Buen Calubayan: Landscape, Museum, Household - A Sweeper's Guide
Arario Gallery Seoul | Ryse Hotel will be hosting Philippino artist Buen Calubayan (b. 1980~)'s solo exhibition (Landscape, Museum, Household: A Sweeper's Guide》, from August 1st (Thursday) to November 10, 2019. This exhibition, held three years after the Shanghai group exhibition in 2016 at Arario Gallery Seoul | Ryse Hotel, will be Calubayan's first solo exhibition in Korea. The collection will comprise a wide range of genres, a total of 25 pieces including 12 paintings and 13 on-site installations, such as paintings, installations, videos, and hundreds of archival materials that Calubayan has been continuously producing and compiling.
The work of Buen Calubayan investigates the mechanisms of world-making and the techniques of perception-of what happens in-between the self and the world in terms of mediation, image-making, and the production of devices that enables such operations. In art history through landscape painting, picturing of nature and of the world around us is skillfully employed with the renaissance technique of linear perspective. He took as entry point this diagrammatic approach in reading 19th century colonial paintings in the Philippines to plot the coordinates of a specific regional context within what was becoming the broader "art world." The method involves the rethinking of the notions of the horizon, the vanishing point, and grounding as well as the mechanisms that make it visible such as framing, archiving, historiography, and accessibility.
In Landscape. Museum. Household: A Sweeper's Guide, Calubayan presents his method of seeing a world through the institutions that govern our perception of everyday life. His research on ways of "seeing" develops into a deeper understanding of our sensing capabilities and reveals how these institutions of the current dominant visual culture favor, if not abuse, the sense of sight-providing us a limited insight of ourselves and the world where we can supposedly have a better position to negotiate towards coming into terms with nature with all the senses activated and fully developed.
In this exhibition, he will present fragments of his archives, library, drawings, paintings, timelines, and diagrams accumulated and produced upon wondering on actual landscapes; during his employment as a researcher at the National Museum of the Philippines; and while managing the household, performing everyday activities akin to a sweeper who has to envision the picturesque through the ergonomics of work. These elements constitute the bigger picture of his artistic practice where he laid out possible horizons, finding vanishing points, and anchoring on the ground in order to track the movements of art, history, and politics within the shifting context of the Philippine landscape.
Buen Calubayan, born in 1980, mostly works out of Manila in the Philippines. He majored in Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Santo Tomas, and worked as a preservation assistant at UST Art Museum from 2002 to 2006, and then at the National Museum of the Philippines from 2010 to 2013. Meanwhile, from 2008 to 2018, he took part in a number of residency programs in Japan, Australia, and Singapore. He exhibited his work in numerous group exhibitions at various locations including the Metropolitan Museum of the Philippines, Gwangju Museum of Art in Korea, and Arario Gallery Shanghai, while offering 12 solo exhibitions since 2007.