New York-based artist Gwen Yip explores the feeling of loneliness in big cities in Backs, a series of minimalist tableaus. Yip’s subjects are set in New York, Hong Kong and London — cities where the artist herself lived at one time or the other — and all of them have their backs turned to us as they navigate empty streets or subway stations. The muted colours and somber locations add to the overall feeling of isolation in her acrylic paintings: the exact effect Yip was hoping to capture.

“We all carry things on our backs. Some shoulder burdens and regrets and others carry dreams and hopes,” she says of the project.  See more of her work here and on Instagram.

Gwen Yip All images © Gwen Yip / with permission