The Silence of J: Of deep spirituality and love of nature

By Minerva Zamora-Arceo
 

SILENCE cannot be appreciated without the tapestries of sounds, and so thus the latest creations of Luis E. Yee Jr., also known as “Junyee,” one of the masters of Filipino art.

Junyee’s latest art reliefs made from sturdy jointed T & G planks, painted in white snowy flakes and eggshells, are now on exhibit at Galleria Duemila in Pasay City.

Junyee in black. (Photo adopted from http://verafiles.org/junyee-ponders-the-universe/)
Junyee in black. (Photo adopted from http://verafiles.org/junyee-ponders-the-universe/)

“The Silence of J” is a manifestation of Junyee’s own investigation of the aesthetics of silence. His compositions pose as diagrams of a utopian idea of peace and communing with nature – in the advent of the noisy digital world.

Junyee is known for his indigenous artworks and his school of thought – the endless vitality of nature and the sincerest value of art as “life.”

According to Junyee, his search for the meanings of life and man’s purpose has long been answered. Through his creations and the never-ending potential of nature, he said he found the answer why “God has no beginning.”

“When I’ve realized the answer, I totally changed what I do. I made it a point to live simply and modestly. I gave up my desires for power and wealth. I wanted my works to depict the simplicity of life and the abundance of nature,” Junyee said. 

Mini Arceo with Junyee and Pampanga Arts Guild elder Long Melo.
Mini Arceo with Junyee and Pampanga Arts Guild elder Long Melo.

Mini Arceo with Junyee and Pampanga Arts Guild elder Long Melo.
Mini Arceo with Junyee and Pampanga Arts Guild elder Long Melo.

Junyee was raised in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. In 1998, he created a winning entry for the Centennial Installation Competition sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Centennial Commission. The artwork entitled “Isang Daan” is an elaborate one-hectare outdoor bamboo installation.
 
Junyee is seen as a candidate for National Artist for Visual Arts. His latest exhibit in Pasay City was attended by his colleagues in the Philippine art scene including the iconic master Jose “Bogie” Tenze-Ruiz, the country’s official representative to the prestigious Venice Arts Fest 2016.

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