British Columbia Winner
University of British Columbia
gouache, watercolour, pencil crayon and gel pen on watercolour paper
30 x 91 in
In my artworks, I open windows into a universe where suffering is blissful, funny, and seemingly inconsequential. It’s within this universe that I stage cope. Though at first glance idyllic, cope scrutinizes the optimistic ways in which we manage hardship. Its overcrowded, vibrantly coloured compositions draw from Filipino design; texts resembling jeepney signage express blithe positivity; and double agent cherubs act as comic relief. In contrast, its denizens suffer spectacularly. They appear as martyrs, masochists, and victims of Looney Tunes violence, hostages in a paradise of necessities that is just good enough—and nothing more.
It prompts the question: At what point does coping with pain simply enables it?