Domo Arigato Mr.Roboto

Carlo Tanseco

October 08 - 29, 2022

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Press Release

DOMO ARIGATO, MR. ROBOTO

Lifting the exhibition title from Styx’s 1983 hit “Mr. Roboto,” Carlo Tanseco produces a collection of works that merges abstraction with his interpretations of robots, mainly drawn from popular titles of Japanese anime series. Thus, creating images that seem to challenge familiar approaches in composition and employing elements influenced by the artist’s background in architecture and design.

The use of geometric patterns in Tanseco’s works organizes the material’s surface and places consistency through repetition. These patterns are reminiscent of the traditional Japanese dyeing technique known as Shibori, which creates dye-resists in the cloth by folding, pleating, and bunching. However, in this exhibition, the patterns are disturbed by the sudden emergence of robots and other futuristic representations that appear in unison with the initial image. In doing so, the artist somehow challenges the blurring boundaries between fine arts and design.

In addition, Tanseco remembers a time in his youth when classic Japanese anime ruled television sets while the rest of the world was preparing for a future that technology somehow overtook. However, the exhibition levels the field between tradition and modernity--- that by bringing them together, we move forward carrying inherited knowledge. As such, the works also reveal changes in contemporary times regarding materiality. The artist’s use of resin as an alternative to porcelain when making three-dimensional works indicates the evolution of materials and the honing of attempts to find a medium that would concretize one’s ideas in the present context.

The presence of robots in Tanseco’s works disturbs the anticipation of seeing the familiar. Instead of dragons and pagodas, as seen in many Japanese prints, he incorporated robots and spaceships, which one can view as a disruption to humanity. However, it must also be remembered that the affinity to these robots in such cultures is loosely rooted on account of Animism. As a component of the Shinto faith, it offers the notion that all objects have a spirit, even robots. In the fast-paced shifts and transitions of modern life, we could appreciate a time when patterns are muddled to give way to an emerging world that holds everything altogether: past, present, and future.

- Gwen Bautista

Carlo Tanseco

Carlo Tanseco produces a collection of works that merges abstraction with his interpretations of robots, mainly drawn from popular titles of Japanese anime series in his solo exhibition, “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto”. Thus, creating images that seem to challenge familiar approaches in composition and employing elements influenced by the artist’s background in architecture and design. The use of geometric patterns in Tanseco’s works organizes the material’s surface and places consistency through repetition. However, they are disturbed by the sudden emergence of robots and other futuristic representations that appear in unison with the initial image. In doing so, the artist somehow challenges the blurring boundaries between design and fine arts.

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