Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your practice.
I was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in Calgary, AB. A couple of years after post secondary, I moved to Vancouver, BC which is where I am now. Currently, I have an art studio at The Dynamo Arts Association, which I am also a board member, treasurer and occasional curator.
I use a lot of very random objects in my work, harvested from the junk pile at the studio, off the streets, plastic things bought at dollar stores and construction materials at hardware stores. I just moved to a new apartment, and everything that didn’t go to the new place, went to the studio. My solo show at the Positive Negative Gallery that just closed early February reaped the benefits, in which several sculptures were almost exclusively built from all my old stuff.
Where did you study? What kind of an influence has this had on your practice?
In 2003, I received my BFA in Painting at The Alberta College of Art and Design. Before ACAD, I have always
thought of myself as a painter; art school opened up a whole new way of looking and thinking about art, which I have always appreciated.
What have you been doing since graduating?
I’ve learned to sew window screens into pouches for pillow stuffing and use plastic spoons as scales. I’ve been transforming comforters into crusty glittering canopies to drape over walls. I’ve been making skeletons out of pool noodles and plastic clothes hangers used as claws.
What struggles do you face in your practice? Do you have any insecurities while making your work?
There is not enough room. Working as a sculptor and living in Vancouver, it is difficult to find sufficient and affordable space. Ideally, I want to be able to expand and work on several huge pieces simultaneously. I want to be able to look up and let my work tower over me. It would be freeing not to think about scale.
Insecurities and struggles will always be present, but sometimes if harnessed correctly, can be used for
tension that makes the work interesting.
Do you find yourself attracted to work that is unlike yours, or work that is very similar?
In the studio, I liken my process similar to some kind natural phenomenon, weathering the objects I’ve found through erosion, break-down and build-up. Materials undergo a metamorphosis; boulders and crystallized forms grow to create a specific experience, one that peak the senses. I find I gravitate towards artists whose work also create a sensory experience. This element may be the only similarity, but an important one for me.
Who are some other artists whose work you are interested in, or who have influenced your practice?
Phyllida Barlow, Martha Rosler, Shary Boyle, Franz West, Richard Tuttle, Rachel Whiteread and David Altmejd
to name a few.
What music do you listen to while working in the studio, if any?
I tend to let a movie play in the background when I’m alone in the studio. If any of my other studio mates are there, stories of what happened the night before, or random music can be audible.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Vancouver? Places to eat? Way to spend a day off?
Art openings, speakeasies, beef brisket chow mein, gin & soda, Third beach and afternoon naps.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects?
I am looking forward to exhibiting at AVALANCHE! (Calgary, AB) in March, with Calgary based artist Sarah Van Sloten, called Wet Country. In April, I will be exhibiting at the Black & Yellow Gallery (Vancouver,BC), in
collaboration with an artist, Jessica Yeandle-Hignell. In the summer, I will be taking part in The Corbin Union Residency (Corbin, AB). Late in 2013 or early 2014, I will be returning back to Calgary for a solo show at Truck Contemporary. Please stay tuned!