A territory implies exclusivity over a realm, and in an increasingly global community, to cross such territory resonates as transcending limits and boundaries, moving freely between worlds. Leading Southeast Asian artist Ronald Ventura interprets Territorial Crossing as a state in contemporary society in which long-held binaries are collapsing, hybridities emerging, wide spectrums being embraced, and comfortable distinctions and categories being blurred and conflated. Using metaphorical imagery and direct references, the works comment on the transformation of social norms, values, standards and ideals in various aspects of contemporary life, from technology, popular culture, and mass media, to lifestyle and personal expressions.
Several tropes express the idea of dichotomy dissolution and unsettling of clear-cut divides where human lives have long been anchored. In standards of beauty and physical perfection, digital technology in the mass media and advances in cosmetic surgery have blurred the lines between the natural and the artificial. Man’s relationship with animals and instances where distinctions between the two species seem to fade are probed in works that portray humans morphing into animal forms, and animals exhibiting human-like gestures. The struggle of individual freedom of choice and how it challenged social standards are dealt with in pieces that celebrate contemporary fashion as self-expression, and love that defies conventions on gender and sexuality. What emerges in the collection of images is a world where black and white conceptions are reversing and are being punctured by a spilling of diverse colors. It is a world of crossing limits, breaking into new grounds, and leaping into a new era of existence.
Ryan Francis Reyes