Adding Negatives

Miguel Lorenzo Uy: Adding Negatives

From one’s point of perceiving reality, the eye happens to become the starting point, the center. Outside the eye, an indiscernible, yet infinite form of energy calls everything into existence: light. It enables vision, and vision, thus calls for perception. The metaphor of light is present in almost all cultures of society. It is the awakening of knowledge and intellect, revealing everything it touches. As light can travel through a vast near-infinite distance, and almost in an instantaneous amount of time, light becomes all-knowing and inescapable. We see what light touches; we sense what light reaches. Visible light becomes the boundary to what we can call our physical reality.

Since the beginning of his artistic practice, Miguel Lorenzo Uy has been interested in working with light. It always has an immediate effect on one’s overall experience and its heavy symbolism throughout human history and culture has interested and influenced most of his works. In Uy’s first solo exhibit, he materializes the properties and behaviors of light with different materials and uses paper as a ground to record light’s very presence: a testament to the boundary of everything existing, where we move, think, and live within.

Inspired as well by how the eye works and functions, Uy also presents a participatory piece in the exhibition. Echo (2018) mimics the eye as an instrument. The artist invites its viewers to place an object on the platform. From the act of placing the object, the object then becomes the subject, the mirror becomes the eye, the image becomes the thought, and the perciever becomes the echo.

In this exhibition, he also makes use of the digital camera to capture everything that sunlight can touch. The next step is producing digital negatives of the photographs, finally developing the images on paper using photosensitive vat dyes. The image is formed with the help of the Sun and the shadow of the negative.

Adding Negatives explores the notion of light as a boundary, how one perceives their field of vision as the center of one’s reality. Understanding the whole picture entails one in acknowledging the shadow. Without shadow, without its negative, one cannot simply, concretely exist.

Awakening, 2019, Lumen print on 185gsm cold-pressed Aquarelle Arches, each 21 x 29 cm