An article about the exhibition : Ronald Ventura- An Introspective from Sankei News paper

Sankei Newspaper on September 17th(2021)in the Morning Newspaper

The Text below Translated in English by Karuizawa New Art Museum

Ronald Ventura – An Introspective

@Karuizawa New Art Museum Continues until April 10, 2022
Main title on the top:
Phantasmagoric Ever-evolving World of Expression
Inspired by Daily Life
Empathetic Works

Former Text:
Filipino contemporary artist, Ronald Ventura is now one of the high-profile artists not only in Asia but also in the international art scene.
The first large-scale solo museum exhibition in Japan, “Ronald Ventura - An Introspective” is currently underway at Karuizawa New Art Museum in Karuizawa Town, Nagano.
The world of wide range of expression in which classics and modernity, global and local, ordinary and extraordinary, pop playful spirits and sharp criticism are interwoven and that can be fully appreciated.

Main Text:
Welcomed by over three-meter-high dog icon “Boblo” holding a golden bone, now, let us go to the six exhibition rooms.
The exhibition, based on the artist’s own idea, developed a different world in each room and consists of a total of about 120 pieces including paintings, sculptures and other works.
The room I stepped in first was the space filled with darkness where a group of jet-black sculptures titled Black Star Series is exhibited with projection image to produce installation art.
A boat, sailed out into the night sea heading twinkling stars, will not move forward no matter how hard a sailor rows.
Indigenous gods in Philippines are said to be also projected on “Black Stars”, the statues look like a unity of man and divine beast.
The world like dark fantasy expands, which implies the future of humankind.
Ventura’s representation awakes an imagination of viewers and let them have diverse interpretation.
Contemporary art tends to seem difficult to appreciate, however, Ventura got an idea from daily life by referring familiar characters of anime, comics and games and adapted them into his works, which would make it easier for us to identify ourselves with his works as we are living in the same age.
We accept a large number of images from a virtual world in a smart phone every day.
Our day-to-day life, in which we involve ourselves with others going back and forth between reality and virtual space naturally, was drawn with irony on the paintings like Doll Eyes2, and others.
Apparently, the images of a two-dimensional girl and a smartphone screen are pasted into a monochrome photograph. However, if you step closer and stare at them, you will notice that they are oil-painted by hand.
It is fun to see pop sculptures varying from strange and familiar characters to animals and therianthropes, but without doubt, Ventura’s painting ability is overwhelming.
As if they were Surrealism paintings, ideas welled up from him blended freely on large-sized works, which is considerably worth watching.
“Ventura has been endowed with artistic talent from an early age and received a full-scale art education at the university. There exist the traditions of Western art in his basis of creation.” Namino Ishikawa, the museum’s curator points out.
Among his works, the oil painting titled OVER D FENCE is intriguing.
When seen from a distance, obscure imagery of the masterpiece, “Liberty Leading the People” by 19th century French artist, Eugene Delacroix and “War” by Henri Rousseau emerged. However, the actual painted image is the brawl scene of baseball game in which monkeys and tigers jump on the players and some people opposing authority slip into the crowd.
As the Philippines had been under the control by Spain, the United States, and so on for lengthy period, it has received considerable influence from overseas even though it has a traditional culture of its own.
Probably Baseball is the metaphor for American culture and the world of chaos reflects the complexity of Filipino society and culture.
Ventura delves into his origin, namely identity, and searches his soul.
“This exhibition is by no means his retrospective exhibition, but the one which shows his process of evolution.” said Ishikawa.
Like a Chimera which he creates by preference, it will be quite enjoyable to see how his characters transform and evolve themselves on his making process.

OVER D FENCE 2017 Oil on canvas 243.8×365.8cm

Waves, 2016 Oil on canvas  182.9×274.3cm
*This work is displayed with “Blackstar Series” as the part of the special collaboration program in this exhibition.

DOLL EYES 2 2020 Oil on canvas 121.9×182.8cm

Ronald Ventura (1974- )
Born in Manila, Philippines. After graduating from University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, the oldest university in Asia, the painting “Grayground” set a record for the most ever paid for a work of Southeast Asian artist at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings auction in Hong Kong in 2011.
Ever since then, his works have been introduced at galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, and Asian countries, and received high acclaim as cutting-edge contemporary art.
His paintings and sculptures stand out in the international contemporary art scene with their unique combinations of figurative motifs. His work features a complex layering of images and styles, ranging from hyperrealism to cartoons and graffiti.

Venue: Karuizawa New Art Museum
Karuizawa 1151-5, Karuizawa town
Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture, Japan 389-0102
Period: July 17, 2021 (Saturday) to April 10, 2022 (Sunday)
Hours: 10:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays *Following day if Monday is a national holiday
Admission: General 2,000 yen,
High school and University Student 1,000 yen
Elementary and Junior high school Student 500 yen
Preschool children: Free
People with disabilities: Free
(Up to one caregiver: half of the regular admission)
Please refer to our website for other details.
Access: Walk- eight minutes from JR Karuizawa Station
Car- twenty minutes from Usui Karuizawa IC

Contact:  Karuizawa New Art Museum Exhibition Section
Telephone: 0267 46 8691
Fax: 0267 46 8692
Museum official website- from here

Host Organizer: Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd.  Karuizawa New Art Museum
Sponsor: NEW ART HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.,  Whitestone Gallery Co., Ltd.
Nominal Support: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Tokyo, Japan and others