Van Tuico

gravel, acrylic, cement, G.I. sheet, spray paint & plexiglass on canvas, 152 x 152cm, 2018

Unexpected no. 2
acrylic, gravel, PVC pipes & acrylic polymer on canvas, 152 x 152cm, 2018

Down and Up
acrylic & cement on canvas, 152 x 152cm, 2018


In these series of works, Van Tuico plays with materials like words. Tuico takes us in a space that’s almost transitory yet transient. With canvases smeared, layered and painted like walls in an alley. Images come to Tuico like flashbacks, reminding him of the past, present and an imagined future. He undergoes a complicated process of grabbing images from different places. At once, the viewer could be confused if his canvases speak of a single place in time or several. His works could remind you of someplace familiar or bring back memories, which are forgotten in isolated spaces, which are generally perceived as a place of intrigue, danger and solace.

“Alleys often come with a negative connotation—a space where the diabolical ensues and a place people avoid. The structures that make up an alley are left to witness the everyday wear and tear of those same structures, brought about by the natural decaying process of life and the occasional manmade vandalism. In retrospect, it is unoccupied; it could either be a dead end or a passageway to a greater destination. In the alley there can be a sense of ownership because it is in this very space that one is free to act on their own will. It is in that very periphery that one is able to make the space their own. I find solace in the alley because of this. It is a refuge, where I go to seek nothing or alternatively, to find answers. Alleys need not always be bleak, for in those same spaces one can find, just as I have, a quiet space; a place where I can find myself over and over again.” — Van Tuico

Born in 1968, Quezon City in Philippines, Tuico has had several solo exhibitions across Philippines. Since 2008, Tuico has exhibited alongside reputable artists in the Philippines. He is also a finalist at the GSIS Art Competition and the Exhibition Center for Contemporary Arts. Tuico’s works can be spotted amongst corporate and private collection, at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Shangri-la at the Fort, the Conrad Manila, amongst many others.