Month: July 2019

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VISTA PARCIAL

July 28, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of Carlmel Belda, Cezar Cardel Jr., Christian Carillaza, Mark Francisco, Siefred Guilaran, Lyndon Maglalang, Isidro ‘Manong Jon’ Santos, and Franz Marion Vocalan

A fraction of a whole

“By judging everything based on a single unit, we enter into conclusions on mere fractions rather than eventualities and collective manifestations of a whole. Our thoughts are limited to what’s in front of us, and our imagination is too lazy to go beyond the immediate. Our gaze is fixated on just a part of a bigger picture, focusing only on the physicality rather than the potential.”

Excerpts-KUTA

Vista Parcial” is a play on the senses. Using a variety of media, KUTA Artists Group members Carlmel Belda, Cezar Cardel Jr., Christian Carillaza, Mark Francisco, Siefred Guilaran, Lyndon Maglalang, Isidro “Manong Jon” Santos, and Franz Marion Vocalan create a series of works that provoke and challenge the way we typically perceive reality. Each piece becomes a window to a new world, where buildings, figures, and everyday objects are carefully draped in a choice combination of colours and forms, every shift and nuance in hue an attempt at depicting a reality that is often changing and, at least for the human eye, quite fleeting and difficult to grasp.

Taken from the Spanish phrase which directly translates to “partial view,” the exhibit allows us to realise the human mind’s tendency to assess reality only in fractions, always gazing towards a significantly limited view of what actually exists, and in the process, ultimately simplifying the physical into smaller, distinguishable elements that are easier to comprehend. Varying in composition, form, and technique, the subjects come to life as semi-real possibilities of the realities we tend to overlook. They are presented in multiple sets, each possessing a distinct character that prompts the eyes to move, from one frame and figure, to another, and the next, and so on, in a steady rhythm that stimulates the sight to imagine, observe, and identify, between the things we can see at first glance, and those which conceal themselves beyond the sweep of our restless eyes. In “Vista Parcial,” the act of seeing is transformed into one of seeking, where we eventually are able to tap into a reality that is often obscured and hidden from plain sight, and where singular fractions of reality shift and blend into a fuller and more encompassing perception of the physical space we reside in.

Words by Elle Lucena

KUTA
Nabuo ang KUTA Artists Group noong 2005 mula sa dating magkakasama sa grupo na KAKTUS kung tawagin. Si Isidro ‘Manong Jon’ Santos ang tagapagtatag nito.
Dating kasapi si Manong Jon ng Neo-Angono at Angono Junior Ateliers. Kabilang sa mga kasapi ng KUTA sina Siefred Guilaran, Gretel Balajadia, Dzen Salanga, Cesar Cardel, Franz ‘Nano’ Vocalan, Aui Suarez, Christian Carillaza at iba pa. Karamihan sa kanila ay mga naging estudyante ni Manong Jon sa workshop na kaniyang naibigay at mga nag-aral at nagtapos sa URS Angono College of Fine Arts.

A DISTANT CLOUD OF SMOKE

July 28, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Eric Guazon

Weapons of Repression, Technologies of Violence

In “A Distant Cloud of Smoke” by Eric Guazon, his eleventh solo exhibition, the artist uses his paintings to remind viewers to always be mindful if they are being led astray. The bright colors in his pieces serve as both warning and beacon shedding light to the cognizance of what is actually going on, instead of our sights being misled by illusions perpetrated by those in power.

The paintings in the exhibition serve as platforms for his razor-sharp commentary as the artist utilizes his toy soldiers motif to site the present administration’s “War on Drugs” into context despite its current popularity and wildly proclaimed approval ratings, which is only part of a bigger agenda: acceptance and normalization of the government’s deal with China, the occupation of the West Philippine Sea.

