Delayed Craftification

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Group show : Catalina Africa, Kat Medina, Bru Sim and Mimi Tecson

Galerie Anna, Artwalk, Megamall
June 11 - 25, 2013
Opening : June 11 Tuesday 6PM

Things being made never ceases. In being transformed, it is also being created, albeit in another incarnation. The world itself was made, out of chaos it may be, but it was still made, mutating through various geological and periodical shifts in reaching for its perfection. Yet not quite yet. Nothing has been yet. Much more in things being handmade.

Things were made primarily out of necessity, to survive the vicissitudes of nature, and to gradually gain might to harness it, from tools crafted. Specialization in one was a learned skill passed on to a lineage the mastery of a certain craft. Then deemed redundant with the coming of machines.

Craft was then relegated to a pining for a lost age, a mere exercise in nostalgia, a practice done for itself, stripped off of utility and relegated to decor, resigned to a meandering means to waste time away with, or as diversion from the routine of machine-like paid corporate servitude.

Yet there is something still with the handmade, not its preciousness, nor the tediousness that makes it persist. The very conviction to choose to do something by hand - the deliberateness of this choice and the mindfulness for the material and process which makes this long slow medium as a commitment to an affirmation of a more engaged existence. However, the aim is not perfection, but rather a continuum of evolving processes, of movement as measured time. The work produced hence, a palpable marker of such passage. The fact of it being done the very reward, delayed gratification indeed.

In Delayed Craftification, Catalina Africa, Kat Medina, Bru Sim and Mimi Tecson artists who have incorporated craft in their practice and thus making distinctive works that symbiotically marries weaving, embroidery, carving, assemblage, etc . to painting, sculpture, collage and installation. More than liberating craft from the confines of the domestic, they have been able to present models of meditation on creation and on making work itself as interwoven with their individual reasons for producing them.

Catalina Africa ponders on the very practice of craft by revealing and revelling in the process of making within the mindset of "preliterate" cultures and their relationship with nature, retrieving the wonder and curiosity in such process rather than merely using imagery associated with such culture. She expounds on this exploration by various medium and format - painting, collage, sculpture, photography, video , and expanding their potential with repurposed materials, as much as how primitive crafts are characterized : constructed from what's readily available, rustic, rough, improvisational, rudimentary, primal. Her conceptual approach collides in everyday objects with the aesthetic producing happy accidents in this shamble that is ordered in by craft, which is her manner as well of selecting and juxtaposing these objects.

Catalina Africa graduated from UP College of Fine Arts and had been exhibited in various local galleries in Manila, as well as having exhibited in Howl Gallery in Tainan, Taiwan in 2012. She is currently an artist in residence in newly established multidisciplinary art space 1335Mabini, Manila. She is an emerging young talent that redefines the way we look at art by way of painting, sculpture, collage and other mixed media to produce ambivalent configurations that unsettle the familiar.

Kat Medina works by intuition. Her patchwork paintings that resemble lost puzzle pieces of random color patterns fall into a composed patchwork of expressionist thread puddles approximating an ab-ex painting but with its seams exposed of tangled knots. It is almost a deconstructed painting, pieced by layer of its surface tactility and material as each gesture is calculated as she equates painting and the handmade as "thinking with hands". Making is building and constructing, though the produced result may be expressionistic, it is actually rather architectonic, with the "gestural as the blueprint" .

For Delayed Craftification she uses material and objects that are on the other end of craft making. Craft involves the transformation of raw materials for an intended purpose. The transformation involves material that's been discarded or were the by-products of another project. Her work, Unearth is made of dried acrylic paint from a palette board. Its creation was based on the receiving end of making paintings. Another work, Flood, is part of an ongoing personal project where she has gone on making crafts to make ends meet before becoming a full time artist. Incorporated herein are cigarette butts which she considers as integral to the process of its making where many hours are actually spend on thinking while making smoke rings, thus meditation made transparent and integral in the final product.

Kat Medina utilizes elements of craft-making in her works. She explores making places through architectonic nuances in gesture and in the configuration of color. Medina’s notable first solo exhibition was held in her house, this event a milestone to her investigation on domesticity and ‘bigger circles’. Medina graduated from Far Eastern University in Manila with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts.

Bru Sim incorporates embroidery in her minimalist geometric but symphonic compositions. Sewing on multi-colored thread on canvas is an expansion of drawing, where surface is doubly activated showing two possibilities of a picture. This is exemplified in her piece Bending Time where either side of the canvas is worked on with differing patterns - one of a constellation of knots and another as rays bursting out from the centre. Aptly she titles the piece as Bending Time as a seeming illustration of the principle of time-space warping as she presents the multidimensionality of a picture plane, and curving time in one motion as she simultaneously makes marks on either surface.

A self-taught artist, Bru Sim is one-half of the Electrolychee design and illustration studio. She dabbles with wax, needlework, and other mixed media to create her works. She has been exhibiting her works since 1995.

Mimi Tecson relives memories from her childhood in bricolages out of plastic toys, and other colorful bric-a-brac bought from sari-sari stores. Amassed wholesale, these are reconfigured as personal totems to her familial connections to places and states of mind growing up in Sampaloc, in a drone of noise and color that wallpapers her grandmother's sari-sari store. These are readymades remade into time capsules, or more pointedly as butterflies in a jar, capturing the ineffable like lost time.

Mimi Tecson’s art focuses on the usage of various objects as a means of recollecting and representing memories. A strong emotional connection to objects and its sentimentality provide the foundation for her work. Tecson’s visual language encompasses both contemporary and traditional techniques with strong leaning towards arts and crafts; her process of composing found objects mirrors the reconstruction and revisualization of memories and experiences. The bricolage (the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things which happen to be available) style in her work is applied to her interpretation of the diverse facets of human emotions, sense of history and empowerment. Tecson often parallels this theme with her interest in popular culture, does giving her work a sense of connection between her past and the present. Tecson earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the College of the Holy Spirit and has held various group exhibitions in the Metro.

Presented by Galerie Anna, Delayed Craftification will have its opening cocktails on the 11th of June, 2013 at 6PM. The exhibit will be on view until June 25, 2013.

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