Calle Wright is an art house located in the heart of Malate, Manila
An initiative realized by Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo of Silverlens, it is a venue for mid-career and established artists to exhibit their work within a historical context. As an art space, it aims to engage community audiences and spaces within Manila, while also fostering an exchange between artists, curators, and cultural workers both within the Philippines and abroad.
More light than heat
Lesley-Anne Cao and Lao Lianben
28 July - 29 November 2019
More light than heat brings together the works of Lesley-Anne Cao and Lao Lianben in a two-person exhibition driven by intuition and fixations.
Lesley-Anne Cao and Lao Lianben create works that play with visibility and ambiguity, encouraging investigation and exploration. Cao presents a series of video works based around our notions and perception, showing us both the glint of metals and portals into what is elsewhere. Her work is interested in the translation and fidelity of objects as they pass through different people, renderings, and lenses. Lao, on the other hand, takes work from his personal collection, painted from his own instincts, letting his brush run free. Working through minimalism, Lao creates expansive scenes that allow us to be immersed in simplicity and stillness.
Both Cao and Lao work through their personal devotions in Calle Wright. A painter since the sixties, Lao has consistently painted from within, with a specific language comprehensible to himself. His paintings bridge the gap between speaking to his inner self, and to ours, as we navigate our own minds confronted by emptiness. Cao’s work, on the other hand, articulates devotion to her process, a continuous gesture towards the actualization of imagined objects and phenomena.
While devotion may be understood with a strong degree of passion, More light than heat seeks to distill passion into quiet, transient actions that not so much serve to create monumental declarations of love, but are a testament to a persistent loyalty shared by the two artists.
Cao and Lao were invited by Lani Maestro, who has previously exhibited in Calle Wright.
Lesley-Anne Cao is a visual artist working primarily with objects and installation. Her practice is an inquiry into and a privileging of the quiet and self-effacing vis-à-vis spectacle and significance in the context of exhibitions and art-making. She earned her BFA in Studio Arts from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts Diliman. In 2018, she held a solo exhibition titled The hand, the secretary, a landscape at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She has also presented work in Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Lao Lianben’s works are often characterized by large-scale paintings that embrace sculptural qualities of textures, materiality, and depth. His paintings are often associated with the simplicity of Zen aesthetics, playing with organic and free-flowing forms within the confines of a canvas. Working through intuition, he embraces stillness, minimalism, and a quiet contemplation amidst layers of complex surfaces and gradients. Lianben has been painting for four decades and began his artistic practice in the sixties. He lives and works in Manila.