HomeTUMBAS by Jonathan Joven



05 - 16 NOVEMBER 2023


Art Verité proudly introduces Tumbas, the latest exhibition by Jonathan Joven. The Filipino term “tumbas,” which translates to “equivalence” in English, serves as the guiding principle behind this collection of works, inviting the viewer to embark on a profound journey into the realms of symbolism, material innovation, and Filipino identity.

Joven’s artistic odyssey has been marked by the creation of enduring images, chief among them being chairs and homes, emblematic of domesticity and the cherished dreams of ordinary Filipinos. This thematic underpinning reflects the aspirations and socio-cultural nuances of a nation. Joven embarks on an exploration of monochromatic terrain, offering a contrast to his use of spray paint and pastel. This departure signifies an evolution in his creative expression, inviting viewers to explore a more contemplative, even meditative aspect of his artistry.

In this exhibition, Joven continues to weave his unique narratives using an eclectic mix of materials, such as spray paint, charcoal, and soft pastels on repurposed tracing papers adorning canvas. The synthesis of these diverse elements serves as the cornerstone of his generative storytelling, allowing viewers to dissect the intricacies of his creative process.

In essence, Tumbas encapsulates the multifaceted essence of Joven’s life, both as an artist and a multifaceted individual – a husband, a father, and a perceptive societal observer. His works stand as a testament to his profound connection with Filipino identity, encapsulating the collective dreams and aspirations. Through vernacular images that resonate deeply with local contexts and situations, Joven elevates these everyday symbols into profound emblems of shared experiences.

Tumbas is an invitation to explore the rich tapestry of Joven’s artistry, where traditional symbols converge with contemporary perspectives to forge an intricate narrative. The theme of “equivalence” leads viewers to draw parallels, bridging the worlds of tradition and innovation, symbolism, and introspection.

Ultimately, Joven beckons one to unravel the profound narratives that emanate from the juxtaposition of established symbols and innovative mediums, fostering a deeper understanding of culture, dreams, and aspirations. It stands as a celebration of Joven’s maturing vision and serves as a testament to his unwavering commitment to portraying the essence of Filipino identity.

-Carlomar Arcangel Daoana