Table of Life

Eugene Tan | 4L 2021 | Oil on Canvas

Holidays are an inescapable part of our lives. Each year, we experience the same holidays – in the same form, the same body, but with a different mind. With each passing year, we grow and mature. With each passing year, we enjoy new and different aspects of the same holiday. And subsequently, with each passing year, our memories of a holiday changes.


From being the one enjoying yusheng as a child, to the one preparing it as an adult, Chinese New Year is one of the most memorable holidays of mine. It is a nuanced and meaningful holiday, with different aspects which individual appeal to me increases and changes as I mature. 


All holidays are inescapably tied to certain objects. Christmas trees and red socks, with Christmas, and Chinese new year is no exception. Each object of a holiday is associated with certain memories, no matter how ordinary. 


The objects and phrases placed near the three personalities of distinct age groups – child, teenager, and adult – are representative of the most memorable objects of each age during a modern Chinese new year celebration. It depicts the naivety of a child, the studious teenager, as well as the mature adult, who fully understands the nuances of Chinese New Year.