Light in the Darkness features paintings and drawings by Danilo Arriola from the collection of the artist and his first collector and patron, Architect Dan A. Lichauco. Both hailing from University of Santo Tomas, artist and architect share a love for the classical and somber, simplified subject matters that speak with symbolic meaning.
Arriola’s quiet paintings highlight images of everyday objects, often left unnoticed in some storage room or curio cabinet. His uncanny talent is his ability to intuitively choose an object—perhaps connected to his own memories—infuse it with personal meaning, scrutinize it to bring out the drama, highlight it like in theater, and create a mood around it, while coaxing the play of light against shadow. Hushed in their simplicity, the unnoticeable is made iconic, majestic, and timeless.
Using the technique of chiaroscuro that creates dramatic, intense light and shadows on the objects, his paintings are somber reflections of life, death, presence, and mood. Arriola shares with us the piercing beauty of objects subtly touched by light and always seen from the perspective of shadows. Light captures an object in a moment, or is it a moment that captures the light amidst the shadows?
Light in the Darkness is the first of Yuchengco Museum’s Choices: Collections of the Personal exhibition series. The 2016 to 2017 program explores how and why collectors, artists, and creative personalities collect art, allowing patrons to co-curate and select artworks from their own collections and to share their passion for art with the public.