(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.





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