A solo exhibition by Pinggot Zulueta
For his first solo show this year, Pinggot Zulueta gives light, or rather, casts a shadow to the uncertainties of life through “Umbra+Penumbra.” Umbra is the Latin word for “shadow,” which is also the term used to describe its innermost part, a place of total darkness. Penumbra, on the other hand, is the region in which only a portion of light is stained by an occluding body. Zulueta plays on the past, the familiar, and the nostalgic to obscure the crushing adversity that he experiences from day to day.
Unlike his recent shows in which he unleashed his sentiments in a cascading downpour, Umbra+Penumbra highlights moderated, controlled emotions. In a way, this is Zulueta’s stygian recollection of his coming-of-age years. With this exhibition, he takes us back to his childhood home in the countryside, where he often spent afternoons in the middle of crop fields and farmhouses and nights musing in his room, calling on the moon as his solitary companion.
For the artist, Umbra+Penumbra is his way of playing as a child again, staining white backgrounds with glee, covering mundane colorful objects, even old toys, with dark paint, while reuniting with his youthful soul. Like an eclipse, the two shadows umbra and penumbra silently dance within Zulueta’s monochromatic abstractions. Evident in the mixed media assemblages included in the collection is Zulueta’s utilization of found objects he deems familiar. Abstract sculptures are embellished with relics from his past– wooden figures, tattered cartons, miniature toy soldiers, ropes, an umbrella, newspapers, and antiquated books. The inclusion of these objects makes the works even closer to him and much more autobiographical.
“I just want to play with shapes and forms to escape from serious topics,” he says, “through the abstract form, I channel my focus in trying to unearth and interpret my personal experiences and perspectives, which are buried deep within me.”
With mixed media woodworks and assemblages capitalizing on old discarded and found objects fueled with incongruity and playing with tension by using blacks, whites, and grays, Zulueta touches on themes of attachment and abandonment, contrasting innocence with maturity, belongingness and alienation. Though shadowy, Umbra+Penumbra sheds some light on an artist’s inner conflicts, creating pieces of art that shine into one’s innermost recesses of memory and remembrance.