White Space Art Asia is proud to present ‘Patterns of Change’, a group show featuring four young artists from Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand opening on Friday 29th July, 2022. The exhibition will continue until Sunday 28th August, 2022.
With stories that resonate within and beyond geographical borders, ‘Patterns of Change’ is an exhibition that weaves threads between the future generations of a selected few ASEAN member states. Each artist expresses a political position unique to their own experience and the exhibition is a powerful and insightful response to the constantly evolving geo-political landscape of Southeast Asia. Through an array of diverse practices ranging from the traditional mediums of oil and watercolour to embroidery and photography, ‘Patterns of Change’ is a multidisciplinary show that invites us to explore and deepen the bonds that we share with our regional neighbours.
As Southeast Asian countries begin to open their borders once more, a reflection of where we are headed together is pertinent. Youths are the key to a post-pandemic recovery and governments will need to engage and collaborate with them for a future that will be conducive for all to exist in harmony. What then, are the attitudes of our future generation towards institutions of power, and what changes do they envision for the new world?
Featuring artists Nature Shankar, Eunice Sanchez, Nyein Su, and Wana Wanlayangkoon, the exhibition presents a heartfelt and sincere message from each artist seeking to map out the region’s future.
Eunice Sanchez (b.1993) is a Filipino artist that engages with themes related to preservation and perception through photography and alternative photographic processes. Sanchez was named the Silver Recipient in the book (self-published/documentary) category at the International Photography Awards Philippines (2017) and was a resident at Visualizing Histories, a collaborative project between Museum Collective, Load Na Dito, and Sa Sa Art Projects, supported by Asian Cultural Council (2021). She was also selected in the ASEAN Artists Residency Programme, a month-long residency project held by ASEAN Secretariat, Maybank Foundation, and Sharjah Art Foundation (2022).
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo I, 163 x 31.5 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo II, 40 x 30 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo III, 40 x 30 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo is Sanchez’s navigation on inherited tradition and coming to terms with departures and mortality. Taken from the losses that her family and her recently went through, Sanchez began investigating the mortuary rituals they’ve practiced in the province, particularly the process of agpaanod, and the irony of its persistence and engravement through centuries regardless of strong membership to Christianity.
Apart from impeding the chain of death and appeasing the spirits, family members of the deceased who remained in the house for the duration of the funeral go to the river to bathe while washing away the signs of mourning. From the root word anod, one allows to be carried by flowing water as worn old clothes are discarded – a form of parting and healing. In Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo, cyanotype printing on textile is used to preserve images taken from Bauang River and depict multifaceted emotions. Through sewing textiles together, the series also becomes a process of mending and reconciliation for Sanchez: as she is tied to the river, she is also tied to all histories and possible futures. Sanchez will keep returning to the same river; reciting the same prayers and bidding her farewells to loved ones over and over, until it’s her turn.
Nature Shankar (b.1996) is a Singaporean visual artist who approaches painting/drawing as an object and monument. Her work is material, process, and movement driven. With an almost makeshift and tactile approach to making, her works and overall practice teeter on the edge of being “in progress”, laced with a distinct sense of humanity.
Nature is interested in intimate forms of persistence, resistance and reclamation. Through materiality and observations of the everyday, she uses the notion of comfort to explore our ever evolving relationship with these themes.
Based in New York City, Nature is pursuing her MFA as a Merit Scholarship candidate at Pratt Institute. She has exhibited internationally such as with Gajah Gallery, Indonesia (2018), Jendela Visual Art Space Esplanade, Singapore (2021) and Art Fair Philippines (2022). She has participated in residencies in New York (USA), Bandung, (Indonesia) and Singapore.
Seeing Through Ferns, 101 x 161 cm, Chinese Ink, Charcoal, Fabric & paper pulp, graphite, sand, chalk, calico, stainless steel screws on ply wood framed in pinewood, 2022
In this new series of works, Nature Shankar continues her explorations into materialising comfort. Taking inspiration from her bedroom window and the life outside it, her works attempt to contextualise her discomfort with leaving home. Touch heavy method of making driven by material, process and bodily engagement attempt to give physicality to the intangible — a loss of agency and the stream of consciousness that accompanies it.
What she categorises as ‘everyday materials of comfort’, both tactile and intangible, undergo numerous forms of manipulation and experimentation. Materials associated with her ‘anti-anxious’ life at home such as ingredients from comfort food, journals and quilts are processed using bodily intervention and various craft inspired techniques. The intangible comfort heavily drawn from for this series is the rhythmic (or reliable) swaying of a slightly uprooted tree outside her window. Together, boundaries of these materials are repeatedly pushed as they are constantly constructed and deconstructed in an erratic process that not only requires, but demands space.
Tiny Twig or Big Scratch, 84 x 31 cm, Chinese Ink, Charcoal, paper pulp, roselle, turmeric, dye, graphite, chalk, sand, calico, stainless steel screws and pinewood on plywood, 2022
Afterthought, 25 x 30 cm, Chinese Ink, Charcoal, paper pulp, roselle, roselle flowers, turmeric, dye, graphite, chalk, sand, calico, stainless steel screws and pinewood on plywood, 2022
Bedside Manners, 27 x 22 cm, Chinese Ink, Charcoal, paper pulp, roselle, turmeric, dye, graphite, chalk, sand, calico, stainless steel screws and pinewood on plywood, 2022
Cloudy Vision, Splinters, and a Tiny Man, 87 x 158cm, Chinese Ink, Charcoal, Fabric & paper pulp, roselle, turmeric, dye, graphite, chalk, sand, calico, stainless steel screws and pinewood on ply wood, 2022
Nyein Su (b. 1981) is a Burmese artist who specialises in both the watercolour and oil mediums, through which she deals with the current and past political concerns in her homeland, Myanmar. In 2010, she was awarded a scholarship to study at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), where she specialised in Western painting and portraiture. She has competed and was first in the ACR art competition and participated in the NUSS Paint a Portrait commission project. She founded Art Village Gallery and Studio in June 2014.
Empty Seat #1, 90 x 90 cm, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 2022
Empty Seat #2, 60 x 60 cm, Acrylic and Oil on Linen, 2022
Empty Seat #3, 60 x 60 cm, Acrylic and Oil on Linen, 2022
For ‘Patterns of Change’, Su brings to life her new series, ‘Empty Seats’, taking aim at her political concerns in her home country, Myanmar. With a stirring combination of subtle and ethereal brushwork, Su draws attention to the political climate of her homeland in riveting style.
Wana Wanlayangkoon (b.1986) is a Thai artist with a focus in political history. His father, Wat Wanlayangkoon was a prominent political activist, award-winning writer and refugee who had to flee from Thailand. With Wana’s personal history and vested interests, visual arts became the medium for him to explore the stories that he wants to tell. Wana has participated in several group exhibitions for contemporary art in Thailand, namely the “Mementos/Monument & reMinders”, Plan Samret Gallery and “1 2 10”, Joy Man Gallery, both in Bangkok.
The General in His Labyrinth, 100 x 120 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019
Hallow Man, 105 x 190 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021
In Hallow Man, Wana reflects upon the perception of the late Thai king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Even in the advent of the new reign, numerous people are still found to yearn for the nostalgic miracles of the previous king.
Untitled, 50 x 62 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021
Heaven’s Door, 60 x 40 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2022
Dance, 90 x 60 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021