Seeing Red: A Series on Bernardo Pacquing’s Experiences in Lockdown Opens the New Year for Silverlens Galleries - Arts & Culture

Referred to as the red paintings, the huge monochromatic diptychs signal a new phase in the artist’s oeuvre.

Silverlens Galleries’s 2022 with “Disquietude,” a show by Bernardo Pacquing. The series was shaped by the precarity and separation the artist lived through while in in lockdown in another country.

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Referred to as the red paintings, the huge monochromatic diptychs signal a new phase in Pacquing’s oeuvre as it breaks away from the textures and colors that defined his practice in the past.

Most notably, red is used as the dominant color for the first time. It is a particular shade of crimson, dark as venom or the night. In some, it looks like the red of flesh wounds where feeling is numbed beyond recognition because of torn nerve endings.

Another canvas has the shade of weathered red seen in temples, the color used by ancient religions to ward off evil spirits. Within each work are glimpses of lighter colors layered earlier in the process of abstraction with spots of orange, yellow and even gray peeking through.

Born in Tarlac in 1967, Pacquing graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in 1989. He was twice awarded the Grand Prize for the Art Association of the Philippines Open Art Competition (Painting, Non- Representation) in 1992 and 1999.

He is also a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2000, an award given to exemplary artists in the field of contemporary visual art. Pacquing received a Freeman Fellowship Grant for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States.

A 15 piece series of smaller framed collages smothered in layers on layers of glossy red are also included in the show.

Bereft of a working space and access to materials, Pacquing used these oil-on-cardboard compositions to build and assemble works that gestated full- term into the larger canvas groupings found in the show.

Bernardo Pacquing’s abstract paintings and mixed-media assemblages have been widely exhibited in the country and overseas. His public art commissions can be found in Luzon and Mindanao as well.

“Disquietude” runs at Silverlens Galleries until February 12. For more information, visit

Text by JOYCE ROQUE and photos courtesy of SILVERLENS

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