By Amanda Juico Dela Cruz. Images courtesy of the galleries.
To imagine what one needs to paint on the canvas, to choose the elements to be included in a photograph, and to use the hands’ warmth in forming sculptures are acts of baring one’s soul. To create is to make the self vulnerable. To meditate on this age’s disorientation and confusion is an act of self-healing as much as a commentary. To give one’s two cents is an act of bravery. To see in a specific angle and to mold something are forms of art.
Yko Umadhay III, “In the World of a Fool’s Imagination,” Eskinita Art Farm.
Anatomical depictions of the female nude body line one wall, while the other a series of male headshots. Both of which overlaid by flora, and skeletal illustrations, by imprinted texts, and butterflies.
And then there is a huge depiction of two dogs in doggy-style intercourse seemingly doing a live show on Facebook with all the reaction buttons being given by an audience outside of its frame.
In another painting, a crosshair is directly aiming for the skull. One work shows a TV screen broadcasting the traffic condition live. Taking on pop surrealism, the maximalist works meditate on the digital age.
Ricky Natividad, Dennis Puzon, Frenk Sison, Archie Sumilang, John Michael Abad, Gabo Manalastas, Wendel Candawan, Jeffrey Somera, Christopher Yap, Francis Alingcayon, Erwin Pineda, Nelson Ricahuerta, Gabo Valenzuela, Ranilo Zapanta, Peter Abordo, Pepe Mendoza, and Sariel Ancheta, “Penny Jar,” R Gallery.
A word has been created by one of the works that found the intersection of surrealism, steampunk, and reptiles: reptalialism. One work portrays a lady with a pair of wide, glass-like, oceanic eyes. An artist reimagined Jose Rizal in his death as crows flew his corpse to the afterlife. A sculpture shows a woman caught up in a tangle as if she’s dancing or breaking free from being trapped. There is another portrait, but this one is a human body which has several pairs of arms and has a carabao as its head. At its core is a burning rose.
Ace Enriquez, Akoani, Alelia Ariola, Alfred Galvez, Alyssa Bartoline, Bea Aben, Blendo, Gemart Ortega, Humbly, Ireland Jill, Atty. Jay Quitain, Jessa Almirol, Jellyfish Kisses, Jomari Caya, Juan, Matina Partosa, Pau Pau, Paul Aman, Ping Salvador, Roxanne Ricohermoso, S.R. Secuya, Seho Pascual, Shai Ancheta, Sola, Sut, and Tisha Paculba, “Disptach,” Super Duper Gallery.
A massive space is dedicated to the participating artists. There is no one word that encapsulates the paintings and sculptures included in the show, but they are anchored in their being sent off to the bigger art world. In a sense, the exhibit feels like a mini art fair in which artists showcase their best works: from adorable pop surrealist monsters to beautiful mythological maidens, from cultural landscapes to nostalgic sceneries, from dreamy visions to everyday mundanity, from mythical to macabre. When displayed in one large space, the works of art juxtapose, compliment, argue, support, challenge, and deepen each other.
Caesar Azanza, Chip Ferrarons, Dondi Joseph, Harley Yunam, Harold Ong, and Mike Jo, “view finder,” Qube Gallery.
How is it possible that one room has windows showing the different parts of the world? That is how the gallery feels like as photographers reveal what is seen through their viewfinder. One work takes the viewer to Guilin, China during the golden hour as a fisherfolk casts his net into the lake. From China, one is taken to the silhouettes of Erg Chigaga Dunes in Morocco, then to a Turkish temple. To the melting icebergs and ice sheets of Antarctica. Then to the Varanasi River in India. And then the viewer is back to the desert, in Sahara Desert.
Marc Aran Reyes, “playing invisible,” Art Underground Manila.
A young lady takes the viewer to her minimalist surrealist world, or more apt: the viewer is a voyeur to her quiet world. There is a sense of isolation because of the generous white space. It can feel lonely, but is the young lady lonely? She is seen accompanied by a black bird, but it keeps its distance. The black bird is just there. While the young lady is depicted lying underneath a grand piano, flying towards the window as if a gigantic fish swimming in the air, peaking through the doorway, bathing while the tub floats on tranquil water.
Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, Berto Acosta, Mitzi Marie Aguilar-Reyes, Butch Aldana, Robert Alejandro, Ma. Monica Antonio, Tô Austria, Teresita Baldo, Siegrid Anne Bangyay, Ugu Bigyan, Ardeth Butic, Alan Cabalfin, Jeng Cabrera, Raissa Calunsag, Pablo Capati III, Anton Carreion, Catherine Choachuy, Princess Anne Clemente, Al Cruz, Sonny Cruz, Tinka Dan, Joey De Castro, Reynel dela Rosa, Ianna Engaño, EJ Espiritu, Laura Fermo, Thomas Freyrer, Bong Figueroa, Pat Frades-Santos, Rita Gudiño, Vicente Gudiño, Niño Hernandez, Monique Hilario, Bertrand Jean-François, Chadee Jimenez, Aly Kangleon, Kathryn Mayam, Kaw, Vee King, Paulo Loazno, Alaina Magnotta, Mari Misheleen Manalo, Sheryl Martinez, Melvin Menda, Lan Mercado, Pam Mercado, Joy Miclat, Mara Milanco, Mary Lei Nobleza, Jose Fernando Perfecto, Jon Pettyjohn, Tessy Pettyjohn, Mary Rose Pilares, Mark Platon, Nelfa Querubim, Annie Reyes-Lopez, Stanley Ruiz, Philline Salvador, Mark Jeffrey Santos, Mitch Shivers, Anais Silvestre, Elias Siojo, Pinky Soriano, Patricia Tierra, Maryann Uy, and Ma. Fe Terisa Valle, “Sining Tahanan 2022,” Sulyap Gallery and Tahanan Pottery Shop.
The gallery is literally adorned with works of pottery. On the shelf alone are a mix of sculptures and vessels. There is a mask that looked like something to be worn for the MassKara Festival. There is what looks like a Buddha and another like a bul-ul. Of course, there are mugs and teacups and water container, but they are not just mugs and teacups and water containers. In another part of the gallery, there is a sculpture of a naked female torso, intricately created. There are colorful works too, one of which is a bust of a male painter.