room of phases

Maria Taniguchi
Silverlens, Manila

About

    Seriality tempts us to fixate on the most obvious deviations in Maria Taniguchi’s new work. In a suite of square patterned canvases a portion stripped of paint, a section wherein color does not take, or an outline obscured, may at turns mean disengaging from the illusion of symmetry or the body reaching its limit. In all cases, pattern asks us to reckon with its gesture and technology of iteration. These are deviations that manifest texture, create rhythm. It is through this iterability that we resist confinement. Spread out across an entire room, these are digressions that motivate one to move from one canvas to the next, across the room, traversing space.

    In room of phases, we find a compelling dynamic between pattern and possibility, design and its disintegration. The title alludes to this oscillation. A phase is as much a significant period as it is a moment in a process which is defined by its transformation. It might refer to how different facets of the moon are seen across space-time, depending on illumination. It may speak to the courses of action in a plan. It may also apply to psychological development. It marks certain thresholds: time passing, the clearing of stages, shifts in attitude or disposition.

    These new paintings elaborate on Taniguchi’s past interrogations - a brick painting, part of Taniguchi’s expansive series of works that play out dimensions of time and labor in the artistic process, welcomes us to the exhibition. It situates the works presented in this exhibition in conversation with these itineraries: the poetics of time and labor. In this sense the checkered pattern calls to the imagination at once an oversized chess board or else a calendar. This visual idiom itself unravels time in its most prolific sense: hours passed or spent, days in a year, turns in a game of chess. 

    In Taniguchi’s work, each canvas is created using a combination of manual painting techniques and serigraphy, using thin layers of acrylic paint. Labor and gesture in these works persistently insist themselves in the attempts at repetition. The abstraction assured by the grid and achieved by the gradation is cultivated against considerations material and bodily. The repetitive gestures are influenced by various factors: the amount of pigment, pressure exerted, the number of attempts. In each canvas, process is materialized as ambient, interior architecture. It is within this framework that Taniguchi, in developing a set of paintings that comprise a singular work, articulates a method of engaging with space.

    For the artist, the paintings draw out the psychic character of material: the checkered pattern foregrounds expectation and regularity which is foiled by the iterative performance of serigraphy. Taniguchi inhabits this space by way of pigment: a rich reddish violet used for landscapes and botanical illustrations and that makes for dense yet vivid shadows. The paint is layered in such a way that we see a somber rose or a matte purple ground or a deeper violet façade. In some instances, a sliver of pink breaks through. Where paint does not fully integrate, we see a glitch. Carefully installed in the gallery’s longest wall, a row of canvases subtly suggesting more natural formations and lush landscapes lead the viewer to a large glass picture window. Within such a limited repertoire, the artist has created a room that invites the most attentive of encounters. Taniguchi’s practice is built on these fixations—these painstakingly careful considerations that allow the material, gesture, disposition to craft a method to abstraction that is conceptual as it is affective.

    - Carlos Quijon Jr.

    Maria Taniguchi’s works encompass painting, sculpture, video and installation. Her practices investigate space and time along with social and historical contexts. Her series of “Untitled” brick paintings is an ongoing series that had been initiated in 2008. Each painting consists of seemingly countless rectangular cells, each one outlined by hand with graphite and filled with gray and black tones. The painstaking process creates a subtle yet complex pattern on the surface. These paintings develop in various extents, most of them reaching meters in size. The constructive structure embodies architectural elements, resulting in the paintings themselves manifesting as monumental existences within the space. The artist has referred to her brick paintings as the fundamental root of her larger artistic practice, while the other artworks such as sculptures and installations are reflection, or refractions of it.

    Maria Taniguchi was born in Dumaguete City, Philippines, in 1981. She won the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award in 2015 and was a LUX Associate Artist in 2009. Recent exhibitions include the 12th Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders, Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Centre, South Korea (2018); 21st Biennale of Sydney, SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (2018); History of a vanishing present: A prologue, the Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2016); Afterwork, Para Site, Hong Kong (2016); Globale: New sensorium, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2016); The vexed contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2015); and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA,Brisbane (2015). Her work is held in a number of collections including the M+ Museum, Hong Kong; the Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; QAGOMA, Brisbane; and the K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai.

    Carlos Quijon, Jr. is a critic and curator based in Manila. He is a fellow of the research platform Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia (MAHASSA), convened by the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories project. He writes exhibition reviews for Artforum and Frieze. His essays are part of the books Writing Presently (Manila: Philippine Contemporary Art Network, 2019) and From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition-Making (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019). He has published or have forthcoming publications in Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art, Afro-Asian Visions, MoMA’s post (US), Queer Southeast Asia, ArtReview Asia (Singapore), Art Monthly (UK), Asia Art Archive's Ideas (HK), and Trans Asia Photography Review (US), among others. He curated Courses of Action in Hong Kong in 2019, a will for prolific disclosures in Manila, co-curated Minor Infelicities in Seoul in 2020 and In Our Best Interests in Singapore in January. He is co-curator of the exhibition Cast But One Shadow: Afro-Southeast Asian Affinities at the UP Vargas Museum.

Seriality tempts us to fixate on the most obvious deviations in Maria Taniguchi’s new work. In a suite of square patterned canvases a portion stripped of paint, a section wherein color does not take, or an outline obscured, may at turns mean disengaging from the illusion of symmetry or the body reaching its limit. In all cases, pattern asks us to reckon with its gesture and technology of iteration. These are deviations that manifest texture, create rhythm. It is through this iterability that we resist confinement. Spread out across an entire room, these are digressions that motivate one to move from one canvas to the next, across the room, traversing space.

