Rodel Tapaya

NGA Exhibition – Rodel Tapaya  – New art from the Philippines

Rodel Tapaya has become ‘a must purchase’ by collectors of contemporary Southeast Asian art.

This special one-person exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) will probably encourage more Australian collectors of contemporary art dig into their pockets.

Following this exhibition, the Melbourne collector set will now have to have a work by Rodel Tapaya on their walls. They will all be comparing notes on which one they own and when/where they purchased it.

Rodel Tapaya continues to be a hit at the auction houses since bursting onto the international contemporary art scene several years ago.

The main works are complex in their layering, consisting of many many images – drawing as he does from Philippines history, folklore and contemporary – with mural size works, sculptural installation and works on paper.

I found his larger murals curious as they looked like they had been copied from collages of photos and drawings. The painting style still had that hard edge as you find in collages as if the work had been copy-painted by skilled mural painters – as you find in the Philippines.

Other than that the images were very very layered – almost labyrinth like. It would take a lot of work for most visitors to the gallery to work out what was going on within all these works.

His two major sculptural installations were engaging – see below.

Here’s a link to the NGA online pages on the artist.

An online review of his work – click here.

Here’s a ‘hot’ review by Gina Fairley on ArtsHub – click here


It seems that Philippine contemporary art is the hot topic – with the Art Gallery of New South Wales exhibition opening soon – and several art magazines during special coverages.

What’s that about?

Are the Philippines less ‘Asian’ than the rest of Southeast Asia?

Is Philippine contemporary art more western than the rest of Southeast Asian art?

Are dealers and influential collectors doing a good job of marketing particular Philippine art to new head honchos in public galleries?

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