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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yason Banal's Bastos Con Diablitos at Mag:net Gallery Paseo (November 8-30)

Bastos Con Diablitos
Bastos Con Diablitos (initiation), 2006
122 cm x 183cm

Yason Banal
Bastos Con Diablitos
8-30 November 2006
Mag:net Gallery Paseo

Moving between performance, music, installation, photography, video and delicate craft-like works, Yason Banal's practice takes myriad forms and conceptual strategies to weave together traditional and contemporary folklores, icons and belief systems. In The Legend of the Sleepwalking Tricks (2003) held at the Kunsthall Oslo, Norway, the artist commissioned several young men to stand in a gallery listening to death metal on Walkmans and sip hot milk laced with potent sleeping sedatives. Over the duration of the performance the men gradually became drowsy, lying down and eventually falling asleep. In other works he has referenced slasher horror films, Christianity, sex and political history, at once channeling awkward adolescent interests with his fascination in altered states of consciousness and democracies. Underlying much of Banal's work is an interest in what he calls 'dreamy conceptualism' and 'tropical gothic', moving towards the dark side of the life-giving sun.

His recent work for the Singapore Biennale brought together images, text, video and performance sculptures made in Tokyo, where the artist became interested in the Great Earthquake of 1923 which devastated the city, as well as other disasters both man made and natural, such as the recent mass stampede in Manila and fake visionaries sprouting up in nearby provinces.

Banal's works combine seemingly distant belief systems and symbologies - religion, folk science, art history and queer hagiography, as well as music and film genres and subcultures - to trigger suppressed associations and links. The artist speaks of trying to initiate 'constellations' through the different elements in his work - referring at once to heavenly bodies, but also to their relationships with events unfolding on earth, sometimes benign, but often catastrophic.

- Roger McDonald, Curator for the Singapore Biennale

Yason Banal’s solo exhibition Bastos Con Diablitos opens at Mag:net Gallery Paseo on November 8, Wednesday at 6pm with a live performance by Surrogate Prey. Exhibtion runs until November 30. Mag:net Gallery Paseo is located on the ground floor of Paseo Centre, Paseo de Roxas corner Sedeno St.

For inquiries call 8177895 (Jhennie) or email

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