Anchored in the understanding of isolation as described by Alexander Pope in his influential poem “Ode on Solitude”, Galerie Stephanie gathers twelve artists from different parts of the world in an exhibition comprising three pocket installations.
I. In His Own Ground
The presentation begins with the works of Jomike Tejido, Cristina Gamón, Gabby Prado, and Chayanin Kwangkaew in the first segment, In His Own Ground. Here, the works depict the ideal and the transcendental as the artists confront one’s separateness from the world and from one’s place therein. Tejido’s experimentation with geometric abstraction complemented Prado’s expressive use of basic shapes and forms to produce works that thrive on spontaneity and chance. Gamón’s dominant use of transparent acrylic sheets, instead of canvas, traps the fluidity of the paint and produces images that resemble galaxies and interstellar settings, which allow us to peer into a section of the world. Meanwhile, Kwangkaew approaches painting by exposing the lines of irony between reason and emotion. Narrating tales and perceptions in an urban sphere, Kwangkaew studies these connections and tries to find their equal footing.
II. Hours, Days, and Years Slide Soft Away
Illustrating the complexities of daily life while keeping still, the second installment of “Chapters of Solitude” addresses forced isolation brought by the pandemic through depictions that summarize the artists’ perspectives on stillness. It brings together the works of Aileen Lanuza, Reybert Ramos, Imam Santoso, Roby Dwi Antono, Lyndon Maglalang, and Vincent de Pio as they portray humans and other life forms in constant seclusion. Arbitrarily melancholic and caught in wandering, these representations emerge from their bright and vivid settings to proclaim mankind’s yearning for interaction. Aileen Lanuza and Vincent de Pio’s mysterious images of women disclose the subjects’ inner musings. The works of Reybert Ramos, Imam Santoso, Roby Dwi Antono, and Lyndon Maglalang convey our tendencies to burrow ourselves and become at one with nature and our environment.
III. Steal from the world, and not a stone…
Finally, in the third part of the presentation, the works of Hae Ryun and Renz Baluyot attest to the shifts of dynamics and elements in the transformation of landscapes and the environment. Hae observes that life is easily destroyed and defeated through specific movements and actions, which intervene and contaminate nature. The humanistic approach to painting asserts the artist’s involvement and desire to reclaim nature in its most ideal form. Similarly, Renz Baluyot surveys socio-political narratives that center on urban decay as he studies the disintegration of urban sites, which are actual effects of imposed oppressive political and economic power.
Chapters of Solitude relieves us in grappling our own feelings and sentiments in a time when everything else remains to be fettered and we are confined to look deeper into our own circumstances, conditions, and encounters for us to continue well into the world.
text by Gwen Bautista