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TAPUSIN! TAPUSIN!

August 23, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A two-person exhibition featuring the works of Bam Garibay and Roger Mond.

The collective consciousness of a country riddled with a tumultuous history is often colourful, with a light that can be illuminating and, at its worst, blinding. And yet as the light dies down we find that woven within the fraying fabric of our shared humanity are a multiplicity of people, whose actions—both as individuals and within their own intimate circles—come to influence the tides of history as they push and pull their way around our lives. It is particularly in times like these that the need for a more encompassing understanding of our place in society—of various upbringings, personal agendas, and the glaring truths of our self-interests—is encouraged. After all, it is only through a thorough examination of our, at-present, harrowing realities that we are able to tread our own collective path towards a more progressive and unprejudiced society.

Tapusin! Tapusin!” dives into this social consciousness, to the players that paint the landscape of today as it continues to move and take form amidst the shifting chaos of our current reality. It touches on the collective whole, on the factions that make up modern society, drawing inwards, into the individual, as it stands in silent fortitude or acute fear, within the fractured spectrum of our capricious social condition. Artists Bam Garibay and Roger Mond explore the dipoles of these realities, weighing from one end to the other the factors that define our progression as a society, and the reasons behind their persisting influence.

Bam Garibay’s works deconstruct the various groups that make up contemporary society—from the educated minority and their nonviolent principles, often trapped between their self-interests and their pursuit of fleeting ideals; to the militant radicals, dauntless, passionate, moved by an intense yearning for political reforms; and to the military, in their faith in hard discipline, gripped with a desire to take over and redo the system in line with their own virtues. Each of these factions hold considerable force over the ever-shifting dynamics of Philippine contemporary politics, imprisoning the individual within its confines, and encouraging the idea that there is an inherent necessity to identify with either one of these systems, and in the process transforming persons into mere identities, faceless amidst the imposing ideals of a greater and more indomitable social phenomenon.

But Roger Mond’s works glide precisely into this territory, into the psyche of the human mind as it grapples with a spectre of a vision that is beyond reach. They examine our individual choices, and the infinite realities that arise from their ashes. There is an emphasis on the blurred lines between good and evil, of an inescapable turmoil that leads, more often than not, to a collective history rife with melancholia and betrayals, and tainted with the dissonance of a chaste hope and an encompassing system seemingly broken beyond repair. The struggle of the individual to make sense of a reality they are inevitably are a part of, and, for some, responsible in having created, whether it be through inaction, passivity, or a malicious desire to take exploit and take advantage of, takes form as an overarching sense of anxiety and dread, a disbelief in the notion that with enough effort, things could get better.

And so somewhere in between these tessellations we are left with the shattered fragments of an aching nation, a people still pining after better days, of bygone eras and hopeful futures. For many, it is far easier to give in and allow oneself to be tossed in the waves, praying only for deliverance without minding the hard work that often comes along with the pursuit of progress. And yet this collective consciousness, despite its persistence, is nebulous and fractured. It is shifting. Simple, impermanent changes are no longer enough. There needs to be an overhaul in the general mentality that keeps this nation drowning in its mistakes and sorrows, a re-rendering of exactly what is important to the Filipino spirit. It is only after breaking from this prison that we could finally tread a path into a fairer and more equitable world.

Words by Elle Lucena

I LOVE YOU, EARTH

August 23, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by David Ryan Viray.

Bypassing, Bystanding

In “I Love You, Earth,” David Ryan Viray wields his oil paints and brushes to tell multifaceted stories that map out a personal journey, employing emotions unsaid, pent-up dreams and covert desires into images that play on truth and perception. Ever fascinated about the artistic process and how it both consumes and contributes to one’s growth, his latest offerings are both inspired and given precaution by the writings of John Welwood, a noted psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher.

Viray dwells particularly on spiritual bypassing, defined by Welwood as “…tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.” The artist has noticed the prevalence of this exercise in an inclination towards escapism with the pandemic currently plaguing the globe and affecting everyone’s lives. As a result, Viray intentionally made an effort to question known realities and the way they are seen on the surface level, playing with characters, scenarios and dreamlike tableaux to try digging deeper into harsh truths and inner trauma.

