Of Color Palettes and Puzzle Pieces: MM Yu and Pam Yan-Santos at Finale Art File

Recently opened exhibits at Finale Art File offer stimulating and thought-provoking works by artists MM Yu and Pam Yan-Santos.

Untitled Pantone

In Untitled Pantone, MM Yu utilizes both her photography and painting backgrounds in continuation of her ongoing attempt to document her surroundings. Along the Tall Gallery’s right wall is the soul of the exhibit: a grid of photos showcasing the various colors and textures of Manila that serve as swatches of the city’s color palette. Beside it are rows of cork boards with photographs featuring still lifes of the urban setting – construction sites, signs, different found objects – arranged by color to form a rainbow of city life. 

Gracing the surrounding walls are the artist’s drip paintings: layers of paint pulled by gravity to create psychedelic wavelengths of color. Yu uses canvases of different shapes and sizes, some joined together to create “abstracted structures” whose color palette embeds the pieces with a subtle familiarity.

Pam Yan-Santos
It takes effort to put things together

In the Upstairs Gallery Pam Yan-Santos engages viewers with It takes effort to put things together, exploring the idea of different pieces making something whole, and the human need to make sense of things.

Serigraphed monoprint collages on wood shaped like puzzle pieces feature an array of documents collected by the artist from childhood to the present, ranging from college papers, children’s drawings, materials from old art projects, and more. An interactive workstation features a box of more puzzle pieces that puts viewers to work in assembling them, making for an experience of the effort required to make sense of the bigger picture.

Stepping into the Video Room takes viewers into the end product of this process, with rows of boxes neatly arranged and labeled on storage racks: all the pieces have been sorted out. The wall separating the Video Room and the outer gallery implies the transition between both phases. A bundy clock and a collection of timecards hint at the time and work entailed to get from the first phase to the next – an acknowledgement of the effort exerted by those who try.

The exhibits run until September 29.