“Ongaaa!!!” at Altro Mondo
31 July to 22 August 2021
Altro Mondo is pleased to present ONGAAA!!!, an exhibition of works by Lorebert Maralita at Altro Mondo Creative Space (1159 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City).
It has always been the young and the uninitiated that the lure of the contemporary pulls at strongest. And for his first solo exhibition, Ongaaa, award-winning visual artist Lorebert Comision who goes by the artist name, “Maralita”, visually gives his loudest and most ear-splitting roar to date. The exhibit displays a maturity beyond the artist’s years as well as a great potential deserving of being featured in a premier Manila art space. It marks a new phase for Maralita in exploring different approaches to painting after being recognized in national art competitions for his distinctly indigenous visual language.
Onga or Unga is the long, arduous, guttural sound made by the kalabaw or water buffalo, a creature which reminds Maralita of his humble beginnings growing in Northern Samar. It can either be a nod in agreement as in “oo nga” or a drawn out lamentation of a lingering pain or a paused longing. Ongaaa is an aptly strong title for Maralita’s first solo exhibition, featuring works that are a simultaneous nod to his past and at the same time a chronicle of his moving forward in fulfillment of his artistic calling. The phrase honors his beloved Samar roots as a constant reminder of the pains of growing up poor and downtrodden.
Unfazed by the limitations of traditional media, he mixes three or more coats of paint, expanding the possibilities of materiality by painting in reverse or even traversing the production process.
Maralita’s brand of realism counters the constrictions of traditional genres to redefine contemporary narratives in his own language. Often interjecting the banal with the sacred, his art defies fixation with norms.
Importantly, practicing in the peripheries has given him fresh perspectives on his own distinct experiences. This is helping him to develop a creative process by which he translates these experiences to evocative expressions. From the confidence and certainty in this debut show, one can tell, Maralita has only just begun.
ONGAAA!!! will be on view at Altro Mondo Creative Space (1159 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City) until 22 August 2021. For inquiries, please message the gallery on Facebook (altromondoart) or Instagram (@altromondoart). You can also message us via Viber or Whatsapp at 0949 162 5638.
Text and poster courtesy of Altro Mondo