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Friday, July 11, 2008

GUNITAIN


GUNITAIN
Cathy Lasam


Lasam Presents Memories en Masse at Prose


Where the field of neuroscience has the Atkinson-Shiffrin model to represent the mind's means of recording memories, the visual art world has Cathy Lasam, with her latest exhibition titled "Gunitain." Featuring an impressive ceiling-to-floor installation of folded paper boxes, "Gunitain" opens on Thursday, July 10, 2008 at the Prose Art Gallery in Makati City .

At a distance, the installation is awe-inspiring, comprised as it is of 11,500 boxes packed closely together to form a wall-bound three-dimensional paper grid. Closer inspection reveals a carefully planned and painstaking creative process. Each box measures about 2 x 2 inches and was folded by hand out of a book page. The pages used to make the boxes were culled from various books, many of which were painted page by page prior to folding. Several different small objects, such as tiny chairs, shoes, food, toys, plants and animals, were then placed in most of the boxes in an apparently random manner.

Out of the Mind, Onto the Wall

The act of remembering or paggunita is of supreme importance to Lasam, as it affects her artistic pursuits as well as her personal life. "Just like many other artists, memories of past influences and experiences shape my artistic concerns and fuel my passion for my craft," Lasam explains. "It is precisely this act of remembering which I want to recreate with this installation."

Every step in the creation of "Gunitain" corresponds to a particular aspect of memory and recall procedures. The use of books as a source for folding paper suggests learning and data storage. Folding each box by hand is an expression of the concept of memory as an act of conscious and meticulous creation. The small objects placed within the boxes represent memories of personal significance to the artist. The empty boxes imply preparation for new memories, which will need to be stored as they are created. Finally, the grid format in which the boxes are assembled is a visual allusion to the artist's need to organize her thoughts, as well as to the method in which the human mind catalogues memories in general.

Paper is Passion

"Gunitain" marks the latest milestone in the progression of Lasam's paper art. Lasam has worked for years with paper not merely as support or surface for the creation of her art, but as her primary medium. A large part of her formidable portfolio is devoted to her stunning series of "paperworks," in which paper is first folded and then painted to suggest or simulate various forms and textures. Her paper art has continued to evolve, encompassing the realms of large-scale non-representational pieces, wall-bound representational relief works, free-standing sculptures, and landscape painting on raised-via-folding surfaces.
Lasam's paperworks have been spotlighted in several exhibitions of note, including solo shows at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the OWG Creative Centre, and group exhibitions at Big Sky Mind, Boston Gallery, the Donada Art Gallery, as well as overseas at the Museo Arte de Contemporaneo Ateneo in Yucatan, Mexico, and the Gallerie Gavarni in Paris, France.

Creator and Educator

Lasam is a multi-awarded cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in Diliman, Quezon City . Awards for her paperworks include the Shell NSAC Student Achiever Award, the Dominador Castañeda Award, and an Honorable Mention for Sculpture at the 35th Shell National Art Competition. Lasam also studied painting and printmaking in New York and in Fairfax City , Virginia .

As a practicing artist, Lasam's background has proven invaluable in the field of art education. Having also been trained as an art teacher, Lasam has taught drawing, painting and arts and crafts to students of all ages at several venues such as art schools and art galleries. She is currently a faculty member of the BEREA Arts & Sciences High School, and a painting mentor at One Workshop. Lasam is also the President and a working partner of Artists in Residence, Inc., an art company whose services include art workshop facilitation.

In the wake of her growing popularity as an artist, teacher and entrepreneur, Lasam has been featured in broadcast and print media, as well as in online publications including yehey.com and philonline.com.ph. As an artist, her paperworks have steadily continued to attract collectors, who find her opuses represented by the OWG Gallery and Designs Ligna.


Lasam's 4th solo exhibition, "Gunitain" runs until July 24, 2008 2008 at the Prose Art Gallery , 3/F Lerose Building, 832 Arnaiz Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City . For inquiries, e-mail paolorosero@gmail.com, or visit www.proseartgallery.com.or if you want to see older exhibit photos go to www.paolorosero.multiply.com

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