S.E.A. Focus returns for its 5th edition from
Friday 6 Jan - Sunday 15 Jan 2023

Ghost Painting (Cracked Category): National Bookstore

Kristoffer Ardeña

Elastomeric paint on canvas
176 x 306 cm (installation size)
44 x 34 cm (each, 34 pieces)


Kris’s work mirrors the Philippines’ archipelagic permeability, whereas islands absorb elements around us and reconfigure them to the environment they take hold of. Kris fuses and reconfigures contemporary materiality from the anti-humidity house paint he uses that take on the color palettes that glow from local buildings to the PVC fiber tarpaulin.

It simulates the humidity’s decay by destroying/cracking the works after they’ve been painted, releasing an explosion of kinetic energy slamming the pieces against a concrete pillar on his rooftop.

In the case of “Ghost Painting (Cracked Category): National Book Store”, a 34 piece archipelago that can be reconfigured into groups of islands as the collector/curator pleases, is Ardena’s way of contextualizing pop art in the Philippines through the imagery of the National Bookstore logo behind the beautiful color palettes of paint. An industrial anti-humidity paint where the color selection is informed by market research creates a desired consumable color for the local Philippine market to paint their houses, walls, and outdoor structures.

About the Artist

Kristoffer Ardeña lives between Negros island (Philippines) and Madrid (Spain). Individual projects include: Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Ruang Mes 65 and Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), Vargas Museum and the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila (Philippines), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo Museum (Madrid), La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Murcia (Spain). He has also participated in various collective projects, among them the 3rd Bucharest Biennale (Romania), 3rd Guangzhou Triennale (China), Konstholl C in Stockholm (Sweden), Caixa Forum in Barcelona and La Casa Encendida in Madrid, MUSAC in León (Spain), Casino Forum d’Art Contemporain (Luxembourg), Apexart in New York (USA), Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico) and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Medellin (Colombia). He is the founder of MILF (Moving Image Lab Filipinas) curatorial platform and the co-founder of Photoma (http://www.photoma.info/), an initiative on Philippine contemporary photography.

Kristoffer Ardeña will be presenting his works at Tropical Futures Institute.