A familiar subject seems to be in the quandary in what to do next in The Consequence of a Good Painting is a Bad Painter, which suitably sets off the exhibition. The differing textures of painted canvas, wood, stone, bricks, and linear demarcations in the piece lead to an orb hanging precariously on edge, suspended by anticipation of what goes next, while the reflection on it seems to have been from an earlier stage in the process, a tabula rasa. Inertia counters the ephemerality of smoke from a lit pipe, this particular object evoking Magritte’s The Treachery of Images as what an image portrays and its nature seem to differ according to personal discernment, biases and artifice. 

Arty Fist may be applied to the artist’s experience of the day by day in trying to staying productive despite the paralyzing mental and psychological burdens of the pandemic. A study in five phases, common elements– a canvas that demands to be filled, a lamp that should bear both physical light and enlightenment, and grossly arthritic hands with fingers that do not quite know which way to turn speak of the absurdity and twistedness of the situation an artist finds himself in. The appearance of a cigarette that burns slowly into less and less tells of sanity and patience wearing thin, resources almost thoroughly spent.

Old Mang and the Mamaya Calendar portrays a place where nature takes over, plant life framing a sole survivor with a beloved pet, inspired by the jade-studded red jaguar throne found in the Kukulkan pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. His twisted fingers betray the struggles he has been through to exist thus far, and it should tide him over in the coming days. The sun dappled light patterned on his leg offsets the texture of his surroundings, with a cascading white beard leading to a bent knee and his other foot stepping on floor markings reminiscent of the Mayan calendar, touching on conspiracy theories about the end of the world. 

The Professional Mishandling, the biggest piece in the exhibition, is also the most detailed and intricately planned as the scene moves inside a cave and appears as if viewed within a skull, with an eye socket looking out into the sky leading the viewer’s eye. Stalactites glow eerily as witness to a macabre operation, where mists permeate the air and otherworldly shadows inviting a disposition to pareidolia haunt the walls. A patient is brought back to life with a green orb that symbolizes rebirth, renewal and immortality. As witnesses melt away in awe of the procedure, the patient is given a new chance to rise in all his hooded power and potency.

Time stands still in Learning to Play with Fire, with two figures lounging across each other as shadows play in hidden caves and move with the flames of a bonfire. Whether seeking lessons in keeping fire stoked or the biology of warm bodies, there seems to be an intimate conversation in progress while the pair relate and engage. Warmth and comfort suffuse the image as we imagine them communing in vulnerability and defenselessness, perhaps with one teaching the other, both learning in the process of discovering mysteries of the unknown depths and crannies of each other’s psyche and physiology.

Bill Gates features a running man desperately clutching two objects, a canvas of precious artwork that signifies creative agency and production, and a Jin Chan or Money Toad biting gold coins for abundance. It seems the figure is propelled by a quest for power, fame and bounty, whether he is hastily making his escape or securing the objects he so desperately protects and want to keep, but who knows for sure? Beyond the wall, authorities who could be either protectors or oppressors bear silent witness, intentions unknown. Lively puppies, literal spirit(ed) animals join the dash for freedom, excitedly lapping at the man’s heels in gaiety and enjoying the chase.

With each at times humorous, often irreverent mise-en-scène in Viray’s paintings, the artist continues to broaden his practice. The repetition of visual elements: walls illustrate both the structures one finds himself in and aims to escape from; hands grasp at brushes, scalpels, canvases or books, bearing mundane objects as proof of life; caves echoing anatomical shapes show affinity to curves found in nature and human bodies; orbs, lamps, and bulbs express hunger for clarity and illumination; all encompass new worlds to explore under deep umbrage, spectral glows of green and purple, and vibrant blue skies. Tracing an artist’s journey from Viray’s early grayscale, faithfully detailed and minimally-grounded works to I Love You, Earth’s atypical and surreal expositions bordering on visual overload, it seems the direction is towards the expulsion of ambiguous narratives flowing instinctively from his being. If spiritual bypassing is one’s defense mechanism via evasiveness and substitution in the belief that spiritual bandages can cure psychological wounds, the artist goes on an adventure in internal bystanding, or, serving as both spectator and enabler as his innermost compulsions unleash themselves on canvas, rendering life and tangibility to themselves. Loose and reckless, perhaps, but undeniably loving.

Words by Kaye O’Yek

LITTLE WORLD

August 2, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of Paulo Amparo, Vincent Roleda, Rups Kiddo, Marilou Solano, and Andrew Tan.

