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04 - 09 2D ART

10 - 15 3D ART

16 - 23 ARCHITECTURE


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TITLE: LAS VIRGENES CRISTIANAS EXPUESTAS AL POPULAC

2D ART ARTIST: FÉLIX RESURRECCIÓN HIDALGO


CHO (THE CHRISTIAN VIRGINS EXPOSED TO THE POPULACE)

MEDIUM: OIL ON CANVAS DIMENSION: 1.15 M × 1.57 M (45 × 62 IN) DATE: 1884


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ELEMENTS OF

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COMPOSITION Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s work Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho is an oil on canvas painting depicting the persecution of Christians in Ancient Rome. In the painting, two barely clothed Christian female slaves are being mocked by a group of boorish Roman male onlookers. In the foreground, we see one of the women seated, naked with her legs tied in a rope and her head bowed, seemingly in misery while the other semi-nude women standing beside her is looking towards the sky as if she is praying for whatever to happen to be over. She has her hands behind her back, probably tied as well with a man groping on a piece of sheer cloth wrapped around her waist. He looks like he is urging the men beside him while also assuring the others in the background that what they are doing is right. The man beside him has his left hand pointing out towards him as if in restraint. Hidalgo had used colour edge to create human forms and implied lines to create the structure of the room. The painting has a shifting perspective with the women and the men directly beside them to be the foreground, the men in dark red garments the middle ground and those behind them, in the shadows, the background. I feel that the men forms are painted in a way that is intended to look like they are crowding the room and leaning in, eager to see what is happening. The people in the background also have less noticeable features, which make them appear almost far away and I think it is so that the focus lies in the foreground and middle ground.

Hidalgo used a lighter palette to paint the side of the canvas where the two women are, with an effect that looks as if they are “glowing” which makes me think that they are innocents being taken advantaged of and ridiculed. The palette of the middle ground and background on the other hand, appears to be darker and of less value as if to show that the men are dangerous, especially with the use of dark red and black. However, as I made my way to the background, I noticed that the entrance is painted in lighter colours as if to show that there is where the women want to be, out of the room where they would be free. The different mass of the painting is shown by the use of colours. The darker ones I feel, makes the men appear to be heavier and bigger in number and weight while the use of lighter colour makes the women appear lighter and less intimidating. Hidalgo also made the painting to appear to have very little space that makes me fell how trapped the women may feel.

PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION Hidalgo has used his skills to imbue this painting with balance. The asymmetrical balance is seen as the right side has more people than the left and the walls are full on the left with the right side of the room being the entrance/exit. There is repetition that is harmonious throughout the painting of the figures representing the people. The rhythm also appears to be somewhat irregular as they may be that of human forms but there is a variation of forms to differentiate between males and females. Colour is repeated to differentiate the attitude and


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feeling people will have looking at the painting. The painting, I feel can be said to have unity, which is seen through the completeness of the story behind the painting. From those principles that Hidalgo applied, we are not only able to understand that the women are in distress and the men are trying to harm them but also that the innocent women have given in to their fate.

eyes flowed smoothly from one area of the composition to another, guided by continuations of the line, form and gradations of colour. Motion can also be seen as the man gropes the semi-nude woman while speaking and the onlookers seem like they are tilting their head in anticipation for what’s to come. The women, I feel seem to be motionless, not fighting and simply accepting what is happening.

While viewing the painting, I found that my articulation of the painting moved from the two virgins in the foreground, which I felt is the focal area of the painting as my personal reaction to the painting was to question why they are in the nude with all the men looking ready to pounce at them. My eyes were then drawn to the Roman men in the middle ground with their expressions and the use of colour to the men crowding in at the background and finally looking at the painting as a whole to take it in its entirety.

Through motion, Hidalgo translates a strong emotion of helplessness and giving in. Also, although the women looking up may indicate that the painting is an open composition as we wonder what she is looking upwards at, I feel that it is of closed composition as I felt like I was continuously being pulled back into the picture with the darkness of the background and lightness of the foreground, making me wanting to find out more about what is happening in the picture and experience the emotion I can see in the painting.

