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PJ Cabanalan
July 24 - August 14, 2021


 A Day in a Life​

     In this solo exhibit, 86,400, arguably his most personal yet, Paul John Cabanalan contemplates the nature of time and how one chooses to live it. The context of the works is the pandemic which, for boon or bane, has set the world on pause and given people a surplus of time to do what they have been putting off, concentrate on the things that matter, and reconnect with the nourishing elements of life.


     This seeming expansion of one’s time that can be spent on any activity is, for the artist, comparable to wealth, as expressed by the title—the total number of seconds in a day. “I read an analogy about time once,” the artist states. “Imagine there’s a bank that every morning deposits $86,400 into your account and every day it happens over and over again. The only catch according to the idea is that you cannot save that particular deposit until the next day…What would you do? Would you think carefully about how you’d use it every day?” In his paintings, Cabanalan articulates those which he has spent time on: God, father, mother, love, life, relaxation, and oneself.


     In his signature all-over technique, the artist presents a lush world that is explosive with personal and archetypal symbols reflective of his contemplations on his time-centered devotions. For instance, in the work, “Time for God,” a teeming landscape sprawls with representative forms of creation, locked in the eternal cycle of life and death. In “Time for My Father” and “Time for My Mother,” the viewer could discern figures (or, more accurately, constructed metaphors) that evoke his parents, overlaid with marks, notations, and icons that portray their inner and outer lives.


     What is evident in this exhibition is the centrality of art, as paintings concerning craft are a handful: “Time to Work,” “Time to Play,” and “Time to Experiment.” These works sum up the artist’s visual and conceptual philosophy in his search for meaning in his chosen vocation, displaying exuberant, masculine energy of wanting to delve deep into the multi-layered fecundity and complexity of experience in order to shore up vital truths. Cabanalan’s holy revelations underscore his “good addiction on making art.”

     -Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

 Paul John Cabanalan


Paul John Cabanalan, born in 1993, is a multi-awarded young artist hailing from the province of Iloilo. He obtained his BS Architecture degree from the Iloilo Science and Technology University but pursued a full-time career as a painter after successfully joining art competitions while he was still a student. His curiosity and talent began to flourish when he went to high school and he improved his skills until he reached college. He was able to witness an array of talented individuals there that inspired him to continue pursuing his passions. He recognized his inclination to the arts while being surrounded by highly skilled people. 


  For his upcoming exhibit, Cabanalan focuses on Time. He shares that when the pandemic began, he felt as if the world had stopped and each person had all the time, minutes, and seconds that they needed to focus on the other things that mattered in their lives. Some needed time for spirituality, some spent more time with family, some took time to learn about themselves, and some saw it as an opportunity to pursue the things they were passionate about. For PJ, he used the time he had to learn, create, and think about the arts, something he considers as the most valuable thing in his world. His pieces uncover layers of emotion and soul and its depth is something that he is still oblivious to. 


  He titled one of his pieces 86,400. It comes from the seconds that each person spends in one day. He shares that each day, these seconds are not something that can be kept for the next day nor can it be used in advance. Spending each of it should be something that is considered carefully. He asks how one can make the most out of that daily deposit. 


  Cabanalan refers to his love for art as an addiction and uses this as a medium to share his profound feelings.

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