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Under Construction

Artist/Type of Exhibit

Date April 19, 2017

Time 6:00 PM

We transform the world, but we don’t remember it.”

- Daniel Pauly

On a weekday along the vehicle-packed streets of EDSA, traffic cones aid us through an ongoing construction.  An excavation is underway to reinforce our roads or repair pipes in our drainage system.  In every other block, a new high-rise building is being constructed.  At this point, we have grown accustomed to men in hard hats, rebars, scaffoldings and construction machines. It is our current ‘reality.’  It is a case exhibiting the phenomenon of shifting baseline that harbors the idea that each generation defines the ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ based on current conditions and their personal experiences.  In some cases, artists present the same collective reality and reflect it with its new iteration, allowing us to examine things through a different vantage point.

Van Tuico’s Under Construction, subverts our familiarity with cement, steel and other construction materials by molding them into works of art.  A view of his works will not provide a pictorial reality that parallels our experience of navigating the streets; rather, it constructs a strangely familiar sense of abstraction.  In it, he is able to animate the materiality of sidewalks, walls and pavements, forging new meanings to mundane objects.  It opens a dialogue on how these materials we perceive as part of our normal street view take over our perception of reality; how they too, can be hanged inside our homes and installed in our private spaces.  In Tuico’s hands, the objects marring the scenic views of the metro are turned into plethora of balance instead of partiality, a design of beauty rather than a corollary of necessity.

In Under Construction, Tuico’s appropriation of construction materials lends us a hand in navigating his artistic vision.  In his works, the sidewalk pavement loses its permanence; rebars and steel exposes their vulnerability; and the endless possibility of texture is cemented.  Each piece drills in questions to viewers, layering moments of introspection and calls out to our own sense of reality – our idea of the ‘natural.’


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Dito Kita Iiwan (This Is Where I Leave You)

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Jeffrey Jay Jarin

Date : April 19, 2017

Time : 6PM

The fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the most coveted houseplants. Grown as a houseplant, the fig easily reaches for the ceiling. In Jeffrey Jay Jarin’s “Dito Kita Iiwan,” however, the statuesque plant is left lying on cold concrete. The plant is robbed of any sustenance: its root ball has no shelter and the previously lush leaves have started turning into crisp brown. Whether the change in color is caused by too much water or the lack thereof, the plant will soon succumb to its inevitable demise. In this scene of neglect, however, the common butterfly palm (Dypsis lutescens) flourishes. Here, the creatures are not treated according to their value, but they live according to their capabilities.

In “Dito Kita Iiwan,” Jeffrey Jay Jarin returns to the characters of his previous works: unseen organisms lurking around and plants still bound by pots (or uprooted from its pot) within a concrete space. Amid the lifeless space, absence of man is the most natural thing.

The artist presents his characters in a state of vulnerability. Unlike his previous works, his latest works acknowledge the fluctuations of life: a philodendron whose leaf edges are turning brown and an uprooted fig. It’s not a question of intention as the artist left the plants to both grow and wither on their own.

“Dito Kita Iiwan” is not just an exploration of life and growth, but the artist draws you in the stillness to reflect on what you’re willing to leave behind and what you can sustain. And in your rumination, Jarin leaves you alone in solitude but never in desolation.

- Oliver Emocling

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Anomalous Generation

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Tano Panaligan

Date : April 19, 2017

Time : 6PM

The age of the necrocryptids has passed. The Earth, scorched and stripped of every life there is, has been revealed once again as the blanket of pestilence and the stench of death itself was worn out by the winds and sands of time. Light shone through. The sun remained its course as it pursues the moon across the sky. The stars continued to dance, and the world still treads, faithfully, along the path it was given in the heart of the great expanse of the cosmos. There was hope for the world, as how thousands of years of history of war and plague and strife has shown mankind of its undeniable resilience. Yet the battle was vicious and mercy was little in the battlefield, and like a wounded soldier carrying himself home after war, the human kind was damaged. Damage irreversible. There was nothing left at all- the flesh and skin torn away, innards ripped asunder, and bones almost scraped clean, as how man was purged off of his own humanity. But despite such cruel misfortune, the soldier chooses not death that calls him, he chooses not to sever his ties to the living world to end his suffering. He stands up and carries on, with his rifle in hand and his flag, his colors flying in the blood-red sky that looms over the crimson-tinted landscape. He takes and plunders, whatever he needs to ensure his survival on his journey home. Mankind has taken what was left of the world; the tiny morsels of flesh and bone, anything distinguishable that once belonged to the living, regardless if it were from man or beast. They began to piece themselves together, start from scratch. Start anew. Humans are good at it. After all we have been broken time and time again, and whoever we were once piece by piece was replaced and renewed, until nothing remains but a new man. The changes may seem outlandish, but is not that the point of change? A bringer of new ages? A catalyst to a new renaissance? The moulting, the shedding of one’s old self to reveal the majesty of a new, better being forged by the fires of adversity and suffering, tempered stronger than it ever was? Eventually as humans continued stitching themselves back together, enlightenment continually seeped through from the shadows of their wretched form- a new path paved from the entrails and blood they have sewn into their flesh, but not towards the state of decay but towards the state of being. This is a new age; and as the great human species there is no other way to go but march forward, into battle, into time unknown.

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