Mariano Ching / Yasmin Sison

July 2 - August 12, 2016

Press Release

Mariano Ching and Yasmin Sison constitute one of the most dynamic artistic duos in Manila’s

thriving contemporary art scene. While both artists have impressive careers in their own right,

they also have a long history of working and exhibiting together. This exhibition marks the first

New York presentation of their work in a combined format.
 

Both Ching and Sison met as early members of the seminal Manila­based artist collective

Surrounded By Water (1998­2006). Founded by fellow artist Wire Tuazon, SBW was a vital

locus for curation, exhibition and exploration. Much of the collective spirit of the group has

remained in the work of both artists, as they continue to develop separate but complementary

investigations into the realm of fantasy, imagination, and reconfiguration.
 

As a painter, Yasmin Sison is known for works where her subjects are confronted with issues of

duality or introversion. This can take the form of portraits where the figure is obscured or

disturbed by abstract color fields, or still lifes of miniature furniture pieces vastly expanded

beyond life size. Her collage work is a perfect example of the playful sense of wonder that is at

the heart of her practice. They are a jumble of materials: paper, paint, old cardboard, shaped

wood, foam cut­outs. Their small scale might reference the doll house furniture seen in past

paintings, while also reveling in the an almost child­like freedom of creation. In fact, some of the

source material appears to come from children’s paper toy books. These brightly colored works

not only reference Sison’s earlier themes, but also hold their own when compared with other

material transmogrifiers such as Richard Tuttle.
 

Mariano Ching tends to dwell in the realm of otherworldly, psychedelic narratives. Through

painting, sculpture drawing and installations he has often dealt with dystopic landscapes,

phrenology and surreal juxtapositions. Examples of both his paintings and sculptures are

incorporated into the exhibition. His 4­part series There Are Things In The Woods continues his

dark dreamscapes which symbolizes man’s existence in, and struggles with, nature. In it,

strange anthropomorphic figures transverse a night­time forest, where they encounter wild

animals, ghostly apparitions, and the detritus of civilization. Ching’s sculptures are stand­alone

irreverent totems. Figures covered in colored wax stand on either side of an object, like Ancient

Egyptian Shabti figurines stoically guarding their objects of veneration and awaiting their

moment of reanimation. These sculptures are meant to be viewed from different angles, as

intricate details have been applied to not only their fronts and back, but also their visceral

spaces.