Bastards of Misrepresentation: New York Edition

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Bastards of Misrepresentation: New York Edition
Curated by: Manuel Ocampo

55-03 39th Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377
October 27th, 2012 - December 30th, 2012
Opening: October 27th, 2012 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

by appointment
photography, mixed-media, installation, graffiti/street-art, video-art, performance, conceptual, landscape, surrealism, figurative, modern, sculpture

TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. presents

a multi-venue exhibition on view October 27 through December 30, 2012

Curated by renowned artist Manuel Ocampo

Featuring 20 contemporary artists from Manila:
Poklong Anading, Yason Banal, Bea Camacho, Valeria Cavestany, Lena Cobangbang,
Maria Cruz, Gaston Damag, Dex Fernandez, Arvin Flores, Dina Gadia, David Griggs,
Robert Langenegger, Romeo Lee, Pow Martinez, Jayson Oliveria, Carlo Ricafort,
Timo Roter,   Gerry Tan,   MM Yu,   Maria Jeona Zoleta

(Queens, NY) — TOPAZ ARTS proudly presents “Bastards of Misrepresentation: New York Edition”, curated by renowned artist Manuel Ocampo, featuring a survey show of 20 contemporary artists from the Philippines. Making its debut in the United States in New York City, the multi-venue exhibition highlights dynamic artists representing the vitality of Manila’s arts scene, in diverse mediums from painting and installation to video and performance. Bringing the scene to NYC, a series of exhibitions will take place from October 27 to December 30, 2012, presented by TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. at four locations — TOPAZ ARTS, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Crossing Art, and the Queens Museum of Art/Partnership Gallery, with an artist talk at Tyler Rollins Fine Art. Admission is free to all events & exhibitions. The schedule of exhibition dates and opening events are as follows:

Dates & Locations:
Please note – for weekend subway service, take N-train to Queensboro Plaza for transfer to the #7-train in Queens

Sat, Oct 27, 3-6pm at TOPAZ ARTS: on view Oct 27 – Dec 30 | 55-03 39th Ave, Woodside, Queens; #7 to 61 St; R/M to Northern Blvd
Hours: Saturdays 12-4pm and by appointment at
Thu, Nov 1, 6:30pm at Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU: on view Nov 1–7 | 7-8 Washington Mews (off Fifth Ave); N/R to 8th St. | Hours: 12-5pm on Nov 2, 6, 7
Sat, Nov 3, 3-6pm at Crossing Art: on view Nov 3 – Dec 11 | 136-17 39th Ave (ground floor of Queens Crossing Bldg.); #7 to Main St./Flushing
Hours: Tue–Sun, 11am–6pm & by appointment
Sat, Nov 10, 3pm at Tyler Rollins Fine Art: Artist talk in conjunction with the Manuel Ocampo solo exhibition Nov 8 – Dec | 529 W. 20th St; A/C/E to 23rd St. Chelsea
Sun, Nov 11, 3-5pm at Queens Museum of Art/Partnership Gallery: on view Nov 11 – Dec 30 | | NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; #7 to Mets/Willets Pt. | Hours: Wed–Sun, 12–6pm 


“Bastards of Misrepresentation” is a show about the cultural scene happening in the Philippines yet is not a definitive show about Philippine art. The 20 artists included represent the “now” of contemporary art in Manila whose works entice and challenge perceptions. Many of the artists have been recognized by the country’s most prestigious awards from the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Artist Awards and the Ateneo Art Awards, and are establishing reputations in Europe, Australia, and Asia, while locally others are highly visible as performers in the underground art, performance and music scene. With an Asian Cultural Council award for the exhibition, TOPAZ ARTS has invited three of the artists from Manila — Yason Banal, Lena Cobangbang and Maria Jeona Zoleta — to participate as Artists-in-Residence, creating new works, site-specific installations and performances. The diverse artists are intergenerational and international including Poklong Anading, Bea Camacho, Valeria Cavestany, Maria Cruz, Gaston Damag, Dex Fernandez, Arvin Flores, Dina Gadia, David Griggs, Robert Langenegger, Romeo Lee, Pow Martinez, Jayson Oliveria, Carlo Ricafort, Timo Roter, Gerry Tan, and MM Yu. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition with essays by Gina Fairley, Patrick D. Flores, Manuel Ocampo, and Paz Tanjuaquio & Todd Richmond of TOPAZ ARTS.

