18 Jan – 7 Jul 2024
Latin for a “pleasant place,” the phrase locus amoenus conjures notions of an escape into an ideal landscape. Echoing the idyllic implications of this phrase, Ryan Villamael endeavours to create a pastoral paradise within Esplanade Concourse—with the vision that standing beneath the intricately-cut latticework might remind the observer of being in a greenhouse. Taking root and enveloping the space are meticulously crafted leaves shaped out of replicas of contemporary and archival geographical maps from the Philippines. Displaying maps on both sides of each leaf, the artwork merges multiple realities, bridging the historical with the present-day. Resembling foliage akin to the Monstera deliciosa, an invasive tropical plant renowned for its capacity to thrive and dominate any inhabited space, the installation explores themes surrounding territorial boundaries, colonisation, the creation of controlled environments, as well as the tangled relationships between the natural world and human intervention.
Working extensively with papercutting, Ryan Villamael (b.1987, Philippines) skilfully transforms the medium’s two-dimensionality into expressive and elaborately woven constructions, crafting delicate forms ranging from small-scale sculptures to immense installations. Using archival materials such as books, maps, photographs, blueprint and letters as the foundation for his works, Villamael delves into themes of memory, history, deconstruction and loss to explore shared and personal experiences. His works have been presented at exhibitions including Homecoming/Eventually, UP Vargas Museum, Philippines (2021), Biwako Biennale, Japan (2018) and Singapore Biennale (2016). He was recipient of the Ateneo Art Award in 2015. In recent works, Villamael has been revisiting his painting practice.
18 Jan – 7 Jul 2024
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