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Last December, University of Malaya held its first student art exhibition, called ERTI: 2012, open to all students of any major. This was one of the paintings on display.This art project is called                                        ILLUSIONS Often we find ourselves surrounded by happenings that just cannot blend into our reality.But what happens when we are given the power to blend our own reality on canvass?Build a new world and live inside a mere illusion of realistic dreams in a surreal world. This is the second piece of the acrylic painting project, which is also a collaboration with my curious friend, Muhd Adam (a.k.a Adam CRPT). Being students from two completely contrasting majors, we put our head together and churned out abstract ideas that are both rational and imaginative. This triptych piece; a work of art which is divided into three sections, is a similar format as the previous piece, 'Reactions'. A three piece picture is more interesting as the audience would have to place the panels together in their head, like a jigsaw puzzle. Each panel was A1 size (59.4 cm x 84.1 cm). 

'Illusions' tells the story of two characters, who just realised their existence is only an illusion. They live indoors where it always seem to be raining outside. The grey reality is simply covered by attempts to paint the concrete walls as colourful and full of life as possible. The mural of multicolored mosaics behind them symbolizes the rigidity of their lives, which somehow is still incomplete. Their lives remain dull and unhappy. Thus, they choose to wear glass masks to hide their sadness from infecting others. But the see-through disguise they put on cannot be buried forever. When hope was hanging by a thread, there was an external force that literally came crashing in their window. The shattered pieces lay scattered on the floor. Traces of the broken openings reveals a completely different view of the outside world. Something they have never seen before put them into a moment of numbness. Temporarily petrified and shocked, they remained silent in disbelief. Their hopeless masquerade will finally prevail when they tell the others about this truth in this illusion, or this reality.
As beginner painters, we had to channel our ideas on paper first. Here are some sketches and pre-paintings that added up before the final touches on canvas. 

Here are some close ups on the paintings.Close ups on the elements in the paintings that are part and parcel of this artwork.

A collaboration calls for a collaborative signature too. Above is a close up. And below is how 'IIlusions' would look like if it was put together as one huge painting. Stitching was done using Adobe Photoshop.

We have came across several storylines for this piece from friends who came by the exhibition in UM Art Gallery. How about you? Do you see another story?
The real illusion happens when you choose to see your own story in this artwork.Care to share with us.:)