Month: September 2019

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A three-person exhibition featuring the works of Mikko Baladjay, Babylyn Fajilagutan, and Elijah Santiago

In between spaces

Set against the backdrop of the gallery’s white space, the works from “A Continuous Area or Expanse Which is Free, Available, or Unoccupied” examine the concept of space within the human setting. In a world that is constantly expanding, the abundance of space, and its subsequent lack thereof, becomes a crucial aspect that inevitably influences the way we move and live. Depicted as almost superimposing structures that manage to shift, change, and morph in appearance, artists Mikko Baladjay, Babylyn Fajilagutan, and Elijah Santiago allow a peek into how they visualise space in an impermanent world.

Baladjay imagines space as larger-than-life. Splashes of bright and attractive colours dot a clean white background, bringing to focus how space is defined by intricate details, pieces of nature and everyday life that adorn vast, open spaces. For Baladjay, each piece is a personal testament to the artist at work, drawn to creating as he perceives himself within an external reality which, while certainly perceptible, is also incomprehensible in breadth and form.

Fajilagutan sees space as fleeting and moving. It is defined by shapes and pieces, parts that are discarded and have travelled numerous places. These remnants are imagined as having existed within a prescribed space, and afterwards carving for itself its own place on the canvas. For the artist, even objects that have fulfilled their purpose and are thrown away possess their own space and unique identity, where every groove and texture is distinct and peculiar.

For Santiago, space can be both daunting and fulfilling. Inspired by Brutalist architecture, monolithic slabs of grey structures pierce the dark background of the canvas. They are imposing and intimidating, their sharp edges and corners carefully depicted as if in motion, recreating space as being bound by walls and borders. However, these divisions eventually fall, and the vast and often incomprehensible terrain that space comprises, ceases to be suffocating; instead, it marks a liberation.

Words by Elle Lucena

XAVIER ART FEST 2019

September 28, 2019 | Fairs | No Comments

Xavier School will once again be hosting Xavier Art Fest 2019, to be held on September 28 to 29 (Saturday & Sunday), from 10 AM to 7 PM. This year, Kaida Contemporary will be amongst the 20 exhibiting galleries at the Xavier MPC showcasing recent works by a selected roster of artists. The gallery also organized Figuring Remediation, a three-man show featuring the works of Rolf Campos, Jobert Cruz, and Geremy Samala.

Figuring Remediation

Play with the possibilities of figuration and the pursuit of figuring things out on occasions of crisis and decision. Thinking through the artists’ current commitments in painting—formal, ecological, cathartic—this gathering of works can also be perceived as a common inquiry for a kind of pulse of these dark times and an inquiry towards its remediation.

For more information, check out the links below:

PINAKULUANG SAHING SA PANAHON NG DELUBYO

September 8, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Catcat Mendoza

Ang mga obrang tampok sa “Pinakuluang Sahing sa Panahon ng Delubyo” ay mga anyong hinubog mula sa luwad. Para sa isang tagapaglikhang-sining na gumagamit ng nasabing materyal, isang personal at maingat na proseso ang paglilinang nito mula sa krudong lupa. Masasabi na ang partikular na timpla ng isang manlilikha ay kabahagi ng pagkakakilanlan niya bilang isang manlililok. Para sa kanya, isang pagsasanay ang pagpapalitaw ng mga natatanging katangian ng luwad sa layon na magbigay-hugis sa kanyang ekspresyon. Kakabit nito ang masusing pag-aaral ng lupa — ng mga pisikal at kemikal na kiyas nito.

Sa praktika ni Catcat Mendoza, ang pag-aaral na ito ay may kalakip na mga salaysay ng danas. Ang isla ng Mindoro ay ang lugar kung saan siya nanirahan at naghasa ng kanyang kakayahang humubog ng obrang luad. Dito, kasamang nauungkat sa kanyang paghahanap at pagtitipon ng materyal ang iba’t-ibang kuwento mula sa mga taong kanyang nakakasalamuha. Ang mga kuwentong ito ay mahigpit na nakakawing sa madalas na masalimuot na kuro-kuro sa lupa, kabuhayan at karapatan. Ang mga ito rin ay nakakabit sa buhay niya at pati na rin ng mga malalapit sa kanya. Ito ay ang kanyang direktang karanasan ng reyalidad sa mga kanayunan na siyang umaalingawngaw lamang sa mga kalungsuran bilang mga abstraktong sapantaha. Ang mga reyalidad na siya ring bunga ng isang kaayusang pulitikal na ang pundasyon ay tubo, karahasan at ‘di pagkapantay-pantay.

