comatose labour

Asleep explores the idea of forced, imposed sleeping forms, of being trapped in society, caged up and ostracised from modernity. The protagonists of the project are alone, seemingly isolated in the midst of urban garbage and litter; akin to being suffocated by globalisation and consumerism. Multiple attempts are made at creating complexities in the background; whilst the foreground focuses fiercely on children and elderly lagging behind in skills and knowledge in the globalised world. The concept of the urban poor is highlighted through their seemingly poor inability to survive independently.


GCE O'Levels Art

Distinction Award


Acyrlic Ink

Pencil on Paper

Coloured Pencil on Paper

Pen on Paper

Acrylic on Canvas


Mr Abdul Razak

Referencing artist Dede Eri Supria, who portrayed situations and people influenced by the style of photo-realism, I replicated his depictions of the poor living in large urban cities, their plight and living conditions as the country develops and modernizes. The poor are seen as part of the activity of building and development, yet are relegated to the mess and dreariness of construction - they do not share the glitz and glamour. Humans are depicted to play only a supplementary role within a huge, terrifying space as the solitary tiny figures are swallowed up in utter desolation in the urban sprawl.

Asleep Dede eri Supria

Dede uses light, bright colours for his backdrops, and dark, dull colours for the characters, reflecting the bleak life in an exciting city. Faceless figures in the background have no identity, yet right in the midst of the activity, oblivious to the situation around them. This lack of awareness reflects the state of mental sleep in Indonesia's urban poor.

Asleep Dede eri Supria
Asleep Dede eri Supria
Asleep Dede eri Supria

© Copyrighted 2020

Selected Works by Tan Xin Yuan 

Architectural Designer

BA(Arch), M(Arch)

National University of Singapore