Element Art Space presents “Under the Same Dream”, an exhibition of new paintings by Kim Oliveros.
This will be the artist first solo presentation in Singapore. Fabric and paper are materials whose economic and social dimensions span spaces ranging from the global to the local—markers of both identity and history as they cross borders, contexts and cultures in the ways they are made and used. Filipino visual artist Kim Oliveros projects personal histories associated with these materials in an exhibition of new works in oil on canvas. This selection from the artist’s ongoing series of works is his response to the “social fabric of childhood,” in both material and metaphorical terms. Growing up in a town that once housed a thriving garment manufacturing district, Oliveros recalls being directly exposed to how kimonos and other costumes designed for school children were assembled and made. Such memories which are part of the experience of childhood, however, are not only personal recollections but also formative encounters with imagining and identifying with the world far beyond the borders of the places we call home. Oliveros returns to these spaces for creative exploration and cultural identification by exploring the possibilities seen in print, pattern, object and memory as subject matter and material for painting. The presented series of works explores and merges discrete aspects of surface versus self and creativity versus context. Oliveros senses a connection between kimono wear and origami craft, which trace their histories to Japan, and the idea of matriarchal dominance in the domestic and work spaces of his hometown in the Philippines. Titled Remains the Same, fabrics and paper from otherwise foreign shores are refashioned into local flora. Oliveros also explored the use of small paper objects, mostly derived from origami or the Japanese art of paper folding, within the works as a response to floral and oriental motifs found throughout these fabrics.
This gesture of exploration is perhaps best manifested in the work titled Falling Still, which incorporates framed origami blooms as part of the painting. Finally, two works, both titled Fragments, may also hint at both the incongruity and interconnectedness of things as one encounters them in the global economy. In piecing and assembling together the discrete fabrics and motifs of his personal past, Oliveros’ works reveal how we remain connected through labour, migration and culture within the unfolding present.