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Cost of Expectations by Alvin Wang

Cost of Expectations

Alvin Wang

About the work

As a student at Brisbane Grammar School, there is a level of academic success expected of me, and this competitive environment challenges students’ mentality and perseverance. As a result, the willingness to put in those long hours becomes second nature.

My artwork, ‘Cost of Expectations’, sheds light on these sacrifices young people make to fulfil the expectations of their environment. The student is illuminated solely by the laptop and the cityscape behind, with the clock to his left showing how much sleep he’s sacrificing to chase academic success. In the backdrop, the glaring city lights of South Brisbane City become judgmental eyes, and a disheveled school uniform belies his resulting mental exhaustion. However, the cityscape and expectations blur as the student disregards his environment with the singular goal of completing his work.

By illustrating a common night for many students, I share my perspective on the stressful yet rewarding lifestyle of Brisbane students.