You thought I went to the Venice Biennale armed with my artistry, but I came out of it like a baby babbling and grasping for words—awed, invigorated, and more committed to my art. Who wouldn’t be after spending hours surrounded by exhibitions gathered from 89 participating nations? Walking in a cave of keys, standing against driftwood sculptures, then being surrounded by graffiti, I’m surprised I haven’t gone completely crazy. I’m almost sure I got Stendhal’s.
When it comes to seeing the Philippine Pavilion, I felt a surge of native pride. Ours was a visual comment on the ongoing disputes on the West Philippine Sea. We have artists Manuel Conde, Carlos Francisco, Manny Montelibano, and Jose Tence Ruiz representing political plights of the country through film, media and crimson installations.
The experience has been incredible. To be elsewhere with old friends, and new ones, is a different matter. New encounters with international artists, curators, gallerists and collectors are just as eventful as finding artist Sarah Lucas’ unsettling mustard figures. Having been among this collective was a revelation.
You may see Jay’s photojournal of the Venice Biennale, click on the slideshow above!
Photos courtesy of Jay Yao.
The author will be exhibiting his work at Petals and Evergreen at the Pablo Gallery, and Homecoming: Too. The shows close at May 16 and 30 respectively. See more of his work at Jayyao.