Guazon’s Occupied Territory tackles this issue, as we hear the President himself announcing at his recent State of the Nation Address that guided missiles currently exist in the Chinese-occupied islands in contention, that “can reach Manila in seven minutes”, calls the sinking of a Philippine vessel with 22 endangered Filipino fishermen a “marine incident”, and admits that though the West Philippine Sea is ours, it is not under our control. The artist depicts Chinese-built structures on this piece as seen from above. As he inserts a mirror imprinted with the image of a starving child flanked by a red launch button and compasses, he seemingly asks where we as Filipinos go from here. The viewer sees himself reflected in the mirror, confronted by undeniable truths as he is surrounded by toy soldiers, other structural installations with X marking the spot, fish and faces in relief, as well as a small Philippine flag raised on the West Philippine Sea that may appear too small to be significant to the powers that be.

X-Site, Tandem and Boy-Toy locate the artist’s molded toy soldiers into different settings, each bearing a different significance — that of pawns to a markedly bigger war on lives misled by propaganda in an effort to lessen resistance to issues of sovereignty, a horrified glance and cry for survival with the word HWAG in the last moments before a riding-in-tandem ambush (now averaging four killings a day, according to PNP statistics), and the involvement of children as they bear witness, and fall as victims themselves, to the scourge of unlawful attacks brought upon by the incitement of killings of small fry suspected of involvement in drugs.

It is in Smoke Screen, however, a four-by-six-foot diptych, where the artist strikes back. In the midst of mundane advertisements for plumbers and termite control seen everyday on street posts, Guazon inserts defiant messages that belie the death count, state administration directives and its victims, and assert the true signs of the times from the perspective of artists. In this piece, he uses cardboard, commonly used as temporary cover for felled bodies, thoughtfully placed handle with care warnings and images of faces that may be substituted with the viewers’ visages if only they let their imaginations go there. 

At this age where the words of those in power are weapons used to repress, and even violently wound with hate comments and false claims, where foreign power-wielding and technology far more advanced than ours cowers national leaders into submission, Eric Guazon’s “A Distant Cloud of Smoke” is a foreboding and a fair warning that these brutal exercises in ruthlessness should be viewed as engravings on a passenger side mirror as we hurtle into an unknown future as a nation — they may be closer to us than they appear. With propaganda disseminating fear and confusion amidst the haze of incoherent, profanity-peppered proclamations, it is time to be wary of the ruse.

Words by Kaye O’Yek

MISC.

July 7, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of selected abstract artists

Beyond shape and form

At its very core, abstract art encourages novel ways of perceiving reality. Subjects are reimagined within a limitless visual spectrum; forms are schematized and simplified, drawn with expressive inventiveness using a variety of techniques. The process of creation becomes the finished product itself, where every splash of colour and curve of a line becomes its own subject. Abstraction in art goes beyond simply rendering reality in simpler forms; it involves a return to the very aspects and qualities that constitute a work of art.

Historically, abstract art first emerged as a reaction to the more traditional forms of art-making. Where perspective, shading, and three-dimensionality were the basis of excellence, abstract art sought to place emphasis on the formal qualities of an artwork. The soft brushstroke that often disappeared within the shadow of a strange figure is now brought to the forefront, sometimes a vibrant dash against a clean canvas, at times locked in an elaborate dance with other colours.

MISC.” examines the various ways that abstraction manifests in art. An exhibition involving the works of over thirty different artists, we are presented with a stunning display of artworks that study how shape, colour, and form can evoke an emotional response without necessarily representing a true-to-life rendition of reality. Each piece becomes a personal experiment on style and technique, a document of the artists’ actions and process of creation; colours and shapes are arbitrary, always moving and shifting form. We are prompted to imagine and reimagine, as the resulting works glide between a visual reality that is both literal in its existence, and fluid in its perception.

Abstraction in art elicits a return to the visual, in its purest and truest form. In “MISC.,” the works possess an inherent expressiveness, one which shies away from the realistic impressions of the more established and widely-recognised classical art traditions. Rendered in a variety of arrangements, each piece provides a singular and unique peek into the artists’ minds, where reality is set in a constant process of revisualisation, and where the language of perception is as fluid as the colours on a plain canvas, or the careful sweep of the artist’s hand.