A Remembrance of Rain: Ryan Uy

29 April - 31 May 2022

The Remnants of Rain

by JT Gonzales, curator


There is, in the soft splish-splash of rain, something profoundly poignant.


A steady rhythmic patter, a breeze that ruffles locks of hair, clouds skidding across the heavens. The alleys and pathways are quiet. The solitary pedestrian might pause, and breathe in the crisp air. Perhaps, there is a sense of renewal. Possibly, there might be contentment. Rain evokes a myriad of emotions.


There is, of course, nostalgia is well. Memories of previous storms. Perhaps, even of turbulence. Of periods spent in the blue. Ennui and boredom. But the inexorable falling of rain can soften those remembrances, cushioning emotion with incessant thrumming.


Ryan Uy pivots to new dimensions with A Remembrance of Rain, his latest offering. After navigating the depths of grief with the cranes that took him on their hopeful wings, he looks beyond and ahead, where clearer skies await.


His palette lightens with eggshell blue and jade green, the buoyancy of hope evident in sprinklings of confetti done in cheerful orange and baby fluff-yellow. Umbrellas abound, but these are neither sober nor meant for mourning. As with Elmo, his toy sculpture, the brollies connote the bliss of security and the promise of comfort, rather than being harbingers of somber news.


Spring has so joyously arrived - with all the lightness of being that it heralds. Balconies evoke the marvelously fresh views beyond, and the breezes to be enjoyed.


Yet this spring has not entirely forgotten the season that preceded it. The exhibition also punctuates Ryan’s new collection with a nod to his cranes, a past chapter in his career. Ten previous works are exhibited together with the new collection, the subdued colors anchoring his newer palette and establishing a harmonious counterpoint. These origami-themed works demonstrate Ryan’s flair for the skillful interplay of pastel hues, his cranes taking wing across the masterfully shaded canvasses.


There is much to unpack in this exhibition. But then, the contemplative need only to listen to the rain to gain more clarity. And hopefully, depth.