tree will grow from within you’ and ‘Don’t lie or your tongue will drop off’, my title is a similar warning.

On the surface, it seems that it is referring to the common Singaporean law of not littering on the streets or you will be subjected to fines. However, there is a darker side to this art piece. I am trying to put forth a social commentary about the system of Singaporean society; the Singaporean Society is one that is cruel and full of uncertainties, masked by a facade of perfection.

The circles, being blue, are of different shapes and are unevenly overlapping each other in an unsure manner. Blue is a colour for calm and peace, which symbolizes a lack of conflict. The arrangement of my circles symbolizes the lack of coordination in Singaporean society to become peaceful as One Nation. This is in reference to how Singaporeans are always stressed and unhappy because of our work and study life. However, we are unable to voice our displeasure openly (when it comes to venting against the government) because we risk being arrested and charged for defamatory on some magical terms.

The yellow triangles are shaped like glass shatters. It seems like it is drifting to the right of the image. This defies the common law of gravity, where things fall towards the bottom when they break. Yellow is a colour symbolizing happiness and cheerfulness. The shatters sweeping towards the right of the page is essentially saying how we have to sacrifice and trash our happiness and sweep them over to the side in order to focus on being ideal in our society. The unnaturalness of the shards falling in the wrong direction (not in the direction of gravity) is a symbolism of how the sweeping away of our happiness is done on purpose, by us. This is supported by the reality that high standards are always set for us, and in the process of trying to reach these standards, we sometimes forfeit what makes us happy.

Finally, the red squares are laid along the sides of the image, grouped together messily. Red is a colour of passion and adventure. The red squares in this context refers to how we have to abandon what we are passionate about, be it climbing mountains or travelling, in order to survive and conform to society. With high living standards and expensive standards of living, we are made to constantly work excessively in order to earn a measly salary enough to supplement our families.

In a nutshell, in order to attain a ‘peaceful and coordinated society’, represented by the blue circles, we are forced to abandon our true passions (the red shards) and as a result, our happiness (the yellow shards) has to be pushed aside as well. We are made to do things that benefit the country, negating our own welfare.

This is a social commentary of the sadistic nature of our society.



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