IN TRANSIT is a graphite drawing inspired by the feeling of being at a crossroads in life and a reflection on my past. I had just left the University of Leeds after a year and was weeks away starting work for various companies in London. I knew that this would bring a taxing schedule and a life in a high pressure environment. Having lived in Hong Kong before, I could see the parallels between its environment and London’s; clear emotional repression, functional depression amongst menial job workers, and skilled workers anxiously rushing from station to station. In my mind I was jumping back into a habitat where I was predominantly unhappy and looking to get out, with hindsight I realise that I eventually succeeded.
The piece is drawn photorealistically with various types of graphite pencils, carefully polished with blending stumps to create a dreamlike atmosphere. The softness aimed for is inspired by 19th century portrait photography, where exposure time would be lengthened to smoothen the skin and create a blurring effect that resulted from subtle movements. This is intended to inject a feeling of nostalgia upon the piece as well as to demonstrate its subjects as a part of my personal history. Trains and platforms are prevalent in my life in Hong Kong as it is the most ubiquitous mode of transportation, as such, much of my time is spent waiting idly at platforms.
IN TRANSIT was my most successful attempt at photorealism at the time and remains one of my most lauded pieces from a technical standpoint. It is prominent for its emotional resonance as many people are likely to have shared this feeling and lived this experience as an important stage in their life. I hope that by purchasing and hanging this piece the buyer shares a similar feeling of comfort and acceptance towards their past and more importantly, hopefulness towards the future.