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Mar 29, 2019

Art Basel Hong Kong

JILL PAZ: The Grove of Trees

Exhibition Data:



Mar 29, 2019


Mar 31, 2019

Discovery Sector, Booth 1C15 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center 1 Harbour Road Wan Chai Hong Kong, China

About the Event:

Filipino-Canadian Jill Paz (b. 1982) emigrated in the early eighties and after completing her studies (BFA and MFA) she returned to Manila, the Philippines, to reconnect to her ancestral home, the country and the art scene. Her first solo exhibition in the Philippines was titled The Past Is A Foreign Country (2017), and her first solo exhibition at 1335MABINI was titled History of the Present (2018).

In the body of work on display at ABHK, Jill Paz enacts a homecoming that embraces the realms of both the intensely personal and the distant past. Paz revisits and reinterprets the body of works of the late 19th century Filipino painter Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (1855-1913), an enigmatic figure in Philippine art history and a great grand-uncle of hers. During his lifetime, Hidalgo would move and work constantly between Europe and Manila, underscoring both the assimilation of influences and diasporic nature that have characterized the practice of many Filipino artists up to today. Paz’s ancestral homage delves into the unstable nature of the past: as fragments, shards and recollections.

Jill Paz’s works are detailed approximations crafted with photography, painting, computer programs and laser. She uses laser-cutting technology to bore, etch and puncture delicate layers; she programmed the laser-cutter in such a way it can etch a digital image on cardboard. In such a way, she is able to show the transient and vulnerable nature of paintings as objects: to be open to the possibility that the past and its objects can change, disperse or fall apart into total collapse. But when renovation and complete restoration of history is rendered impossible and quixotic, it may provide the opportune moment to create art that is steeped in life and the histories of the present.

Historical artworks, such as those by Hidalgo, are ex-cited in many ways, for example through memory, which makes it a breeding ground of subjectivity in Paz’ work.

Jill Paz’s starting point is one particular landscape painting by Hidalgo: The Grove of Trees (this particular painting by Hidalgo is in dire need of restoration). She asks the questions: what goes missing when a home, a person, or a society becomes renovated? What pulses behind the desire to re-build, or create an otherwise new veneer? And in what ways does the skeleton of the old inform the flesh of the new? Here the word ‘renovation’ becomes critical; she is interested in that which is remodeled from an existing structure or infastructure, not that which is entirely re-built. The new body of work for ABHK’s Discovery Section explores the need and subsequent limitation for repair and renovation, rendering the limits between object and being, history and folklore, fact and fiction, permeable.

Roy Voragen

Selected Works
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