Exhibitions

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Artificial Selection

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Veronica Pee

Date : November 19, 2016

Time : 6PM

“Slow though the process of selection may be, if feeble, man can do much by his powers of artificial selection, I can see no limit to the amount of change, to the beauty and infinite complexity of the coadaptations between all organic beings, one with another and with their physical conditions of life, which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection”

- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Artificial selection is about that exercise of control and liberation, and letting things take its natural course. Borrowing the idea from Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, Veronica Pee mimics the characteristics of a breeder in her objects; taking features from an original form and producing a litter of various forms.

The artist took it upon herself to dismantle old artworks that had been set aside from an earlier series entitled “Scape” and further develop the existing concept. The artist who is fundamentally more concerned with process than concept, experiments with the natural qualities of the materials she uses. She allows the incidental imperfections while working with various materials as if they’re deliberate and then work around them, transforming the objects into unique sculptures and almost endless possibilities.

Veronica’s paintings on the other hand are often referenced from her objects. For this exhibition the images were also derived from her dismantled soft sculptures. The paintings provide magnified details of the original and the new artworks.

Veronica Pee believes that through alteration and modification, a single artwork could evolve and continue to develop into more interesting forms. Her works invites viewers to look closely, and yet this curiosity evokes strange familiarity.

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Yet We Continue To Build There, The Structure

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Jel Suarez

Date : November 19, 2016

Time : 6PM

The latest works of Jel Suarez cut through a rapid history of twentieth century sculptures: shadows, platforms, objects that were showcased at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1953. Limited selection of major works from the first half of the century were as well installed outdoors, around the museum garden, reflecting pools, against a brick wall. The exhibition was an attempt at a history of sculpture through post-war, following the movements of giants, painter-sculptors, its followers. And yet there are no masters in her mastering. She cuts through stones, clears through materials. Her cutting is an unconscious process: forming, painting, sculpting. A casual method of sculpting sculptures in the yard of masters. Suarez also continues her attraction to drapery. In a renewed legitimacy of these works, there is no subject to speak of. None of a body to refer to. The lines are bodies themselves, in the way that Nature produces her materials. Neither invisibility nor nothingness, rather, existence, existing, material, form. Sir Kenneth Clark raises: drapery, by suggesting lines of force, indicates for each action a past and a possible future.

These parts become remnants of construction that form her others, realizing the image as opposed to imagining a real. “When I try to draw or paint, nothing turns out as imagined.” For Suarez, the gesture of cutting is like remembering something familiar, creating new body/place to sense wholeness/home. “It feels composed to be abstract and lifeless.” Suarez claims it is now easier to find such abstraction in the real world. She conjures these images onto found objects: construction materials, fabric, sculptures sculpting themselves.

These formed others, in flatness and dimension, immortalize men. Like Giacometti, Suarez abandons these exterior of beings and stares directly at the monuments of modernism, moving from idealism through materialism to surrealism. The early works demanded to be as colossal as the subjects they embodied, and permanence of the material (as marble, stone) continued to echo of their impenetrability. Lipchitz reduces this as history: each artist falls heir to all that the ages before him have worked out. Throughout time, there is the accumulation of an actual. Sculptures have obscured our nature. Maillol’s search for truth. Arp believes man escapes from the origin of things because its purity reveals his own degeneration. After all that Nature has given, Rodin had invented nothing.

One of the oldest forms of art in the islands belonged to the gods. Sculptures traced their likeness, forming the mystery of an existence. This form of worship crossed over to the nobilities. From gods they shaped mortals, who mirrored the likeness: a saint, the royalty, patriots of a new world that searched for its structure. Man proved that his world was not flat. He continued to carve out his image, resting it on a plint, negotiating with the ground.

And yet the artist now sees that her world is borderline. Indefinite. Unsettled.

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I Don’t Know Where to Go, So I’m Here

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Kelli Maeshiro

Date : October 26, 2016

Time : 6PM

In this series, I dont know where to go, so I’m here Kelli Maeshiro draws from the Japanese aesthetic of “mono no aware,” which can be explained as the awareness of impermanence and ephemerality of things and life itself. As a Japanese adoptee to a family in Hawai‘i and now living in Manila, the artist’s life has been defined by transnational travel—a life in constant flux. Kelli reflects physically, mentally, and emotionally on presence, absence, and movement. The concept of I dont know where to go, so I’m here also expresses the indecisiveness and temporality of multiple life paths, choices spiraling outwards from ourselves. How might we visualize the gentle and bittersweet emotions that characterize life as it passes us by?
Kelli invites viewers to become lost as one way to experience fleeting life. Place is physical, mental, and emotional. Through both paintings and small-scale sculptures, the artist takes us on a lost journey of impressions and memories through time past or time yet to come. This “mono no aware” sensibility is expressed in the hard line drawings against backgrounds awash in watercolor-like textures and colors, which points to the feelings of life as ephemeral. Life moves, impermanent, but we feel physical, fleshly, and alive in the moment.
Tied into both the physicality and the emotional sensibility of the work are sealed envelopes, never to be opened behind the paintings. Within these envelopes, the artist has included remnants of writing. Notes and reflections to herself that remain a viscerally physical reminder of thought, they represent physical evidence of private moments. The envelopes symbolize the instability and transitions of life, as notes contain different ideas that may or may not have been followed.
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