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Silverlens: Primary Drives


  • Silverlens 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension Makati City 1231 Philippines (map)

Primary Drives
Lou Lim, Issay Rodriguez, Gary Ross Pastrana, & Maria Taniguchi

SILVERLENS is pleased to bring together four contemporary voices from the Philippines. Young and emerging artists Lou Lim and Issay Rodriguez alongside established and respected artists Gary-Ross Pastrana and Maria Taniguchi in Primary Drives.

All four artists have exhibited prior at SILVERLENS. In 2017, Lim exhibited Horizon and Rodriguez exhibited “…”, both their first solo exhibitions in the gallery. Having worked with SILVERLENS for over a decade, this will be Gary-Ross Pastrana’s 11th, and Taniguchi’s 10th, exhibitions in the gallery.

For the exhibition Primary Drives, three objects designated as columns exist in addition to the artists’ own works. Initially thought of as quasi-architecture, and not, strictly speaking, as collaborative work, these function simply as physical manifestations of a starting point. Anti-void, and inversely supra-void, the columns release the pressure to fill space, or to seek direct associations between the works in the exhibition. Thus, they can exist as architectural and utilitarian objects at full scale, made of wood, metal, cement. They can exist as traces in pencil, paint, sticker, wire; or as outlines in string, or other gossamer, light material fitted on an armature, fragile, so that only intentions occupy space. The columns, in the end, signal the possibility of an exhibition space as a discursive entity alongside its usual function in the display and framing of artwork. And as such, do more than their function to prop up structures and spaces. The phenomenology of these columns, of which the final form is undecided until the making of the exhibition itself, is what contextualises the four artist’s works.

Lou Lim focuses her investigations into the processes of painting and sculpture. Adopting the method of printmaking, the surface of a painting of a cloud-filled sky is cast with silicone, its result used as a matrix to imprint a copy of the painting’s strokes onto a new surface. From a section of sky seen, photographed, painted, cast, and printed, these series of transformations and their outcomes draw focus towards the activity of expressing the momentary and the immaterial in relation to materiality and the notions of permanence.

Gary-Ross Pastrana’s sculptural, object-based work are, for the artist, ‘realised’ prototypes - half artwork, half device for working out the problems and intricacies of new ideas. Having developed a rigorous practice in which his concerns often are dealt with in artistic projects that combine the quotidian and conceptual, in this new series of works the artist seeks to reorient himself in order to address new visibilities, in particular the various visual phenomena of digital information.

Issay Rodriguez’s series of cyanotypes and negatives depict the transience of memory despite the existence of photography. Images salvaged from old photographs are arranged along a wall, separated by gaps that the artist characterises as lost time. These abstract approaches to photography not only highlight the tactility of an image in the digital age but also serves as the artist’s own take on Ãoebermalte Fotografien' (Gerhard Richter’s “that’s a mouthful”) where painting and photography meet.

Maria Taniguchi’s quasi-abstract paintings propose an expanded idea of the self within an expanded notion of painting. Process-oriented and time-based, the paintings possess subtle architectural and sculptural qualities. In the work, accumulative, serial labor is what facilitates the entanglement of body and object over time. Outlined in pencil, the rectangular cells are individually painted. Viewed closely, the cells look decidedly non-mechanical, with distinct tonal variations and irregularities.

-Maria Taniguchi

Primary Drives is on view from 27 April to 25 May 2019 at SILVERLENS, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For inquiries on this show, contact info@silverlensgalleries.com or +63917 587 4011.