27 June 2022, Philippines – Potentials and possibilities of/in our dwellings in current times, characterized by isolation and limitations on mobility and modality, remain mesial to the idea behind Ang Ating Mga Kayamanan sa Bakuran. These are viewed as interconnected with notions and practices of care, perhaps tending to life forms; patience and resourcefulness; and a state of becoming, a gesture of hope towards growth stemming from relationships between the visceral and physical conditions. The deliberate untangling of ‘treasures’ and ‘yard’, through the vegetative subjects in the works, is suggestive of a reconsidering and a revisit to how we approach lived experiences. Our immediate surroundings are viewed as a potent avenue for self-nourishment and ingenuity. On the other hand, treasures, in this exhibition, propose to reassess subjectivities and complexities, such as needs, interests, and desires.
Ang Ating Mga Kayamanan sa Bakuran (Our Treasures in the Yard) alludes to the most recent set of sculptures by artist Joseph Andrew ‘Jandy’ Carvajal, who started exploring repoussé over 30 years ago. His two main sources of inspiration for these are Catholic sacramentals and pre-Hispanic gold artifacts as seen from his body of work. The title of and the works from this exhibition transpire from vegetables commonly grown in domestic spaces, rendered in low-relief brass discs, some of which gold-plated. In recent times, these direct us to growing interests in indoor plants alongside innovation across horticulture, and a revisit to backyard farming in diverse locales not to mention their benefits to our being, securing subsistence, and practicing care. According to the artist, the inedible gold ironically underscores that food is more valuable and this juxtaposition emphasizes that hunger is equally a threat amidst the current pandemic.
About the Artist
Joseph Andrew “Jandy” A. Carvajal is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines Baguio, where he currently serves as Chairperson of its Department of Language, Literature and the Arts. Alongside teaching, he continues his art practice, working with various media, from graphite to metal sheets. In the past eleven years, he has been re-exploring the time-honored art of repoussé. He has exhibited his metal reliefs, featuring various contents, in Baguio, Manila, New York and London. His 2014 solo exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, PLATA FLORA, showcased repoussé on salvaged aluminum, highlighting recycling as a process that can be incorporated into artmaking. Carvajal graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Painting degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and an MFA in Studio Art degree from Montclair State University, USA.
About the Curator
Alain Zedrick Camiling currently serves as Chairperson and Lecturer at the Arts Management Program of the De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde Manila. His curatorial practice stems from private collections management, pedagogical in curatorial, discourse and process, and interdisciplinary collaborative gestures. His texts have appeared on platforms like Art Basel, CNN Philippines Life, L’Officiel Philippines, Art Plus Magazine, Spot.PH, among many others. Among his recent curatorial projects are The Manila’Bang Show (2021) as artistic director and curator, Alimuom Exhibition at Ibagiw Arts Festival (2021) as deputy curator and arts manager, and Thriving in the midst, leading the ascent for Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (2022) as curator. He is currently an MA Curatorial Studies candidate at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he graduated cum laude with a BSE Art Education degree.
You may access the QR code for exhibition quick links:
Text and images courtesy by Alain Zedrick Camiling.