Reflections of Life

22nd March 2024 Cheng Hwai Jen

The feelings this picture evokes in me are as follows.

 If the building represents the seniors who have retired, the foreground represents the young people who are thriving in activities, studies, work, socialising, raising families, supporting the old folks, and busy serving their countries.

 Looming in the background would be ageing, sickness and the ultimate death.

 But then, that’s life. When we look at the young, we are looking at our past. When we look at the old, ageing people in their 70s, 80s,90s, even 100s, we are looking at our inevitable future.

 But as long as we have done our job of serving humanity from our youth until our retirement, we have not lived in vain. Come what may, we are at peace with ourselves and ready to accept the unpleasant inevitable. Agree or not? 😜 I would love to hear your thoughts, too.

11 thoughts on “Reflections of Life

  1. Hi guys,

    When Jen replied to my Whatsapp message with her thoughts, I thought it was so appropriate for this painting. She found it too gloomy for her liking, so she brightened it. However, the picture posted above has not been edited.
    This painting was challenging, especially the background, and I nearly gave up. But when I painted the foreground, I began to like the painting. Hope you will post your thoughts on the story or the painting.

  2. I liked the way Jen has interpreted this picture Reflections of Life. The dark clouds looming large over the rest of the pic depict the impending downpour….of the certainty of death. The clouds seem eager to devour the old and the young when the respective turn comes.A true masterpiece of yours Beena

    1. Hi Geetha thanks for your musings of Jen’s intepretations. Everyone has an individualistic way of intepreting the same object. Painting is the same. None of us in the class reproduce the same photo:). Maybe that’s the beauty of life. We see everything from different perspectives.

  3. When I looked at the painting, it brought about feelings of being alone away from mankind but enjoying the serenity, peace, tranquility and beauty. I thought that owning the richness of nature is certainly a gift by itself. Then again being social beings I wondered how long this richness can feed our souls.

    1. Thanks Vasanthi for your reflections of life. As we age, we understand and sometimes get disappointed with life. I never could have reflected about life the way Jen did.


  4. Beautiful painting which can be interpreted in many ways.
    The dark hanging clouds bring gloom, but soon you see vibes of joy, hope and life in the forefront.
    Focus on the positivity.
    Past despair gives you valuable learning experience and the courage to move on 🌹

    1. Thanks Kala that you see both sides of life. No one can have only happy aspects. Both exist, but during dark days, we try to focus on positive parts of our life.


  5. My immediate feeling was secluded, remote, put away ..
    But Jen chose to reflect on the bright and positive foreground. Very nice👍.
    Good reminder to accept the joys and sadness in life.

    1. Haha, Irene,

      Yes, Jen is an optimistic person. She doesn’t wish to waste precious time brooding over dark days and is always on the lookout for positive things to focus on.



  6. I love the colours as they are so contrasty. The ones in front are bright and the colours in the back area are a darker version. There seems to be a gradation of colours from the light areas to the darker parts. The placing of the ‘White House’ in the middle serves as a place of hope between malevolence (supposedly depicted by dark region) and goodness (as depicted hypothetically by the bright colours).
    Overall the picture depicts life as it is – good and bad occurrences as faced in our daily lives.

    1. Hi Vany

      Thanks for your comments, never thought of it as depicting the different phases of life. Brilliant comparison 😉


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