Shangri-La The Fort Holiday Tree

Ryan Villamael
Shangri-La at The Fort, Manila

Installation Views

About

    In Payapang Daigdig, Ryan Villamael applies his trademark latticework to mirrors, in order to reimagine the Christmas tree as a stark, illuminating, and somewhat jagged object. The artist has always seen the end of the year as a time of great introspection, a kind of reckoning of the year that's passed. For his take on this holiday tradition, he found inspiration in the story of how Felipe Padilla De Leon composed the Christmas song "Payapang Daigdig" during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines—De Leon was said to have woken up to find his beloved Manila in ruins and thought his song and its somber tone might help provide hope for uncertain times. Similarly, in a time of great anxiety and unrest, Villamael hopes to create something that will provide uplift and joy.

    Ryan Villamael (b. 1987) is an artist who has chosen to abstain from the more liberal modes of art expression to ultimately resort to the more deliberate handiwork found in cut paper. While his method follows the decorative nature innate to his medium of choice, from the intricately latticed constructions emerge images that defy the ornamental patchwork found in the tradition of paper cutting.

    His intervention into the fragile medium entails not just cutting but concept. By contemplating paper as a fraught site—after all, it is also the medium of books, maps, and other archival materials—he liberates the material to become an arbiter of meaning, one that traffics in the intersection of self and society, of biography and geography. His practice becomes a treatise of a unique vision that encompasses both the inner and outer conditions that occupy the psyche, which range from the oblique complexity of imagined organisms to the outright effects of living in a convoluted city.

    In 2015, he received the Ateneo Art Award with studio Residency Grants in La Trobe University Visual Arts Center in Bendigo, Australia, Artesan Gallery in Singapore, and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, UK.

    Villamael participated in the 2016 Singapore Biennale and the 2018 Biwako Biennale in Japan. He has exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai, Para Site in Hong Kong, Mizuma Gallery and the Arts House in Singapore, ROH Projects in Jakarta, and the Metropolitan Museum in Manila.

    Ryan Villamael currently lives and works in Los Baños and Manila.

In Payapang Daigdig, Ryan Villamael applies his trademark latticework to mirrors, in order to reimagine the Christmas tree as a stark, illuminating, and somewhat jagged object. The artist has always seen the end of the year as a time of great introspection, a kind of reckoning of the year that's passed. For his take on this holiday tradition, he found inspiration in the story of how Felipe Padilla De Leon composed the Christmas song "Payapang Daigdig" during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines—De Leon was said to have woken up to find his beloved Manila in ruins and thought his song and its somber tone might help provide hope for uncertain times. Similarly, in a time of great anxiety and unrest, Villamael hopes to create something that will provide uplift and joy.

Ryan Villamael (b. 1987) is an artist who has chosen to abstain from the more liberal modes of art expression to ultimately resort to the more deliberate handiwork found in cut paper. While his method follows the decorative nature innate to his medium of choice, from the intricately latticed constructions emerge images that defy the ornamental patchwork found in the tradition of paper cutting.

His intervention into the fragile medium entails not just cutting but concept. By contemplating paper as a fraught site—after all, it is also the medium of books, maps, and other archival materials—he liberates the material to become an arbiter of meaning, one that traffics in the intersection of self and society, of biography and geography. His practice becomes a treatise of a unique vision that encompasses both the inner and outer conditions that occupy the psyche, which range from the oblique complexity of imagined organisms to the outright effects of living in a convoluted city.

In 2015, he received the Ateneo Art Award with studio Residency Grants in La Trobe University Visual Arts Center in Bendigo, Australia, Artesan Gallery in Singapore, and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, UK.

Villamael participated in the 2016 Singapore Biennale and the 2018 Biwako Biennale in Japan. He has exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai, Para Site in Hong Kong, Mizuma Gallery and the Arts House in Singapore, ROH Projects in Jakarta, and the Metropolitan Museum in Manila.

Ryan Villamael currently lives and works in Los Baños and Manila.

Video

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