“. . . the explicit message of the foregoing paintings, according to Ingking, is for us to be kinder to ourselves while in the process of facing our own personal battles.”
Angst can either lead to two roads: destruction or creation. We’ve seen the former manifest itself in countless instances. The thing about deep anxiety and dread is that the first impulse a person experiencing them feels is to get back at the world by making sure it experiences the same pain. That is the nature of destruction.
The great thing about art is that it serves as a creative outlet for moments when such strong impulses arise. Under such immense passions, it’s quite tempting to destroy but, on the other hand, difficult to create. Which is why it is all the more impressive when a person is able to redirect negative emotions and somehow turn them into something positive, or at the very least, meaningful. Enter the artworks of Joseph “Jjawzip” Ingking.
In a word, “angsty” is probably the best way to describe the works of Ingking that are featured in this review. It isn’t necessarily bad. Consisting of two sculptures and five acrylic paintings, Ingking’s creations are a testament to how pent up emotions can be the very sources of art that is inspired.
In his three thematically and visually analogous paintings - Skipping The Rope, End The Bad Call, and Mindset in Wearing a Smile - we see visibly distrubed subjects with what look to be cornucopias of various kinds sprouting out of their heads. Impossible not to notice, the conspicuous yellow smiley-faced motifs are ambiguous in their effect; they either make Ingking’s paintings more haunting or offer a glimpse of hope. Either way, it all boils down to a matter of perception, but the explicit message of the foregoing paintings, according to Ingking, is for us to be kinder to ourselves while in the process of facing our own personal battles.
Interesting too is Inking’s two heart paintings that go hand-in-hand with their corresponding sculptures, sculpted in such a way as to be identical to the painting versions. This is Ingking’s attempt at creating similarly themed art in different media. His hearts look impressively accurate both in their painted and sculpted forms - one heart is embellished with various colors, while the other one is more barren with light touches of gold-colored coating. In the words of Ingking himself, both pieces were meant to dwell on the boundaries between having a heart of gold and being emotionless.
Say what you want about such angst-ridden artworks, but it is commendable in an artist to tackle such quintessentially human themes. It might be hard to create art from a place of melancholy, but it’s certainly harder to keep all one’s pent-up emotions to oneself.