In room of phases, we find a compelling dynamic between pattern and possibility, design and its disintegration. The title alludes to this oscillation. A phase is as much a significant period as it is a moment in a process which is defined by its transformation. It might refer to how different facets of the moon are seen across space-time, depending on illumination. It may speak to the courses of action in a plan. It may also apply to psychological development. It marks certain thresholds: time passing, the clearing of stages, shifts in attitude or disposition.

These new paintings elaborate on Taniguchi’s past interrogations - a brick painting, part of Taniguchi’s expansive series of works that play out dimensions of time and labor in the artistic process, welcomes us to the exhibition. It situates the works presented in this exhibition in conversation with these itineraries: the poetics of time and labor. In this sense the checkered pattern calls to the imagination at once an oversized chess board or else a calendar. This visual idiom itself unravels time in its most prolific sense: hours passed or spent, days in a year, turns in a game of chess. 

In Taniguchi’s work, each canvas is created using a combination of manual painting techniques and serigraphy, using thin layers of acrylic paint. Labor and gesture in these works persistently insist themselves in the attempts at repetition. The abstraction assured by the grid and achieved by the gradation is cultivated against considerations material and bodily. The repetitive gestures are influenced by various factors: the amount of pigment, pressure exerted, the number of attempts. In each canvas, process is materialized as ambient, interior architecture. It is within this framework that Taniguchi, in developing a set of paintings that comprise a singular work, articulates a method of engaging with space.

For the artist, the paintings draw out the psychic character of material: the checkered pattern foregrounds expectation and regularity which is foiled by the iterative performance of serigraphy. Taniguchi inhabits this space by way of pigment: a rich reddish violet used for landscapes and botanical illustrations and that makes for dense yet vivid shadows. The paint is layered in such a way that we see a somber rose or a matte purple ground or a deeper violet façade. In some instances, a sliver of pink breaks through. Where paint does not fully integrate, we see a glitch. Carefully installed in the gallery’s longest wall, a row of canvases subtly suggesting more natural formations and lush landscapes lead the viewer to a large glass picture window. Within such a limited repertoire, the artist has created a room that invites the most attentive of encounters. Taniguchi’s practice is built on these fixations—these painstakingly careful considerations that allow the material, gesture, disposition to craft a method to abstraction that is conceptual as it is affective.

- Carlos Quijon Jr.

Maria Taniguchi’s works encompass painting, sculpture, video and installation. Her practices investigate space and time along with social and historical contexts. Her series of “Untitled” brick paintings is an ongoing series that had been initiated in 2008. Each painting consists of seemingly countless rectangular cells, each one outlined by hand with graphite and filled with gray and black tones. The painstaking process creates a subtle yet complex pattern on the surface. These paintings develop in various extents, most of them reaching meters in size. The constructive structure embodies architectural elements, resulting in the paintings themselves manifesting as monumental existences within the space. The artist has referred to her brick paintings as the fundamental root of her larger artistic practice, while the other artworks such as sculptures and installations are reflection, or refractions of it.

Maria Taniguchi was born in Dumaguete City, Philippines, in 1981. She won the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award in 2015 and was a LUX Associate Artist in 2009. Recent exhibitions include the 12th Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders, Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Centre, South Korea (2018); 21st Biennale of Sydney, SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (2018); History of a vanishing present: A prologue, the Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2016); Afterwork, Para Site, Hong Kong (2016); Globale: New sensorium, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2016); The vexed contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2015); and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA,Brisbane (2015). Her work is held in a number of collections including the M+ Museum, Hong Kong; the Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; QAGOMA, Brisbane; and the K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai.

Carlos Quijon, Jr. is a critic and curator based in Manila. He is a fellow of the research platform Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia (MAHASSA), convened by the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories project. He writes exhibition reviews for Artforum and Frieze. His essays are part of the books Writing Presently (Manila: Philippine Contemporary Art Network, 2019) and From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition-Making (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019). He has published or have forthcoming publications in Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art, Afro-Asian Visions, MoMA’s post (US), Queer Southeast Asia, ArtReview Asia (Singapore), Art Monthly (UK), Asia Art Archive's Ideas (HK), and Trans Asia Photography Review (US), among others. He curated Courses of Action in Hong Kong in 2019, a will for prolific disclosures in Manila, co-curated Minor Infelicities in Seoul in 2020 and In Our Best Interests in Singapore in January. He is co-curator of the exhibition Cast But One Shadow: Afro-Southeast Asian Affinities at the UP Vargas Museum.

Installation Views

Works

Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7418
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
3
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_MT061
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7419
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT062
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7420
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 60.96h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT063
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7421
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT064
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7422
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT065
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7423
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT066
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7424
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT067
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7425
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT068
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7426
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT069
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7427
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT070
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7428
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
1
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT071
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7429
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT072
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled (room of phases)
2021
7430
2
acrylic on canvas
18h x 18w in • 45.72h x 45.72w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT073
Details
Maria Taniguchi
Untitled
2019
7432
2
acrylic on canvas
60h x 42w in • 152.40h x 106.68w cm
0
0.00
USD
0
SPI_MT045
Details
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