But that is why science fiction in space travel is so fascinating. Storytellers create worlds that have never existed, madly building on a fragment of evidence. At the edge of real life, they precariously dive into the future with their boundless imagination.
Dan Matutina, an avid reader of science fiction books and adventure, finds himself bringing it front and center in his recent works as an illustrator and graphic designer. The fantasy of a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut and lunar exploration lives on in his illustrations.
And now with another venue to experiment, he explores the element of space, as one of the components of design encapsulated within a story that takes him to outer space. He opens the exhibit with his story of a hero off to see the conclusion or the beginning of worlds, to document, and be in awe of a rare opportunity presented to him. The illuminated sculptures act as bookends to the story. The breaking and the shattering into pieces, is a metaphor that shines a light to the unknown.
Crossing borders and thundering through a foreign countryside, Dan sees something surreal. In the middle of a field, rolled up haystacks bask under the stark afternoon sun. Not quick enough in grabbing his camera, he settles for furiously sketching that image from memory. That is how his imagination takes off. Real life adventures give birth to new artistic work.
Taking cues from his sketches, he proposes to create new images that are equivalent of a haiku. He attempts to strip landscapes down to its essential, most basic shapes. Putting aside his usual preference for heavily textured digital illustrations, he decides to experiment with serigraph printmaking. With black paint, he lays down the distinct figures against the textured expanse of white watercolor paper. At the tail end of the exhibit, pieces from broken planets are siphoned into the second sculpture that will take them to another unknown galaxy.
Because there’s a limit to what we know, we can’t always rely on the truth. Fiction does not hold us back. It helps us spring forward into new worlds. This is just one way it can end, or we can find another storyline to follow. We can go through that wormhole and see where that new mystery will take us.
Words by Dang Sering