Itinuturing ng eskultor na mga personal na tala ang kanyang mga obra. Bawat piyesa ay mga pinaghabing kuwento at karanasan na binigyang-hugis gamit ang putik at apoy. Nagsasalaysay sila ng pag-usbong ng buhay at pag-aruga; gayundin ng kirot, sigalot at kamatayan. Ang mga pangyayaring ito ay tumatak sa kanyang alaala dahil sa angkin nitong bigat o kaya’y hatid nitong mangha. Kanyang isinalin ang mga ito sa anyong sining sa pamamagitan ng malayang paggamit at paglalangkap ng iba’t ibang imahen at simbolismo. Ang mga representasyong nabuo ay maaaring tignan bilang bunga ng ritwal sa pagbibigay kahulugan sa mga pinagdaanan. Gayundin, ang mga ito ay mga pagsipat din sa hinaharap. Marahil ang kanyang mga likha ay mga muhon na nagsisilbing mga palatandaan sa mga aral na kanyang napulot sa landas na kanyang tinatahak — mga mumunting bantayog na pinagmumunihan ang mga reyalidad na balang araw ay kakaharapin.

Gaya ng pagyabong ng puno mula sa lupa, ang ating kamalayan ay hinuhugis ng lugar kung saan tayo ay napapadpad. Ang pagnanais ni Mendoza na lumayo sa kalungsuran ay isang desisyon upang maghanap ng kapayapaan at magkaroon ng puwang para tuklasin ang sarili sa pamamagitan ng sining. Ngunit napagtanto niya na ang katahimikan na kanyang nadatnan sa bayan ng Mamburao ang siya rin mismong lumulunod sa mga alingasngas na nanggagaling sa mga kabukiran, kakahuyan, kabayanan at mga pampang. Ang kaluskos ng ligalig ang tumiim sa kanyang malay. May pagkabalisang nakakintal sa kanyang mga likha.

Gayunpaman, tanging sa pagkakasikil o pagkasugat lamang nanggagaling ang landas patungong paglaya at paghilom. Hinahalintulad ni Mendoza ang kanyang proseso sa paglilinang ng dagta mula sa punong sahing. Mula sa isang sugat, ito ay nagiging tanglaw sa gabi ng mga katutubong Mangyan ng Mindoro. Kaya naman, maituturing ang mga obrang ito bilang mga pagsasalarawan ng pagdadalumat niya sa landas na kanyang kakaharapin sa panahong ito ng delubyo. Kanyang hinahandog ang mga karanasan at kuwentong ito sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng sining. Ito ay mga paanyaya na kilalanin ang ating mga pinagsasaluhang sugat sa layon na mabatid natin ang landas patungo sa paghilom.

Words by Mark Sanchez

YUGTO

September 8, 2019 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of Cian Dayrit, Racquel de Loyola, Doktor Karayom, Boy Dominguez, and DengCoy Miel

Reflecting on the crucial issues of the current times, “Yugto” considers and confronts the white space as an arena where narratives of continued struggle are realized through different art forms. Art critic, Alice Guillermo, wrote in “Social Realism in the Philippines” that “the artist consciously situates himself and his art in the historical process and in his society.”(1987) Thus, the artist’s critique of the centralization of power to the country’s one percent in the time of a looming fascism is vital. The works of the five artists in this exhibition are charged with political criticisms and agenda — an invitation through visual forms to engage and organize against the forces keeping the status quo. The word “Yugto” caters to a multitude of meanings; however, all are tied in one trajectory: something that can mean both action and platform. Hence, the exhibition is similar in this regard wherein a spectacle yearns for mass action outside the gallery’s four walls.

The works of Cian Dayrit navigate through ideas of sovereignty and China’s imperial ambitions dating back to the 15th century. Commissioned by the Ming Dynasty, a Chinese admiral by the name of Zheng He led a treasury expedition through the Indian Ocean. Dayrit reflects on China’s exercise of soft power today and undermining jurisdictions in smaller and impoverished countries by examining the empire’s earlier bids on Imperialism.

Developmental aggression is at the centre of Boy Dominguez’s works. The long and violent history of displacement among communities belonging to the indigenous people and the unjust treatment of the urban poor are illustrated in Dominguez’s vibrant paintings. Behind the wondrous are tales of human rights violations, state-sponsored murders, and lack of social justice.

Commenting on the country’s present state of affairs, Racquel De Loyola’s works invite the public to write down on a piece of cloth their agonies, pains, and frustrations under the current socio-political climate. The cloth will be then pinned to the sculptures representing vital parts of a human body. An attempt to capture collective memories or ideas to define what “nation” means, De Loyola ties personal concerns to that of a grand telling that mirrors the pulse of the masses.

The blunt and hard-hitting comic illustrations of Dengcoy Miel bring to the fore layers of society’s ills: from satirical depictions of men in power to what appears to be a cartographic sketch of the Philippine Islands filled with dead bodies; images that depict the perils of an impending tyranny.

Doktor Karayom’s haunting line drawings portray the different stories of people manifested in a display of overlapping images and chaos. A mesh of personal accounts interspersed together, Doktor Karayom’s works mirror the wailings and cries of a nation in subdued horror.

Words by Gwen Bautista