Published September 07, 2020
"I realized I could say what I wanted to say and do what I wanted to do with a very simple material." Instead of going the painting and sculpture's traditional routes, artist Ryan Villamael continues to mine papercutting for its different possibilities, maintaining that his primary interest in on the conceptual significance of craft in the process of creating contemporary art.
As an act akin to drawing, he cuts with the aim of generating meaning and conversations with memories and histories, and often involving printed matter, such as maps and photographs, in these strategies. Interests that range from nature and geography to history and science form the basis of Villamael's "exercises in world-building." Many times, these paper-cut fictions pull the viewer in with tiny details under glass, confront them with wall-based scale, or surround them as dream environments.
Ryan Villamael has shown his artworks in Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia, and Paris. He is a recipient of the Ateneo Art Award in 2015 and the three international residency grants: La Trobe University Visual Arts Center in Bendigo, Australia; Artesan Gallery in Singapore and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, UK. He participated in the 2016 Singapore Biennale.