RONALD VENTURA: An Introspective
Karuizawa New Art Museum
August 7, 2021 - April 10, 2022
This is the first solo exhibition from Philippine artist, Ronald Ventura (1973-) at a museum in Japan. Ever since his introduction at a New York gallery exhibition, "Metaphysics of Skin" in 2009, the young artist has been exhibiting his works in Europe, the United States, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Ventura has delved into his identity through introspection and exploration in the possibilities of viewing skin as an expressive surface. His method of expression has been consistent since his early works, incorporating and layering many disciplines in his paintings and sculptures. The retrospective exhibition has more than 100 works includes sculptures to new paintings spanning 30 years of his artistry.
Go to Online Exhibition
1151-5 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano, 389-0102, Japan
Tel: +81 (0)267 46 8691
Fax: +81 (0)267 46 8692
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (October – June), 10:00 – 18:00 (July – September)
Born in 1973 in Manila, the Philippines, where he continues to live and work, Ronald Ventura ranks as one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation in Southeast Asia. Shortly after graduating from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila (B.F.A) in 1993, he began to work as an art instructor at College of Fine Arts & Design, his alma mater. Ventura’s paintings and sculptures are now among the most recognizable images of contemporary art in Southeast Asia with their unique combinations of figurative motifs. His work features a complex layering of images and styles, ranging from hyperrealism to cartoons and graffiti. Ventura takes the layering process in his work as a metaphor for the multifaceted national identity of the Philippines. Over the centuries, the profound influences of various occupying powers — Spain, Japan, and the United States — along with the underlying indigenous culture, have produced a complex and at times uneasy sense of identity. Ventura explores this historical and psychic phenomenon through a dialogue of images evoking East and West, high and low, old and young — seen, for example, in allusions to Old Master paintings or Japanese and American cartoons. He draws our attention to the “second skin” of cultural signifiers that each person carries with him, however unwittingly. Ventura views skin as an expressive surface — written on with tattoos, concealed under layers of imagery, or exploding outwards to reveal an inner world of fantasy and conflict.