In Nicole Tee’s new exhibition titled “A Few of My Favorite Things,” there’s continuous engagement with familiar materials, a cycle of practice, a perennial questioning of the artistic process, a reevaluation and re-appreciation of her valued objects.
Referencing the main character from “The Sound of Music,” Maria, who sings “My Favorite Things” when times are bad, Tee finds the line apt for a title since the exhibition revolves around, as she said, her “current interests and everyday activities, mostly related to the home.”
Since she launched her career as an artist, she has been known to incorporate into her work her activities and interests, like picking and arranging flowers, playing with textile, and browsing fashion magazines and homemaking books. She has been capturing “everyday” objects and experiences from banal to magical and persistently weave them until something meaningful comes out.
“Swatch Book” consists of 28-page textile swatches hand bound by Tee. Within the swatch book is a varied collection of designs, colors, textures, patterns and fabrics. Viewers may touch the textile collection to be able to not only see the textile but also feel them. After all, textile is associated with tactile.
She displays the possibility of swatches not only as materials prior to the creation of another—say cloth or clothes—but that these swatches are themselves art. It is a small collection but may offer a myriad of delightful possibilities for sight and sense.
Inspired by the concept of the mood board, there is cohesion within the entire exhibition. As she mentioned in an e-mail exchange, “I had the room set up to look like a girl’s craft room; thus the pink walls and the arrangement of the frames.” The exhibition then becomes a “site-oriented” production, where the site generated by the work and the individual pieces contribute to the process of signification.
When asked about her interest in the “everyday,” she explains, “For me, apart from the familiar objects and events we associate with it, ‘the everyday’ carries the idea of a point in time, and also the passage of time. It speaks of living in the moment, but implies being in a journey as well. Today is important because, in reality, it is the only time we actually have. But even as we live out today, we anticipate tomorrow. And today contributes to what tomorrow will be.”
“A Few of My Favorite Things” runs until Feb. 1 at Artinformal Gallery, Chino Roces Ave. Ext. Makati