In The Twilight Hours Peter Chan looked to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby for inspiration. Fitzgerald’s characters represent the American dream in the 1920s. The rising commerce of advertisements, magazines, billboards, radios and newspapers paralleled Fitzgerald’s observation of the inevitable commercialization of love, romance and the human heart. It was the “roaring twenties” of accelerated economic growth that juxtaposed narcissistic wealth against abject poverty.
Peter Chan also draws the parallel of our own “roaring twenties” of high-speed technology. He is interested in the decadence and absolute extravagances within Fitzgerald’s themes of class, idealization, gender, superficiality vs truth and loss of love. In The Twilight Hours, Chan explores the fantasy of this world. The rose-tinted glasses are replaced with a veil of gold. One subject even wears glasses beneath his veil. Chan, like Fitzgerald, folds us into his world and from there we can look out through a golden sheen, our vision bathed in twilight and a blaze of sunset glory.