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2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Marina Cruz (b.1982)
Sanguine Pink(Painted in 2021)

Oil on canvas

147.3 × 121.9 cm. 58 × 48 in.

Signed in English and dated on bottom right

2021, CANS Asia Art News October, Issue No. 201, Taipei, p. 11
22 – 25 Oct 2021, Art Taipei, Mind Set Art Center booth, Taipei

Mind Set Art Center, Taipei
Acquired directly by present private Asian collector from the above

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Taipei Mind Set Art Center and signed by the artist

The Tender Heart Beneath the Armour
The Eternal Love Language of Marina Cruz's Textiles

"Those intimate memories, perhaps like well-worn shirts laundered many times, have developed their own distinct patterns, adhering effortlessly. You hardly feel its presence, yet in every move, you're aware it journeys with you."
——Bi Shumin, Chinese female writer

In 2021, the major solo exhibition Tide Table: Marina Cruz took place at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, showcasing the complete creative journey of Filipino female artist Marina Cruz spanning over twenty years. The exhibition features nearly a hundred works, all based on "textiles". Through various mediums such as oil painting, sculpture, photography, embroidery, and text, it presents to the audience stories of textiles that are rich in "family ties, history, lineage, and life", eliciting profound resonance among viewers. The textiles depicted in her works all come from Cruz's family: In 2002, she stumbled upon a collection of a hundred little dresses hand-sewn by her grandmother for her twin daughters, and she was deeply drawn to these garments imbued with love. In 2003, she graduated with honours (cum laude) from the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. Over the next twenty years, she connected these garments through her creations, bringing forth the emotions and beauty of the textiles buried in the passage of time, time and time again, through each gaze and depiction. With her delicate yet powerful creations intertwined with memories and emotions, she has made a remarkable impact in the art scene - In 2008, she was awarded the grand prize of the Philippine Art Awards and the Morris Awards. Her work Embroidered Landscape of My Mother’s Life: A Biography also received the Ateneo Art Awards in the Philippines. She was invited to conduct research at the Visual Arts Center of La Trobe University in Australia, which garnered attention and marked the beginning of her active involvement on the international stage. She has successively held solo exhibitions in Germany, France, Australia, Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan, and other locations, bringing her artistic charm with a unique perspective to audiences worldwide.

Clad in Armour, Yet Harbouring Gentle Sentiments Within

Different from the majority of works that mainly depict soft fabrics like dresses and shawls, this work Sanguine Pink distinctively opts for a more starched coral pink vest as its subject. The front of the vest unfolds symmetrically in a Y-shaped manner, with the upper collar slightly revealing the buttonholes of the back opening, along with the intricate stitches hidden at the back, each strand narrating the deep affection of a mother's skilled hands. The intricate folds on the front side imply the traces of long-term wear, reminiscent of memories, as they unfold, fold, and store time after time, leaving behind deep imprints of time. Upon initial observation of this piece, one may not immediately recognise it as a vest; instead, they may find themselves immersed in a sea of abstract pink, drawn to the the undulating, light-and-shadow-shifting hues of joy, that evoke the innocent smiles of children. Just as the title of the artwork, Sanguine Pink, suggests, the term "sanguine" originally means "ruddy" and also carries the connotation of "full of hope". It engraves the smiling faces of children, brimming with hope, into this garment. She appears to have fashioned the garment into a castle for children: the shoulders stand as towers, the pockets as windows of the eyes, and the front of the garment serves as the gate, slightly ajar, extending an invitation to explore her inner world. Though the rosy-cheeked innocent child has now grown into adulthood and become a mother herself, the garment she once wore still carries her smile, the traces of her growth, preserving the most natural and fitting pattern that is uniquely hers.

One can imagine that Cruz, with her brush, meticulously traces the paths of each stitch and thread, like a magnifying glass, unfolding the small garment into a grand panorama before our eyes. The vest, much like every strong yet gentle mother, stitches together vests and erects walls for her children, hoping they will be as robust and healthy as armoured warriors, yet inside it is warm and soft, like the tender affection shared when they are together. As we approach and scrutinize the vest, we find concealed within it streaks of dark blue lines, reminiscent of the coursing of life through veins. The sharp angles of the folds delineate the interplay of light and shadow, tightly enveloping this life like a sturdy armour, while amidst the radiant hues, they conceal her and their smiles deep within.

Price estimate:
HKD: 200,000 – 400,000
USD: 25,500 - 51,100

Auction Result:
HKD: 384,000



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