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Jon Poblador: Sanctuary

19 May 2022 - 25 June 2022



Soluna Fine Art is proud to present Jon Poblador’s solo exhibition ‘Sanctuary 聖所’ in Hong Kong. This exhibition marks Poblador’s first exhibition with the gallery showcasing eighteen minimalist, monochromatic paintings. Half of the works were completed recently, derived from the artist’s devotional acts through the accumulation of creating micro-geometries repeatedly. ‘Sanctuary 聖所’ will be on view from 19 May – 25 July 2022.

“I describe my work as religious paintings mainly from the amount of faith and devotion I have given to it. The slow, time-consuming process has nothing to do with patience. Patience is about tolerating discomfort without anger. The fact that I prefer to have my face close to the brush so I can see the paint applied carefully to the surface is part of concentration and meditation. I get lost in it. So, it’s not about patience, but rather about love.”
— Jon Poblador,

Having lived in the Philippines, Singapore, America and China before settling in Hong Kong, much of Poblador’s nomadic life has been defined by impermanence and constant movement. This may explain why he was compelled to find a grounding source and dig deeper into his spirituality. This artistic practice began with him repeatedly copying passages from the Bible as a self-excavation journey to understand Christianity, a religion which he was born into and wanted to connect with more. Hence, Poblador’s early works consisted of tightly packed lines of text before evolving to dots, triangles, rectangles, and the grid system, which he primarily focuses on today.

Rather than dwelling on a passage of words with decipherable meanings, Poblador realized there is a higher personal meaning behind the action itself. As his paintings are the ‘accumulations’ of his devotional acts by painting on the individual grid sections with thin acrylic layers, similarly, practicing virtue requires the same build-up. When looking at his works, viewers often have difficulty telling how many layers of paint he applied. This correlates back to the act of practicing virtue and how its frequency remains unknown to others except oneself. Precisely, this is the reason for Poblador’s obsession with the grid. Instead of acting as a form of restriction, the grid system empowers him to paint repetitively, with each gesture of brushstroke representing his silent prayers and devotions towards the art itself. On a visual level, the grid system offers Poblador an artistic room. His canvas then acts as a ‘sanctuary’ for him to explore the endless possibilities of how duality can be represented, from order-disorder to perfection-imperfection through the slightest deviations of the grid squares.

Beyond the process-oriented aspect, Poblador usually strips down his choices of color palette to a single primary color based on the intuitions of the places he had visited: Del Carmen, Salt River, South Dakota, and more. At the same time, the timelessness of primary colors, together with black and white, is what he fundamentally considers to neutralize the audience’s viewership of his works free from direct interpretations. Moreover, the absence of colors and smooth-surfaced panels may invite the audience to think about the nature of what they are seeing, ‘Am I looking at an object or painting?’. To Poblador, the above discursive power of his art is an indirect form of praise for his devotional acts that are personal and known to himself only. ‘Sanctuary 聖所’ thus becomes an exhibition space of sanctuary that safeguards artists’ creative process and viewers’ open curiosity.


Jon Poblador (b.1971, Quezon City, the Philippines) is a Filipino American contemporary painter best known for minimalist works characterized by monochromes, repetitions, and mark-making. Having received both BFA (Northern Illinois University) and MFA (University of Pennsylvania) in the US, Poblador has always lived a nomadic life including in the Philippines, Singapore, America and China. The artist is currently residing in Hong Kong and is active in the contemporary art scenes in the city and the US, where he's had several solo shows at Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Pennsylvania, Gebert Contemporary in Arizona, and Galerie Koo in Hong Kong.


19 May 2022
25 June 2022
Event Category:


Soluna Fine Art

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