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Composite Circuits

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Datu Arellano, Lesley-Anne Cao, Tad Ermitaño, Jett Ilagan, Ian Carlo Jaucian, Mark Rambo, Macatangay, Jon Romero, Richard John Tuason / Curated by Dayang Yraola

Date : June 7

Time : 6:00 PM

Composite is a curatorial series started in 2015. It is focused on performance art and performative art.

The first of the series is called Composite: Environment in Performance. It is a combination of workshop and performance of children of Kayan, Mt. Province, co-curated by Tetsuya Umeda, and world premiere of “Gong-Gong-an” a composition by National Artist for Music Ramon P. Santos, performed by students and faculty members of U.P. College of Music. This project was also participated by choreographer Myra Beltran, U.P. Dance Company, Airdance. A bamboo installation by Junyee, which was originally part of the event prior to Composite, was retained in the venue and was used as a backdrop for Composite. This was held at the University of the Philippines Amphitheater in 23 February 2015.

The second of the series is called Composite Noise(s). It is a cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Manila. Experimental musicians Dennis Wong and Chau Kin Wai from Hong Kong and Eric Chan from Macau, were joined by Manila’s Erick Calilan, Arvin Nogueras, John Sobrepeña and Teresa Barrozo. Fil-Am Alex Abalos also joined the roster. The aim of the project is to gather sounds from Cubao, use it in digital compositions, and stage a performance. The performance has two parts—first is performance of each team for recording; and two performance using Sonopoly (a Monopoly game, hacked to serves as ‘conductor’ of the performance). Audience were not invited for the first performance as the intention is to record. Meanwhile the second performance was intended to accommodate an audience. Audience or guests were also invited to participate in Tambarter (tambay+barter). Tambarter is an informal gathering to discuss various topics concerned in the practice and a barter of products to those who are present. This was held 6-8 January 2017.

This present edition, Composite Circuits, is an exhibit of sounding objects made by artists whose practice is devoted towards building, making or hacking (sounding) machines or (musical) instruments. This exercise recognizes the contributions of pioneers of the field like Luigi Russolo, Leon Theremin and Thaddeus Cahill, in exploring technologies serving dual purpose as a tool and an inspiration in various sonic and musical endeavors. Participating artists are Datu Arellano, Lesley Cao, Tad Ermitaño, Jett Ilagan, Ian Carlo Jaucian, Mark Rambo, Jon Romero and Richard John Tuason. Diversity in terms of exposure and preferred technology, were considered as main factors in choosing the artists. This group will exhibit works that may be classified in three sets—mechanical, electronic and digital. Mechanical works are objects that produce sound when parts are engaged using physical action. Electronic works, involves the use of microchips, integrated circuits, that controls and directs electric current to enable the object to make sounds. Digital works primarily relies on programs and algorithms. Tambarter and Sonopoly are scheduled for June 7, from 6:00PM onwards. Exhibit runs until June 30, 2018.



FIRST LESSONS / an after school special

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Anjo Bolarda, Roberto Sanchez, Dennis Bato, Chalk Zaldivar, Teo Esguerra, Miguel Paulo Borja / Curated by Gary-Ross Pastrana

Date : June 7

Time : 6:00 PM


Dear Artists,

Just to recap what we’ve set out to do for our upcoming show:

The main challenge is for everyone to create a work that is derived from the ‘real world’; something that is objective, factual, verifiable; something that is, perhaps, the product of research and analysis. Here, the terms ‘objective’ and ‘real world’ are precisely chosen to counteract and maximize contrast against specific things. We say real world mainly to distinguish from things that are, by large, products of our imagination, daydreaming or fantasy. We seek things that we can see, feel or hold. Concepts that we can observe and test, verify or disprove. An idea or an object from the everyday as opposed to something overarching, general or purely abstract. The word objective is used to provoke one to go beyond self-portraiture or the diaristic; to uncover new ways of approaching something that is not about ourselves or our impressions, feelings and immediate reactions to external impulses. Why not articulate in a different voice, in another man’s tongue? A shift in perspective, a metaphorical, out-of-body experience may open up new access points in understanding our own practice, how and why we create.

All this talk about shifting voices and change of perspective eventually lead us to look closer into narrative techniques, the various fictional devices that authors, filmmakers and other creators utilize in telling stories. We talked about Rashomon and its landmark use of multiple, contradictory accounts of a single incident. We also touched upon the non-linear structure employed in Pulp Fiction. There are countless other examples that we agreed to be conscious of or be in the lookout for and further study in our own time. The aim is for these storytelling devices to find their way into our working process and somehow inform how we approach the production of our upcoming works.

Please keep in mind that this is neither meant to change our usual, individual working processes nor to say that there is something wrong with it. This is just an exercise aimed at possibly developing new skills that we can later add to our so-called ‘toolkit’. Before we end, just a point of warning: there’s a slight danger that, due to the fact that we are attempting to look beyond ourselves and onto the world-at-large, we might fall into a kind editorial/socio-political vortex and that instead of working on something small, real and specific, we get drawn back to the big, vague and the abstract. Again, there is nothing wrong with this per se, only it would obviously derail us from course we charted in our current framework. (We acknowledge that there’s a time and place for this and perhaps this could even be the subject of our next exercise.) In the end, Just keep in mind that we are still making artworks that will be shown primarily in a gallery setting and will be seen for their formal, visual, tactile, and other similar qualities. Lastly, we created the parameters above in order for us to learn something new and in no way should they become traps that paralyze and hinder instead of helping us grow.



P.S.      In one of our meetings, we talked for a bit about the problem of representing the Filipino beyond the usual graphic and/or iconic markers like the jeepney, the flag or our heroes. Hopefully, some possible answers or even attempts at answering this will seep into our new projects.

artworks >



Artist/Type of Exhibit : Gab Baez & Nix Puno

Date : June 7

Time : 6:00 PM

“Kasama na rin siguro yung sabik na nakangiti sila sa lente nang hindi pa nila agad malalaman kung tama yung ngiti nila, o malaki tiyan nila, or nakatirik ba mata nila, ” Gab wonders out loud, talking about photos from the 80’s. They are the primary reference materials for her paintings: other people’s old photos. “There’s something about how people used to take photos back then that appeals to me. Parang mas proper sila noon magdocument…dahil medyo [mahal] ang film.” She presents these photographs through painting, blurring most faces to conceal what may be a perfectly captured smile or an ill-timed snapshot.

“I used to be more immersed in the music industry. Not so much now. But I get to look at pictures and recognize some things,” Nix relates. Like Gab, he also borrows other people’s photos. In his case it’s active photographers around the music scene. In this series of paintings, he picks a peculiar set of photos –musicians in side view. “I think there’s an intimacy there that the photographers may not readily recognize,” he observes, “You don’t usually see them from that angle unless you find yourself onstage.”


Big Diff puts two artists with a whole bunch of similarities in contrast with each other:

Both reference photographs

Both deal with themes of time and relationships

Both hover around nostalgia

Both talk in value

Both talk about value

Both work on a relatively small scale

Both use the same color palette

Both make use of the immediacy of paper to mirror the instant-ness off picture taking

Both like putting snapshots through the time-consuming process of painting

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