Month: March 2020

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March 22, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A group exhibition featuring the works of Filipina artists Diwa Abueva, Babylyn Geroche Fajilagutan, Nina Garibay, Paola Germar, Shalimar Gonzaga, Arco Iris, Genavee Lazaro, Pam Quinto, Maia San Diego, Marilou Solano, Tekla Tamoria, and Janelle Tang.

The Woman as Artist

For much of history, the artist was a man. From ancient antiquity to the high renaissance, man was always at the forefront of artistic development, whether it be in developing novel techniques and art-making processes, or beautifying the surfaces of important historical landmarks. Even the concept of the artist as a genius – an all-knowing, well-rounded individual marked by the likes of Da Vinci and his contemporaries – was personified and imagined as a man. The question of woman’s role in art history persists through the ages, and it is only in recent times that we can finally assess why and how these conditions came to be so.

To the question of why there are no great women artists, Linda Nochlin responds that the conditions for art-making did not allow for women to become artists in the first place. There are, indeed, some women artists who have managed to make a name for themselves, but they are very few compared to the countless male artists whose works continue to grace large museums and private collections. However, things today are much different. As more and more women pursue artistic careers, we are given the opportunity to study the ways in which their persistence in art-making continues to shape and form the contemporary art scene as we know it today.

An annual celebration by Kaida Contemporary, “Wombvox” brings together a selected roster of talented Filipina artists to showcase their recent works. Varying in technique and style, the exhibition is a study on the contemporary art scene and how the inclusion of women artists continues to change and further art-making as a practice, and how, finally after all these years, the role that women have begun to assume in art history has moved from being muse and model, to creator.

Words by Elle Lucena


March 22, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A two-person exhibition featuring the works of Lui Gonzales and Jezzel Wee.

The intricate relationship between plant and animal life by far surpasses civilisation in age and function. Tracing back to the Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago) which signalled the entrance of animal life onto land, entomophily pertains to the process in which pollen from various (and often, flowering) plants are distributed by insects. While frequently overlooked by the common person preoccupied with daily affairs, such a minuscule process undoubtedly serves to be one of the underlying structures that keeps nature functioning. In the two-woman exhibition “Entomophily,” Lui Gonzales and Jezzel Wee make a return to this process by depicting the intricate and complex dance between these age-old creatures, and in effect, highlighting the crucial role that pollination plays in a world that is slowly losing its connection to nature.

Gonzales derives inspiration from specimens of insects that are often collected for the purpose of observation and preservation. In her works, however, there also seems to be the aim to present, and to render the degradation they suffer due to man-made actions that continue to negatively impact biodiversity. Each of the pieces are formatted in such a way that every detail, no matter how tiny or obscure, is brought to the forefront. By magnifying them to better fit the human sight, their complex build and structure is brought closer and made more familiar to our eyes.

Wee recreates the enchanting diversity of plant life through her ceramic works, choosing the medium to emphasize the fragility and complexity of her subjects. Her pieces invite the audience to view them from afar, as smaller parts of a larger whole; as the eyes move closer, however, they become more and more distinct in appearance and character, each detail rendered in lifelike form as if caught in movement.

At its core “Entomophily” brings us back full circle to the very processes that predate human life. In a world that is slowly beginning to forget our roots in nature and the systems that keep it thriving, the show serves to be a reminder of the crucial role these minuscule processes play, and how their loss may greatly impact life as we know it today.

Words by Elle Lucena


March 1, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A two-person exhibition featuring the works of Mitch Garcia and Iya Regalario.

Sleepover for the Unfeigned Minds

Slumber Party; also known a Pyjama Party or Sleep Over, is a party most commonly held by teenage girls, where a guest or guests are invited to stay overnight at the home of a friend. Sometimes to celebrate birthdays or other special events. The slumber party is often called “Rites of Passage” as a teenager begins to assert independence and develop social connections outside immediate families.

Beginning in the 90’s slumber parties perceived a new trend. Some parents allow co-ed sleepovers for teenagers with boys and girls sleeping overnight together. While some parents decried the trend, others defended it as safer alternative than teenage dating outside.

