JAN BALQUIN

a brush carving out marble

Questions and riddles have been intergral in my practice, directing the course of action I take in dealing with ideas. The step of creating parameters inform me of the restrictions enforced during the process of making, allowing me to focus on what is necessary – that is to understand the interplay between my materials and the space they will occupy. Rather than engulf  Finale’s space with multiple massive works, I chose to fill up the room with these questions.

 

In “A Painting for a Grid”, I wanted to have a piece that focuses on the grid, the guiding lines that disappear after a painting is finished. In order to do that, I made a physical grid and covered it with canvas while letting the grids outline hold the canvas’ final pose providing me with a sculptural image to paint. In another piece, I wonder how I can make a painting behave like a sculpture? By removing the canvas and the stretcher from the equation, I somehow have been able to free the paint from its confines, liberating it from its flat surface.

 

The forms of the succeeding works were influenced by a remark made by a guard at the compound of the studio. On one occasion, he visited the studio and gazed at the large painting, intently observing it, he seemed confounded and causally asked, “is it a window?”. His remark set the tone for the succeeding works in the show, from the hanged canvas-curtain with a painting that  mirrors the other end to the wall of bricks shaped like a door. The forms highlight the mundanity that surrounds us, the fixtures and ornaments in the background, the unmentioned tools, elements and processes behind the works I make. My works for the exhibition offer no solution but serve merely as continuation to my inquiries on defines a painting, a sculpture, an object and where the intersection lies and ends.  (edited by Lec Cruz)

KIM OLIVEROS

where color blooms from grey

LEE PAJE

Here Where Tomorrow May Be

As many creation myths tell us, the early beginnings of the present world are often perceivedthrough the binary view of gender, upon which the socio-cultural traditions, beliefs and normshave been constructed. Lee Paje's artistic inquiry, manifested in a variety of scales and medium, gently yet critically challenges such binary thinking that has been tightly woven into the social fabric, trapping individual bodies.  With the "Here" referring to the artist's worktable, the exhibition draws intimate attention to the continued work of the artist's hand in re-crafting the stories to challenge such categorizations.

 

Waves. In mythologies and fables, the sea has been associated with deities and gods, and it has been often portrayed as a feminine force. Breaking waves have been particularly laden with suggestive meanings filtered through masculine perspectives -- symbols of nameless subordinate, uncontrollable emotions and anger, or maternal protective membrane. 

 

Employing the very medium and visual language of the traditionally male-dominated domain of oil painting, Paje demystifies the seascape by radically diminishing the scale of the image and bycarefully dubbing short and dense paint as if to mend a torn surface. Lee's breaking waves foreground the amorphousness of the water, which engulfs all forms, and the disorder of the waves, which destabilizes all order. 

 

Water fills the faceless bodies and reconfigures the relations among the life forms through making connections and reconnections that have been rejected and disrupted, while generously reminding us of the very substance that composes our own body -- water. Lee's choice of copper as the support for her image further generates imaginations that gravitate our location to a deep bottom of the earth, thus lets us see ourselves as a biological presence intricately inherent in the cosmos. 

(Mayumi Hirano)