ALAALA

Christian Culangan | Kim Gaceja
April 30 - May 22, 2021

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Alaala

 

Virginia Woolf recalls one of the earliest memories of her mother with her wearing a black dress. Adorned with red and purple flowers, sitting on her lap as they were returning home to London. Material memories furnish our reminiscence of the past. Fabric in particular serve a distinct role in that it acts to disguise and yet also reveal much of who a person is. 

 

Christian Culangan's figures, entangled limbs splayed like wheel spokes. They shamble toward their ultimate destination, guided by the light of the cross-lantern. The zipper's arranged in a yonic fashion, portray a story of birth and coming to age in a world of industrial cloth. Growing up around the cloth trade and seamstresses, fabric has been ever present in his youth. It is a reassuring presence, one that has been with him through life's uncertainties. Within the drapery he renders respecting elders, religion and maternal love from fond mnemonic memory.

 

Kim Gaceja reminisces on a more intimate relationship with fabric. Closed curtains and heavy blankets recall protective charms. They act as bulwarks for the personal to the social. A veneer that mediates between the inner self and the outside world. He depicts a warm and welcoming domicile in contrast to the hard edges and hard surfaces of the concrete world. Soft linen, mist-like curtains and wistful carpets recall days of peace and silence. Both tempting and threatening complete withdrawal. The silence and stillness implying the regret of loss and a longing. 

 

Alaala approaches cloth as a the signified and as a signifier. They apply the question of tactile memory, in reverence to who the objects belong to, personal ideography and its significance to the present. Presenting a purview of material connection to hopeful though uncertain futures.

 

-Floyd Absalon

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    A young, multi-talented artist working with painting, graphic design, video, and sound art, Christian Culangan was raised in Caloocan City in the Philippines, a highly urbanized city in the metropolitan Manila. He draws great influence for his works from his life circumstances. His place of origin’s root word “Kalook-lookan” which means innermost is where he anchors his ideals.  He is inspired by his experiences from his childhood religion and this is highly evident in his works. His creations are always full of emotions, strongly authentic, and deviate from the ideals of conformity. 

Culangan is a Fine Arts graduate majoring in Advertising at the Technological University of the Philippines. His determination has led him to join multiple art competitions and has successfully achieved recognition each time. He was a semi-finalist in the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition (MADE) for consecutive years and a 2nd place title holder at the Shell National Student Art Competition (NSAC); these experiences further evoked him to continue developing his craft. 

He takes pride in his figurative style as he is constantly on the lookout for new techniques and materials that separates his work from the usual. Culangan shares that his creative process is gradual and his experimentation on each piece is incremental. His works showcase expressionist strokes and he incorporates objects such as zippers and fabrics in most of his pieces. 

Culangan’s affiliation with Room 111 art group has positively affected his work process. This has opened more avenues for him to showcase his works in the industry. He has displayed his works in more than 20 shows since 2015. Today, his works can be found in multiple galleries around the metro.

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    Kim Gaceja is a graduate of the Technological University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Advertising. His passion is driven by his inspirations. He considers art as a practice where he feels free and accepted. For Gaceja, art is a space where he feels less conscious of what others think for in his works, the main focus is solely his mind and the feelings of belonging. 

His vision is to bring the audience a comforting sensation when viewing his works while highlighting seemingly absurd ideas. As absences fill spaces in his paintings, it acts as an invitation for discussions. His style, known as Impressionism, is a process where a different color palette is used which then requires him to premix his paint. After he successfully stains his canvas, he starts to work on his concept from end to end. 

Gaceja joined a lot of competition in his earlier years and has been a finalist in countless events in the Philippines. In 2016, he was one of the semifinalists in the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) Competition. His work has been seeing appreciation since 2016 through various group exhibitions with galleries inside and outside of the metro. His affiliation with the art group ROOM 111 has helped him reach a greater audience