Text and images by James Tana
The world is evolving and so are the living organisms inhabiting it: species develop, diseases mutate, and other life forms show sign of existence. Artist-designer Leeroy New, in his newest exhibition Dressing for the Edge of the World, visually renders in intriguing sculptures his own imagined creatures.
The works of New, in collaboration with other local artists, explore the relation between fashion and art through his wearable sculptures. This marriage of both creative cultures translates into armors and headpieces that depict bodily mutations of extraterrestrial beings. New’s artistic practice deals with the use of found object, experimenting on materials such as metal wires, plastic tubes, colanders, and other common domestic objects.
In an ongoing project “Aliens of Manila”, the artist dons his sculptural pieces in different public spaces, adding a performative component in his works. Here, the sculptures are in unison with the human body just like the series of headpieces.
The artist, as noted in the show’s exhibit text, describes vividly what dressing for the edge of the world is like: “Unwelcoming heat envelopes your body through your frail patchy armor and you take the first step out onto the edge of the world.”
Dressing for the edge of the world is New’s way of speculating instead of insinuating the great potentials of the self as entities—may they be familiar or unfamiliar beings to us. As the world unravels, it strips us off our epidermal armors and helmets and bares nothing but our own skin.
“Dressing for the Edge of the World” runs along Christina Lopez’s “Portraits (Proxies)” at The Drawing Room, GF, Building C, Karrivin Plaza 2316 Chino Roces Ave Ext., Makati City. You may call (02) 8801 4398 for online and private viewing.