“Bastards of Misrepresentation” is seen for the first time in NYC, previously shown with 14 artists in 2010 in Berlin at the Freies Museum and Hamburg at 8 Salon, and at H Gallery in Bangkok in May 2012. Simulating Manila’s energetic arts scene – from alternative spaces and Chelsea-like galleries to university museums and high-end galleries in the city’s ubiquitous malls – the artist-run project is dispersed throughout NYC, headquartered at the painting-focused show at TOPAZ ARTS, to performance work and video at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, to various media works “Doing Time on Filipino Time” at Crossing Art Gallery situated in Flushing’s Queens Crossing Mall, and transforming the Queens Museum of Art/Partnership Gallery with an installation of a fictive call center office. As the Philippines is a country with a hybrid culture, the show deals with issues about aesthetic autonomy, social critique and the philosophical politics of expression. While the exhibition is focused on Manila artists, Bastards of Misrepresentation represents a complex cultural scene, addressing global issues, shared histories and the urban experience.

Bastards of Misrepresentation: New York Edition has been organized by TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. and by artist/curator Manuel Ocampo with the support of the Asian Cultural Council.

About the Curator:

Manuel Ocampo (b. 1965, lives and works in Manila) is a celebrated artist whose work has been exhibited extensively over twenty years, with solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. His first solo show in 1988 took place in Los Angeles, CA after which his work was featured in many group shows in the 1990s, including Helter Skelter: LA Art of the 1990s at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art at the Asia Society in New York; American Stories: Amidst Displacement and Transformation at Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo; Pop Surrealism at The Aldrich Museum of Art; and Made In California: Art, Image and Identity 1900-2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2005, his work was the subject of a large-scale survey at Casa Asia in Barcelona and Lieu d’Art Contemporain in Sigean, France. Ocampo’s work has been included in a number of international surveys including the 2004 Seville Biennale, 2001 Venice Biennale, the 2001 Berlin Biennale, the 2000 Biennale d’art Contemporain de Lyon, the 1997 Kwangju Biennale, the 1993 Corcoran Biennale, and in 1992’s controversial Documenta IX. He has received a number of prestigious grants and awards including the Giverny Residency, the Rome Prize at the American Academy, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and Art Matters Inc. Recently in 2011, Ocampo was a featured artist in the Dublin Contemporary and had solo shows in Melbourne, Australia; Vigo, Spain; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Graz, Austria. In Summer 2012, Ocampo participated in a six-week artist residency at the TOPAZ ARTS studio in Woodside, Queens, NY to create new works for his solo exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

About the Artists: (*Artist residency participants at TOPAZ ARTS)

Poklong Anading works with a variety of media to create objects, installations and videos that explore chance and the ephemeral while being rooted in the familiar. He received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines in 1999. He has exhibited in galleries and museums in Manila, USA, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Malaysia and China.

* Yason Banal’s work moves between performance, installation, photography, video and text, taking myriad forms and conceptual strategies in order to explore, perhaps even trigger, suppressed associations and links. He obtained a BA in Film at the University of the Philippines, an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College-University of London, residencies at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and AIT in Tokyo, and is currently a Fall 2012 Artist in Residence at TOPAZ ARTS.

Bea Camacho works in installation, video and performance with “an impeccable, often minimalist execution” exploring ideas of memory, absence, longing and transformation. She received her B.A. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University, where she was awarded the Albert Alcalay Prize for Outstanding work in Studio Art and the David McCord Prize for Achievement in the Arts. Her work has been shown at the National Museum of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and internationally at Hong Kong Cultural Center, Kyoto Art Center, Tate Modern in London.

Valeria Cavestany has been producing artworks characterized with a certain ebullience of spirit, a preponderance of bright colors, and a dazzling array of forms that reference anything from mundane objects to religious iconography. Her works have been shown extensively in Manila since 1987 at such galleries as Finale Art File, Ayala Museum, Manila Contemporary and Galeria Duemila; and internationally in Spain, London, Mexico, and Istanbul.