Iya Regalario and Mitch Garcia collectively set this hyper reality but simulated enigma of storytelling and hallucinogenic party experience over the burning wood that they called, “sLumber Party Stories“; A collection of individual stories reflecting personal interests while using wood (lumber) as the matter of piece is the denominator. Beyond the physical aesthetics it is a material variously represents time and life.

Iya Regalario tells her travel stories about what she heard on spirits lingering onto driftwoods or wooden objects. The rings of a logged tree reveal the years, decades or centuries it has witnessed through time. Mitch Garcia uses wood as a base medium that comes into cardboard matchboxes, paper for zines and wood burning itself.

For Mitch Garcia art is a reflection of the “Quality” living in Manila, subsisting in urban scenario she collects scrap woods from furniture shops around her neighbourhood and what so ever wooden objects she found in the thrift shops, department store, hardware, market and souvenir shops. Then transforming it into upcycled mobile hand carry art boutique which she called Tak Atak similar to mobile cigarette vendo case that they called tatakatak describing the sound produces by sliding the wooden drawer doors. A daughter of prolific advertising art director, she grew up crafting and binding books, folding pop ups and embossing fonts on cardboards as a child’s play thing or doodle. As she went to college and took fine arts major in advertising, she is not interested on the curriculum and subjects because she outgrew it rather skip her classes and sit in to studio arts class, which leads her to explore contemporary visual arts. As she pursue she discovered performance art, theater, video art, new media, digital art and film. Which ironically brought her back to visual communication and advertising discipline. In order to support her art making she accepting freelance advertising jobs. Learning the technicalities from the advertising collaterals while searching the form and medium for her art making. She experimented on package designs particularly on match boxes as an art form later on evolved in to book covers. Having printing machines and equipment for her freelance job becomes advantage for her art making. She is independently publishing her own matchbooks printed digitally but manually die cut, bounded, stencilled, spot laminated and assembled. Self producing meaning she is a one-man army publishing hundreds up to thousand different kind of books she designed and created. The process of creating becomes her mantra and meditation.

Iya Regalario’s manifestation of personal thoughts and feelings about the society, politics and culture is more often not on identity as a Filipino. Rather involves the simplicity of daily experiences and exposure to complexity of what is being a “Filipino” or ultimately human being entails. As for her artistic process her discipline is in storytelling and illustration. She started experimenting on wood which she discovered the challenge of diligence and patience to withstand long hours of burning to create images on wood or pyrography since she works on her first exhibition.

Iya Regalario is a Filipino visual artist centered on illustration, wood pyrography, installation and murals. Her art pays tribute to the function of images as exposed identities, visual narratives, philosophical case studies, and agents for social change. It introduces her personal visual deconstruction of socio-political and cultural realities to purposely enforce questioning, contemplation, and to move the spectator.

She had her first solo exhibit entitled Don’t Forget to Breathe in 2014 at Altro Mondo Contemporanea where she first discovered her fondness for wood. This was followed shortly after by De Anima in Kaida Contemporary, her first pyrography show in Manila. From here on out, Regalario pushes the boundaries of her medium to experiment more with wood art, and to explore more research-based and philosophical concepts as seen in her next shows, Purveyors of the Preferred View (2017) and Naïveté (2019), which were held in Altro Mondo and Metro Gallery, respectively. She has also joined several group shows in the Philippines.

Regalario believes that collaboration, public art and community are vital in developing one’s creativity and identity as an artist. She asserts that the unpredictability of public environments, and working with unfamiliar identities keep art fluid, fiery, boundless, and grounded. She has participated in several art festivals in the Philippines including Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival (2013-2016), Manila Biennale (2018), and Katipunan Art Festival (2017).

She is a member of Quezon City-based comics collective, Malantot Komiks. In 2018, she teamed up with Baguio-based visual projections artist Goose Industria to create projection -mapped murals in various public places in the country. The duo, named Sulô Projects, have also started curating group exhibitions to promote the spirit of art and collaboration.

