Statement on Recent Paintings

Making sense of “home is where it all begins” in my recent paintings consciously took its direction from previous works, yet gained further content as it connects to the reality of building roots in Canada. Artistic processing led me to imagine character driven places or settings, as a means to express a sense of creating self origin, while I also deal with other concerns such as abstraction and the integration of my creative interests in painting.

An abstract narrative within a representational realm is a recurring concept present even in my earliest family-themed, polymorphous house paintings. The imagery of morphing houses that presents the family as a country and the country as a house is inspired by the shifting of people’s desires in relation to the fluctuation of available economic resources, as seen through many unfinished and awkwardly evolving, self designed houses in the Manila.  Here, abstraction and the family perspective relates to each other through the unpredictability of what happens over time including how developments are shaped by fleeting needs and desires.

Picturing indoorscapes relating to fictional characters is an inward progression from painting the exterior of shape shifting houses. The same family-based concept of abstract narrative as foundation is pushed further in my current paintings, by relating more to an open interpretation of experience akin to that of beholding an unpredictable scene in film. Implicit characters and their respective settings as elements in my paintings only strengthen the relation of my works to other environment based media such as digital game, video and installation, wherein abstraction relies on the ambiguity of the atmosphere and of specific situations. Other than the main thrust of expressing an abstract narrative, surface and form articulation strategies in painting are still employed. 

To relate other environment based media to my paintings is not entirely to substantiate context and content. I am, as a process, conceptually extending my other areas of interest into painting. These paintings are the integration or hybrids of  installation, objects, digital game, sound and video manifested in painting.  This is the opposite of how I was conceptually extending painterliness into other media when I was in the stage of working away from its traditional form.

The Southeast Asian regional art market activity has provoked the relevance of traditional painting.  As a result, canvas pieces became the primary medium that influenced the majority of artist opportunity. It commands the topics of discussion, the audience and spaces for exhibition and finally, the means for most of the art professionals to survive. While installations and other non-painting forms have been included in art fair scenarios,  nobody can deny that selling is the impetus of major events. The Art market is fueling the interest on contemporary art even beyond what can be seen as obviously commercial. In this regard I believe there is honesty and non compromise in straight painting yet with criticality than other media that are anyway empowered or shaped by the market. 

In connection, I believe that choosing to paint as a multidisciplinary artist responds accurately to the conditions influenced by the market. The compressed criticality through the integration of other creative interest or varieties of my practice expressed in painting, I believe is a progressive answer to the requirements of the situation.  Before the market I am already painting traditionally. At the same time,  I work on art research, installations, objects, public and social projects, game environment and have extended the concept of painting to other media including performance and video.  Combining all concerns into more portable form, compliments the rigid situation of living in familyhood, and immigration as well as respond to the major art climate in Southeast Asia. (2016)

Images of Recent Works here1

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