Romson Regarde Bustillo | more than can be held

Written by Molly Mac
May 3, 2019

Artwork called Proximity Modifier number 2From May 31 through August 10, Hedreen Gallery hosts an exhibition by Seattle-based artist Romson Regarde Bustillo. More than can be held is an immersive, interdisciplinary exhibition of large scale collagraph prints, video, sound and performance that engages with the nuanced networks of visual cues, codes and colloquialisms–imprinted, embodied, enacted and uttered–that are employed by communities to negotiate, claim, and reclaim space. 

cheé-ngak cheé-ngak cheé-ngak

a spell brought me between humid worlds

coveting the last bits of chocolate sauced rice on my bowl

- from I wake, by Romson Regarde Bustillo

Bustillo’s poems serve as the underlying score for the exhibition. On the evening May 31, a range of improvisational performances and readings by 15 collaborators initiate the exhibition program. Additional programming will be announced via Hedreen Gallery Instagram (@su_hedreengallery) throughout the run of the exhibition.

In the Artist’s Words: Romson Regarde Bustillo  

“I populate spaces with images and concepts that question and explore how place, context, and visual cues modify, enhance, and divert meanings. I make art to claim presence; revisit truths; and to brake constructed designations of place. 

“I try to immerse viewers in landscapes of coded and identifiable references. My prints and mixed media artworks are further activated by site specific interventions—be they performances, readings, prompts, or onsite learnings/workshops. The intent being that the viewer-participant revisit how others may interpret certain references and actions based on inherited knowledge. “ Romson Regarde Bustillo, 2019

Artwork called What Maria Knows to be TrueAbout the Artist

Romson Regarde Bustillo is a Pacific Northwest Artist with a rich layered background. Born in the Philippines on the large multi-ethnic/multi-faith island of Mindanao; his family immigrated to the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle in 1978. In his late teens he began to travel abroad; first returning to the Philippines to research Filipino indigenous, colonial, and contemporary iconography; followed by extended stays in Europe and Central America as well as explorations in SE Asia and Africa. On-the-ground research continues to be important to his practice.

His current art studio is in the Central District of Seattle. He is a Teaching Artist at Seattle Art Museum; an instructor at Pratt Fine Arts Center’s Printmaking Program, and a visiting Lecturer/Print Instructor at the University of Washington’s School of Art, Art History, and Design.

He is a recipient of the Larry Sommers Fellowship (Seattle Print Arts, 2017) artist excellence in the field; and co-recipient of the Garboil Conductive Garboil Grant (Estate of Sue Jobs, 2017) for “… pushing the creative act beyond the accepted limits, definitions, or purposes of art while engaging audiences outside the aesthetic industrial complex.”

Visit his website. 

Follow him on Instagram.

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Read The Stranger’s review of his work. 

Learn more about the Hedreen Gallery here.

Credits for artwork, top to bottom:

Title: Proximity Modifier #2. Medium: Collagraph, Etching, Dry point, and Stencil. Size: 44" x 30". Year: 2017. Photo: Art and Soul Photography.

Title: What Maria knows to be true. Medium: Mixed Media on Paper, Collagraph, Serigraph, Drypoint, Etching, Pen, Ink. Size: 23” x 20”. Year: 2018. Photo: Art and Soul Photography.