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Rodel Tapaya at Tang Contemporary Art

Random Numbers /
Apr 22 – May 15, 2021 /
Opening: Apr 22, 6 – 8pm

Tang Contemporary Art
10/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central
Central, Hong Kong
Tu-Sa 11am – 7pm

Random Numbers is the latest solo exhibition by Filipino contemporary artist Rodel Tapaya at Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong showcasing the artist’s most recent body of work.

Rodel Tapaya is one of the most prominent contemporary Filipino painters working within the international art world today. Early in Tapaya’s career, he came to regional and global prominence through his now signature body of work, the Folk Narrative paintings. During this phase, the artist drew direct inspiration from pre-colonial mythology and Filipino folkloric tradition in order to fuse the otherworldly imagery with the impressions from the contemporary daily life. This enabled him to establish a unique contemporary, neo-traditional artistic form of myth-making. In these works, numerous pictorial fragments within muralist compositions are devoid of traditional perspective, and meticulously pieced together to form epic stories filled with allegorical references. Tapaya became renowned for his celebration of Filipino culture while communicating urgent universal ideas concerning civilization, colonization, capitalism and globalization.

In this new exhibition, the artist’s overarching interest in reflecting upon ideas based in the common human experience continues as part of his artistic practice, as does his interest in presenting an interface between imagination and reality, but represents a  departure from his previous artistic investigations. The exhibition’s title takes direct reference from one of the artwork titles in the show that is among the curated selection of paintings ranging from monumental to medium-scale pieces. This exhibition exclusively explores the artist’s new phase of Scrap Paintings that investigates the concept and process of collage. The compositions comprise of semi-figurative illustrations involving a pastiche of objects set amid existential backdrops and miscellaneous elements that appear anonymous and expressive.

Collage has not only become a preliminary creative process for the technique that Tapaya employs in the series Scrap Paintings, but it is also the central theme to his work as whole: “I find myself using the cut-out pieces, pasting, erasing some details, I feel that I am “painting”. In that small, almost illustration-like scale and stage — almost like a small diorama scale — I find myself creating the whole artwork. That seed will then be transformed into a larger scale. The discipline and challenge for myself when working in this way is to not to leave the collage work unfinished, but consider it as a complete work unto itself with a vision that it will become larger than life when translated almost photo-realistically through painting.” Such innovation and internal deconstruction of one’s own reflective thinking processes in order to critique, question and thus advance one’s creative oeuvre is the testament to Rodel Tapaya’s artistic significance, evident in this important new body of work that continues to garner him international acclaim.

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