Arndt Art Agency
Rodel Tapaya, "Going after the twigs and the leaves" (2019), acrylic on canvas, 300 × 700 cm
"On the Benefits of a Crowded Space"
September 14 - October 12, 2019
Saturday, September 14, 6 pm
The Alley at Karrivin
2316 Chino Roces Ave. Ext.
On the Benefits of a Crowded Space
An examination of small spaces packed with people or uncertainty are central to Rodel Tapaya's upcoming exhibition, “On the Benefits of a Crowded Space” – Tapaya’s first gallery exhibition in the Philippines in almost a decade.
Despite his initial desire to have a “simple show”, a restless mind and varied impulses led to comfort in multiple forms. Likening that notion to horror vacui or Kenophobia - fear of the empty, Tapaya proceeds to ask “how much do we understand tight, crowded spaces?”, Tapaya fills the entire gallery spaces of Artinformal Makati with works on different grounds.
He breaks down his process by focusing on scraps of many varieties. First are paper cutouts that form small, colorful collages, which are then translated into large acrylic paintings that parallel the use of odd shapes and materials in informal dwellings. These are echoed by a series of collograph prints using random scraps combined with burlap - the patterns and textures of which become odes to vernacular habitation. That same burlap is revisited in paintings as an attempt to define the countless, unrecognizable faces that populate these urban spaces.
Bookends to this exhibition are two singular works: a cast concrete sculpture of found coconut lumber scraps, and a monumental painting that straddles folk mythology and harsh reality.
All strung together by insights into the human condition vis-a-vis human habitation, Tapaya occupies all three galleries of Artinformal Makati to propose a treatise with his exhibition "On the Benefits of a Crowded Space."
Rodel Tapaya (b.1980) is one of the most active artists in Southeast Asia today. His breakthrough came when he was awarded the coveted Top Prize in the Nokia Art Awards, which allowed him to pursue intensive drawing and painting courses at Parsons School of Design in New York and the University of Helsinki in Finland. He completed his studies at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. At the heart of his practice is the ongoing amalgamation of folk narrative and contemporary reality within the framework of memory and history. Utilizing a range of media — from large acrylic on canvasses to an exploration of under-glass painting, traditional crafts, diorama, and drawing — Tapaya flters his observations of the world through folktales and pre-colonial historical research, creating whimsical montages of his characters.
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