Artist narrative

It is in our fervent search for immortality, our unending desire to gain a higher understanding and existence that pulls us back into our human, err-ridden selves. We spend immeasurable time trying to bring back our lost youth, to the point that we never actually enjoy a moment of it. We fill ourselves to overflowing with knowledge and education so much so that we forget to resonate the simplest forms of happiness. We traverse the farthest reaches of science to give meaning and explanations to everything and in the end, question our very purpose.

Gaining enlightenment is not about finding answers but losing them. It is not even just about religion anymore, nor is substantial belief in mystical transgressions and truths, but more importantly, it’s letting go of our earthly desires that gives us wings and redemption. Of course, having faith is the key, but that is another exhibition.

Using living commodities as my medium, from carved reproductions, spoons and forks, kitchen ware, and just about anything that you can haggle for a tourist dollar from the markets, that I set out to redefine my idea of the process of divinity. My exploration of a very personal concept of heaven, as I see it in any form of religion, is entrenched in the things that represent and symbolize our desires and having to let go of them…

Anonymous in the Light
The Buddhist expression is characterized by anonymity because the Ego is always the source of illusions.

The physical expression found in my paintings witnesses the repetition of a raw model that reaches multiplicity through colors.

The serenity of Siddhartha is accompanied by not only the expression of the light stating the presence of joy but also strings of strange writings, vestiges of ancient knowledge through time and cultures.

My work, contrary to a monochromatic Zen approach, goes beyond the written words. The absence of meaning indicates the rigidity of the way back to the source in my quest for enlightenment.

My art pieces are positioned in the dimension of peace to suggest that things can always be re-written or re-discussed through another lens. They are bases for meditation and a thousand ways to express the inside silence.

Artist bio

Loven Ramos is an avant garde artist whose works have constantly evolved from art lamps, furniture, installations of kitchenware and dinnerware, wearable paintings, to all sorts of materials and nuances that give a unique life to things that are otherwise considered mundane.

With no formal education in art, he started his foray in photography and painting with oil and acrylic in his home town in Iloilo, Philippines. He moved to Manila in 2002 and began his affair with art and fashion through bead works and embroidery – an inspiration from his late grandmother who used to design wedding and evening gowns in the 1950’s. He began incorporating them on canvas with his acrylic paintings and delved into the dark and Gotham-esque shades and nuances of the big city. Calling it “wearable art”, his canvasses were either punctured in the middle to fit as a collar, a sleeve, and even collapsible as bags.

In 2005, he packed up his bags again and ventured to Cambodia where he immersed himself in a different cultural environment. The series of works he has done here encapsulates his affinity for layering his art in different sequences – never with just one medium, but with a merging of one process to another. He starts with photography, sculpture or painting then slowly builds on each piece as if he is building a home – a message that says his work is constantly changing, ever transforming itself into different entities. This technique has given him a voice through which he can foster the different aspects of his art into a single vision.

Loven still calls Cambodia his home, with his wife, Faith and son, Freedom.

Koun Sothea was born in April 1970 in Battambang province, and is one of five brothers & sisters. His father works on construction sites. Koun Sothea travelled early in his life with his grand parents.

At the age of 20 he studied Buddhism and joined a monastery for 3 years, giving him an insider’s view of Buddhism. He has been painting since his teenage years.

He has been travelling around Asian countries for years and continues to travel today, drawing his inspirations from the similarities and differences of Asian people.

"Designing the Divine"
Loven Ramos, Koun Sothea
01 March - 30 May 2008

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