What began as an idea of great design and ambition, to fill the walls of Silverlens Gallery’s 20square space with multifarious insignias in his beloved medium of cut paper, Ryan Villamael’s latest show this October has turned out to be, by both accident and circumstance, quiet and contemplative but nonetheless grand. Distracted by the demands of moving into a new personal space and preparing for his participation in this November’s Art Taipei, and consequently distraught from the loss of his collected images in a hard drive that crashed in his new home, the young artist knew he had to empty his mind of all clutter, take full control of his surroundings, and go straight to putting blade on paper—the way he’s never done before.
In “Territory,” Ryan returns to his intrinsic fascination with the natural sciences, but this time fashioning on paper images of skulls of random predatory animals, and strange mushrooms that sprout delicate, protective webs that echo the artist’s resolve to claim his stake on some metaphorical personal space. And as in the ritual of relocation, bringing with him the aggregate of materials and memories he’s collected over time into a new refuge, the artist has decided to pluck certain motifs he’s employed on past shows to this fresh body of work—the geometric frames, for example, the layering of cut paper on paper, and the arrangement of the framed pieces in the manner of a totem pole. What Villamael thought in the beginning would be a mere humble version of his original fantastic vision became a loose narrative of the evolution of his art, in a medium previously only considered decorative at best. What he might say it lacks in ambition, it makes up for with the artist’s focus on each delicate piece, meditating on each side of his ‘canvas’ and shutting himself from the rest of the universe. Indeed, while Villamael touches on the history of creation in “Territory,” it is the resolve to conquer one’s world—his world—that resonates in all of its minute holes and calculated corners.
October 23, 2013
Exhibit runs until November 23, 2013
2320 Pasong Tamo Ext.
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Wednesday October 23, 2013 - Saturday November 23, 2013