Julio Jose Austria and Sophia Chizuco
November 13, 2017 - November 23, 2017
Julio Jose 'Jojo' Austria, Sophia Chizuco
Makati Shangri-La, Manila
Julio Jose Austria : Worm Universe
For years, Julio Austria has shown canvases inundated with lines: sometimes signifying borders, sometimes speaking of connections, but always describing a landscape forever changed by mobility.
It is made clear in this series that Austria’s places speak of people: that his landscapes are portraits. Such a proposition—that places define people—is evident in the postcard-like depictions of actual settings, specifically Bruchkobel, Germany, where Austria was in residence for two months and New York where he has lived for six years.
Within the abstractions and erasures that Austria often uses to tell a multi-layered narrative of migrancy and mobility is the reality of life on the ground, alluded to in the title Worm Universe. This is where Austria invokes the everyday life of the immigrant – a backstory consisting of logistics, of getting one’s body off the ground, of paperwork, of the red tape that precedes the moment when one is able to gaze, awestruck, at new (and strange) horizons. This mundane reality of life on the ground is, after all, what bring us back to earth – a reminder of what it really means to belong to a place.
------- Alice Sarmiento, Art Critic
Sophia Chizuco : Coming Full Circle
“Stardust,” by New York-based Japanese artist Sophia Chizuco is an exhilarating visual adventure: discovering, and embracing all the rich symbolisms of this most mysterious geometric form, self-contained, without beginning and end, spinning itself perpetually into infinity – the circle.
For Chizuco, “the circle is the most peaceful shape.” That she would connect expressively with this most meditative shape should come as no surprise. She was, as she says, “born and raised in the countryside of Japan surrounded by mountains, green tea fields and the Pacific Ocean.” Moreover, she is the daughter of a microbiologist whose work it is to study and contemplate the cosmos of living organisms. By sheer instinct, Chizuco naturally felt the sensations of a shape breathing with life.
In “Stardust,” Sophia Chizuco’s art has come full circle.
-------- Cid Reyes, Art Critic