Patrick Flores, Nature is Material, Site is Work: Philippine Artist Junyee’s Installations

The first lecture in the 2021 Sydney Asian Art Series, delivered on 1 April 2021.

This lecture offers remarks on the ways to annotate the artistic work of Philippine artist Junyee germane to the concern for the category of the “environment.” In this regard, the initial proposition is to conceive of nature as material and site as work in the specific context of modernist sculpture and contemporary installation; and the aspiration is to discuss a possible shift from a history of environmental art to an ecological art history, or the imbrication of these two methods that elaborates on the double bind. Crucial in this approach is the materiality of Junyee’s practice that is organized around the following: wood/things; vine; climate; guava; and site. Inflecting these reflections is finally a consideration of the political and the ethical in the social world of art and the art history of the natural. Junyee is acknowledged as one of the initiators of installative art in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and a diligent advocate of the mediation of local materials in the production of contemporary form. He has extensively done projects in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, and Cuba in a career that begins in the sixties and remains active in the present.


Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He is the Director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was the Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019 and is the Curator of the Taiwan Pavilion for Venice Biennale in 2022.

This event is part of the 2021 Sydney Asian Art Series, convened by Olivier Krischer.

Learn more about this lecture series here.

The series is co-presented by the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre, The Power Institute, and VisAsia, with support from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


Junyee, Kwarantin, Bamboo, paint, 2020.