This movement that Hidalgo has painted made me feel that he has achieved a dynamic movement as my


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Overall, I felt that Hidalgo portrayed the two women to have been stripped not only of their garments but also of their dignity. He derived his subject matter from classical antiquity and brought out the drama of the moment. The painting makes me feel as if I am part of the event, looking into the eventual demise of the two women. I personally value this work for the its emotion that it has brought up, in particular anger at the men, shock and sympathy for the women as well as the thought provoking moment 8

of experiencing such emotion in a painting painted over a hundred years ago. Finally, although the painting was kept in the same gallery as that of the Forest Fire painted by Raden Saleh, Hidalgo’s work was still able to capture my attention with the story he has painted that resonates with me, as although I have not been put in the particular position before, I am still able to feel the emotions of everybody in the room through the use of his lines, creating forms that have captured the atmosphere of the situation very well as well as his use of palette, creation of mass and lack thereof space as well as the articulation of the painting.

EVALUATION


Notes

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3 A R

Title: Kinupot Artist: Edgar Talusan Fernandez Dimensionality: Full round Methods of Execution: Moulded canvas over wood armature Dimension: 165 cm x 154 cm x 122 cm Date: 1977


ELEMENTS OF COMPOSITION The name Kinupot originates from two Filipino words, Kinuha, meaning ‘got’, and Sinupot, meaning ‘bagged’. Edgar Talusan Fernandez used his work to represent the abductions of political activists by the military during Philippine’s President Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law rule. Partly inspired from his pregnant wife, the sculpture also refers to the censorship and the ‘whitewashing’ of dissent, which was happening at that time. Fernandez moulded thesculpture in a biomorphic shape in the form of people appearing to be putting up a fight, trying to get out of the bag that they were captured in. Lines are seen in the form of feet kicking out as well as hands and head reaching up as if trying to get air. By using the canvas with its original colour, without painting over it, I felt that he made the sculpture appear to have less mass than it actually does, making the overall appeal being the sculpture appearing almost too beautiful to be intimidating, especially given its subject matter. There are no negative spaces on the sculpture. It is displayed on a grey rectangular block in a gallery that is otherwise dark if not for the illumination of the spotlights on all the artworks. This casted a shadow along the empty spaces that the sculpture did not cover on the block and I felt that it made the sculpture stand out beside the other artworks as well as giving it a more dramatic effect. From my observation, I found that the sculpture has a closed form as Fernandez intends to continually direct people’s eyes back to the sculpture’s form, giving the overall effect of people trying to escape the enclosed bag, making viewers curious as to how they got in there as well as how and if they got out. By looking, the sculpture would appear to have a smoother texture to that of a canvas but because of the body parts shaped by the wood armature, the sculpture has an overall rough texture.

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D R T




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PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION The sculpture is traditionally proportion to that of human bodies and as a whole is bigger in scale compared to humans. When approaching the sculpture, I visualised myself cutting it in half and found that the sculpture has an asymmetrical balance as the left side of the sculpture dominates the right with the form gutting out further with the lines of the person trying to escape compared to the right where the form is almost a curved line. The repetition of lines is used to show the signs of restraint as the people being abducted are clawing their way out, which I feel makes the sculpture appear to have a regular rhythm. The lines and forms that represent the people are harmonious throughout the sculpture with variation of forms to differentiate between feet, hands and head. The sculpture, I feel can be said to have unity as by taking in the elements of repetition of line and form, I am able to visualise their struggle. Furthermore, while viewing the sculpture, I found that my articulation of the sculpture moved from the left side where the form of a feet kicking out the canvas is the most distinctive feature. I felt that this was the focal area of the sculpture as I was struck with surprise at how life like the sculpture was. My eyes were motioned to move to the to of the sculpture where the seems person who is using their head and hand to break free and then moving to the front of the sculpture, where another very human like feet was gutting out to the left side of the sculpture that was slightly curved and finally to the back. An amazing aspect of the sculpture that was highlighted by the light bouncing off the spotlights was the appearance of movement on the canvas. The sculpture has achieved a dynamic movement as my eyes was able to make a 360 degree turn to observe it smoothly from one area of the composition to another, guided by continuations of the line, form and texture. However, seeing the sculpture made me think how he actually showed motion being absent. Through the sculpture, I saw that the people struggling could, instead of escaping, be frozen in time, lost in the never-ending loop of trying to escape.


