Mass Against Mass

Just when all of us have experienced home confinement during MCO, nothing is sweeter than the taste of freedom. Freedom, an abstract concept, as invisible as it could be, represents the struggle between individuals and society.


Hailing from thought-provoking body-related imagery such as the deployment of lingeries as her subject matter, Louise Low has moved on to explore the correlation of freedom, man and society. In this solo exhibition at Suma Orientalis, she will be showing her recent artworks of such contemplation. Though this exhibition was conceptualised way before the pandemic, one can expect to comprehend this body of work quite nimbly, under the context of the current global health crisis and political unrest which have uncannily demonstrated to us how undivided individual destiny is from the collective influence.


While the mass shapes and condemns individuals simultaneously, each being is hence presented with binary options - to submit or to rebel. Drifting faces, some painted while the rest are collaged images extracted from mass publications, are mottled in a gentle sense of indifference. Low’s use of mass media images is a reflection on the degree by which the Fourth Estate has interfered with the contextual circumstances.


Low fills her works with faces, and sometimes intentionally whitewashes them again or even conceals them. The bleak visual is seemingly a depiction of the delusional realm we are living in, yet the cold, equanimous facial expressions may connote a supposition the artist attempts to challenge the audience with — is being stoic a wiser option of mankind, if man’s existence is more of a scientific mass rather than a cloud of spirit? Speaking of options, Low also questions the existential freedom of mankind — just how unencumbered is man as a lonely being among the herd? When we are free to make a choice, are we free from its circumstances?


In the quiet alley of deep thoughts, we can almost hear George Orwell saying, “you just got to say to yourself, ‘I’m a free man in here.’ ” – he tapped his forehead – “and you’re all right.”     -    Sophia Shung, Suma Orientalis