It must have been cold to grieve alone. Solitude welcomes visitors at “Remembering in Solace”, a group exhibition in Altro Mondo Creative Space. Upon entering the room, you will be reminded of undocumented scenes in your life when emotions lingered longer than expected. Tof Zapanta’s acrylic paintings and ARCE’s handwoven canvasses show us a glimpse of different coping mechanisms to painful memories.
Nuances of melancholy
In Zapanta’s “If Things Are Falling Apart, They Must Have Been Close Together,” negative space abounds as a person in fetal position grapples with emotions. It resembles a silent moment of breakdown when no one is around. People have the tendency to cave in and the space allows them to breathe. The 4×4 feet canvass emphasized the space and feeling of hollowness, as the artist mentioned that he is challenging himself with bigger works.
Hung next to each other, they underscore the person’s stillness on the surface as they remain in light and darkness. The monochromatic appeal instills calmness and despondence in equal portions. The three red lines give contrast and depth as they purposefully signify the three perspectives in any situation.
In an interview, he revealed that he aims to feature the small nuances on relationships – something we don’t talk about. He prefers to depict the person as androgynous as all humans share the same feeling regardless of sex. “I always just try to send out the feeling” Zapanta mentioned.
Splatters of anguish
Placed on a black-painted wall, the golden frames in various sizes are barely unrecognizable with all the paint muddled over them. The multiple applications of paint, resulting in a rich coating of white, and lighter layers of tan and gray, seem like the act of covering mistakes that we attempt to iron out in the hope of new chances. The paint splatters bare a beautiful mess. The distorted frames with wrinkled textures compose a dominant image of piled up exasperation. They appear as evidence of cathartic episodes when frustration and anguish plead to be released.
Non-conforming at its core, this series show a different kind of sadness fueled by repression. His works seem like an implosion after committing irrevocable decisions and beg the question, “Can our mistakes still make us whole?”
These 2019 creations of Zapanta and Arce create a safe space for emotions and memories in their complementing interpretations. Their works may differ in texture but they both instantly merit visceral responses.
“Remembering in Solace” was exhibited from July 20 to August 12, 2019 at the Altro Mondo Creative Space, 1203 Chino Roces Ave, Makati City.
This article is part of a series of submissions from the “Art Writing for Media” workshop hosted by Art+ Magazine and Kwago