• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2380

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    25 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 7

    YASMIN SISON (b. The Philippines 1972)

    Throwing field

    Price Realised  


    YASMIN SISON (b. The Philippines 1972)
    Throwing field
    signed and titled (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    48 x 60 in. (122 x 152.4 cm.)

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    Throwing Field is part of the series of the most recent exhibition of the artist which was opened on August 2 at the Finale Art Gallery, Manila. The exhibition which is named Gingerbread Girls is making a direct reference to the young, female protagonists who are clothed in softly hued frocks in the works. This series reveals an ongoing process in Yasmin Sison's "continuing concerns with the theme of memory and the possibilities inherent in its malleability." Her suite of works depicts girls in dresses, softly gazing or turning their heads from the viewer, holding curious objects: a wooden rod, a small house. Though seated on what looks like a stable metallic chair, the girls seem to inhabit a mercurial world signified by the swirls and undulations of colors present in their background. It's as if they are, despite their realism, recreated from the aged places of recollection, from "stories told to me when I was young."

    As studies in the transubstantiating power of time and memory, the works deftly betray their true source (childhood), their inspiration (fairytales) and their attitude (innocence). The artist argues that one can reclaim this territory, if only through art, and that narrative is the enabling force in this process, settling the windy past in place. (Source: http://www.finaleartfile.com/shows.html)

    In many ways, Yasmin's works calls to mind the polish-born French painter, Balthus, whose work straddles the line between an almost magical realism and surrealism. Balthus is a master of nuance and this is a characteristic that is also striking with Yasmin as her setting for her protagonists are so carefully composed that they feel dreamlike, almost silent in their tranquility, but the viewer is often left with a palpable sense of unease. The young, pre-pubescent girls seem to possess an unattainable (perhaps sinister) knowledge, often inextricably tied to the mystery or to the history, of which the viewer is left to infer.