Where does landscape begin?
Jun 30 - Jul 30, 2016
"The oneness of the world, so unachievable in the realm of empirical reality, lives in our minds, in the superimposed layers of tangled and confused memories."
-Ryszard Kapuscinski, "The Lazy River"
By asking, “Where does landscape begin?” Lui Medina’s ongoing negotiations between territory and terrain come down to the most mundane act of being in space: that of walking. Putting one foot in front of the other on ground that had not yet been forced into submission by human activity, Medina returns to the fundamental questions of her practice, linking the life of the body to the lay of the land.
"Where does landscape begin?" The obvious answer would be found in geology: landscape begins with rock formations, making this series a fitting entry in her body of work. To be clear, Medina does not paint landscapes, rather she makes paintings about landscape. She also uses landscape as a conceptual frame in which to speak of painting.
The crystalline and mineral forms that repeatedly appear in her work, this time on an even grander scale in the form of a relief map done in plaster and graphite, show an ongoing concern with how “nature” is constructed. Given the massive sizes of her work--in this case, with drawings measuring up to 8 feet--we are reminded, very subtly, that these images are still scaled down, subject to perception. The landscape, as an art historical specimen, after all was a means to negotiate distance, to chart the difference between here and there.
Trying to Seek What Matters Most
Jun 30 - Jul 30, 2016
The tropes of the unfamiliar become more comprehensively familiar. In this new solo exhibition with the take-off point of his previous one Unfamiliar, shows a much more evident finesse and control in all aspects. There’s still that persistence of the predominantly white canvas in this collection of ten new paintings but upon closer inspection lies those subtle interventions suggestive of an artist at ease with his process and completely in control.
Silent gestures of restraint unveil a subliminal sensuality rendered through repetition. Although this time, the recurrence of his process finds itself more at ease lending a more meditative aesthetic—the dots aren’t necessarily uniform but they induce a certain order, there are finer details hinting on balance on the overall look of the works.
There’s less autonomy on the accidental and random bursts of expression as evoked through the composition and the brush strokes but the repetition is highly indicative of the artist regaining his control, his own self-determination with the overall appeal and feeling induced by these new works. Ulama’s familiarized unfamiliar opens itself to his progression towards being completely at ease with the surfaces he works with and despite the control finds itself willfully asserting and advancing to his own evolution towards his newfound balance as an artist.
by Gian Cruz
Jun 30 - Jul 30, 2016
Skin as a visceral and digital description of identity and being is the focus of Julius Redillas’ White Paintings. Slicing through the epidermis of his body of work, to examine the viscera and explore the bones of contention, we are presented layers of meaning behind what constitutes the sense of self in the contemporary world. The images generated online each day is overwhelming in quantity, yet the capability to create different personas (as demonstrated by the possibility of having multiple social media accounts) is endless. The internet, vastly used by people who grew up also being told that they can be anyone or anything they want to be, are able to do so, despite of or in spite of limitations in the so-called physical reality. In the same vein, these works express the complex relationship between the internet and its users, between what constitutes in virtual reality as “real” and unreal (which is often interchanged with the term “virtual”). Inspired by YouTube make-up tutorials and portraiture via profile pictures used in social media, Redillas also explores the seemingly contradictory nature of virtual interaction. It is once intimate and detailed, yet impersonal and ephemeral. There is a need to hold on to each moment and to each image due to the fleeting quality of contact, and yet, we look to these digital web-spaces to preserve our collective histories and personal memories. There is also an awareness of seeing and being seen, yet a sliver of assumption that our identities and activities remain incognito. And ultimately, a sense of freedom and peril, of being unfettered by convention yet held captive by online spectacles, of having a number of choices (of where to read, what to watch) yet having each choice determined by algorithms. In a sense, Julius Redillas’ White Paintings, go beyond the exploration of binaries in identity, and rather touches upon human nature and behavior towards the self and what can be considered the “post-self” in relation to virtual existence.
by Zeny May Dy Recidoro