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Thursday, September 3, 2009

MICHELLINE SYJUCO : 2009 ATENEO ART AWARDS SHORT-LISTED


MICHELLINE SYJUCO – “Armadillon” at Mag:net Bonifacio High Street

Design and merchandise are part of the language of function, and they figure prominently in this installation of hand-crafted objects. All pieces are molded or else made for the functions of the body. Or so it seems. Syjuco proceeds to subvert our ideas about functionality foremost by addressing the divide between precious and ‘worthless’ materials. These are exquisite pieces of jewelry rendered from gold, silver, coral and amethyst, but also common metals, stones, flawed pearls and even hardware materials. What she achieves is design informed by conversation, where the quality of each element is brought out in contrasts and combines of intricate yet hard-edged details. Even rust is employed here, its color adding depth to embossed and beaten metal plates.

Syjuco promotes “Armadillon” as her own imaginary world. It is sheer baroque extravagance recalling the grandeur of churches and church ornaments, but clearly she is most inspired by the production design of epical fantasies, drawing on themes of magic and warriorhood.

What Syjuco attempts in her ornamentation are translations of beauty and danger; avid introspections on material and spiritual flight.


Notes by Karen Ocampo Flores


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