Smaller and Smaller Spaces

In recent months, the world has undoubtedly become a much smaller place, not so much in distance, but in the spaces we have come to occupy. Physically, our surroundings feel much more spread out, far apart from one another, the once familiar places we used to frequent suddenly inaccessible and, to an extent, foreign. How long has it been since things were “normal”? In some strange fashion, even the word “normal” has become something of an ideal—too far to reach, and too distant even to remember. And yet out of this oddity arises the inescapable reality that as distances continue to widen in breadth, the internal spaces we have learned to occupy mentally have shrunk in scale, almost to the point where its very essence is rooted in a strong sense of internal isolation—lonely, quiet, and to others, altogether maddening—the very antithesis to our inherent social nature.

Little World examines these inner spaces our new situation has forced us into. It delves into the visceral realities of living in a world where mobility, once free and easy to grasp, is no longer within our reach. Artists Paulo Amparo, Vincent Roleda, Rups Kiddo, Marilou Solano, and Andrew Tan dive even deeper, into the very recesses of the mind as it imagines and reimagines reality within the context of this so-called “new normal.” More than just offering solutions, it’s also an exercise in character, as the artists use their creativity to grapple with their own fears and uncertainties. The works created are essentially products of the period in which they were made, a world of colours and details which, while displayed from the white walls of the gallery space, manage to transport the viewer and reimagine reality within the limits of what is allowed in our given setting. It is immersive and inviting, and offers a respite in these trying times.

But the exhibition goes beyond this—it also touches on the notion of choice. In each of the works, the artists take liberty in depicting how our collective responses to any given reality, whether they be limiting or not, still centers on our own individual choices. We learn to make do with what we have, and this ultimately impacts not only our own internal struggles, but also that of the people around us. The exhibition invites us to remember and reminisce, to strengthen and reestablish familiar bonds that have weakened over time. By doing so we are able to create a refuge in our minds, one that is infinitely more colourful and hopeful than the bleak world of today. It is within these spaces that we find respite, and where we are able to welcome others to partake in its warm shelter.

Words by Elle Lucena

DISTANCE BETWEEN US

August 2, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Kirby Roxas.

Nowadays everyone is keeping themselves safe from this pandemic, physical distancing, and following other basic health measures. No more gathering, no more unnecessary errands, must stay at home to be safe. These health precautions affect our normal life, separate us from each other, depriving ourselves to go outside. This pandemic brings us insanity and depression. But on the bright side this is the time to spend more time to our family, to restore times from the past, to take a break from a busy life. In keeping ourselves in distance not only to fallow the basic health protocol but also to see ourselves apart.

Distance between us, is not only about our physical separation against this pandemic but this is also tackles the status of life, the beyond in pursuing the reality. The distance of forecasting of how to plan the future.

INFECTIOUS AFFECTION

A warm affection in a calm endless horizon. A tangible feeling of indescribable words, an intimate passion of a purely emotions. Beyond this utopian scenario is a landscape of uncertainly and insanity. An intangible feeling of doubt and separations, an inmate instead of intimate, precautions over passion. How can these emotions be a new normal?

FATAL ATTRACTION

A classical still life of a roses on a surreal human hand vase offering an attraction. On the other panel of the still life is depicted in an inverted color of human hand vase letting the flowers offered whimsically like a pyrotechnics. This negative hue images might turn attractions into doubt. Interactively the artwork can be also view thru the camera’s effect to conclude if it’s a Fatal Attraction?

QUARANTINA

A portrait of a house wife, who is always stay at home doing all the household chores and her duties as a mother. Putting house on her head signifies her commitment to be a devoted house wife while everyone is just around. During this time of pandemic everyone force to stay at home to be safe, but this house wife will do all the errands regardless of her safety. Quarantina, as a mother, as a Frontliner.

THE PROMISE

The promise land, the playing grounds. The pendulum of life in reaching dreams through promises. Sometimes the other is on top and the other is on the bottom. To play with this game of life one must exert effort to push the other on top. The gravity of promises pushes the dreams weightlessly.

HOW SOON IS NOW

A subliminal portrayal of engagement and commitment. A distance dating on planning a future in trials and in success, in the darkness and in brightness. Whispering the thoughts of intimacy in shaping the fruit of the same dreams.

