Identity and Ritual



‘Rituals help generate group solidarity, physically and mentally. In interacting and participating in such formalities, the identification and placing of the self is cohesive with the expected norm that a particular group recognises. Over time, pattern and symbols are formed through the repeated cycle of such ceremonies, in turn forming the basis of beliefs, morality and culture of a society and more importantly, individual identity. 

My practice involves creating conversations between the viewer and the painted surface, by creating a visual language through the use of colour and bold brush strokes, enticing my audience to read into the composed image.

I am fascinated by the subject of Identity and how it is influenced in connection to the practice of Ritual. My work is based on my Filipino heritage, exploring this cultural Identity in relation to rituals specific in the southeast Asian archipelago of the Philippines. Missing out on ritual rites and other ceremonies that take place in the Philippines, I am in limbo by having a dual identity. Heavily influenced by these practices, I reconstruct images by using the pictorial spaces of childhood memories and non-specific fictional or real experiences (that I may or may not have partaken in), making the design appear vague and dream-like. Purposely making the images more exotic, I have perhaps become an outsider of my own origins’.


Joseph’s work has been chosen by the RGU Arts and Heritage Collection, RSA New Contemporaries, the VAS Graduate Showcase and has been shortlisted for the Grampian Hospital Arts Trust. Follow his process and see more beautiful work via Instagram, where you can also get in touch.