Wawi Navarroza
As Wild As We Come

About the Artist

Wawi Navarroza is a Filipino contemporary artist known for her works in photography, actively exhibiting in galleries and museums in the Philippines and internationally. Her images explore Self and Surrounding as seen in her works in contemporary landscape, constructed tableaus and self-portraits. Informed by tropicality within the dynamics of post-colonial dialogue, globalization, and the artist as transnational, her works transmute personal experience to the symbolic while probing materials and studio practice; all perhaps to mirror a path to understanding a deeper sense of place & identity.

She has exhibited widely in the Philippines and internationally, with continued participation in international photography festivals and art fairs such as Art Basel HK.

She currently lives and works in İstanbul, Turkey.

Provided by: Erlyz Santos, Silverlens

Curatorial Notes

Photography becomes a supple and eloquent medium in the hands of Wawi Navarroza, whose body of work delves into the complexity of identity, the fugitive nature and definition of place, and the tension between what is presented and what is perceived, between fiction and fact. Her latest exhibition, As Wild As We Come, at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London last year, marks a transformative period for the artist, who recently became a mother and moved from Manila to Istanbul. This time, her focus is directed toward the “female experience, motherhood, and bodily transformation.”

Her recent series of works celebrates motherhood with a riot of color, fruits and flowers, containers symbolic of being a “vessel of life.” A birthday cake depicts her own rebirth as a mother. Navarroza employed an in-studio collage process in which she builds up her tableaus as extensions of the self, investigating aspects of her personal experience against the stereotypes surrounding the Orient. Seen through the lens of “Tropical Gothic,” a term coined by National Artist Nick Joaquin and which refers to a syncretic blend of local, Spanish Catholic, and American Pop culture, her works exalt the hybrid, diverse, and multi-layered contexts from which they have emerged.

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