Words by Kirby Roxas

PERIOD

July 12, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Demosthenes Campos.

Time, Framed

Periodization in art history, whether dependent on the movement in an era or a fascination with common themes set within a specific epoch, has always marked our way of seeing objects of beauty through the years. Picasso’s blue and rose periods found him painting different spectrums of monochrome matching emotional and troubled images that haunt us to this very day. Plotting the development and documentation of art from ancient civilizations to contemporary production has shown over and over again how artists created innovations along the way, often responding to a previous period with resistance and bringing tendencies, stylings and techniques to the opposite direction with each consecutive movement.

In Filipino artist Demosthenes Campos’ exhibition, however, “Period pertains to this particular time that the artist finds himself in while creating, trying to make a living and surviving. Harkening to the past while giving homage to the phases of life and the myriad ways that mark the ebb and flow of cycles, Campos draws strength and inspiration from the genius of artists of earlier generations as he persists in creating his mixed media assemblages in the time of COVID-19. Sagwan expresses stormy seas, but all human beings find themselves in “Iisang Bangka”, sharing the responsibility of synchronized rowing to cross into calmer waters. Time After Time resembles the tiles from a chessboard, where each move has its own slice of time in the game clock and different openings result into varied consequences. Old Fashioned with its bleached wood and pastel colors touches on nostalgia and remembrance. Interval and Span both dwell on impermanence and bridging one phase to the next, serving as pauses and interludes, physically buttressed by wooden slats and string. Heaven and Earth reminds one of an angel’s wings, which signifies perpetual hope amidst hardship and adversity, and faith that there are always better opportunities forthcoming.

As the effects of the global pandemic permeate our lives, it is impossible to ignore the changes they have made to our routines and our very existence. Life and death, sickness and health, suffering and reprieve, all threads loose and tightened are woven into the fabric that blankets the whole world, much like the wood pieces, paint, fibers, string, nails and bolts that keep Campos’ assemblages together. With the artist asserting that what transpires is merely a punctuation and not the end, there lies an invitation to move forward from this one period to the next. About the artist

About the artist
Demosthenes Campos graduated from the Technological University of the Philippines. His fascination with form, texture and the physical characteristics of myriad materials has led him to unexpected explorations in mixed media that dwell on environmental issues, urban landscapes, growth and decay. He has participated in group shows in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, UP Vargas Museum, Ayala Museum’s ArtistSpace and Art Fair PH, emerging as one of his generation’s most prolific abstractionists. A grand prize winner of the Nippon Paint Spray Art Contest in 2000, his works have been cited by other competitions such as third place in the Philippine Association of Printmakers Open Fine Print Competition, finalist in the Instituto Cervantes Letras Y Figuras, and several prizes in the AAP Annual Art Competitions. He also placed second in the 2006 AAP-ECCA Semi-Annual Art Competition, and most recently won an honorable mention from the 15th GSIS National Art Competition 2019.

Words by Kaye O’Yek

STOCKPILE

July 12, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A two-person exhibition featuring the works of Mikko Baladjay and Babylyn Geroche Fajilagutan.

An imprint of a dynamic encounter

It is often in the intersection of experience and resolve that art is created.  In “StockPile,” there is a focus on the interim, in the medium as it takes form on the canvas, directing the flow of artistic creation in ways that are uncertain and, to an extent, almost arbitrary. In their two-person exhibition, artists Mikko Baladjay and Babylyn Geroche Fajilagutan draw on the word stockpile in its most literal sense—an accumulated stack of papers of various kinds, textures, and origin, gathered at random or on a whim, while in transit, or as it sits solitary and forgotten in the corner of a room. The result of years of collection, these pieces tell their own stories, often hidden and silent, but on which a strong imprint still remains to be visible. From these found pieces Baladjay and Fajilagutan create a collection of works that explore a more process-centric interpretation of their art.

Baladjay cites an interest in secondhand objects as one of the main inspirations for his artistry. Cutouts from books and magazines are pasted atop one another and painted over in colours that are bright and visually appealing, drawing the eyes to the curves and textures of the works’ surfaces which manage to complement both the greenery of faraway landscapes and gardens, and the soft creams of book pages that have begun to brown along the edges. Baladjay also returns to canvas painting, drawing influence from the memories of elastomeric and acrylic paints from his earlier years. The resulting pieces are almost nostalgic in perception, with shapes and colours that evoke a rather keen sense of sentimentality. At its core, Baladjay’s works lie somewhere in between the recollection of his own personal memories and that of the materials he employs in his art. What remains is an extensive spectrum of possibilities wherein artist, medium, and audience are able to communicate and connect visually.

