Silverlens and ROH Projects (Jakarta) continue their pioneering series of inter-gallery exchange and collaboration with the exhibition Iris, the first major presentation of large works by Indonesian artists Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (b. 1978, Bandung) and Syagini Ratna Wulan (b. 1979, Bandung) in Manila. Both based in Bandung, a city known for its vibrant art community that rests some 180 kilometers away from the capital city of Jakarta, Arin and Syagini initially trained in the famed Fine Arts program of the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) before taking further studies in the UK in Central St. Martins and Goldsmiths, respectively.
Arin has gained wide acclaim for his highly experimental approach to the painting process, often involving unexpected materials spanning from volcanic ash to culinary spices, each tiny speck caught in slow descent or mid splash, suspended in monumental resin panels. For her part, Syagini is regarded for her investigations into the nuances within the visual field, playing with the limits of perception and the human eye through the use of iridescent pigments, prismatic and spectral lighting and the rhythmic modulations of shaped canvases. These, along with the subtler elements of their practice, will be made evident through a selection of works specially conceived for the space.
Two particular pieces, one from each artist, could be seen as the collaborative focal point of the exhibition. They rest on opposing walls, as if locked in a prolonged stand-off or a wordless dialogue. Upon closer look, one might notice a hint of echoing, with elements from each artist’s work crossing from one picture plane to the other, in a layered and circuitous feedback loop and it has now become impossible to retrace where it all began.
(This is the point where artists seemingly assume the role of a mystery novel writer or a puzzle maker: carefully choosing and laying out clues, weighing what could be revealed and what should be left unsaid.) While an actual mirror is depicted in both frames, the works themselves assume the quality of mirrors— more so if a mirror could ever be allowed to hold on and keep an imprint of the single image that it has chosen to reflect, in perpetuity.
With Iris, Arin and Syagini hint at the possibility of a common, albeit precarious ground; an imagined space where their individual practices could intersect. And at this crossing, we bear witness to how two paths can briefly converge, not to espouse familiarity but to reinvigorate and further prolong our shared mysteries.
- Gary-Ross Pastrana
Iris alongside Chati Coronel’s exhibition, The Infinite Yes is on view from 17 February to 17 March 2018 at SILVERLENS, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. These exhibitions happen simultaneously with Art Fair Philippines 2018 (1-4 March) at The Link Ayala Center, Makati where SILVERLENS is hosting a main booth (Booth 19) and photography booth.