February 24 - April 8, 2023
From Art League Houston:
“Art League Houston (ALH) proudly presents The Secret Society of Grief, a public art installation by artist Royal Sumikat. In an era where the COVID pandemic forced grieving loved ones to find alternative avenues for processing emotions and finding comfort, Sumikat offers the viewer a space to feel connected and understood. This piece is the visual accompaniment for Sumikat’s poem written after losing their father unexpectedly in the summer of 2022: Grief is a secret society. A mystery school of initiates Who gather
To hold each other up And Only speak of it discreetly to Protect the comforts of the uninitiated. Grief members gather around in support of a new initiate to the Grief Society. Each of them carries a crystal representing the rarity and beauty of the love they had for the person who passed away. The new initiate struggles to lift themself up from the floor as they bear the immense weight of the gigantic crystal symbolizing love’s double-edged sword: the deeper the connection, the heavier the loss. As time passes, the crystal, still rare and beautiful, reduces in size and the seasoned initiates take on the duty of supporting new members as grief becomes more manageable to carry. Everyone eventually becomes initiated.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Born in the Philippines and currently residing in Houston, Texas – multimedia artist Royal Sumikat (they/she) is a dynamic human and a futuristic artist. They work with spray paint, gouache, acrylic paints, markers, and illustrates with Procreate. The images in their works come off as if they’re contradicting each other but are intentionally done to highlight contrast and juxtapositions in colors, textures, and ideas. Sumikat’s work is informed by their experience as an immigrant, organizer, and priestess – taking inspiration from the spaces afforded by these different identities. Storytelling and mythology is prevalent in their work as they aim to strengthen the connection they have with their ancestors. Sumikat’s murals can be found throughout Houston, including A Home in Each Other, commissioned by the Moody Center for the Arts. In 2020, they were selected for the Artists On Site: Asia Society Texas Residency. Royal has been awarded the Artist INC Fellowship, The Printing Museum Letterpress Intensive Scholarship, and The Nancy Lutton Printmaking Education Fund and has exhibited at the Blaffer Art Museum, McNay Museum, and Seismique.”
1953 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, 77006 TX
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