Nothing Gold Can Stay

We complete our 2019 programming by being a part in another collaboration, this time with the newly minted Modeka Creative Space, the latest gallery addition to the fabulously dynamic Manila art scene. Nothing Gold Can Stay is Modeka’s opening exhibition, featuring eight visual artists from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia: 13 Lucky Monkey, Caryn Koh, Dedy Sufriadi, Jono Pisano, Lynrd Paras, Mark Nicdao, Ronald Apriyan and Sinta Tantra.

For a young gallery such as Artemis Art, making a mark in the art scene is always a challenging endeavor. More so when trying to make ourselves visible in markets outside our home country Malaysia. One avenue we have been pursuing in the last several months is collaboration with selected galleries located in markets we think hold great potential. One such market is Manila, Philippines. Earlier this year we collaborated with Vinyl On Vinyl, staging two exhibitions – Ajim Juxta’s solo exhibition, Dystopians, at VoV’s gallery space in Makati, Ajim Juxta’s solo, and to reciprocate we hosted Act I of Iyan De Jesus’ 3-act solo exhibition, entitled These Violent Delights.

Nothing Gold Can Stay opened at 6pm on Saturday, December 14 2019, inaugurating Modeka’s new exhibition space located along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati, home to a number of Manila’s important galleries. The exhibition space occupies what formerly was the 2020 club. As the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Nothing Gold Can Stay will continue its run until January 31 2020.

Artemis Art is happy to note that our three artists – Caryn Koh, Dedy Sufriadi, and Ronald Apriyan – were very well received by the opening night audience. It is rather unfortunate that neither one of the three were able to attend the opening.

However, both Dedy and Ronald will be present in Manila for a meet and greet session, scheduled for 6pm on Wednesday, December 18 2019. This event presents the best opportunity for artists and art enthusiasts from around the Manila area to meet with the two Indonesian artists.

Modeka Creative Space

Modeka Creative Space occupies the premises previously occupied by the 2020 Club, and is located at Warehouse A, La Fuerza 1 Compound 2241, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila, Philippines (link opens in Google Maps). Contact details for the gallery may be obtained from their About Us page.

Visit Modeka Creative Space’s website for more information about the gallery.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Lifted from Robert Frost’s 1923 poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, the exhibition gathers the works of different artists whose practices explore a spectrum of forms, themes, and, materiality. Here, an inquiry is made to consider the idea of impermanence as we struggle from what is deemed as the impalpable human desire for mortality and the difficult truth characterized by the nature of things —that in our world, nothing will remain forever. Navigating on a wide range of tropes that suggest an interrogation into the human ego as the root of this inclination, the exhibition examines the depth of our individual differences in the diminution of our impulses. Views that give prominence to one’s ability to de-emphasize the ego, such as in Buddhist practices and philosophies, which counterpoise the negative consequences that arrange a pursuit of fame tied with celebrity status and with the obsession of finding ways to outlive the body.

The direct link connecting the notion of permanence to the arts has always been attached to the creation of legacy and status; sometimes, celebrating the ego of the artist more than the contribution to culture and history. However, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” evaluates how art-making can become more involved in sustaining our attention to experience the present. The American sculptor, Eva Hesse, who pioneered materials that were then regarded as impractical in the field of sculpture, manifested this contradiction in her artistic practice. While Hesse’s dedication to process and material was unparalleled, she battled to attain permanency among her works with many of them destroyed and can no longer be conserved today. Hesse’s resignation and acceptance to the limits of her legacy is found in her statement as she declared, “Life doesn’t last; art doesn’t last.”

In looking through the works of the artists in this exhibition, we are left to administer time in our own hands. Here, we reckon with the images and tales presented as we move along towards different junctures and trajectories. Bounded and confronted by time, we take a quiet walk among these works of art that somehow revel in an attempt to yield and capture a moment. As in the verses of the intrepid Frost, “So dawn goes –down to day / Nothing gold can stay.”

(the text above has been taken from Modeka’s feature page for the exhibition)

Nothing Gold Can Stay marks Artemis Art’s and Modeka’s first collaboration, featuring three of our artist joining a lineup consisting of eight visual artists. Moving forward, we have in the planning stages more collaborative efforts coming up in 2020.

Of the eight participating artists, three are included by virtue of our collaboration with Modeka Creative Space. Nothing Gold Can Stay marks the beginning of a working relationship that will see more collaborations between the two parties in the future. Featured here are the artists and artworks that we are presenting.

For more information on the complete artist lineup, visit Modeka Creative Space’s feature page for Nothing Gold Can Stay, collectively a selection of artists from the three Southeast Asian nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

Currently living in the UK, Caryn Koh is a young Malaysian visual artist who went back to art school after completing her medical degree. Her soulful and honest depiction of her subjects have gained her a decent following internationally. For Nothing Gold Can Stay, four paintings and a video have been selected to be exhibited.

Apart from the video, which debuted during Caryn’s solo exhibition in 2018, As Deep As I Could Remember, As Far As I Could See, the paintings included were specifically done for this exhibition.

Artworks Exhibited

Click on the thumbnails below to view full image and details

Most of Indonesian abstract artist Dedy Sufriadi’s recent works have seen the artist returning to pure abstract expressions, his Tabula Rasa series, a few artworks from which have been selected for this exhibition. Naturally, his text-based works have also been included, to complete the selection.

Dedy’s works have been getting some level of attention in the Philippines, since being shown at the past two Art Fair Philippines (in 2018 and a solo showcase this year), making him a natural choice to be included in the eight artist line-up. 

Artworks Exhibited

Click on the thumbnails below to view full image and details

Artemis Art has only recently started to show the visually fun artworks by Indonesian visual artist Ronald Apriyan, although we’ve known the artist for a few years now.

Four works by Ronald have been selected for this exhibition, out of which two were specifically done for Nothing Gold Can Stay. The series of works exhibited focus on iconic characters and figures done in Ronald’s characteristic style, bright and bold, yet executed in a manner that’s controlled, a sure mark of artistic maturity. 

Artworks Exhibited

Click on the thumbnails below to view full image and details

Click on the thumbnails above to view a larger image. For more opening night photos, visit the event album via our Facebook page.

Opening Night Video Montage

Mark Nicdao on his artwork in the exhibition

One of the objectives that Modeka Creative Space set out to achieve was to make the gallery stand out and be a unique art destination in Manila. Combining a good selection of contemporary art, with a young hip atmosphere – evidenced by the feedback from visitors – Modeka certainly managed to stamp itself as a unique art venue.

Fronting Modeka Creative Space are Ms. Bubbles Bermudez and Mr. Riccardo Corsini, the driving force behind the conceptualization and realization of this unique space in Makati, Metro Manila. Artemis Art got to know them earlier this year and through the various discussions we’ve had since, we’re truly honored to have had the privilege and opportunity to be a part of their opening exhibition.

Our collaboration certainly won’t stop with this first showing, and we’re currently in further discussions with Modeka to see how we can work together more in the coming years.

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