The mind’s internal boudoir is a sacred place of sorts, a conglomeration of objects and images that come together to form a room. The still life presented to the viewer is one that only exists on the surface of the canvas and in the mind of the artist. Birthday cake, day-old coffee, crystals, Ming vases, rugs, antique posters – all these objects create a plane separate from the familiar spaces and rooms we see in our own quarantine bubbles. Despite their foreign nature, the imagined boudoirs that emerge still have a sense of comfort and familiarity to them. They are places of comfort above all, providing home for those who seek solace, like the embrace of a kindly mother figure.
In the year 2020, the home has never been more lived in than it has now. However, home may not always be a place of comfort and security. For some, it is a place where unhappy memories and realities may be attached. For others, they simply feel imprisoned by the space that is supposed to provide shelter and comfort. As someone who has been contemplating the aspects, pros, and faults of what a “home” is, I wanted to push the idea of blending covert fantasy with our reality of living in this pandemic. As the artist, I get to build a new space from scratch each time I create a new painting. I get to expand and travel, taking objects that resonate with me, that I covet, that I have fond memories of, that I own. While the image that comes forth does not appear to be in any way fantastical, it is a product of my own imagination and dreams, in a sense, making the image a covert fantasy.
In this fantasy world, we get to choose where we live and thrive. We get to choose the objects that resonate with us. As children, I believed we are gifted with the ability to imagine alternate realities and places, and as adults, sometimes we lose sight of this trait. Without the pandemic, I believe that these personal, internal boudoirs would have had a harder time materialising on a tangible surface. Home is hard to define, to some, it is a community and family, to others, it may simply be the four walls that enclose them. To me, home can exist in and transcend both the physical and internal states. Bringing the mind’s internal boudoirs to the canvas allow us to expand what we define as home into new planes and dimensions.
- Lisa Wong Sook Kuan
About Lisa Wong Sook Kuan
Elegance in the imperfect and the fleeting is something Lisa Wong Sook Kuan strives to represent in her art. She attended the California College of the Art in San Francisco, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. However, rather than concept art for video games or the op-ed illustrations favoured by the likes of editorial publications, Lisa has always been drawn to images that champion one’s personal truths.
Inspired by the complexity of the human persona, her art is an ornate, surrealistic, depiction of different emotive states. From figurative painting to more dreamlike abstractions, Lisa’s work is still connected through her love of the natural environment and the draw to the fantastical.