September 17, 2009

AAA 2009: Precious junk

I've already shown you all three winners of the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards in the three previous posts. Now let me show you my favorite out of the twelve short-listed artists. Michelline Syjuco's "Armadillon" was originally exhibited at the gallery of Mag:net Bonifacio High Street from August 8 to October 8, 2008 and the entire piece is currently on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery although in a more compact version. The two winged figures are made out of wood and beaten rusty scrap metal. In the display case are mannequin's hands carrying various kinds of handcrafted jewelry made not only out of precious metals and semiprecious stones, but also ordinary metals and rocks, and even hardware. Michelline caught many of my favorite things in her piece: science fiction and fantasy, earth tones, chunky jewelry, wood, stone, metal and texture—so it's little wonder why I immediately fell in love with it. I've again written the gallery's notes of the artwork below but this was one piece where I didn't need to read the notes to know that I like it.

Armadillon by Michelline Syjuco
The problem with modern art pieces like this (and those of the three winners, actually) is, I can't imagine them outside a gallery or museum. If the artist is willing to break up the parts though, I wouldn't mind having this spiky, rusty winged warrior in our living room. My dear Dogberry just might protest though. 2009 ATENEO ART AWARDS SERIES #4 OF 4

Armadillon by Michelline Syjuco

Design and merchandise are part of the language of function, and they figure prominently in this installation of hand-crafted objects. All pieces are molded or else made for the functions of the body. Or so it seems. Syjuco proceeds to subvert our ideas about functionality foremost by addressing the divide between precious and 'worthless' materials. These are exquisite pieces of jewelry rendered from gold, silver, coral and amethyst, but also common metals, stones, flawed pearls and even hardware materials. What she achieves is design informed by conversation, where the quality of each element is brought out in contrasts and combines of intricate yet hard-edged details. Even rust is employed here, its color adding depth to embossed and beaten metal plates.

Syjuco promotes "Armadillon" as her own imaginary world. It is sheer baroque extravagance recalling the grandeur of churches and church ornaments, but clearly she is most inspired by the production design of epical fantasies, drawing on themes of magic and warriorhood.

What Syjuco attempts in her ornamentation are translations of beauty and danger; avid introspections on material and spiritual flight.

24 comments:

Gunn White said...

SUPERB ART!:-)

Olivier said...

superbe création, bravo a l'artiste.
superb creation, bravo has the artist

Kate said...

Great art, I agree, but it looks like "bad hair day" to me! Thanks for visiting my ABC Wednesday blog!

Leif Hagen said...

Funky, arsty, and weird wrapped into one!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I appreciate modern art too...in galleries. I would hate to have to dust it. LOL

This piece sparks my imagination, which is one reason I enjoy may works of art.

Excellent post!

JM said...

Truly original!

Halcyon said...

I agree with you that this type of art would be hard to fit into someone's home. But I do like this particular artist as well.

Polina Milyamanova said...

wow! that's are really good pictures! and the sculptures are beautiful
thanks for your comment in my blog.

Lois said...

I can see why you like it so much Hilda!

nobu said...

Those are fine.

Jacob said...

Hmmm...I think I like it. Certainly is "creative" and very interesting...probably, as EG & Halcyon said, not in the house...

I'm very fascinated, though, by the mind that would come up with these kinds of artistic creations...

By the way, your commentary was so excellent I thought it was part and parcel of the "official" notes...!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful art !! Your post is lovely !! Unseen Rajasthan

Vogon Poet said...

No trouble in saying that this is my favorite either because shows some sense, some art and it isn't utterly offensive to the eye. Yours are very good images, perfectly composed and this surely helps.

James said...

Very interesting. It sort of reminds me of woodshop meets fetish. I love your bottom photo.

Cezar and Léia said...

It seems this stuff could be good merchandise for the store Jacob posted today on Florida Fotos... :)
God bless you!
Cezar

George said...

This is a very interesting piece of art, but I don't think I would want it in my living room!

mirage2g said...

I love your posts in this series Hilda! Would love to see the displays personally...sayang! but thanks for featuring them here...

Precious junks of art! ;)

Floral Friday said...

I will have to agree with you. This would be my favorite as well. Could you imagine the conversation piece this would be. You could really entertain company with this in your sitting room. I have to imagine what it would be like to walk through your house at night and see the shadow if this. It could startle you I think. Wonderful share Hilda!

Sharon said...

Wow, I can see why you liked this piece. It is very impressive! I think it would have stopped me in my tracks.

Don and Krise said...

Hilda, the detail on this piece is amazing. I can see why you liked it. Be careful if you go up and try to give it a hug though.

White Oleander said...

I never get modern art...

michelline said...

Hi Hilda! My name is Michelline Syjuco. I just came across your blog while searching for some articles, and I'd like to thank you so much for all your kind words. I'm honored to have my work as your favorite. I hope to meet you in the near future! Do try to check out my new works at "Draped In Silk" Yuchengco Museum and "Daloy Ng Dunong" opening at the National Museum this September 30. Cheers! :)

Sherry Stewart said...

Art that inspires! Not seen everyday, not enough! It also beats my heart...somehow I want to become part of beauty and expression of artists and writers and nature.... the call is so tremendous! I enjoyed a few galleries this weekend, but of course, silly I think, no photos! I am an artist and anyone wanting a photo is free to shoot, and touch my work, too, it's made for all sensual expression..
my motto is, "don't indulge in fear.."
I'm glad you could photograph this...
to share.

AB said...

That is a very punky looking angel. Very original