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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Silence of J by Junyee at Galleria Duemila

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In The Aesthetics of Silence, Susan Sontag’s seminal 1969 essay, Sontag investigates how silence reconciles art’s function as a form of spirituality in an increasingly secular culture, she writes, “The art of our time is noisy with appeals for silence. A coquettish, even cheerful nihilism. One recognizes the imperative of silence, but goes on speaking anyway.” 

In a parallel purview Junyee attempts to estimate his ruminations on silence in The Silence of J, his solo exhibition at Galleria Duemila, wherein approximations of light, space, and perspective are modified, diluted, to a conflicting yet visually decisive investigation on his very own aesthetics of silence.

In The Silence of J, the walls are seamlessly hung with sparse four-sided woodworks, evocative reliefs made from sturdy jointed T&G (tongue-and-groove) planks, whitewashed in ivory, snow, and eggshell—tonal values that have determined the depth and perspective of Yee’s muted permutations. 

Presenting a flowchart of processes and traces of quaintly discontinued paintjob, he reveals the architectural and utilitarian qualities of the medium, while non-descript shapes—slivers of flaked off paint, and linear dents hint at a feeling of Fontana’s iconic post-object slashes. Much in the way in which his sparse compositions seemingly manifest as diagrams or blueprints of a utopian construct—in the heady technological apocalypse of the now, silence makes perfect sense.

Revered for his use of indigenous resources throughout his practice, Junyee constantly gives weight to the “endless vitality of nature, through inventive art-making”. He pioneered installation art and outdoor installation festivals in the Philippines. He is the sole contemporary bamboo artist in the ASEAN region. An accomplished artist he was nominated for a National Artist Award in Visual Arts in 2012. He won numerous awards and accolades, such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 13 Artist Award in 1980, Grant Award – Israel Philippines Monument Design Competition for the Holocaust Memorial in 2007, UPAA Distinguished Alumni Award for Arts and Culture and Tanglaw ng Sining Award for Outstanding Alumnus of UP College of Fine Arts in 2013.

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