Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jevijoe Vitug and the the Sarimanok Flamingo


Jevijoe Vitug has embraced the dualities inherent in working as a Las Vegas artist originating from the Philippines. A blend of Early Asian and Contemporary Western styles is evident in his show “Wasteland/Oasis” at 5th Wall Gallery in the Emergency Arts complex. In the talk he gave at the opening reception, he listed convergence, confluence and coexistence as themes that flow through his work and which he sees reflected in the city itself.
            Inspired by the casino culture’s embrace of iconic architecture and exotic creatures from around the world, Vitug has created his own seductive visual fusions. The pink flamingo features in the large-scale triptych, combined with elements of the multi-colored Sarimanok, a bird/man featured in legends from the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines.
            Vitug described the culture shock he experienced when moving from a group of islands with a conservative Catholic culture to the desert city of Las Vegas, where water is a precious commodity and giant billboards promote sex as commodity. The Wasteland/Oasis series of works feature converging streams of water suggesting the merging of cultures flowing around iconic Las Vegas landmarks such as the Strip roller coasters, neon symbols and phallic towers.
            However, behind these vibrant juxtapositions are areas of ruin. Vitug stated “Nothing is permanent, no matter how powerful. We can intellectualize it, but we cannot control it”.
Exhibition runs through December 7th 2013.

Jevijoe Vitug is a Philippine-born Las Vegas based artist whose work ranges from painting, performance and community-based projects often addresses notions of survival and environmental and economic concerns. Recently, he founded Re:Source Art and Development (RAD), an art initiative dedicated to community collaboration, research and development of locally-based resources.

            Vitug received his BFA in Painting (cum laude) from St. Scholastica’s College Manila, Philippines and attended graduate school at San Francisco Art Institute’s MFA New Genres program in 2008. His solo exhibitions include “Casino Capital” at Momas and Dadas New Genres Project House (2013), “How To’s” at Winchester Cultural Center (2012), “Before/After: Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy” at 5th Wall Gallery (2012), “The Truns” at Manila Contemporary, Philippines (2011), “Source of Living” at Pablo Galleries, Philippines (2010).

            He participated in various local and international group shows, such as “Traveling Miracle Show” at Reno Art Works, Reno (2013), “Parallel Lines” at Paul Nache, New Zealand (2013), Rainbow 7: London Biennale in Nevada at PUAH Gallery, Henderson, NV and The Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas, NV (2012), “Queer Manila” at Manila Contemporary, Philippines (2012), “Yet Another Tea Party” at Neant Bleu, Berlin, Germany (2011), Art in the Parking Space sponsored by LAXART, Los Angeles (2011), “Overflow” with David Medalla and Adam Nankervis at Space Gallery, Las Vegas (2011).“Let’s Build a Nation” at the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas (2010), “Warfield: Project Survival” at Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco (2009), “Art of How-to” Koret Educational Center, SFMOMA (2008), and the 21st Asian International Art Exhibition at Singapore Art Museum (2006). He was also awarded Nevada Arts Council’s Jackpot Grants in 2010 and 2012.

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