October 02, 2019 - October 31, 2019
Pia Benitez Yupangco
Globe Art Gallery, The Globe Tower, 32nd Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
“I was drawn to the circle and liked to work within it…I like things contained in a space I can control.” Thus, Pia Benitez Yupangco on the genesis of her art.
Not every artist can speak of his or her art in such sure and succinct terms. In a way, the artist wills the very condition in which her sensibility and sense of space can serve her best. Space is by turns physical and yes, poetical - where the image emerges explicitly and comfortably within its habitation. The image occupies a position where its shape is not contrary to its essence. It is the space that has given birth to its organic form. All these insights engendered the works of Pia Yupangco in her solo exhibition titled “Spherical” organized by Hiraya Gallery, now on view at the Globe Gallery.
By turns constricting and liberating, the sphere is a three-dimensional space, like the globe or a ball. The circle, on the other hand, is two-dimensional. For the purpose of her works, Yupangco treats the sphere or circle simply as space and not as symbol. Indeed, its richness as a signifier is so lush, so extravagant, as to detract or distract from its integrity as form. Her focus, her goal, then in the intellection, as opposed to imagination, of her form is the seamless synthesis between her space and shape.
There is, it must be said, a certain theatricality, as well as charm, wit, humour, and visual pomp to her designs, despite the surprising small-scale, the minuteness of the works. Says the artist, “The spheres are of equal circumference, small by today’s exhibit standards – the drawings are 6”x 6”. They are all hand-drawn in black ink on cream paper.”
Thus inescapably, the works, as such, have a quality of the bijou – something small but elegant and tasteful, dainty and of delicate workmanship. In short: a visual jewel. In “Splitting Hairs,” there is a bristling energy to the fierce porcupine lines, while in “Spike,” sharp, serrated edges convey a menacing look. “Sting” and “Claws”, as if drawn from the deep sea, usurp the identity of a jellyfish and a crustacean. In contrast is the delightful and pleasurable temper of “Bloom” and “Partridge in a Pear Tree.”
Pia Benitez Yupangco considers “Spherical” as a personally significant show, through which the sensitive viewer may catch a glimpse of the emotional life of the artist. Confides Yupangco: “My shyness keeps me from moving out of a certain comfort zone – but inside of it, I can play and create my own world, without judgment or fear.”
Having seen the works at “Spherical,” the viewer can assure Pia Benitez Yupangco that she should have no concern for fear or judgment.
----------- CID REYES