Saturday, October 19, 2019 , 6pm
19 October to 16 November 2019
1335Mabini is proud to present the exhibition bloodline by Dexter Sy.
Dexter Sy’s work deals with the cultural peculiarities that arise as Filipino with Chinese roots.
Looking at Dexter’s Artworks the viewer is thematically guided into a mysterious pictorial world. The paintings of the artist are not entirely clear at its first look, the viewers are asked to explore the narrative of the works of art. Sometimes the viewer is asked to make use of their own family history to connect to the shown painting.
Sy does not show classical family portraits in his works, roles in the middle of a cultural patchwork that have to find their way in a world full of religious as well as spiritual and social prejudices. He consciously uses the stylistic device of family portraits and alienates them in an ironic as well as grotesque way in order to irritate the recipient in his accustomed way of looking at things.
His two-dimensional pictures in ink are descriptions of society and tell about a world between two cultures. The incarnation of his figures, which, due to their fine texture and detailed ornamentation, appear almost like mosaics or inlays from cultures long past, in white or light green, lends the depicted figures a fragile character.
Again and again, the artist’s works are peppered with spiritual figures – Angels, hands folded in prayer, a person appearing with a halo, a person with a portrait of Christ and a crown of thorns. The religious character of the pictures is reinforced by the fact that Sy stages his portraits like icons. The background of his works of art alternates between black, red and gold- in his new series he is using white for the fist time as well.
For Dexter Sy these fragments are not meant to represent a religious quotation, the artist understands them exemplarily as a synonym of spirituality. A spirituality that characterizes all people, regardless of their origin or religion.
The title of the show is a continuation of the artist’s project, to which he has devoted himself in an artistic way since 2015.
Sy’s grandfather immigrated to the Philippines. He was forced to leave the country due to an epidemic in China.
Born (1979) and raised in Manila, Dexter Sy has been confronted with prejudices about his Chinese name since his earliest childhood.
Origin, identity, religion these are themes that he stages in his carefully and detailed arranged mind maps. In the exhibition entitled Bloodlines, the Philippine artist shows his latest works, which are once again absolutely actuality because of the ongoing political events of a globalized world.