Headshots is a installation which features an array of ceramic balloon-like heads and light projections. The balloon-heads are inspired by the artist’s recent visit to this home country of the Philippines, where a new craze had sprung up consisting of giant brightly coloured inflatable toys. Vendors lined the streets, some of which were so full almost everything else was obscured from view.
“These toys, sold for next to nothing and made for less, lined the streets. On some streets there were so many vendors that the inflatable toys obscured almost everything else from view. Cheap, synthetic, short-lived and easily replaced, the inflatable toys seemed to encapsulate many of my anxieties about change in my country.”
Mark Valenzuela's (Philippines/Australia) practice combines painting, drawing and ceramic installation. Internal and external conflict, anxiety and repetition are residing themes that Valenzuela explores to reveal the ways that an individual adjusts, conforms and rebels against his/herself and the society in which they live.
Valenzuela has exhibited widely in his home country of the Philippines, Australia, and internationally. Most recently, Valenzuela has exhibited at Vargas Museum (Philippines) and the 3rd Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale at the National Gallery of Indonesia, and Asian Art in London with One East Asia.
This is Valenzuela’s second showing at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Australia) after his inclusion in the group show Dress Me Featherless (2015) curated by Fiona Gavino.
Valenzuela is a recipient of the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards and the Arts SA Individual Development Grant (Australia). His solo exhibitions Warzone and Zugzwang were shortlisted for the 2008 and 2012 Ateneo Arts Award respectively.
In addition to his own artistic practice, Valenzuela has organised and curated numerous exhibitions over the past decade. In 2013, Valenzuela co-founded Boxplot, a flexible arts project aimed at supporting opportunities for collaboration between Australian and Southeast Asian artists.
Valenzuela is represented by Artinformal, Manila.