Philippines / Silverlens
Ryan Villamael (b. 1987; Lives and works in Laguna, Philippines), as the foremost artist working with paper as sculptural medium, has been exploring themes, tensions, and trajectories of his chosen material since his first solo exhibition, Cut Felt, a decade ago at Silverlens, which currently represents him. Beginning with a tactile and intuitive approach into one of the most delicate—and historically enduring—human inventions, which entailed cutting out shapes, details, and holes without a pre-planned design and resulted in a staggering array of abstract metamorphoses, Villamael then shifted his attention to how paper could become a locus of multiple and overlapping meanings, through which ideas on the natural world, domestic sphere, and urban landscape may be negotiated.
Villamael’s works, ranging from stand-alone soft sculptures to large-scale pieces to immense installations, have gone far and wide. In 2015, his exhibition, Isles, received the Ateneo Art Award, which presented the artist studio residency grants at La Trobe University Visual Arts Center in Bendigo, Australia, Artesan Gallery in Singapore, and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The following year, Villamael participated in the Singapore Biennale and, in 2018, in the Biwako Biennale in Japan. He has exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai, Para Site in Hong Kong, Mizuma Gallery and the Arts House in Singapore, ROH Projects in Jakarta, and the Metropolitan Museum in Manila.