Fajilagutan fuses formalism and intuition in creating art, following a process that begins at a particular point—colour. For the artist, this is where she is able to experiment, to indulge as she searches for the colours that may define and further her artistic exploration. She imagines them often in dualities and sets, as elements which, when grouped together, manage to complement and enhance one another. From here on, everything else is guided by intuition; the unpredictability of the artistic process is what marks the finished product. The act of cutting, tearing, and stitching together pieces of paper collected over the years, and of various nature—old plates, random doodles, newspaper cutouts, reject prints, etc.—add a very personal touch to the finished artworks, and likewise create a visual language that is both intimate and stirring. The end result is a mystery and a sweet surprise. For both artist and audience, there begins to exist a palpable sense of discovery in the artmaking process.

The journey in which the medium transforms into art takes centre stage in “StockPile.” For both Baladjay and Fajilagutan, a sense of reverence and sacredness is recognised in their choice of materials, one that is ultimately reflected in the careful composition of each element in their works. Paper is flexible and vulnerable. It decays and weathers. But their ephemeral nature poses a challenge: to break free from the constraints of the medium’s finiteness and create an almost limitless array of pieces with what you are given and could find. As most materials are a reflection of the environment they exist in, in “StockPile,” they begin to reflect more than mere isolated experiences. They become larger and more encompassing. In a time of great turmoil, they are the surfaces on which history unmistakably leaves its imprint.

Words by Elle Lucena

NOUMENA

June 21, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of Bern Cruz, Lec Cruz, Don Dalmacio, Jonathan Olazo, and Vitamin See (Clang Sison).

“The difference between what he{artist} intended to realize and did realize, is the personal ‘art coefficient’ contained in the work.”

Marcel Duchamp

Over two centuries ago, Kant defined Noumenon or “a-thing-in-itself” as unknowable objects – existing only in our thought and independent from human sense. This proposes that concepts are different from what we physically see, feel or touch. Given no theme, Bern Cruz, Lec Cruz, Don Dalmacio, Jonathan Olazo and Clang Sison were given the liberty to create any idea they had in mind. With the limitations from the current state of our country, audience will be limited to only viewing them online. It forces us to fill-in the sensory experience with connecting thoughts drawn from the works’ titles, description and the viewer’s own physical state.

The exhibition invites the audience to simmer on the works, to intently observe the images/sounds despite the present limitations – a virtual space that seeks for the viewer’s intimate attention.

MANANG, FROM QUARANTINE WITH LOVE

June 21, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Athela “Tekla” Tamoria.

The lockdown trussed most of us into cavorting reflection. Tacked to housed stasis, we find objects to fiddle – disfigured dolls, yellowing family photographs, generations-old duster, crumbling baby sneakers, etc. During this downtime, “Manang ❤” thumbs through patchworks of homely rumination and embroiders a correspondence for the mother and child. The artworks reused textile oddments that are scantily accessible within the quarantined house, continuing their sentimental indices. The images are homages to vignetted matriarchs to unveil their domestic acts of hospitality for posterity. During her artist residency at Kaida Contemporary from June 25 to July 6, Athela Tamoria continues to work on household snippets of care that are aptly montaged through the meditative craft of sewing. Contact us for a viewing appointment of “Manang ❤” stitching in progress.

CHISMOSIS

May 31, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A three-person exhibition featuring the works of Pete Jimenez, Jason Moss, and Jose Tence Ruiz.

Nutrition by Attrition

One of the defining attributes of Osmosis is that it works because of water. It works as a quiet flux. Imagine now, as if there were ever any epoch spared of it, an epoch where Chismis, rumor, falsehood, fake news flowed like water. All epochs have had their share, but ours has hit a set of new highs in the channels of Lyotard’s fabled mediasphere. We are awash, floating, in an unending flux, streams, torrents of data, a big part of which may be false. We, in this captive flotation, may not escape absorbing this, a “Chismosis,” as it were, and thus find our sense of certainty, our sense of assurance, our sense of knowing some things are indubitably true diluted, waterlogged, wrinkled like the fingers of an overstaying swimmer.

