Folded Landscape: A New Breed of Philippine Sculptural Art

June 11, 2021



Paolo Castro

At the tender age of nine, Buensuceso considered himself a weapons maker, creating knuckle dusters for local fraternity gangs in his province in Bataan. It was the first object he has ever sculpted with metal, birthing an artist in the making. The pioneering techniques and processes that Buensuceso learned as a child in order to manipulate difficult mediums such as metals and wood continue to be incorporated in the creation of his original works. 

Over time, his work evolved with the creation of sculptures and masterpieces at much grander scales, a sign that he was not afraid of using unconventional materials, mediums, and techniques. Buensuceso’s collection of awards alongside the endless national and international recognition and praise over the years as an artist feels like a pat on the back, an appreciative gesture for each work that has a piece of Buensuceso’s heart and soul, pieces that he calls the most valuable elements in art. Buensuceso’s talent for crafting masterpieces beyond imagination through the manipulation of different mediums is heavily inspired by the works of Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, and Pablo Picasso as well as the design of Frank Ghery, Ron Arad, Charles and Ray Eames, and Harry Bertoia. 

Buenssuceso’s latest work, ‘Folded Landscape’ is a large masterpiece of bold red metals that seem to fold onto one another so effortlessly, resembling folded origami. This project is attributed to Buensuceso’s inspiration from the architects’ power to transform natural grounds into folded landscapes, quickly transforming their vision into reality.

An emerging renowned artist in furniture design, Buensuceso has taken on the challenge of transforming art pieces into functional conversation-starters. Marrying innovation and creativity, Buensuceso has proven that an artist is not constrained to a single form of art alone, but is only constrained by their own thoughts. In the creation of new pieces, the beginning and the end are his favorite parts of the creative process — the beginning where he sits quietly as he stares into the nothingness, and the end where he gives his last breath that completes the piece.

‘Folded Landscape’ evokes not only passion and chaos from its striking red hue and striking contrast against the achromatic grey background but it also evokes discipline, structure, and precision with each metal carefully crafted and molded into a red, mountain-like origami.

From humble beginnings as a local artist receiving international recognition, Buensuceso believes that Filipinism is about the artist’s heart and soul.

“It’s not just about the color and images you use in every art piece but it’s your stand that if you believe that you are a Filipino, anything you do, you make, and you say is Filipino.” 

Incorporating lines and organic forms in his creations, Buensuceso reinvents what “Filipino art” is, straying from commonly associated ethnic designs and taking on a more bold and modern yet unconventional approach towards artistry. For Buensuceso, regardless of the concept, style, medium, and technique, an artistic piece crafted by a Filipino artist already makes it Filipino art.

Continuing to brave the waters to redefine Philippine contemporary art and paving way for the emergence of artistry outside the limits of conventional thinking, Buensuceso remains inspired and driven by the inspiration found around him and has continued on to his next grand project of installing more than 1,000 bulus made of kaingin ashes as a movement to restore the natural forests our country has lost.

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