A Workshop on Painting by Patrick Cruz

Filipino-Canadian artist and RBC Painting Prize winner, Patrick Cruz, opened the series of art workshops hosted by the “OFWs amid COVID-19” team. Participants in the workshop were from different fields including education and design, with most of them based in the Philippines and China. In this workshop, Cruz introduced his multimedia works that span installation, painting, performance art, etc. Art is unplanned, and is based on feelings, Cruz said. Cruz introduced the attendees to an art practice that deeply draws from the personal, which in his case, is his experience of mobility as a Filipino immigrant to Canada. His connections to the Philippines seem to shift over time now that he navigates both the Philippines and Canada. Through moving between the Philippines and Canada, he navigates his rootedness in both places and learns more about himself as well as the larger Philippine context that spurred mobilities such as his family’s. 
Cruz’s artworks present a critique of art production emerging from canonical art production in the West.  Art can stretch the boundaries of the medium. For example, paintings do not have to be limited to two-dimensionality, and they could crawl from the walls to the floors and ceilings. Painting includes graffiti or video work. Painting can also be performed. For example, through his training in clown school, Cruz learned to “stretch” the limit of artistic expression to include happiness. Audiences do not have to observe art from afar. Audiences can also be invited to interact with art, and even step on them, and touch them. His talk about his works was open a vibrant discussion on space and boundaries of art-making and art-appreciation. 
We recorded Cruz’s lecture and workshop for you, in case you missed it!