Mitch Garcia is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Manila Philippines who works on the premise of: Graphic Design, Performance Art, Painting, Video, Installation & Print. A bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising in 1999 (Philippine Women’s University)—her work crosses over Urban Advertising concepts & Contemporary Art in a 3rd world setting.Her creative concepts which challenges and originates (usually from live action) where actual reactions of cause & effect takes place, from which her works evolves into collages of sorts. She has performed both individual and collaborative: 2003 NIPAF Asian Performance Art Series Japan, 2004 LELIEU Internationale D’Art Performance Art Montreal & Quebec Canada, 2005 MIPAF 1st Macau International Performance Art Festival, 2006 Segundo Encuentro Arte Corporal Caracas Venezuela (among others). Recently in 2015 she has also performed in P-NOISE Copenhagen Denmark. She has also done performances for local independent films: Such as Melancholia (A 9-hour film by Lav Diaz) and Khavn Dela Cruz’s Kumander Kulas in late 2000, worked as Art Director for Mondo Manila 2 (Alipato) and has mounted several exhibitions simultaneously.

Her video works has been shown in the “End Frame Video Art Projects” & several other countries from –Such as PERFORMATIVITY Singapore, NIVAF Video Art Project Japan, and IMAGINE spoils of love 9-installations Greenbelt 5.She is one of the founding members of TAMA –Tupada Action and Media Art in 2001,Participated in ASEUM (Asia Europe New Media Art Symposium) 09, and Fete Dela WSK (among others).In 2008 founded INC –Innovative Noise Collective .Co-founder Artist Coordinator for the 1st Manila Biennale Open City in 2018. At present, she is a full time artist while on the side runs her Manila based design team MG Freelance Creatives.

Iya and Mitch reminisced and simplified the narratives on story telling as you enter their sLumber Party. But be aware how the pieces can penetrate your senses like you are standing still beside the burning woodpile stocked and hallucinating in burning cold sensation inside their tell-tales wandering and waiting to the climatic blow and asking where the story ends. As they telling the narratives they apply some of the sentences from Sol Le Witt as principles on art making such as; “The concept of the work of art may involve the matter of piece or the process which it is made. The process is mechanical and should not be tampered. When words such painting and sculpture are used they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitation on the artists who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond limitation. And irrational judgment leads into new experiences.”

Words by Ian Madrigal


March 1, 2020 | Archives | No Comments

A solo exhibition by Ikea Rizalon.

There exists an undeniable semblance of comfort in old images of strangers from the distant past. Vintage photographs tell a story of wonder, of splendid figures dressed in almost extravagant attires; in essence, a momentary pause in a reality we could only imagine. In Ikea Rizalon’s latest solo exhibition “Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing,” she makes a return to the allure of this fleeting past, inviting the audience to indulge in the comfort and simplicity of these frozen realities.

Rizalon’s artistry is rooted in technique. Against the backdrop of a blank canvas, she recreates scenes inspired from vintage reading materials and magazines. At first glance, it is clear where this influence is taken from. The figures in her art are like characters in classic films and print advertisements. They watch television, lounge around a settee, and engage in domestic chores like cooking and ironing. However, beyond these subjects, Rizalon carefully details a world that is captivatingly charming. Furnishings are painted in attractive colours and hues that match and complement one another; nature is lush and thriving with life; and open spaces are roomy and inviting. This is a world that tempts and entices, and perhaps that is the intent behind the show.

But for Rizalon, these images are more than just a recreation of the past; there is the aim to redefine and give meaning to them. In a world where they remain simply as a testament of an era gone by, Rizalon manages to breathe life and vigour into these realities, by letting the finished works be as equally important as the process of creating them. Known for her use of thread, the act of embroidery becomes a means through which she leaves a mark on her art, a sort of identity – unique, distinct, and very personal. They are scattered all across the canvas, and stand out as focal points that draw the attention of the viewer to one specific area of the work. Their placements are more than just random; for the artist, they represent an insatiable itch to be at ease while bound only to a certain space.

In “Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing,” the romantic and visually-stimulating take centre stage. Compared to previous shows, Rizalon becomes more playful with her materials and technique, resulting in figures that are as alive as the bright splashes of colour that frame the canvas, each work a window into a distant world, where men and women with perfectly coiffed hair and crisp tops and dresses lounge about in an almost lackadaisical fashion. It is the charm of opulence, contentment, and safety that is most reflected in these set of works, and somewhere along the inviting textures of the velvet cushions and soft carpets, there is this rather tempting invitation to stop and savour these transient snapshots of a rich and altogether familiar reality we rarely find in the fast-paced present of today.

Words by Elle Lucena