ARTISTS / KAWAYAN DE GUIA

ABOUT THE ARTIST

An assortment of objects, icons and texts, irrationally arranged, compose each painting. The series of seemingly disconnected images operate as Kawayan De Guia’s poetics, and each painting rests as a metaphor for his whole world inhabited by these strange items. These treasuries of memories that evoke a mood of amity are constructed within pocket universes. Perhaps the reason these two-dimensional assemblages do not remain alien to us is because in one way or another they are housed in familiar places. Despite their references to popular culture and mass media, these are far from the makings of a consumer paradise. Places upon places, pictures upon pictures, signs upon signs; the tumult of the crowded sum of objects is cancelled out by the immobility of these elements. The frenzy of fashionable existence is settled into a relieved sigh. De Guia at once manages, with him staying gently staying true to the basic forms of things and places, to strike the frantic elements of industry with a calming, meditative ambience. Achieving a spiritual limbo within the jolt of the city is no painstaking feat for this artist. As a global citizen, De Guia is no stranger to strange lands. Growing up in Baguio City – a place where being in touch with nature and spirituality is like a second skin – is perhaps that which fuels the artist’s capacity to stay centered.

The paintings come close to freewheeling methodology with their use of unexpected juxtapositions. Despite of a lack of premeditated composition, the result is an irrevocable symbiosis. This skill of producing a harmonious whole with unrelated elements is inherent of De Guia exactly because he is an apprentice to the world. He has taken tutelage under numerous artists and craftsmen and sojourned to places like Thailand, Nepal, and Japan. Aside from painting he does installation art and performances, as well as curates the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space in Baguio.

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