Synthetic Coordinates: Recent Collage-based Paintings • Gerardo Tan

Feb 2 to Feb 24, 2018 • Tall Gallery

Drawing from fragments of visual culture, Gerry Tan’s Synthetic Coordinates: Recent Collage-based Paintings replicates the layered gaze that is prevalent in today’s culture. The consumption of images in our everyday is inescapable. With every turn, we become unknowing recipients and producers of the constant barrage of optical representation that has become even closer with the advent of social media and smartphones. This is heightened further in the art world, where the visual is its primary currency.

Collected scraps from his surroundings and travels are cut, reproduced, imprinted upon, and combined together to fabricate new impressions, questioning not only the audiences’ perception but also the producer’s assertion of originality. These repetitive and instinctive techniques of intervention attempt to reclaim man’s position into the seemingly uncontrollable progress of one’s surroundings, which results in abstractions that revel in the merging of technological methods with human touch.

Tan furthers this filtering through the rendering of his collages into paintings — where the deliberate translation into human scale exposes the strokes, textures and flaws in contrast to the smaller dimensions of his collages. In turn, what is produced is a more visceral and direct encounter with its viewers and ironically a return to the originality that was initially challenged. This idea is pushed even more with the pairing of found materials in his paintings, paralleling the aforementioned endless recurring construction of our visual culture.

As with any translation, it is never fully identical. Tan’s manufactured imagery builds on the nuances that one is barely able to see given the degree of our daily entrenchment. Through a witty use of this artistic practice, an amplification and revelation of these experiences occurs regardless of one’s position in the cycle of production. (IF)