Artist Profile: Pamela Yan-Santos offers a place to stop and reflect in a restless environment
Get to know the Art Fair Philippines 2016 featured artist
(SPOT.ph) Art Fair Philippines 2016 is back and we know you’re as thrilled as we are. Trust us when we say it will blow your mind as you overdose in Philippine contemporary art—in a way you will absolutely love. As the fair draws nearer, we’ll highlight what this year’s Special Exhibits have in store for you.
Let’s get to know Pamela Yan-Santos, one of Art Fair Philippines 2016’s featured artists.
Pamela Yan-Santos made a splash in the local art scene when, as a student, she won first prize in the print category of the 1993 AAP Annual Art Competition. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) degree from the University of the Philippines where she later taught studio art courses. In 2009, Yan-Santos was granted the CCP’s Thirteen Artists Award and was one of the 12 shortlisted artists for the Ateneo Art Awards. She’s the wife of artist Jose John Santos III, and together they are considered a power couple among local artists.
Yan-Santos has participated in a number of notable group exhibitions including the 5th Mondial Triennial of Small Sized Print, France in 2000, Art Beijing, China in 2008, and Art Stage Singapore in 2013. Over the past few years, her body of work has seen developments from quilting, to collage, to stencil, to image transfer. A big part of her art practice is inspired by her experiences as a mother.
For Art Fair Philippines 2016, her installation offers shelter for anyone who wishes for some peace and quiet away from art. It may sound ironic, because why would you want to take a break from art when the event itself should serve exactly that? For Yan-Santos, the fair, or the current market in general, is "restless."
The artist represents what feels like home for her, and perhaps for others. As she domesticates her exhibit in the fair, she explores resources from the two dispositions that have sustained her practice all this time. First, graphic art and the design it evokes: She scatters 700 wooden letter cutouts across the walls, inviting viewers to make sense of them. This represents the speculative environment of art events. Second, the ornamentation of furniture: The artist covers the floor with synthetic grass, resembling a lawn.
The intention behind the letters and the lawn is to stop people in their tracks, let them catch their breath, and slow them down. Making sense of the letters seeks to delay discernment, and hopefully challenge the easy conclusions from works of art. Likewise, the installation reflects the artist’s preoccupation with childhood and its idiosyncrasies—it’s like a kid learning how patience works. For Yan-Santos, it portrays her reflections about a fair that stimulates the senses.
Stay tuned as we tell you more about the featured artists' bright minds as we move closer to Art Fair Philippines 2016!
Art Fair Philippines 2016 is happening from February 18 to 21, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 5/F to 7/F The Link, Ayala Center, Makati City. For more information, visit Art Fair Philippines’ website.