Rust Dye Works
Renz Baluyot explores the fragility of man-made surfaces and concepts of decay in his current output of mixed media works by using iron oxide as both subject and material. These works were made mostly by imprinting the oxidized surfaces of found rusty objects into natural fabrics. His works propose not to find beauty in decay, but to acknowledge the nature of degradation, or rather, degradation as part of the natural order of things. Moreover, Baluyot believes that these rust-dyed works not only represent death through decay but they represent the state of living as well.
There is a certain poetry in the process of capturing imprints as they serve as copies of permanent scars that the industrial material endured from oxidation. Some may even consider that the documented patterns formed are related to the different bodies that influenced them. But however the viewers look at them this will always be certain: These mundane objects not only hold memories and material histories, but also speak of unbounded possibilities.
In his recent one-person exhibition entitled Common Decay at West Gallery in Quezon City, Baluyot displayed rust-dyed fabrics formed into familiar shapes of shanty roofing and were presented in box-type frames. The permanent patterns seen on the fabric supported with resin are actual rust patterns from used and degrading galvanized roofing. These forms which were inspired by works of local conceptual artists discusses not of distant and academic ideas but rather of recent displaced communities of illegal settlers and highly populated urban poor areas in Metro Manila as shown in the news (e.g. Agham Road area and Barangay South Triangle both located in Quezon City, Barangay Bagong Silang in Manila). Through these contrasting thoughts, he elicits ideas that concern the individual’s state and behavior within the confines of his environment and the histories contained within them.
If any, change is the only consistent thing in our lives, and more often than not, it involves breaking down and letting go to make way for another. We let used ideas rust as we develop better ones, only to repeat the process of rot as we progress to execute another step further.
Life is a never-ending process of decay, as much as it is also a continuous process of creation. This gives importance to decay as a vital component of life to sustain itself. We can investigate this from different vantage points but we cannot deny its existence. It is a continuous symphony played by slowly transforming everything into portions familiar to dust, leaving seeds of narratives behind. ▪
Prologue/Time Stains series
The subjects in this series were portrayed in the aim of representing “stillness” (Time Stains) and “waiting” (Prologue) while the rusty parts rendered realistically represents the passing of time and the familiar marks it leaves. The rusty shapes juxtaposed over the black and white rendition of subjects highlight the work as it adds variation on depth on the series.
This series is a slight deviation from the regular ones that I do. With Time Stains, I attempt to combine the concepts of Standstill and Rust Dye/Rust-inspired works while also examining different derivatives from these ideas and techniques.