It is said to be one of the strategies in the game of life: harness your weakness and condense it to converted strength. Sometimes, it is wise to deviate from your pattern and a new approach will aide to overcome the adversary. Galerie Stephanie rounds up 2022 with the group show, Rock, Paper, Scissors. For this year ender show, the gallery presents a sampling of new work from twenty-eight artists focusing on medium across three surfaces: canvas, paper and acrylic.

In Rock, Paper, Scissors, disruption comes in the form of new approaches—a fresher pair of eyes honed by changed perspectives from yet another year passed. As mistakes are acknowledged and improved upon, the show works towards tracing an allegorical outline to give shape and sense to the year that was, and to look in the eye with grace and enthusiasm the year that will be. Within the show, a range of attitudes and interests are presented: the disruption of stillness (as seen in Chayanin Kwangkaew floral still life pierced by knife-edged shards and Dan Macapugay’s dissipating faces), a reverence for the cosmos (as seen in the imagined, fabricated universe of the swirling, liquid exoplanets in Christina Gamón’s poured acrylic pieces), the bizarre wonder of the fantastical existing within the everyday (as conveyed by Imam Santoso’s cyclopean, anthropomorphic creatures and limbed, smoking log cabins and in Liew Mei Toong’s banks of visaged river stones), an enthrallment by the natural world (Emman Acasio’s muted palette of flora and fauna and Pat Frades’ delicate sculptures of mushrooming growth teeming with life), the dramedies of suburbia (in Jobert Cruz contemporized mid-century imagery and Nicole Bitas’ domicile scenes). As well as past meets future (in Nino Odosis’ juxtaposition of historical imagery and present-day figures), and the value of composition (in Tommy Bayot’s studies of carefully placed, vividly colored geometric shapes and Gabby Prado’s orderly grid of sensory interpretations).

Rock, Paper, Scissors had been aptly titled. Plain child’s play it may be, its simple revelations about human behavior far outweigh its preconceived veneer of random as the game surprisingly teaches us much about life and living. Almost always, the element of surprise repays the risk-taker. It would be much easier if one’s hand is clenched as a rock for the eternity of the game—uncomplicated but safe, automatic yet stale. Disruption prevails over what exists and deviating from the comfort of patterns pay off. Like a fresh gasp of air, the slightest and subtlest of disruptions can be oxygen in the huffs and heaves of a life of art-making.

Curated by Liv Vinluan