Art Talk

Secret Rooms and Hidden Motives by Jason Montinola and Kaloy Sanchez
By Swee Chin PAN

3 PM
Besides Kuala Lumpur, Valentine Willie Fine Art (VWFA) has galleries in Singapore, Jogjakarta and Manila. And in each of these cities, there are many talented artists. For this exhibition VWFA has invited two emerging artists from the Philippines, Jason Montinola and Kaloy Sanchez, to showcase their works in KL. Kaloy has been to KL before – he had a solo exhibition here last year called ‘Too Loud a Solitude’. But it is the first time for Jason.
This exhibition features quite a gripping subject. Quoting Eva McGovern, Head of Regional Programmes, in the exhibition’s catalogue:
We all have secrets. Things we want to hide. Places, both physical and psychological, where we bury our most intimate thoughts. Such intense experiences of longing and isolation, malice and sadness reflect the personal conflicts of the human mind… Montinola and Sanchez produce such sensually disturbing work that is at once, strange and familiar, seductive and grotesque.

Kaloy Sanchez with Onan
You can see the intense emotional conflict in Kaloy’s self-portraits. I got Kaloy to pose with his favourite painting which is ‘Onan’, and he had to stand in front of it to conceal, what some may deem offensive, and which may get us censored! But I can tell you his paintings are all extremely powerful, for me especially ‘Jaune Man’ – go see and let me know whether you agree with me. 

Jason Montinola with The Inner Enemy 
Jason, on the other hand, paints anonymous imagined portraits which are haunted by writhing animals, eyes, skulls and flowers…and… his hybrid forms alternate between the borders of insanity and reason, dream and nightmare (quoting Eva again). He is inspired by the Old Masters such as Diego Velázquez and his favourite ‘The Inner Enemy’ is based on one of the three court portraits of Infanta Margaret Theresa by Velázquez. She married her uncle, Leopold I, Roman Emperor, when she was fifteen and these paintings were sent to him in Vienna to show his betrothed at her various stages of childhood. I like the classical style and my favourite is ‘The Preacher’ – I love the unicorn nose and its eye which looks so soft and real!

Bernice Roldan & Ana Rodrigues

Grace, Katrine, Ying Nee & She Fah

Marvin, Izan & Mun Kao

Michiyo & Leszek Sielecki

There was an artists’ talk at 4 PM but I had to go soon after. Most who came for the opening stayed on for the talk. Eva informs that they are trying a new format, that is, the opening followed by a talk. Their openings are usually on a Wednesday night. I think that if there is going to be a talk, it is a good idea to have both on the same day – saves us going to the gallery twice! Or not bother to come for the talk or vice versa!

Shao Loong, Sek San, Noy & I-Lann

Snow, Kaloy, Monika Gerber & Mohamad Newera

Secret Rooms and Hidden Motives features at VWFA Kuala Lumpur from the 12 May – 7 June 2012.
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