Art/Style/Travel Diaries

Bernardo Pacquing and Dina Gadia show at Silverlens

Pacquing continues to experiment with abstraction, as Gadia paints from her own photographs

Bernardo Pacquing - Causal Loops

Dina Gadia – Land Poetics

Silverlens holds exhibits by two artists, running from 11 June to 13 July 2024: Bernardo Pacquing and Dina Gadia, with opening reception on June 11, 6–8 pm.

For his fifth solo exhibition in the gallery since his representation by Silverlens in 2014, Bernardo Pacquing continues to experiment with abstraction as a building activity where materials are rid of their original meaning and transformed in Causal Loops.

Perhaps the act of looking back now, from halfway across his life, has dredged up memories for Pacquing that have found themselves back in the new works. There are 25 works in the show, comprising four large works, including an 8.5-ft-tall by 30-ft-wide painting of five panels, 10 cardboard works from his ongoing Brown Study series, six new sculptures, and a new series of five small works.

The first of the large works, What I Have Learned From My Paintings, riffs on the biomorphic forms and fragments from his early works, but distorts them on a massive scale where gesture overrides content. A rope is improvised and controlled on the canvas as it is centered by a line of poured cement and scattered wood chunks darkened by oxidation. The Lottery of Birth is also a huge work of five panels, a monolith harking back to his motif of gritty urban walls. This time, the walls are like remnants from an invisible whole. The work comprises layered indecipherable shapes composed as though one was walking past ruined structures.

Pacquing’s first artist monograph, Everyday Materials, which charts his growth as artist, will be published by ArtAsiaPacific. The book features key works representing Pacquing’s art practice from the 1990s to this day. It reflects on the narrative of the artist’s growth to maturity through in-depth essays written by David Elliott, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Josephine V. Roque, and Russell Storer. A book signing and panel discussion will be hosted by Silverlens Manila on 11 June 2024 from 4 to 6 pm during the book’s launch.

Pacquing (b. 1967, Tarlac, Philippines; lives and works in Parañaque City, Philippines, and Singapore) is an artist broadening the expressive possibilities of abstraction in painting and sculpture. Incorporating diverse found objects that challenge conventional perceptions of aesthetic representation, form, and value, his work displaces the idea of unequivocal forms, introducing possibilities for the coexistence of affirmations and denials.

He was twice awarded the Grand Prize for the Art Association of the Philippines Open Art Competition (Painting, Non-Representation) in 1992 and 1999. He is also a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2000, an award given to exemplary artists in the field of contemporary visual art. Pacquing received a Freeman Fellowship Grant for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States.

In Land Poetics, Dina Gadia paints from her own photographs, offering an intimate perspective that diverges from her typical sources of books and magazines. The exhibition features seven new paintings on canvas, all rendered in acrylic.

Here, Gadia supplants her usual clever juxtapositions and shrewd wit with possibly the closest one can get to her works with depth of feeling. In contrast to her recurring semiotic preoccupations—with diagrams and floating signifiers (Navigating the Abstract, 2020), with gestures and affective states wrenched then recontextualized from pulp and comics material (Situations Amongst the Furnishings, 2017, and Adaptable to New Redundancies, 2013)—the images in Land Poetics are cut out and reappropriated with a starkness of style and simplicity that approaches pure punctum and indeterminacy.

Despite the vintage veneer of the images used, Gadia resists nostalgia with specificity and detail, rescuing images from the surfeit of contexts that threaten to statistically flatten out image-affects—an exploration that is especially cogent as painting’s archive is sorted and tagged, processed and ingested into large datasets which train generative AI models.

The field that Land Poetics attempts to map, if one were to think after Rosalind Krauss’ and George Baker’s expanded fields—that is, respectively, sculpture is that which is not-landscape and not-architecture, and modern photography is that which is not-narrative and not-stasis—is one where it is possible to reconcile and recuperate the personal from the contemporary cultural-historical. It is a field that begins as its topological starting point, the terrain marked “not-nostalgia.”

Gadia (b.1986, Pangasinan, Philippines; lives and works in Manila, Philippines) is an artist recognized for her visually arresting and playfully representational style. Imbued with her signature pop sensibility, her collages and paintings combine ambiguous text and other quotidian expressions with popular printed matter such as “B” movie posters, album covers, pulp, comics, and other obscure images.

By reframing images of previous generations as her own, she evokes large localized contexts and people to critically interrogate issues regarding postcolonial attitudes, disparate economic realities, and female inequity. Always tough, but also raw and humorous, her deadpan narration told via ironic visual puns eliminates any trace of sentimentality or self-righteous judgment in her creations.

She has exhibited extensively since 2005, leading solo presentations both locally and internationally in New York, Taipei, Singapore, and Tokyo. She was a member of the Bastards of Misrepresentation, a group of ambitious, avant-garde individuals gathered by the acclaimed contemporary artist, Manuel Ocampo; Gadia exhibited with the group in New York back in 2012, in a survey show that demonstrated Manila’s dynamic art scene. She was a finalist for the Ateneo Art Awards, a respected award for emerging artists, in 2012 and 2018. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious national Thirteen Artists Awards by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In 2019, Gadia participated in City Prince/sses at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

Silverlens is an international gallery in both Manila and New York. Through its artist representation, institutional partnerships, art consultancy, and exhibition programming including art fairs and gallery collaborations, Silverlens aims to place its artists within the broader framework of the contemporary art dialogue. Its continuing efforts to transcend borders across art communities in Asia have earned it recognition as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Southeast Asia.

Silverlens was founded in Manila by Isa Lorenzo in 2004, and in 2007 she was joined by co-director Rachel Rillo. In September 2022, the gallery opened its doors in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, broadening its international scope and bringing its diverse roster of artists to a new global audience. In 2024, Silverlens commemorates its 20th anniversary, marking a significant milestone for the global gallery and its dedication to championing diasporic artists.

Silverlens: Manila: 2263 Don Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City, Philippines 1231; New York: 505 W 24th Street, New York City, NY USA 10011;; [email protected]

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for’s Weekly Digest and get the best of, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *