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

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