b. 1981, Philippines

Maria Taniguchi Biography

Maria Taniguchi is best known for her ongoing series of labour-intensive 'brick paintings' that are made of repetitive patterns of grey-black rectangles. For the paintings, which are all untitled and unnumbered, Taniguchi first draws out a grid, then fills one 'brick' at a time over a period of months on the floor of her Manila studio. While the works differ in size, the content—or lack thereof—always remains the same. Yet each painting is slightly unique in its distributions of minor gradations within the grid (some cells are near-black, while others appear as a washed-out grey)—a result of the differing amounts of water and pigment on Taniguchi's brush at any given time. Revealing the hand of the artist and the associated connotations of labour in what at first appears to be mechanically produced, the differing densities are largely unplanned and heighten the illusion of textural space. At a glance, the paintings may resemble the grid structures of densely populated urban spaces or sombre memorial monuments. Taniguchi resists calling the paintings meditative however, and instead considers them more of a record of passing time and a means of regulating her own production.

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Taniguchi is also known for her poetic and somewhat abstract videos of objects with connections to the craftsmanship and history of the Philippines. For the video Untitled (Dawn's Arms) (2011), Taniguchi engaged a Filipino marble craftsman to remake the arms of a sculpture at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Spain. Shots of the process are interspersed with footage of the jungle on the island of Romblon, while a black-and-white photograph of the resultant arms accompany the video. The work was notably featured in the 2016 exhibition Oceanic Feeling at ICA Singapore alongside works by Sriwhana Spong. Similarly focusing on lush vegetation, Taniguchi's 2012 video Figure Study shows workers digging for clay in a dense jungle, with cicadas and the clanking of their shovels audible. In a 2013 group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila, Taniguchi presented the video alongside slabs of clay—fired by her mother—that mimicked the shapes of the monitor.

In addition to painting and video, Taniguchi has also engaged in printmaking, though her familial and academic background is in sculpture. The artist comes from a family of sculptors and she earned a BFA in sculpture at the University of the Philippines, and an MFA at Goldsmiths in London in 2009. Along with artist Pio Abad, Taniguchi launched Telenovela, an exhibition platform dedicated to presenting the work of forgotten Filipino artists. In 2011, she received an Ateneo Art Award for her solo exhibition Echo Studies (2011) at the Jorge B Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center in Quezon City and in 2015 she won the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, which launched her to even greater international acclaim.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018

Maria Taniguchi Featured Artworks

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Untitled (room of phases) by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled (room of phases), 2021 acrylic on canvas
18 x 18 inches
SILVERLENS Contact Gallery
Untitled (room of phases) by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled (room of phases), 2021 acrylic on canvas
18 x 18 inches
SILVERLENS Contact Gallery
Untitled (room of phases) by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled (room of phases), 2021 acrylic on canvas
18 x 18 inches
SILVERLENS Contact Gallery
Untitled (room of phases) by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled (room of phases), 2021 acrylic on canvas
18 x 18 inches
SILVERLENS Contact Gallery
Untitled by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
152.5 x 122 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Runaways by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork installation
Maria Taniguchi Runaways, 2017 Wood
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled, 2017 Acrylic on canvas
274.3 x 487.7 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Maria Taniguchi contemporary artwork painting
Maria Taniguchi Untitled, 2016 Acrylic, canvas, wood support
274.3 x 121.9 cm
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Taka Ishii Gallery

Maria Taniguchi Recent Exhibitions

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Maria Taniguchi Represented By

SILVERLENS contemporary art gallery in Manila, Philippines SILVERLENS Manila
Taka Ishii Gallery contemporary art gallery in Complex665, Tokyo, Japan Taka Ishii Gallery Hong Kong, Tokyo

Maria Taniguchi In Ocula Magazine

Maria Taniguchi In Related Press

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