It is through my art practice that I became aware of my preoccupation with layers and textures.
I was born with a rare genetic skin condition that causes my skin to change in overdrive. This manifests in my art, process and medium – oil paint, wood grains and experimental, organic materials.
It is something I have to come to terms with and it continues to be a process of understanding.
I unpack and capture different aspects of identity and examine how gender and geographical placement inform them, as well as, creatively respond to the pressing issues. I seek to derive art from a place where power and vulnerability meet.
I make paintings built up in layers of oil paint that incorporate natural wood grains with non-textures. Having a deep relationship with classical painting, I’m slowly moving away from my familiarity with it. That comfort is appreciated, but to grow is to be uncomfortable. And it excites me to think about the possibilities of expounding the medium with other materials.
I understand far more than I am able to communicate. We are in continually trying times and I find myself looking for explanations. In looking for explanations, I find the right questions. These questions
I cannot answer but only pose or instigate reflections of with my art.
Mek Yambao (°1989) makes oil paintings on wood that uses layers and textures. She combines these elements both to conceal and reveal her subjects. She is also expounding her use of traditional media by working with organic, experimental materials for paintings, as well as installations.
Creating art is her process of thinking. She makes delicate yet weighted imagery using experiences in her own life. Her reflections on feminism, identity, language, and post-colonization are most apparent in her work. Her exhibition ‘May I Have Your Attention Please’ (2017) addresses the visibility of women and going against their culturally assigned roles, while ‘Is This How You See Me?’ (2019) is an examination of how much people curate or modify before we present ourselves and what do we allow to be seen reflecting on identity and perception.
She works towards multiculturalism and continues to develop her visual language to create more immersive art. Mek Yambao lives and works in Metro Manila, Philippines.