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BPI PRESENTS

Ayala Tower One Fountain Area

Ryan Jara

Mga Kwento, Panaginip, at Panalangin

Cubism has had a strong pull on local artists especially from the 20th century, who found affinity in the fracturing

About the Artist

Cubism has had a strong pull on local artists especially from the 20th century, who found affinity in the fracturing of reality to reveal its varied, ever-shifting facets. While its influence may have waned, Ryan Jara has found bearing in its tenets, exploring personal and social themes with the use of Picasso-esque distortions. Instead of breaking down the image into geometric shapes, the artist maintains a figurative approach, presenting his characters in fraught expressions, usually revealing prominently a single eye, a displaced mouth, an overall alarming look.

For Mga Kuwento, Panaginip, at Panalangin, composed of three-large scale works (essentially murals), Jara once again presents his signature figuration, but this time within the context of the devastating pandemic. Painted with a subdued palette, characters are trapped within the cold interior of walls or set against featureless landscapes, caught in a life-altering commotion and the battle of wills. The works achieve the grave tone of tragedy and strife—the ultimate crux of crisis inscribed by pigment on canvas. 

In the painting, “Ang Liwanag sa Kahon, Nakabalot sa Dilim,” the figures, while multiple, essay the experience of a lone individual reckoning with the psychological ill-effects of the pandemic—from inner panic to constricting loss to debilitating hopelessness. Isolated from the people from whom he draws nourishing connections, the self confronts the gravity of these uncharted conditions. “Sa Bakod ng Gusto at Kailangan” and “In Sa Akin, Sa Atin,” on the other hand, put in sharp relief the fight over meager resources—whether food or land—all the more exacerbated by the pandemic, marked by chaos, violence, and the erosion of dignity.

Jara, in depicting these losses, shows how we cannot even begin to measure the extent of damage wrought by the pandemic, perhaps even after it has come to pass. Its alteration of our inner constitution, its disruption of our everyday lives, its global after-effects ultimately ask what it means to be human in this day and age. Mga Kuwento, Panaginip, at Panalangin brooks no answer, but it acknowledges personal and collective suffering, which is more than enough.

 

Words by Carlomar Daoana


Artworks

Ryan Jara
Ryan Jara
Ryan Jara


ArtFairPH/Projects Artists

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