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Layer Upon Layer: A Review of Arin Sunaryo, Maria Taniguchi, Patricia Perez Eustaquio

Although employing different styles and formats, the works of the featured two Filipino artists — Maria Taniguchi and Patricia Perez Eustacio, joined by the works of Indonesian artist Arin Sunaryo, seem to converge at a singular theme: that the repeated process of placing layers upon the existing layers in their works operates as a metaphor, depicting their continuous accumulation of skill, and advancing mastery of their chosen practices. This exhibition centers on the artists’ recognized works in their individual oeuvres, which reflect significant fragments of their careers as artists; thus, the exhibition was rightfully named after themselves.

The calm, yet evident strength of Maria Taniguchi’s brick paintings, which are part of an ongoing series, Untitled (2008 – ), is built upon equally by the opacity of the color, and the precision of the superimposed drawn piled up narrow layers of bricks. Having these paintings stand on the floor by themselves, rather than hanged — which is the canon to display a painting, these works cross the boundaries that delineate painting from sculpture. Likewise, as seen in her other work, “I See It Feels” (2015), the physical properties of a digital medium, such as video, specifically the flatness of the subject and the manner it is hanged and “framed”, were altered to assimilate aspects of a painting. The changing layers of colors that serve as the background of the subject makes this digital piece act like an active painting.

Although known as an artist who utilizes different mediums, Patricia Perez Eustaquio was represented by her graphite drawings both on paper and on silk, which perfectly reveal the thematic consistencies of her works, revolving around truthfulness of appearance from the reference, and desirable vanity. As per the curator, Gary-Ross Pastrana, “the forms [drawn on paper and silk] are derived from the accumulation of dried-up oil paint”, and are inspired by careful examination of a series of photographs from her studio. The accuracy of the recording of the forms from the photographs to the final work makes the viewer suppose that they are printed photographs themselves; thus, in the process, the referential layer — the photographs, effectively overlapped the final product of the artist.

Through accumulation of fragments whether in physical or digital form, Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo expresses dynamic and energetic gestures, on which he is recognized for. In Ashfall Video #2 (2016), the cinematic screen projects the graceful and delicate process of descending fragments. Like what the proverbial line says, from ashes, we return to the ground. In Scrap (Lagedu) (2016) and Lagedu (2016), the artists utilized layers and layers of leftover or residual materials from his studio to form both a crystallized and sturdy monolithic structure, and an energetic and bustling non-figurative abstract painting. This variation just shows Sunaryo’s expertise on the process he employed.

Making use of a process that seems to connect the different artists, they explore the boundaries of their practice, and was able to successfully push the limitations of human reflection much further. manilaartscene_favicon

The exhibition, in partnership with Silverlens Galleries, ran from the 4th to the 28th of August, 2016 at ROH Projects, 40F Equity Tower, Sudirman Central Business District, Jakarta, Indonesia.

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