Saturday, October 23, 2010

Travelogues angie & gregory's joint exhibition . 25th Oct to 27 Dec 2010 . presented by Santa Cruz County Bank
Special Event
Santa Cruz County Bank Arts Collaborative & on
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Photos & Video by angie tan burns Text & Painting by gregory burns (all rights reserved)

Travelogues, featuring paintings by Gregory Burns and photography by Angie Tan Burns, documents a decade of travels in pixels and paint and a cross-section of their nomadic journey through Morocco, Italy, California, China, Indonesia and Thailand. Additionally, new works by Gregory Burns, which have not yet been shown, will have their debut in Travelogues. One time Santa Cruz resident, Gregory Burns began part of his journey into becoming an artist at Cabrillo College under the tutelage of Tom Allen and Tom McGuire amongst other fine local instructors. Gregory was awarded the Tom Allen Award and a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute. Twenty-five years on, Gregory?s recent works focus on his various travels between and from his homes in Singapore and California. Angie Tan Burns, the daughter of one of Singapore?s pioneering contemporary artists, captures images through photography, and then works on the photographs with multiple layers of acrylic paint. Because of her deep connection to painting and enjoyment of texture, she often prints or mounts her photographs on canvas creating a painterly finish and feel to provoke the viewer?s attention.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mactan Resort & Spa
cebu, Philip

Two decades ago when first visiting Cebu, I was taken back at the sight of huge ships turned over like turtles on their backs, still tethered to the jetty. Hurricane Ofa had recently crashed into the islands and left a sea of destruction. Then as now, I was amazed at the resilience of the locals who seem able to take all in stride and continue singing.

This trip to Cebu was to speak at a Green Day Conference organized at the Shangri-La Mactan resort. With a panel of distinguished speakers, all experts in the fields of ecology and conservation, I felt markedly under qualified. The message I tried to convey was one of stewardship and that we can all be positive role models. Translating this into action however, proves a bit more daunting a task. Using less and recycling more would be a start. I recalled my first college apartment in which I made it my mission to turn of lights after people left rooms. Sadly, the owner of the lease did not like this attempt of mine to save the planet and I was asked to find other accommodations. We cannot always be popular when trying to do good.

Cebu is blessed with some of the planet’s most abundant reefs; the diversity of life is astounding. Yet this is all threatened by man’s unconscious attempts to feed himself. Through pollution or fishing methods, the area is an example of how the Garden of Eden is loosing its garden status. Plastics alone are one of the main culprits. I referenced studies provided by Plastic Oceans at, a foundation set up to help clean up the seas of this deadly intruder. Scuba diving in the area offered a stark reminder of what dynamite fishing can do to coral reefs. Thankfully, there is now an ocean refuge where fishermen are discouraged from destroying what is clawing itself back to life under the sea.

We can all do our part to use less and recycle more. It is just common sense but one way we can make our tenure and impact on the planet gentler.

Friday, October 01, 2010

artist in residence . Made in MuTianYu .

Photos & Video by angie tan burns Text & painting by gregory burns
(all rights reserved)
Hunkered down in Grandma’s House at The Schoolhouse at MuTianYu has been invigorating. The grounding influences of village life mixed with the intriguing vistas of the Great Wall have fueled and filled my creative spirit. Hawks and pine trees pepper the skyline while we hike the Wall and country roads.

My studio is the converted Schoolhouse art room. Left to my own devices I have transformed a perfectly clean and respectable space into a splatter-filled chamber filled with paintings in various states of disarray and hungry mosquitoes seeking foreign investments.

After working through dozens of sketches and small paintings created while traipsing through the Wall and the surrounding neighborhood, I begin working up some canvases. Thickened with images of the Wall and old village homes, I try to make some sense of our residence for the month. Returning day after day to the same menu, slowly the digested images begin to take shape on the canvas. The first brooding colors are replaced by some optimism. The details of turrets and portals dissolve and are replaced with gestures and colors.

In the end, nothing survives except the fleeting glimpses of a magnificent month of painting in and around one of China’s unique natural and man-made wonders.