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RPW critiqued Mellow Doubt at JPS Gallery【一人一點藝評社 One Point Critique Society】


Navigating the Depths of Human Emotion through Art


In the realm of human emotions, various mediums, such as drama, music, and literature, offer diverse avenues for expression. Admittedly, I find the most captivating exploration of emotions is through art. Recently, I attended an exhibition that, in my opinion, exceptionally delves into human expressions and emotions often overlooked or understated. This immersive experience revolves around the theme of "Mellow Doubt" and features artworks by Joe Cheetam at the JPS Gallery. Unlike many exhibitions that focus on prominent emotions like joy, anger, sadness, or fatigue, "Mellow Doubt" offers a deeper exploration. The artworks convey an ambiguity of emotion, steering away from blatant disgust or explicit scenes, opting instead for a blend of judgment, weariness, and arrogance. This subtle complexity evokes a sense of horror that resonates profoundly within me. The artist intentionally avoids specifying locations, genders, or times thus creating detachment from reality. Despite this intentional ambiguity, the scenes depicted feel strangely familiar to me, reminiscent of the everyday encounters on the streets of Hong Kong.


The overall color tone of the exhibition is vibrant, deviating from the common use of dark colors to accompany negative moods. In my opinion, this deliberate choice ties the artworks more closely to reality. The colors create a daily and casual atmosphere in the paintings, suggesting that the occasions depicted need not be excessively serious. Instead, the judgmental gazes portrayed seem to casually permeate various aspects of our lives. Hong Kong is (in)famous for its people’s coldness and fast-paced lifestyle that may well be attributed to the hub of professionals and independent talents. Such an environment can be emotionally challenging for some. The artworks in "Mellow Doubt" resonate with the feelings of highly sensitive individuals, capturing the sense of being gazed at and the anticipation of negative comments during mundane activities like a casual walk or a social gathering.


To conclude, there are two specific artworks catching my attention particularly, each offering a unique interpretation based on my experiences and mood at the time. One artwork depicts a man with tired eyes sitting near a door, his back curved. To me, the angle and perspective suggest a man looking at himself in the mirror before leaving the house. The weight evident in his gaze, the absence of overt emotions, and the tension in his fingers, gesturing towards his desire to leave the house despite his body's non-compliance, underscore a significant aspect in our societal construct. Whilst individuals are often perceived as social animals, the act of going out assumes possible social interactions and becomes a source of anxiety. It contributes to the man's reluctance to step out of his house, his comfort zone.


In another compelling artwork, three figures come to life—one locks eyes intensely with the camera, another gazes in a different direction and the third fixates her stare at either the first figure or the camera. This composition recalls the different points of view in movies, where characters break the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience. The first figure radiates a palpable sense of sadness and desperation, reaching out for help by breaking the fourth wall. However, despite this plea, there is an overwhelming sense of helplessness, as the other figures existing in the same realm convey nothing but indifference, nonchalance or judgment. They remain unmoved by the first figure's pain and weariness. This artwork masterfully captures the essence of passive aggressiveness in social interactions, unveiling the profound struggles individuals endure as they attempt to assimilate. It overwhelms them with burden of mental stress sadly.


Images were taken by the writer. @206.4 - Mellow Doubt 展覽日期:15/11 - 9/12 展覽地點:JPS Gallery, Shops 218-219, 2/F, Landmark Atrium,15 Queen’s Road 中環皇后大道中15號置地廣塲中庭2樓218-219號舖 Facebook專頁:JPS Gallery Instagram專頁:jpsgallery





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