Denny Dimin Gallery offers unique glimpse into an artist's mind during self-isolation via virtual art show "Stephen ThorpeSpace Invaders".

The Forgotten Language of Instinct, 2020 Oil on canvas (70 x 70 cm)

The digital exhibition, staged by Denny Dimin Gallery from now until 31 Oct, showcases a host of emotionally-charged oil paintings by Hong Kong-based artist Stephen Thorpe, who found inspiration in self-isolation.

Conceived amid the pandemic, the series hones in on the intimate aspects of rooms, in varying states of disrepair, through an intense focus on corners, which represent both a sense of solitude and imprisonment, or anxiety. 

Stephen Thorpe

Thorpe’s paintings are packed with references from the ‘80s – from arcade games such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Frogger, to the splashy colours and sharp lines that form the paintings.

Enriching the Poverty of Consciousness, 2020 Oil on canvas (80 x 100 cm)

Artifacts in his work look very much alive and charged with mixed emotions, as they appear to be either hiding in a closet, peeking from behind a wall or being trapped behind wooden bars in shabby rooms. Despite the ornate wallpapers and ostentatious rugs in the background, the paintings evoke a sense of uncertainty, even a little forlorn.

Learn as Much as You Can About Symbolism; Then Forget it All When You Are Analyzing a Dream, 2020 Oil on canvas (80 x 100 cm)

The work draws inspiration from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard and his approach to architecture as set out in his 1958 publication The Poetics of Space, as well as the work of Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung’s conceptual framework and understanding of the “dream house” aids Thorpe’s own process of accessing, experiencing and integrating his unconscious into material awareness.

Malefic, 2020 Oil on canvas (80 x 100 cm)

Known for his paintings of interiors, Thorpe’s work attempts to, as Jung instructs, “make the unconscious conscious” with photographs, found imagery and his immediate environment, including the natural landscape and the palette of Hong Kong.

Self Portrait, Ms. Pac-Man Oil on canvas 150 x 120 cm (Left) and The Crucifixion and the Cross, 2020 Oil on canvas 92 x 76 cm

Self Portrait, Ms. Pac-Man Oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm (Left) and Conjunction, 2020 Oil on canvas 120 x 100 cm
Portrait, Jukebox Gala, 2020 Oil on canvas 150 x 120 cm (Left) and A Symbol of Solitude for the Imagination, 2020 Oil on canvas 80 x 70 cm
In Each of Us There is Another Whom We Do Not Know, 2020 (WIP) Oil on canvas 150 x 120 cm (Left) and Become Sufficiently Terrible to Overcome the Dragon, 2020 Oil on canvas 120 x 100 cm

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