Oscillating between the tangible and the spiritual journey, Oca Villamiel’s ‘Drawing, Collage and Installation’ embodies documentation and immersion into Japanese culture. The series of works serve as a visual diary and an approximation of Villamiel’s experience during his multiple trips in the cities of Nara and Kyoto.
Drawn to Japanese Poet, Matsuo Basho’s studies of Zen Buddhism, Villamiel, traverse the cities’ inner alleys, shrines, temple and cemetery. His introspection of the country’s enigmatic culture spawns into his art practice and personal worldview. Imbibed with the concept of ‘Wabi-sabi,’ of finding beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the works highlight the rawness and transience that brings forth their unique quality.
In his series of drawings, we find silhouettes of temple monks at prayer or in meditation, as the artist reimagines them hastily after every visit. In his collage of images from Japanese books and literature, Villamiel’s composition translates the emergence of transcendental psyche, of clarity and austere dispositions.
Like a Basho haiku, Villamiel crafts his pieces focusing on microscopic scenes of day-to-day life inspired by encompassing truths of life. His installation utilizes equine spine exhumed from the provinces of Quezon. As a revered companion of local farmers, the artist mounts an installation reminiscent of a pilgrimage into the after life. Each piece of the horse’s spine resembles a monk-like angel or a winged man. The natural characteristics of the bones are left untouched and unblemished.
Oca Villamiel’s exhibition not only takes us with him through his meandering in the streets of Japan but also back to his roots in the province. His spiritual journey allows us to peak into the sublime and invites us to find a way into our inner selves.