Inspired by the famous poem of Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”, that seeks to suggest a way of life that uplifts us to noblest and most transformative possibilities, Maria Isabel Garcia, a most learned woman of science (Curator of the Mind Museum and Managing Director of the Bonifacio Art Foundation) has authored a series of poems entitled “Considerata I to VII.”
Using the language of science, these poems call attention to our place in the universe. It visualizes our physical insignificance in the awesome entirety of space and yet convinces us of the quintessential effect, human kind can initiate, if we but harness the unlimited potential of the human spirit. The message is most relevant and meaningful in these times where the noise of technology has numbered and derailed us from finding the authenticity of our inner selves.
This is why we are gathering a group of artists and designers to create their visual interpretation or commentary on particular verses of the “Considerata” series. The exhibit will be a spiritual communion of science and art; a visual exercise towards re-awakening our essence; a wakeup call to find our true significance in the still on-going cycle of Creation.
Artists: Assemblage 1, Mark Bautista, Ninel Constantino, Benjie Cabangis, Cesar Caballero, Fitz Herrera, Chachu Lascano, Rico Lascano, Lenore Lim, Dan Matutina, Abe Orobia, Paul Quiano, Jay Ragma, Cid Reyes, Mitzi Reyes, Eghai Roxas, and Tof Zapanta.
Fitz Herrera, a dedicated abstract artist was born in Caloocan, and raised in Nueva Vizcaya until high school and then relocated again to Manila for his college education. It can be said that his initiation and exposure to partly rural and then city life provided a good contrast which nurtured his creativity. Growing up and maturing in these immersive and disparately distinct environments and their textures mixed with his experiences profoundly shaped his thinking and aesthetic character; the province being quiet and then later Caloocan being a more squalid replete with the harsh realities of urban life and economic struggles. Also, he was raised in a strictly conservative Catholic tradition which provided him the sensibilities and contradictions in his later life that would sharpen his instincts, thinking and emotional acuity.
To Herrera, the personal will always be the key themes, context and wisdom of his art always capturing moments of candor and sincerity. Naming exhibition titles and even works after his personal situations, they are bent on life reflections, his triumphs, his pains, his damages and interests. Although he believes that artists and the creative individuals should have some kind of faith as a stimulus to live and act, he believes that experience is sole driver of his creativity. They are imprints of his journey as an artist and as a person. They are not triggered by his social surroundings but more so the weigh and the effects of his own experiences that he amplifies on canvas.
Assemblage 1 is composed of Daryl de Veyra, Mica Agregado, and Patricia Lascano. Although having backgrounds in design, they have collaborated with both local and international artists in the fields of contemporary art, sculptural art, and new media. The collective’s members, as individuals, constantly seek to investigate different mediums with their art intersecting through multiple fields. They have participated in various side-projects and exhibitions that include the use of interactive tech, experimental sound art, and sculpture casting.
Exploring possibilities brought by new media and influenced by sociopolitical issues, their works are part experiment and part commentary. Using a juxtaposition of rudimentary materials and present technologies, they encapsulate these concepts and urge the viewer to participate in the piece.
Rico Hualda Lascano captures the essence of Zen aesthetics in his minimalist paintings in which white plays a crucial part in setting the mood of calmness and quite. Lascano has translated the traditional Asian philosophical concept of Zen and Daoist wu wei to t into the Modernist vocabulary of gestural abstraction. With more than 12 solo exhibitions in the Philippines, New York, Hongkong and Singapore, he has an international audience all of whom has lauded his works for its calming and meditative effect.
Always demonstrating a restless and experimental character, from an early age he strived to get in contact with other artists. This strive to learn led him to Ibiza where he met well established painters with whom he explored different techniques and styles, some a little unorthodox, such as the overloading of industrial resins, the mixture with acids, giant photography transfers and monotypes over walls.
Cesar Caballero’s work is characterised by its vivacity, encompassed in the movement of the lines, the selection of colours and the striking energy emanating from his subjects. As an artist, he continues to explore materials as a means to reach the epitome of dynamism.
Tof Zapanta is a painter, illustrator, designer, and art director based in Manila. He worked as a Senior Art Director for Design for TBWA\ Manila before pursuing a career as a Graphic Design Track faculty member at The DLS – College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, and a lecturer on design, art direction, and illustration for several universities in Manila. He now works as Founder and Festival Director for BLOOM, an annual art and design festival in Manila. He has been participating in group exhibits around galleries in Manila, Southeast Asia, and around the world since 2006, his work has also been featured in several publications in the Philippines, Australia, UK, Asia, and Africa.
Ninel Constantino holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design from the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. She has been a faculty member of the UP College of Fine Arts for the past 16 years and is also currently serving as the program coordinator for the Industrial Design program. Aside from being part of numerous group exhibitions, she has had 11 solo exhibitions since 2008.
Majority of Ragma’s works are water based acrylic on canvas. His works derived from linear dynamics; angular forms and powerful lines conveying a sense of dynamism. Abstracted forms and structural space frames are combined with synthetic cubism and application of visual kinetics, giving the impression of a flurry effect and attempting to capture movement and speed. His past and experience of life inspire him to create, to become an artist.
“I want my viewers to see the beauty of life. I want them to feel alive, to feel blissful, inspired and to see that life is worth living. My pieces represent the concept of movement. I want them to feel that life is all about moving. Life will always be moving forward”.
The exhibition will run from March 2, 2019 until March 30, 2019, at the Alliance Française de Manille Gallery.
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