Christina Quisumbing Ramilo’s latest exhibition is a progression from her past forays into elements that challenge our concepts of structures and of home, of the significance that we give to objects and their interplay with our sense of identity and history.
Swell is a collection of installation pieces made mostly from leftover materials collected from the recent construction at the Santos home for Quisumbing Ramilo: Architectural model sculptures made from sawdust and disposed household items; Life-size walls made up entirely of used sandpaper sheets as their brick units; A timeworn set of religious statues, including that of St. Joseph the carpenter, now covered in sawdust; A wooden bookshelf filled with books that themselves are made from discarded narra floor planks.
The construction discards curiously find their way back into the auspices of the family through Quisumbing Ramilo’s exhibit at the Santos-owned West Gallery, with a new lease on life. Similar to the way termites – which apparently provided conceptual and visual inspiration for this exhibition – would ingest elements of your home as they make theirs, the raw materials for the pieces in Swell are symbolic not only of accretion, but of the blurring of lines between destruction and creation, or among birth, death and rebirth.
Swell is the bell-curve journey from the first accumulation to the breaking point…and then back.
– JP Agcaoili