fowlerartsbrooklyn.org – Carlos Bunga’s solo exhibition, “Reassembling Spilt Light,” is on display at Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design through October 29, offering a transformative and reflective experience for visitors. Bunga is an artist known for his unique, large-scale installations, and this exhibition continues his innovative exploration of light, space, and social themes.
Sculpting Natural Light
The third-floor gallery has been transformed into an immersive space filled with towering structures made of household materials like cardboard. These structures are strategically crafted to sculpt the natural light that floods the space. The effect is both ethereal and grounded, as the materials’ simplicity contrasts with the complex interplay of light and shadow.
Accompanying these structures are various forms of media, including photographs, drawings, videos, and paintings. Together, they create a multifaceted experience that encourages visitors to engage with the physical and metaphorical aspects of light.
Urban Architecture and Nomadic Experiences
Bunga’s choice of mass-produced materials like cardboard and commercial house paint resonates with his background as an Angolan refugee in Portugal and his experiences with urban architecture. His structures are intentionally void of additional colors, directing visitors’ focus to the light interacting with architecture, symbolizing hope and reflection.
The artist’s connection to temporary housing and his nomadic lifestyle profoundly influences his work. Bunga’s structures can be easily deconstructed, mirroring the fragile nature of makeshift housing and reflecting themes of urban decay, displacement, and adaptability.
Video Works and Conceptual Artistry
Two standout video pieces, “Shadow” and “Lamp,” explore the concepts of destruction and reconstruction. In “Shadow,” light is used to trace the memory a building leaves behind, while “Lamp” sees Bunga smashing and then reassembling a lightbulb, a powerful metaphor for brokenness and recovery.
Incorporating Found Materials
Bunga’s spontaneous incorporation of found materials, such as moving blankets covered with latex paint and plaster, adds another layer of abstraction to the exhibition. These transformed items fill the gallery walls, guiding visitors and echoing the themes of reimagining and reshaping.
Connection to Contemporary Issues
Executive Director Virginia Shearer underscores that Bunga’s work is deeply tied to our current era of migration and climate crises. By using urban materials and reflecting on his personal history, Bunga connects with contemporary humanitarian issues, inviting viewers to reflect on fragility, resilience, and transformation.
Conclusion: A Journey of Light and Reflection
“Reassembling Spilt Light” is not just an art exhibition; it’s a profound journey into the heart of human experience and social issues. Through his artistic practice, Carlos Bunga crafts a space that is both physically immersive and conceptually resonant. He employs light as a medium and metaphor, creating a compelling visual language that speaks to hope, adaptability, and our intricate relationship with our surroundings. It’s an exhibition that challenges and inspires, offering a space for contemplation and a call to reimagine the future.