Tuesday, September 3, 2019

David Madella’s "Cloud Canyons No. 31," home at BDO Corporate Center in Ortigas, Pasig

BDO Unibank, Inc. presents the work of Filipino artist David Medalla, "Cloud Canyons No. 31," at its Corporate Center in Ortigas (CCO). Permanently installed at its lobby, the Bank welcomes everyone to visit the sculpture.

Cloud Canyons No. 31 was first exhibited in 2016 when Medalla was one of the shortlisted artists for the inaugural Hepworth Wakefield Prize for Sculpture. Made of plexiglas tubes, wood, fibreglass, water, soap, and oxygenators, it is part of a series often referred to as the “bubble machines.” 

The first of these was produced in 1961 and named as "Cloud Canyons: An Ensemble of Bubble Machines (Auto-Creative Sculptures)." It was inspired by Medalla’s memories of a dying Japanese soldier’s frothing mouth, clouds during tropical sunsets in Manila, the bubbling ginataan (coconut milk) of his mother’s cooking, a brewery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Skyline of New York. It was initially exhibited in 1964 at the Signals Gallery in London.

Cloud Canyons No. 31
Plexiglas tubes, wood, fibreglass, water, soap, oxygenators
254.2 cm x 199.5 cm x 199.5 cm
Conceived in 1964; Executed in 2015 

The bubbles and foam presents us with a sculptural form that rises to greater heights and then bend, or break, slide down, and eventually disappear.  Each time the bubbles are set in motion, what slowly emerges from the tubes are any number of shapes, always unknown. The Cloud Canyons is a sculpture that continually re-creates (or auto-creates) itself. Writer Guy Brett wrote that these sculptural works showed how form could be monumental, while at the same time, fleeting and imperceptible.

Other Cloud Canyons can be found in the collections of Tate Modern and National Gallery Singapore. The series is considered one of Medalla’s seminal artworks. 

Medalla is increasingly recognized as an important figure in contemporary art, and his contributions to sculpture and performance art have inspired many. His Cloud Canyons No. 31 is a rare sight but is a very historically important work of art, and it gives BDO great pleasure to be able to show it permanently for all to see.

About David Medalla 
David Medalla is a Filipino artist who has practiced abroad for most of his life. His work ranges from sculpture to kinetic art to painting, installation and performance art. He currently lives in Manila. 

Medalla is recognized as a key figure in the development of installation, kinetic and participatory art. His practice challenges the idea of sculpture as solid, timeliness and monumental by producing objects and situations that never be repeated and are continually changing form and matter. 

The artist moved to London in 1960, and was included in some of the more important exhibitions during the 1960s and 70s that defined minimal and conceptual practice in Europe and the US.

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