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Assignment 1 Part 2

Compare & Contrast Essay

English 2 (ENGL 0205)

Jocelyn Tan Wan Wei (0310050) Tan Jia-Qi (0310107)

The chosen art exhibition to visit was No Talking Points in Galleri Taksu. Established in 1989, Taksu is a contemporary art gallery and specialist in Southeast Asia. The art exhibition titled No Talking Points is an exhibition which showcases the artworks of seven Filipino artists. According to the exhibition official catalogue, the exhibition is named No Talking Points so that viewers abandon theoretical alignment or disposition, and view the artworks and its installation on its own terms. The two chosen artworks that will be compared are Surrogates In A Reality That Forever Evolves by Cris Villanueva Jr. and Hiding Behind Painting by Lyle Buencamino. Cris Villanueva Jr., who was born in 1959, is a painter who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts and had won several art awards in the Philippines. The second artist Lyle Buencamino, who is 19 years younger than Villanueva, graduated from the same university with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Majoring in Painting in 2005. His first solo exhibition, A Bowtie for John Lyle received an award which granted him an artist residency in Australia.

Surrogates In A Reality That Forever Evolves struck a particularly strong impression on us. We have seen good old oil on canvas paintings before, but nothing that artistic. It usually looked like gaudy ornate shapes, romantic pastel colors and vivid rich nature; or the incredible juxtapositions and surprising idiosyncratic combinations in the surrealistic fantasies. But, what Cris Villanueva JR. has done in 2012 is a completely new

level of fine art. It consists of line, shape, space, color, texture and pattern which he arranged in many different ways to achieve broader categories of design. This oil on canvas painting depicts in detail the creased radial imprint that betrays the unfolded outline of a paper plane. The cloud comes in organic and curvaceous shape with irregular edges. Moreover, the texture of the painting is fine and smooth. In painting this image, he used two non-related colors which are yellow for the base and blue for the cloud, somehow created a bright, opaque and contrasting value. A free flowing pattern is created in the work due to alternating shapes. These, in turn, consist of balance, order and proportion, and pattern and rhythm. While the straight lines create a sense of balance between the cloud and notepad paper, this arranges the elements so that no one part of a work overpowers any other part. Harmony is also achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work. Rhythm of the lines makes this painting seem active. In this instance, the image is a cartoonish rendering of a cloud drawn with a blue felt pen on a notepad paper. Significantly, it captures that fleeting moment the child he was changed his mind and made a toy of a drawing, as though there was no distinct shift between these two modes of reality the artist alludes to. In painting this image, what was a literal flight of fancy to the child loses its simplicity, and becomes exponentially complex to the adult painter reflecting on this relic of lost innocence. We would purchase this gorgeous cloud on a notepad paper we can look at it, and instantly remember how precious the feeling of innocence and happy childhood is.

On the other hand, the second painting, which is Hiding Behind Painting by Lyle Buencamino, is a very different painting from Villanueva Jr.s artwork. Although both are oil on canvas paintings, Buencaminos artwork gives off a more vintage, comical and lighthearted feeling. In the painting, a couple is seen to be hiding behind a painting staring ahead with shocked and surprised facial expressions on their faces. The entire artwork was painted in grayscale except for the thick yellow band-aid-shaped brush strokes painted on the portrait in a scattered pattern. The yellow brush strokes serve a function in slightly hiding the image of the couple. They are like a layer of mask, which slightly conceal the main highlight of the painting. Yellow, the only colour used in the paintings other than the grayscale colours created a contrasting value and it definitely helped brighten up the mood of the artwork. The rhythm of the brush strokes also caused the painting to look like it is active, like there are movements in the painting. Besides that, the tonal gradation used to paint the image was also essential in creating the illusion of the solid form. It also made it seemed like the couple is standing in front of a certain type of light which shines quite brightly on them. The painting looked like a scene out of a comedy film, which is probably an old film as it gives off this vintage atmosphere that we felt immediately when we first saw this artwork. We also like the idea of the artist hiding a couple that is hiding behind a painting. It somehow felt like the artist purposely did it to emphasize on hiding. In addition, the painting was placed in an art exhibition with other paintings beside it. The couple in this artwork hiding behind a painting

seemed to suit the ambience and occasion just fine. It immediately became one of our favourite paintings of the exhibition as we cannot help but smiled unconsciously at this comical yet nostalgic painting which very much reminded us of good old romance comedy films.

If we were to compare these two paintings, one of the most obvious similarities is the medium of the artwork which are both oil on canvas paintings. Although the textures of the paintings are smooth and fine, both artists did not fail to create an illusion of solid form with the techniques of tonal gradation. Other than that, these two paintings were also created in the 2012. Besides that, both artists also used very minimal amount of colours in their paintings. On the other hand, one of the biggest differences of the paintings the mood and the message that the painters were trying to bring out. Surrogates In A Reality That Forever Evolves is simple and sweet artwork which showed the pureness of childhood innocence and happiness where Hiding Behind Painting is more witty and humorous. In addition, the scale and proportions of these two paintings are very different. In Villanueva Jr.s painting, the unfolded paper plane takes up the whole artwork whereas in Buencaminos work, there seems to be a little distance with the couple and painting.

In reality, the exhibition is an open window through which we can see the achievement of art made by a country. It provides us various unknown entertainment, offered us precious minutes of relaxation and enriched our imagination. Although the artworks in the exhibition are all different in their own ways, they all have an underlying yearning to return to the past, to reassess or reaffirm ones faith as artists and creators. Eventually, the exhibition seeks that abundant ground where language and its efficacy as a means of communication are cancelled out by its capacity to misunderstand. It is in this realm that art controls.