* Lena Cobangbang moves across video, installation, and found objects to embroidery, cookery, performance and photography. She graduated from the University of the Philippines and is a founder of the artist collective Surrounded By Water. She was a fellow of the HAO Summit 2008 in Singapore and completed a research residency exchange between Green Papaya Art Projects and Pekarna Magdalenske Mreze in Slovenia, and is a recipient of the prestigious CCP Thirteen Artists Award.

Maria Cruz incorporates installations and constructions, going beyond traditional painting approaches, while representing the process of making paintings. Born in the Philippines, she studied Fine arts in Manila, Sydney, and Duesseldorf from the early to late 1980s. A recipient of various arts awards, prizes, grants from the Arts Council of Australia, and international artist residencies, she currently lives and works as an artist in Berlin.

Gaston Damag is a Philippine-born artist based in Paris. Noted for using ethnographic symbols of his material culture in the Cordillera region in the Northern Philippines to create contemporary works of art, his style fuses the wooden idols of the ancient Ifugao rice god, Bul-ul, along with diverse modern industrial materials such as steel, glass and neon lights. He is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Faculté de la Sorbonne Paris, and the University of The Philippines.

Dexter Fernandez works with found images and material that he collages together to create fantastical figurative compositions, combining photographic reproduction with detailed, hand-painted motifs that “cast a bejeweled, patterned, quality.” He pursued studies at the Technological University of the Philippines, graduating in 2005.

Arvin Flores works explores the language of abstraction with the abstraction of language, produced by a kind of writing in the form of gestural mark making, that involve texts that become abstract in both form and content. He is a graduate of Columbia University, NY, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. In Manila, he has shown at Mag:net Gallery, Finale Art File, and West Gallery, and exhibits internationally.

Dina Gadia deconstructs signs from mass media conspiring to present a comedy of errors, reveling within while being lost in translation. She currently lives and works in Manila where she has had numerous solo exhibitions at Silverlens, Blanc Artspace, Hiraya Gallery, and recently short-listed in the 2012 Ateneo Art Awards. She received her BFA Advertising degree in 2006.

David Griggs was born in Sydney, and currently lives and works in Manila. He is known best for his paintings, photography and installation projects, working closely with various communities and artists. Creating highly active political humorous projects that have dealt with the incarceration of inmates from Manila City Jail to Halloween festivals in Sta. Mesa. He has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia, Asia and Europe. Griggs is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, Kaliman Rawlins Gallery in Melbourne, Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill in Austria, and LOST projects, Manila.

Robert Langenegger creates “comically vulgar paintings that nevertheless retain a shocking and critical edge. Shades of the serious irreverence of Robert Crumb and Philip Guston can be discerned but filtered through a pronounced sense of felt experience and a profound understanding of repression and perversity.” Robert is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and has been shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Award and Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Aside from Manila, he has exhibited in Paris, Australia, Hong Kong and the US. Robert taught himself the art of tattooing and the science of horticulture.

Romeo Lee’s paintings “give lease to the unconscious as it can be explored by the instinctual, biomorphic forms that painting allows. While resolutely figurative, his works nevertheless appear to have emerged from a painterly process that can allow chance forms to become robust representation, recalling, amongst other precedents, Surrealist methods.” Lee is highly regarded in the underground scenes of art, music, and entertainment since the 1980s. He has shown in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, United States, and regularly exhibits at Finale Art File in Manila.

Pow Martinez uses expressive viscous paint across the surface of his canvases, employing an agitated shorthand transcription of “grotesque subject-matter with indelibly beautiful surfaces and a wide-ranging, daring, use of color.” He has held a number of solo shows in Manila at Pablo Gallery, Mag:net Gallery, West Gallery and received a 2010 Ateneo Art Awards. He is also an accomplished sound artist, exploring sound like paint in the explosion and reconstitution of its material to evoke new experiences.

Jayson Oliveria applies end game strategies for making paintings and incorporates objects or sculptural elements to betray the uniformity of painting. His works have an “internal logic – knowingly of the contradictions within the work while displaying a keen taste for the obsolescence of style.” He is the recipient of a CCP Thirteen Artist Award, an Ateneo Art Award, and has held residencies in Manila and Fukuoka, and has shown internationally at Nadi Gallery in Jakarta, the Tate Turbine Hall in London and spaces in Sydney, Hong Kong, Tasmania.

