“People call me an artist or a designer, I call myself a karpintero.”
A silent, but pivotal figure in the Philippine woodworking community, Benji Reyes’ functional sculptures inspire the sculptural style of Philippine contemporary furniture.
After earning academic units in architecture at the University of Santo Tomas in 1977 and later in fine arts at the University of the Philippines in 1982, Benji took on woodworking as his artistic vocation for the last 28 years.
Benji’s free-spirited approach to the craft had set him apart very early in his career. He challenged traditional approaches to material axiomatics in carpentry as he deliberately avoided the use of nails to fasten pieces of wood together.
One of many aesthetic virtues of well-crafted pieces that transform his oeuvre into unique art-pieces.
A prescient eye could easily discern Benji’s constant fascination with and absolute understanding of reclaimed wood by his mere act of choice and combinations of material; which strive to establish and maintain the work’s functionality with the harmonious integration of innovation in furniture making.
On a more practical front, his artisanal touch has set his own standard and at once identifies an area for its production of beautiful objects very distinctively a BENJI REYES work.
KOLEKTOR series, as these art-pieces are called, are vital and relevant today in the design and art scene, probably even more so celebrated than ever before.