The continuing virtual observation of the curated ‘Kalibutan’ exhibition has now brought the Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition & Conference (VIVA ExCon) VCon 2 to “Seminar Node 3: Works Disclose | Materialities of Art” featuring the Regions 6 and 8 “Kalibutan” artists.
Region 8 curator Mars Briones was the first to present artists RV Sanchez and Popo Amascual.
Sanchez main concept for his “figure drawings” project is a drawing that offers a gateway to a more peaceful and happy place, it has become a meditative practice. The proposed project takes its cues from structure and gesture where structure takes the form of leftover food packaging and paper bags as base, surface, or background for drawings.
Gesture, on the other hand, is a participatory video performance which takes cues from a real-life drawing class. It is initially intended to develop figure drawing skills and evolved into something dynamic and participatory that leads to creative conversations.
There is a balancing act between getting what you need to be happy, and giving the community what it needs. Social media is being employed for sharing and as a performance platform.
Popo Amascual’s project involves much sonic element and sound manipulation to retrieve the nature of sound as something devoid of character, as a locator, segregator, and interrogator. His project ‘Hingalo’ is the staging of sound and matters a lot since it is an attempt at the urgency of experimentation and the need for finding solutions. The artist expressed that this tackles the timeliness of problematizing issues, feelings, the need to worry and it is a way for people to reflect and go into introspection.
The other Region 8 curator Nomar Miano presented artist Soika Vomiter and art collective Regional Art Forum. Vomiter presented mindscape for mental health issues which involves video documentation and visual images that integrate red lights and disco lights in his work to enhance visual perception and experience. He thinks support and means of communication are solutions to feelings of detachment. He feels that mental struggle is a space you can break free from and one can merit from emotional and mental therapy.
The Regional Art Forum, on the other hand, explores the modalities of geography, to include environment, bioethics, politics, and engagement with geographical spaces. They look into the gentrification, displacement and slummification of areas within and around metropolitan centers. They feel that underdevelopment and dependency can benefit from the emancipatory promise of art practice. This embraces collaboration and exhibitions which are extensions of community engagement.
On to Region 6, curator Liby Limoso presented artists/collectives Ron Espinosa, Farida Kabayao, and TM Malones, AR. Sculptura and EyeCan Creatives. The project of Espinosa Kabayao and Malones focuses on the tangible heritage of Western Visayas. It touches on the timeliness and timelessness of heritage and contemporary cultures.
It surfaces conversation on justice and equity, as well as the continuous concern and urgency over the significance of preservation of heritage sites. There is a race against time as threats of decay and demolition rise. This is an attempt to fill and enrich the gaps between the past, the present, and the future by visualizing and articulating the intangible and promoting national identity.
AR Sculptura invokes familiarity and contrast among viewers. They employ microscale modelling of the ‘Sugidanon’ world with the use of resin as the primary medium and acrylic sheets as an alternative to glass.
Their process includes goal setting, data gathering, proposal making, evaluating and final proposal. This clarifies the goal of transforming intangible culture into tangible forms. They aim to inspire and enliven cultural characters by producing ‘Sugidanon’ dolls as collectibles. They hope to counter massive pop culture and consumerism through the storytelling and promotion of Visayan culture.
EyeCan Creatives explores digital illustrations and imaging. They aim to preserve and protect language, place, identity, memory and spirituality. Their way is to redefine the pop culture trend of gaming and cosplay and tap on online exhibitions and performances.
Region 5 curator Guenivere Decena was with artists Denli Chavez and Perry Argel. Chavez’s medium is an art film. She explores the weight of confinement and connections and research on women and gender relations, as well as how Filipinos look at themselves. She also examines folklore, their origins and societal impact and attempts to translate this into a visual experience. Her ‘Kalibutan’ project is currently in post-production.
Perry Argel believes in sharing ideas and has a way of letting others transcend from viewers into creatives. He comes from a generation of artists who is more visual, not much virtual and less verbal. His creativity is in tune with nature. He goes by the belief that how things start matters more than how they will become, and what they are now is a testament of where they came from, which may change only because of perception. His ‘Ilistaran’ will be interactive and promises to be immersive.
The materialies of art went from translating folkways or ancient traditions into something contemporary, and converting ancient patterns to contemporary art for creative connection and effective communication, into a discourse on the individual and personal that cannot escape from society and that whatever is true to the artist is true to where he lives.
V-CON 2 on ‘Kalibutan Seminar Node 3: Works Disclose | Materialities of Art’ was conducted virtually on April 10, but is available for virtual viewing through the website vivaexcon.org. (Input by Vincent Rose Cassiopeia Sarnate).