Carlo Ricafort’s work involves free-associative commentaries on society and history through innovative designs that blur representation with abstraction. Born in Quezon City, Philippines, San Francisco-based artist Carlo Ricafort received his B.F.A. in Pictorial Arts from San José State University and has exhibited at numerous galleries and cultural spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Manila.

Timo Roter’s works provide “a commentary on the formal nature of painting itself, revealing structural elements while also offering these elements for aesthetic deliberation.” Timo lives between Hamburg and Manila. He studied Filipino Culture and Language, Art History and Ethnology in Hamburg and exhibits internationally. He has been organizing shows on contemporary art in the Philippines since 2005. He is also one of the founder of 8 Salon Hamburg and the Seamen’s Art Club.

Gerardo Tan is a multimedia artist, working with objects and photo-based installations, artist books, collages and mixed media paintings. Composed of multiple layers of imagery taken from the world of art, and from mass media, Tan’s subsequent retouching and remixing of visual information in his work gives way to new itinerant meanings. Tan received his BFA in Painting at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and his MFA in Painting at the State University of New York in Buffalo on a Fulbright Fellowship grant. He is also a recipient of the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 1988.

MM Yu works with different media “to explore ideas of excess, the unpalatable and failure. Her photography, paintings & installations also carry deceptively beautiful surfaces. She has photographed mountains of trash, disintegrating remnants from the changing face of contemporary Manila.” She received her BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in 2001, and was a recipient of the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 2009 and the Ateneo Art Awards in 2007.

* Maria Jeona Zoleta is one of the newest voices to emerge in the Manila art scene and has already extensively exhibited her work in numerous group shows. Exploring the intimate and more taboo aspects of personal identity, she creates double meaning and contradiction in her sexually explicit works that become metaphors for the world (and art world) around her. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, and was nominated for the 2011 Ateneo Awards.

About the Presenter:

TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 2000 by artists Todd Richmond and Paz Tanjuaquio. TOPAZ ARTS fosters the creation of new work in contemporary performance and visual arts, offering creative development center for gallery exhibitions, dance rehearsals, and artist residency opportunities. Transforming a raw warehouse, the 2,500 sq. ft. facility is designed by the artists using sustainability concepts - largely using reused & recycled materials and incorporating passive solar, radiant heat and maintaining an organic roof garden.
About the Participating Organizations:

The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University brings together accomplished scholars, community builders, and artists from New York City and beyond in interactive forums, reflection, and new research.

Crossing Art: Located in the heart of Flushing, New York, where differences in cultures often collide, Crossing Art’s mission is to provide an international platform for the open exchange of ideas and aesthetics.  Focused on bringing art to collectors and art lovers pro-actively, the gallery is a venue for art where collectors, institutions, corporations, and community members can participate in an interactive exchange with art.

The Partnership Gallery at the Queens Museum of Art provides opportunities for our cultural and
other nonprofit organizational partners to develop and mount exhibitions based on their programs.
In addition, the Partnership Gallery regularly showcases the work of students in QMA’s
Department of Education.

Tyler Rollins Fine Art was founded in 2006 and opened its public gallery space in NYC’s Chelsea art district in 2008. Presenting solo exhibitions by major contemporary artists from the Southeast Asia region, Tyler Rollins Fine Art represents an impressive roster from the region’s most highly respected artists, who are regularly featured in international biennials, museum exhibitions, and galleries worldwide.

Exhibition Support:

“Bastards of Misrepresentation: New York Edition” is supported, in part, by the Asian Cultural Council through generous funding from the Starr Foundation.The TOPAZ ARTS Visual Arts Program is supported by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Advancement Initiative.

TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. is made possible, in part, by public funds from NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; foundation support from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Asian Cultural Council; Bloomberg Philanthropies; The Mertz Gilmore Foundation; The New York Community Trust; NYS DanceForce with funds from NYSCA Dance Program; Material for the Arts – a program of DCA and the Dept. of Sanitation & Board of Education; and by the generosity of private individuals.

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