I’m never particularly attracted to sculptures. But… now I was given an opportunity to change my perception in regards to this facet of art. Carefully curated in the middle of the foyer in Langkawi Art Biennale exhibition 2016, this piece of artwork was luring my attention with such delicate shape. I must admit, I’m a clumsy person. Walking among these structures made with fragile materials are a pretty stressful task. Even if it’s just walking around. After strenuous navigation to that piece of artwork, something else caught my eye.
The sculpture is balanced unevenly, connected through a stick the person used as a paddle to manuever. The mixed choice of materials was intricate – the shift from wood to rock to metal – seems to imply the congregation of various elements in keeping things moving around. The circular motion reminded me of an English idiom, what goes around comes around, so you should always remain humble as you go through the ups and downs in life. I wasn’t sure whether I should touch the sculpture or not, avoiding any form of potential hazard that may happen to the sculpture.
And the artist, Angelico “Jik” Villanueva from the Philippines, was so happened to be there, laughing at my utter awkwardness. I told him how much I liked his piece of sculpture and he thanked me profusely. “This piece is actually called ‘Exploration’,” he told me shortly after and I was delighted on how apt the name is for this particular art piece. It’s a journey – like how he intend the work to convey – a continuous one nonetheless that would enrich the life with all the challenges we face. Through that came joy and triumph. But on a personal level, I found an unusual sense of belonging, attached to the sculpture, as it orbits around the same spot over and over again.
Jik was assembling his pedestal while sitting on the ground. It also reminded me of how down to earth his works are, literally and figuratively, just like him.