Nona Garcia (b. 1978, Manila) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of the Philippines. Recent solo shows include: Somewhere Else, Finale Art File, Makati City, Manila, Philippines, 2012; Fractures, West Gallery, Manila, 2010; Synonyms, Finale Art File, Makati City, Manila, 2010; Planted Landscapes, Podium Mandaluyong City, Manila 2008 and Points of Departure, West Gallery, Mandaluyong City, Manila, 2007. She has also participated in numerous exhibitions in China, Italy, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Korea and Japan. In 2003, she was a recipient of the 13 Artists Award and in 2000, Garica was the grand prize winner of the Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Art Award in Singapore. The artist lives and works in Manila, Philippines.Read more
The identities of objects and peoples are revealed and concealed in the silent worlds of Filipino artist Nona Garcia. Faltering between reality and illusion, her photorealist paintings of wrapped and x-rayed objects, anonymous figures and empty spaces are filled with traces of human identity and abandonment. Harnessing a fascination with memory and the uncanny, her constellation of ideas oscillates between clinical precision and haunted reverence. For her solo exhibition, False Apparitions, at Valentine Willie Fine Art Singapore, Garcia presents a site-specific installation of paintings and objects that responds to the nature of the gallery's white cube space. Art galleries and museums can be sterile and quasi-spiritual places due to their ability to suspend time and create intense viewing situations through quiet and minimal environments. Garcia seems to play with both by creating works that are detached but powerfully evocative. She also presents religious inflection through a unique series of light boxes ornately framed that depict X-rayed Catholic saint statues as well as a set of small paintings of a further group of saints as seen from behind. Sharing the same directional gaze as the viewer, these small works stare into an unknown scene, unconcerned with the audience behind them. Another piece sees a broken chandelier suspended low to the ground with a photographic imprint of the object itself on the floor referencing the artist's ongoing preoccupation with negative and positive space, of what is real and what is not. By combining unemotional observation with symbolically loaded objects Garcia thus creates a highly charged set of tensions that document and showcase the relationships between form and space.