Up and coming talent from different artists is showcased in these galleries. The new Blanc gallery brings together the past galleries that were located at different points in the Metro, now all conveniently found in one place.
Fusion of Horizons (Horizontverschmelzung)
“A person who has no horizon is a man who does not see far enough and hence overvalues what is nearest to him.” – Hans Georg Gadamer
Marc Arcamo offers us an exuberant yet unpredictable variance of subdued greys while employing repetitive forms of human figures. His elements seem to be floating in horizontal flatness however multidimensional it may seem to appear. His recent paintings inquire about themes of impermanence, mainstream culture and urbanism. With the use of geometric prototypes, his paintings have resulted in a fusion of abstractions. Arcamo has intuitively created these pieces with the intent of deviating to a certain degree, dissonance of memory — images culled from his insights about existence. His works are suggestive of pared-down treatment of elements and design that seems to be in flux.
His painting series, entitled “Mental Projection” is a combination of the realistic style with decisive exertions of many known genres of abstractions. His incorporation of vintage movie stills, collages and appropriation, hark back to his past experience as an employed artist — he was instructed to work out on existing designs and corporate logos in order to satisfy the whim of his clients. These ruminations about his early struggles as hired artist had a profound and long-lasting effect on his art making.
Based on Arcamo’s assertion, his pieces invite viewers to a world where the visual embodiment of what we perceived of the particular object, is an observation of a person against another person’s — no matter how they see the same horizon. It is likely a counterfeit of familiarization of everyday entities (in our perception of what our expectations of the reality are and what is beyond). Often time, we negate that very same idea of knowledge and disregard of everyday symbolisms that become a redundant cryptogram.
Marc Arcamo’s compartmentalized, maze of dissimilar elegant patterns may sanction us of his personal musing, but quietly imply us not to overlook the multidimensional meaning and objectification of his works. His paintings oftentimes can be interpreted as an amalgamation of geometric manipulations which offer a whole new array of perceptions. Indeed, it is the “vanishing point” as a metaphor of how we look into daily signs indifferently and alternately.
The humdrum rhythm of domestic life seeps into Richard Quebral’s Scene on the Shoreline of Somewhere Beautiful, a solo exhibition that borrows episodes from the artist’s personal life. Prosaic matters such as leaving for work, drawing a bath, and pumping iron are translated into cartoonish mixed-media canvases in pastel shades of pink and green.
Five large canvases depicting snatches of life, illumined by Quebral’s lengthy and descriptive titles, reveal the comings-and-goings of a real-life couple living under one roof.
Take a work called And the Pinocchio Syndrome Activates Again, which shows a man in tasseled leather loafers stepping into the threshhold of his home. He is greeted by the sight of a woman, shown only from the waist down, lounging in front of the television as an abandoned iron steams in the background. The elongated nose and the painting’s title speak of the obvious little lies concocted by the guilty party while being interrogated for an unplanned night out. Like a TV sitcom that turns mundane human interactions into entertainment, Quebral’s cheerful palette and lighthearted touch freshen up a scenario that should be familiar to the point of being unremarkable.
The everyday tedium of Scene on the Shoreline of Somewhere Beautiful is spiced up by the intimate aspects of coupledom. Phallic images in the form of cones — traffic and ice cream, all of them strategically placed and spurting — litter Quebral’s canvases. The Day Seven Seas Got Ruined after They All Thought the Door Was Closed goes a step further by showing a couple in flagrante delicto. Mouths, priapic plants, and spouts of liquid imbue the show with sexual overtones, a feature of Quebral’s work.
While these domestic escapades take place in a house, they are not at all private. “Scene,” in the exhibition title, is a pun on “seen,” and is a reference to the squiggly pink eyes watching from windows or squirming and wiggling across the floor.
Already a recurring motif, the eye is also the main element in a series of sculptural wall-bound works shaped like houses with feet. The idea of spectating once again brings up the TV sitcom analogy and the disclaimer “filmed in front of a live studio audience.” Quebral is both audience and performer in Scene on the Shoreline of Somewhere Beautiful, a comedy that plays out in his own bathroom, living room, and bedroom. — ll
PELAMPUNG DI BAWAH KURSI ANDA
(Life Jacket Under Your Seat)
an exhibition of Surrounded by Water and friends
Jonathan Ching, Mariano Ching, Lena Cobangbang, Louie Cordero, Christine Dy, Paulo Icasas, Geraldine Javier, Kitty Kaburo, Keiye Miranda, Michael J. Munoz with Paul Mondok, Yasmin Sison, Wire Tuazon, Ling Quisumbing and Mac Valdezco.
13 August – 13 September 2016, Langgeng Art Foundation, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
14 October – 6 November 2016, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia
3 May – 10 May 2017 Blanc Gallery, Manila, The Philippines
Surrounded by Water (SBW) was a gallery set up in 1998 by Wire Tuazon and other students who had recently left the Fine Art department at University of Philippines in Manila. At that time there were very few galleries willing to show anything but the most traditional art. SBW became a venue for experimental art and events. Also as Wire and many of his batch-mates were also painters it became a testing ground for a new generation of Filipino painters. Many of these artists have since developed successful solo careers.
Although the gallery came to an end in 2003, the artists associated with it have continued to meet and periodically show together. For this exhibition ten of the original SBW artists have invited five artists they have not worked with before – or only fleetingly – to join them. The aim is to combine considered gallery works with experimental works. Some works were made in the artists’ studio in the Philippines and shipped to Yogyakarta, but much was also made or improvised there.
Life Jacket Under Your Seat reflects a collective DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit of particular generation of artists in the Philippines who refused to rely on the existing art infrastructure, and chose to extend their work through activation of exhibition space and networks, rather than just working individually in the studio. The exhibition title alludes to the issues of resilience, sustainability and solidarity. These are recurring questions for any artist collective or independent art space that wants to carry on in changing times.