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Close Quarters

Artist/Type of Exhibit : Gabby Nazareno, Gale Encarnacion, Gab Ferrer

Date : April 19

Time : 6:00 PM

During the French Renaissance: a modern thinker, Michel de Montaigne, was plain-spoken about the virtue of accepting the fixed ordinariness of death. In his short essay To philosophize is to learn how to die, Montaigne endorsed the wisdom in regularly reminding oneself of their demise; “let us deprive death of strangeness; let us frequent it, let us get used to it…” The idea of death, he asserted, is a tool for spiritual liberation; a pure, equalizing ingredient necessary in understanding how it is to live fully.

In this group exhibition, Encarnacion, Nazareno, and Ferrer seem to pay an homage to the nobleness of undertaking the subject through their respective explorations. Responding both to the contemporary concept of death and the physical confines of their exhibition space, Close Quarters extends the delimiting and rather stifling quality which eternal rest connotes.

Directly running parallel to this thematic core, Gale Encarnacion composes abjections around the concept of memento mori. Alluding to this necessary reminder, we are here exposed to the artist’s depictions of decomposition. Perhaps effectively unsettling, the artist brings to fore elements and materials that are instantly familiar to all viewers; each piece a rendition and suspension of decay; all relatively playful yet remain as firm and honest materialities calling for inspection.

Gabby Nazareno illustrates with her work the sheer disparity of living and non-living; rather devoid of gray areas. Nazareno displays in sequential separation: a portrait of existence; a darkness to convey one’s unconsciousness in rest; and finally, in a vessel the residue of what has perished. Here, the artist’s interpretation cuts cleanly in the middle of one’s awareness in and of life and death. In this frank demonstration, death itself is a completely unfamiliar terrain that is far removed from the landscape of our sure knowing.

Approaching this state, one’s only absolute certainties are: losing recognition and departing from materialization; a simplicity of shifting—as if by a light switch—from zest to idleness. While hinting at this same shift, Ferrer arranges a simulation of one’s entrance into death and calm submission to fate. Gab Ferrer positions an installation wherein her rubbercut—bearing the functions of a welcoming doormat—indicates a portal ahead through which she imagines is the state of death. Within this situational death’s domain hangs Ferrer’s visual trances produced through contemplations on the universe.

These echo the cosmic geometry stylized by monks who have been moved by universal immensity. In this staging, Ferrer attempts to reconcile the willful recognition of one’s inevitable end with a liberating calm through quiet meditation. With diverse approaches, Close Quarters seeks to defuse the dark and somewhat threatening nature of mortality. By featuring works that are familiar, meditative, straightforward, and domestic, it kindly brings death visually and conceptually closer to our acknowledgement; a hopeful instillation of a more patient and mindful understanding of earthly endurance.

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Artist/Type of Exhibit : Demi Padua

Date : April 19

Time : 6:00 PM


“At times I keep on looking for alternative to fill the gap, the emptiness. I learned to experiment on art media and
anything that would complete the missing parts. Lost and Found reflects my attitude in life. I always try new
things. I used different materials or medium to measure my ability. My art is an incorporation of misplaced things.
It can tell new stories. I believe that every single thing has its own story, but unfortunately, some are lost and their
stories are not being told. The collaboration of those things is my passion.”

Demi Padua is an abstractionist-turned-neo expressionist. An artist who, at a young age and in poverty, brood over things that were beyond grasp, yet, seized moments to try and fill the material vacuity even in packets of wobbly struggles. Demi discovered an inclination to arts as young as six years old. Presently, the artworks hardly reflect the discipline during childhood years. The highly bounded figures have metamorphosed into abstract expressions. The rendition knows no bounds.

The widely complex execution resulted to a highly textured, artistic delivery, from fine strokes to an impulsive
splash of colors using brush and palette knife. Broad knowledge on graphic arts are employed, complementing both the figured and the boundless abstract expressions. The bevy of layers of kaleidoscopic flat lines and the bold lines directly off the paint tube are among the prominent characteristics of the artworks. All these are combination of techniques and ideas after years of painstakingly honing the craft.

The LOST which made yearning deeper has dragged even deeper the need to try and discover new dimensions,
new medium. And now, the FOUND is the expression that is boundless, shedding light, illuminating an existence
that at times was drab and empty. The LOST AND FOUND series is peculiar to the artist. It has a quite deeper foundation attributed to personality and the artist’s virtual, emotional and intellectual journey. The body of works reflect the childhood years of craving for kid stuff. It is basically an expression of longing amid circumstantial depravation. Padua has staged 7th solo exhibits and joined numerous group shows for more than a decade, here and abroad. LOST AND FOUND is the 8th.

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Artist/Type of Exhibit : Mayi Penaflorida

Date : April 19

Time : 6:00 PM

The moment you doubt you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it

-J.M Barrie, Peter Pan

Playing is a child’s way of nurturing their creativity and spontaneity. Whether they’re with friends or by themselves, or in a playground or in their room, the act of getting lost in their imagination helps them understand people, objects, nature, and more importantly, themselves. It is a vast and seemingly endless exploration.

In her second solo show, Playtime, Mayi works around the theme of children in their own magical world. She emphasizes the depth and unfiltered make-believe that young minds can come up with through playing, which is a physical, emotional, intellectual, and social exercise. Her intricate and eloquent painting style translates both the genius and innocence of a child’s cognition which adults easily dismiss as mere child’s play.

Inspired by Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Peter Pan, Mayi put together a series of paintings that explore the idea of youth and finding awe in oddities. Eyes big with wonder, Mayi’s doll-like figures lure people back into their own personal voyages they might have abandoned in pursuit of ‘reality.’

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