TAKSU Singapore presents, "The Beauty of History is that it Does Not Reside in One Place", a solo exhibition by Norberto Roldan at Art Stage Singapore.
From metal amulets, to the bottled oils and unguents fashioned by the healers of Siquijor; to the shaped candles, herbal concoctions and scapulars among the sidewalk vendors outside the Quiapo church, to the tiny statues of saints, the Virgin Mary and Jesus, as well as luminous crucifixes and a Catholic’s treasured estampitas — Roldan scoured the country for any material embodiment of belief and healing through transcendent beings. Roldan deftly singles out aspects of representation through specific articles, and turns these into succinct social commentary.
The exhibition runs through January 16, 2011 at Marina Bay Sands, Exhibition & Convention Centre.
Left: Quelques Fleur 2 (2010)
assemblage with collage, old sepia photographs, assorted bottles and found objects diptych, 183 x 244 cm composite
Quotes from "The Hint of Translation" by Joselina Cruz. Photos courtesy of TAKSU Singapore
assemblage with found objects on salvaged wood from a demolished old house, 47 x 47 cm each
Norberto Roldan is a co-founder and artistic director of Green Papaya Art Projects, one of the last remaining alternative art spaces in the Philippines. Roldan has participated in solo exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Manila and Australia.
The works in this collection are referenced on the notion that objects and images have an inherent life of their own and are not predisposed to merely become waste in the dustbin of history.
assemblage with found objects, metal amulets, assorted bottles diptych, 122 x 122 cm composite
"Norberto Roldan is, first, and foremost, a collector. A collector of objects and paraphernalia, of images and imagery, of symbols and text. What he collects oftentimes are objects that tend to identify, in a manner that typifies a social group, a foregrounding idea, or even, iconic images to reference a concern."
In every work, one belief system overlaps with another in a syncretic unity, the logic of which only makes sense to the devotee or follower. This is the central tenet of Roldan’s world: the amalgamation of objects and images to produce a pastiche governed by an internal logic.
- Joselina Cruz in "The Hint of Translation"
assemblage with found objects, 121.9x182.8cm
There is a skin of first reading that imposes itself upon the works of Norberto Roldan. It is that which glances and sees the outer shell of a religious and/or a political register. Indeed, the overarching evidence that the works are decidedly religious and/or political in nature is not misconstrued, for these they definitely are.
assemblage with found objects, collages, medicine and perfume bottles, 47 x 47 cm each
Despite the initial impression of arbitrariness — specially within his works in boxes, which have been described to echo Joseph Cornell’s work — every element found in a Roldan piece is carefully placed, and thought through, cleanly delineated as an individual component selected to relate to all the other carefully chosen items.
assemblage with found objects, 121.9x182.8 cm
Roldan admits to a “fascination with Christian and folk-religious rituals and objects,” allowing him to come explore another interest which is that of a “picture of the Filipino’s struggle and resistance against colonialist interventions.”
assemblage with old Roman chusable, fabric, old painting, wooden altar, assorted bottles diptych 183 x 244 cm composite
Roldan’s studied conglomerations are exact and unchangeable. They communicate a single, direct message, and are confined, physically. Objects, fragments and text are juxtaposed deliberately. Within Roldan’s schematic universe nothing is extraneous.
assemblage with found objects, metal amulets, assorted bottles diptych 122 x 122 cm composite
"Found objects and found images acquire validity precisely by being found, re-constructed, re-framed and assimilated into a context relevant to the present."
assemblage with found objects, 182.8x243.8 cm
Within his medicine cabinets, altar boxes, installations, framed constructions, and other sets of tightly knit acquired objects, there runs a strong line of social observation. Roldan deftly singles out aspects of representation through specific articles, and turns these into succinct social commentary.