Blink and you discover that you’ve missed around five good exhibits. At least that’s how I feel after returning from a short trip and finding myself swamped with so much work that art had to take a back seat for a few days. It seems I have so much to catch up on. I decided to make my first foray back into the art scene with the most high profile of shows, Yasmin Sison Ching’s Into The
Woods at the SM Art Center.
Yasmin spent seven months preparing for this show. And you can tell the amount of work she put into it not just by the number of pieces she completed, but also by the quality of her pieces. She has paintings, installations, and collages. Her concept takes off from the writings of Joseph Campbell, from his Hero Of A Thousand Faces. He essentially says a hero needs to journey into the darkest recesses of the forest as a prerequisite to coming out victorious. Yasmin also ties in the idea of a forest with her continued preoccupation with myth and memory. A childhood spent immersed in fairy tales make us associate going into the woods, getting
lost in the woods, or meeting a fascinating character in the woods with our favorite childhood fables. In her words, “Images of forest, children, children in animal masks, and animals, are constantly used in the exhibition as a metaphor for my personal journey into the mythic woods of memory and remembrance.” She depicts children intent on going on quests, their own forays into becoming heroes.
I love her series of collages, Thumper’s Song. She creates them from books of Bambi that she has chosen to deface. Her fondness and identification with children come out very evidently in this show, given perhaps that she has been a pre-school teacher for the past few years. Her family, nieces, nephews, and her son, posed as the subjects to her pieces.
In her wall-bound installation, Telling Tales, she takes inspiration from the work of Meret Oppenheim’s fur-covered tea cup, saucer, and spoon. She wraps a miniature chair in yarn, and hangs this with embroidered children’s names still attached to embroidery hoops. For her other installation at the center of the exhibit’s space, she casts shed antlers in ceramic, transforming the hardy deer horns into fragile objects. The shedding of horns marks a milestone, another childhood passage. She calls this Fiddles Pulled From The Throat Of Sparrows.
Into The Woods runs from 30 October to 15 November 2009 at the SM Art Center, SM Megamall, Pasig City. For more information visit http://www.finaleartfile.com