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    Sale 2616

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 365

    RODEL TAPAYA (b. The Philippines 1980)

    The banquet

    Price Realised  


    RODEL TAPAYA (b. The Philippines 1980)
    The banquet
    signed and dated 'Tapaya 06/08' (lower left); signed and dated again and tilted 'The banquet' (on the reverse)
    acrylic on canvas
    72 x 60 in. (183 x 152.5 cm.)

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    Rodel Tapaya composes fantastic tableau of colours and intricacies. The subjects of his social commentaries are composed of carnivorous and freakish characters which the artist has placed in varied and fantasized environs.

    The parody of power in the present lot, The banquet, is like a still of a freak show, or the scene when a candy dream turns into a topsy-turvy nightmare. It is a visual statement of power wrestling, of hierarchical abuse, of excess and of dispossession. The imposing figure in work is making a mockery of those who make full use of their advantageous position, and it points to a situation when a basic necessity such as food can become the accurate signifier of power division and how alluring can the power be to those who hanker for it.

    The appeal of Tapaya's work is that his personal style is never grudging despite his content. His palette allows a certain double take - society's filth and desperation becomes visually attractive and very humorous in the panache and most vivid of colours. Assertive as they are, his works are not linear, dismal thread of preachy narratives. Instead, Tapaya manages to infuse in his paintings the suspense among the spectrum of society's individuals. His use of foliage within the composition and other forms of perspective-distortions achieve an original visual form - from the mutant-hodgepodge of its characters to its subtle narrative threads. As much as the layers and faces of the power-hungry are confined within a frame, the rich conglomeration of elements still permits a continuous expansion of the potential of the subject of his painting to be more than just a mere commentary.