EVALUATION Although there was a political agenda behind the subject of the sculpture, which was something I wanted to avoid writing about, Edgar Talusan Fernandez was able to make me see that the people were not just political activists being abducted but that they were human beings and the act of abducting peothoughtless the abductors were. It also showed me through brilliant use of colours and lighting how the sculpture was able to come to life, appearing frightening as we imagine what the people are going through and yet amazed at how Fernandez was able to sculpt his work as if he captured what happened with a photograph and pulled the form out. He was able to make the sculpture appear as if it was frozen in time yet also in motion.

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ple in such a way made me think of how cruel and


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ARCHITEC TURE


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S t r u c t u r e & M a t e r i a l s On 24 November 2015, the National Gallery Singapore was opened to house the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art, consisting of over 8,000 artworks. The gallery is situated within two massive national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall. Architectures merged the two buildings using a sculptural entrance sheltered by a curving canopy made from golden filigree and glass, with a concave canopy made from gold filigree metal and glass structure that hangs over the entrance. The glass and metalwork continues also onto the roof of the gallery and is supported by a series of tree-like structures made from steel. The respective buildings on the other had retain the Ionic-style columns, an oxidised copper tower and pale grey stonework.


The scale of the new architecture combining the old and new structures are much bigger compared to human forms. They are proportionate to the other elements in the area from the bridge to the original architecture. The tree-like structure adds a sense of nature being in a place where so much new technology are being used and explored. When I first walked in to this part where the old meets the new, the scale of the structures from the sheer tallness of the buildings to the wide, big windows stopped me in my tracks as I looked at it in awe. It made me feel small being surrounded by so much light and space.

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S c a l e & P r o p o r t i o n


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C o n t e x t

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The national gallery is surrounded by a mix of colonial styled buildings and skyscrapers. The entrance is facing the Padang, financial district, Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, Suntec City and Raffles City. While the Supreme Court is behind and right next to it is the Parliament of Singapore. The buildings were chosen not only for its historic value but also because it is situated where it reflects Singapore’s culture of mixing the new with the old and also showcases some of Singapore’s major landmarks. The use of materials, method and form of the new part of the national gallery also gives the feel that it reflects the natural characteristics of the environment. The big windows, allow a lot of light in, making us feel like we are in the outside while we are inside. There is also harmony between the old Supreme Court and City Hall with the colonial style and colours used.


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S p a c e

The structure connecting the old buildings is not only skinny looking and tall, but it is also wide enough for museum goers to walk from one building to another with ease. The museum has even hosted several yoga sessions where a group of women conducted classes in the middle walkway where the two points meet. The canopy pillars that support the structure is tastefully placed without obstructing any movement. The design allows for the advantage of the traffic flow to be heavy or not depending on the peak hours of the museum.


R e a c t i o n The idea of

bringing new architecture

materials, techniques and technology to mix with the old resonated with me as I was able to experience my favourite type of architecture, that being the colonial style buildings while still being able to appreciate how well the architect was able to incorporate materials and design that allowed for the feel of being outdoors and in nature at the same time as well as to The scale of the structure was also mesmerizing as it kept making me think of how vast the place was compared to the normal buildings I usually go into. The structure also reflected how Singapore preserves history, as it is a proud nation. From keeping the original architecture to reusing the actual tiling and walls while incorporating modern technology such as escalators and elevators, Singapore has also paid homage to its need to move forward in the changing world while still remembering its roots. 

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still be able to enjoy the coolness of the air condition.


17 SEPTEMBER 2016

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