Jigger Cruz - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 25, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Literature

    Matthias Arndt, ed., Jigger Cruz, Berlin, 2015, pp. 76, 97 (illustrated, p. 76)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Property from an Important Contemporary Southeast Asian Collection

    Years of travel, research and engagement in the art scene in Southeast Asia have enabled this collecting couple to amass a rich collection of contemporary art by of some of the most prominent and promising artists practicing in Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore and Cambodia today. Featured across several auction seasons at Phillips Hong Kong, this collection provides a visual overview of the bourgeoning art practices in the region, a category of art that is otherwise difficult to fully capture due to its ethnic, religious, social and cultural diversity.
    Seeking to reinvent the language of the past, contemporary artists of Southeast Asia attempt to break free from the boundaries of their respective art histories. In the example of Filipino artist Jigger Cruz’s work, he reworks the stylistic characteristics and formal concerns of classical painting, resulting in works that seemingly explode beyond the constraints of their canvases. Indonesian artists Entang Wiharso and Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo, and Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich seek to answer the question of re-invention through their signature use of medium. While Entang’s distinctive use of metals in his relief-form works alludes to the skilled craftsmanship characteristic of traditional art forms, Sopheap works with local materials such as bamboo, rattan, burlap and earth pigments to produce abstract geometric structures. Both artists address the nature of art-making as well as current socio-political issues or history of their nation. Arin embraces new technologies with innovative use of industrial methods such as pigmented resin to create works in the aesthetic heroism of Abstract Expressionism.

    Filipino artists Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, and Marina Cruz have continually explored the valued continuum that proceeds from a sense of community. As an artist couple, the Aquilizans demonstrate an instinct for collecting, mended by a sense of belonging, whilst Marina Cruz’s painted dresses,highlight close family ties among succeeding generations. Through these paintings, Southeast Asian artists embraces the intimate within the collective, whether kin or nation, a rare aspect in a world of globalizing technologies.
    New global perspectives and inspirations have allowed Southeast artists to highlight their conceptual beliefs in art-making, such as Maria Taniguchi, who concentrates on the materiality of art itself, often resulting in massive pieces with no discernable subject matter; that highlights= the indistinguishable processes between painted images or constructed objects.

    Contemporary Southeast Asian artists have succeeded in not only reacting to creative stimuli, but also as a whole have become invested in creating their own sources of vitality. These artists create distinctive artistic languages founded upon tradition and cultural identities unique to each nation, while maintaining the very social tissue that evolves to strengthen the ecosystem of the region.

    Jigger Cruz’s practice is as much about pure materiality as it is about exploring and critiquing the genealogy of painting as a medium. In Untitled, Cruz retaliates against the conventions of classical art by using a framed painting as the starting point for playful destruction. The original picturesque seascape is cut away to reveal thick squiggles of oil paint. The canvas is opened in the shape of an obscure head and white spray paint drips down to meet the colourful lines beneath. There is an element of experimentation in Cruz’s zigzags, swirls, and drips; the paint appears squeezed directly from the tube, creating a toothpaste-like tactility. Adopting many stylistic quirks from history, such as the use of ornate frames, Cruz often begins production by painting directly from Old Masters. Untitled is simultaneously a landscape, a portrait, and a rejection of both, exemplifying how, whilst Cruz is critical of figurative art, he is also influenced by it.

    Born, educated, and based in the Philippines, Cruz is one of the country’s most exciting contemporary painters. Cruz’s works are also included in several prominent collections, including the Saatchi collection and the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In Metaphorical Suffocation, the artist’s most well-known series, sculpted standing figures are cloaked by painted canvases. Cruz sees painting as an expanded field, and imagines its possibilities in the realm of installation. With similar intention here, through impasto, cutting the canvas, and not staying within the frame but spraying onto it instead, the physical qualities of Untitled are an investigation into the definition of a painting. For Cruz, the production process is crucial to his understanding of the medium, and destruction and reconstruction are integral to our understanding of this piece. Through this process, Cruz is able to reconcile with the burdens of painting’s history and redefine it for himself as a truly contemporary medium.

Property from an Important Contemporary Southeast Asian Collection



signed and dated 'JIGGER 14' lower right
oil on canvas
80.4 x 63.2 cm. (31 5/8 x 24 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2014.

HK$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for HK$137,500

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018