Oscar Villamiel’s art practice and process continuously revisits and revolves around the act of salvaging the abject. He veers away from the fascination with collecting precious or prized objects. Instead, he sees how a poignant beauty lies within many ordinary things discarded or cast off as mundane, sifting and seeking through the debris of the everyday until these objects reach a certain level of mass and monumentality in their sheer number. In this exhibition, Villamiel sifts through the most fragile of materials from both sky and sea: bird feathers and fishing net fibers, delicately plucking and picking these up after they have molted and drifted away. Both are transient tools: traces of avian flight and piscine harvest that eventually float away as refuse, once the cycle of growth renews itself. In merging a collector’s scrutiny with the aesthetic and poetic encounter with form and material, Villamiel’s exhibition shows how it is to wonder at the constant vastness and completeness of the world, again and again.
Oscar Villamiel (b. 1953) is a multi-media artist from the Philippines who produces large scale installation works through the collation and collecting of found materials from urban and rural environments. Villamiel currently lives and works in Marikina City. Growing up in Caloocan City, Villamiel studied Fine Arts at the University of the East (UE) in Manila. He publicly exhibited for the first time in 2006 in a group exhibition with fellow UE Fine Arts alumni at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in Manila. His large-scale installation, titled Payatas, was shown in the 2013 Singapore Biennale, and in 2014, he held a solo show at the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum.