Time Transfixed: Joseph Gandiongco

27 January - 19 February 2022

Gandiongco (b. 1996, Cebu) references constructivism in his cohesive series of anatomy-inspired works.

TIME TRANSFIXED: Joseph Gandiongco

Written By: Edwin Ao


The universe of Gandiongco’s art explores motionless narratives, practices, and aesthetics. It is a story of abandonment, regression, and rapture; of humanity and nature succumbing to the pressure of obscure forces and the not-so-distant still dimension reimagined by the artist. 


In his universe, there is an obvious incorporation of graphic design elements into the unearthly presentation of one’s feelings, experiences, and mood that transcend time and create an alternate dimension of its own. Departing from the usual painted nature presentation, the artist forces the viewer to consider different vantage points. 


Turning the clock back to gain an understanding of Gandiongco’s sources, plausible or implausible, recognized or the unrecognized, would be futile. The viewer is, instead, invited to direct and compose the elements of the artist’s work, in its entirety, relegating them to the eternal pages in the history of art, which the artist for his part, incidentally rejected. The elements and images are frozen in several perspectives, causing motionless horror, wonder, or astonishment. The new emphasis on the surface took on a metaphorical as well as material importance. 


In this exhibition, an uneasy truce exists between contemporary, technology, ancient personal myths of weaving, and the mysterious world of dreams. To understand the development of this self-fortification and its inherent tensions, a glance at the artist’s image of humanity seems appropriate. The following handful of examples may show, by way of introduction, how his first steps were shaped by an innate classicism that he had to absorb before he could break out, with self-assurance, under the auspices of Surrealism. 


Throughout the this series, he mobilized the sub-conscious via the bias of the pre-conscious, and this in turn via the bias of the obvious. This realism, and what the artist made of it by introducing it into his less true-to-nature pictures, led to a definition of his development and his work as sur-realist (two words, hyphenated), rather than Surrealist (one word).