Untitled (Celestial Motors)
Untitled (Celestial Motors) is a visual meditation on an icon of modern urban Philippine life—the jeepney. This ubiquitous form of public transportation, originally built from U.S. military jeeps left on the islands after World War II, is normally exuberantly painted and personalized. They are known for their crowded seating and kitsch decorations, which have become an omnipresent symbol of Philippine culture. Taniguchi’s formal video portrait focuses on a gleaming stainless-steel example, fresh from the Celestial Motors factory. Stripped into its basic form and shot against a white backdrop, almost like an advertisement, Untitled (Celestial Motors) bears the jeepney as an object of study. Nearly static, abstracted details of the jeepney are intercut with deliberate pans across its body.
Throughout her paintings, sculptures, and videos, Maria Taniguchi unpacks knowledge and experience—connecting material culture, technology, and natural evolution—and investigates space and time, along with social and historical contexts. Whether with her quasi-abstract brick paintings or with the moving images of plain and everyday objects, Taniguchi enforces the action of viewing upon our senses. The consequence is the reinterpretation of the objects, and the attainment of sensorial and cognitive experiences.