If knowledge is a source of growth, of psychic nutrition, then our intake is spiked by attrition, by the possibility of deceit, by the toxicity of tort, by just being painfully misled. 2020 in this developing nation we all cherish, is, aside from everything, a flood of this toxin of untruth. Who is to tell which is true or not? Honestly, that’s a complicated question. Without necessarily answering it to everyone’s satisfaction, we deal, we cope, survive, we hope to live to fight another day. The works that Pete Jimenez, Jason Moss and Jose Tence Ruiz offer for this show, “Chismosis,” are like children sucking as much oxygen as they can in a fog of nitrous oxide. They suck it in, hold their breath as long as they can and plod on. Jimenez concocts material metonyms from debris to suggest lawlagging legislatures, daring transport cyclists, and social media cliches. Moss applies a trenchant eye on shallow, even degrading entertainment, apocalyptic paranoia and downright hallucinogenic misrepresentation, all coming to us with the fees that we have invested in Television and Social Media. Tence Ruiz calls out command hypocrisy, the tangle between humans and their self-destructive desires and the scorched earth despair that chaperones the simple wage earning majority.

Chismosis,” while trying to be cute, often wrings acerbic. But even in a caustic chemical blitzkrieg, the onus is to duck, hold one’s breath, avoid dying at all costs and prevail. The three artists of this show uncover their survivalist notions and hope, god forbid, they have chosen correctly. Most of us will have to do with coping from this crisis to the next, finding a flicker of form and beauty in between, like a rusty but well wrought filigreed talisman.

UPROOT

May 10, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A three-person exhibition featuring the works of Pin Calacal, Annie Concepcion, and Noelle Varela.

While the term “uproot” typically connotes the rough displacement of something tangible, in the exhibition “Uproot” artists Pin Calacal, Annie Concepcion, and Noelle Varela paint this process as it occurs within the human experience. The pieces explore how “uprooting” takes form in our everyday lives, as a series of occurrences that are non-singular and ultimately decided by factors that are uniquely personal.

Pin Calacal takes a more direct approach to this process. The subjects in her works are anthropomorphic by design, largely inspired by the ents and entwives, a race of creatures that resemble trees in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. These figures are the central axis on which Calacal explores the show’s main theme. They are in the process of motion, whether voluntary or involuntary, and placed within various surroundings in an effort to portray the experience as unpredictable and able to occur at any given moment. More so, the feeling of being displaced while situated within a familiar space is also depicted, turning the discussion inwards as the audience is led to ask the role that personal choice may play in these situations. And much like the ents and entwives, the subjects have feet, driving home the point that while one may feel severely rooted in place, we each still possess the ability to move.

Annie Concepcion depicts “uprooting” more within the realm of movement than displacement, where to uproot is to step away from what is comfortable and familiar, and move towards something completely novel. Her works feature human body parts as if arising from a sea of birds and flowers, colored in strong reds and blues as they frame each subject carefully, bringing to the forefront the centrality of the human person in the experience of being uprooted. Moreover, this “movement” is likened to a “transition” – a shift from an old reality to a new one which, while at first glance may seem uncertain and rather terrifying, transforms into something that is ultimately liberating.

For Noelle Varela, the act of “uprooting” is the almost instinctual reflex to remove anything and everything that disturbs the harmony between the self and its environment. Her works take on a more literal form, as flowers and small plants are depicted sprouting from in between crevices of walls and floors, fighting to grow and take root amidst the cracks on these hard surfaces. These breakouts are likened to disturbances that occur within the self as it clashes with society and its environment. And instead of seeking out the reason behind these disturbances, much like the flowers that find life in between the fissures of sidewalks and concrete walls, we pluck them out, creating an endless cycle where we continuously uproot and remove the things that ruin our coexistence with our surroundings.

In this exhibition, the process of “uprooting” does not happen in a vacuum. Neither is it confined to a singular experience. Uprooting can turn inward towards oneself, or outward as a response to one’s surroundings. It can be liberating, freeing. In a world strife with turmoil, we take solace in this act of uprooting as a means through which we find refuge. It may disturb, but it may also question, and in effect, answer. In the end, it becomes a personal experience that delves deep into the human psyche, creating ripples that continue to dance and move within and around our lives.

Words by Elle Lucena