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November 08, 2004

Gerardo Tan transforms the continuum of time into fragments, and translates these into form in “Doing Time”, his latest solo exhibition at Mag:net Gallery Paseo. Featuring Tan’s process-oriented installation works, the show speaks about the transmutations from concept to form: intangible dimensions into distinct and mechanized measurements, complex calculations into basic formulations. It runs from the 19th of November up to the fourth
of December this year.

The installation work featured in “Doing Time” is an extension of the process employed in Tan’s previous exhibition, entitled “Inventory” at the Cubicle gallery. In his last exhibition, Tan installed a functional time clock, containing around 200 slots for time cards colored red, blue and yellow. Visitors were encouraged to “log in” and “out” of this machine
before and after viewing the show, turning the time clock into a register of the total and aggregate time spent by the viewers in the gallery.

In “Doing Time”, the mag:net component of this process, Tan explores the concept of further translating trapped time into three-dimensional form. Here, he gathers all the time cards left from the previous exhibition, computes each amount of time elapsed in the individual cards, and converts them into metric units. An hour spent inside the gallery approximates 1
foot, for instance.

These numerical quantifications of time and space are in turn translated into form. Tan installs wooden rods painted in red, blue and yellow, which all correspond to the individual timecards. A red time card with an aggregate time of two hours, for instance, would be translated into a red wooden rod measuring two feet in length, and so forth. Tan installs these rods throughout the gallery’s vertical spaces, transforming and translating concepts (the presence of visitors in his previous exhibitions and the time they spent in viewing the show) and embodying them through these forms.

Here, Tan displays the intention to distill the essential in an otherwise intangible and complex continuum. Definite calculations and measurements signify the role of mechanization and technological interventions in our “ways of seeing” and interpreting reality. His use of primary colors is an allusion to basic units of form that define existence. His translation of these processes into the form of wooden rods that vary in color and length distill conceptual parallelisms in otherwise individual processes, such as the personal and collective act of visiting a gallery. The interactive and
participatory nature of the installation is also a fundamental aspect of this process.

This venture into producing “visible time” forms part of the current concerns of Tan, who is presently engaged in both educational and administrative work as the Dean of the University of the East College of
Fine Arts, in addition to his art-production.

The show opens on November 19, 6 p.m. at Mag:net Gallery Paseo, located at the Paseo Center, Paseo de Roxas corner Sedeño Sts., Makati City. The installations in “Doing Time” will be on view at the gallery until the 4th of December, 2004. For inquiries, please contact Jhenny at 817-7895 or email [email protected].

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