16 May 2020
It is not the beauty of a building you should look at, it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.
—David Allan Coe
We are all builders because we each construct a life that we relentlessly push to progress. Life is a never-ending search for satisfaction and survival aided by one’s motivation, perseverance, drive and faith to succeed. Every individual has his or her own battles, whether physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual. Some advance smoothly while others take the hard way, limited by their own resources, narratives and social standing. The well-off may have the advantage and the poor may be in handicap, but it is not conclusive to the full imbalance of things as what one thinks he or she is lacking may be another man’s resolve. This is true in the case of Demi Padua.
Poverty-stricken, Demi in his teenage years voluntarily went with his father and relatives to work as a helper in construction sites. Without time to play and enjoy his childhood, he kept his creative faculties alive by observing how things were built from scratch. Witnessing how the rawness of each element of wood, metal and concrete when put together turned into sophisticated and functional objects made him think that everything has its essence and purpose. The everyday juggle of making ends meet is one realization that remained throughout his life growing up. A gestalt of sorts, these experiences became the catalyst for his works.
Triangles, pyramids and stones are constant motifs in his pieces mirroring stability, resilience and progress which resonates our society’s battle against this global pandemic called COVID19. In his solo exhibit titled FRONTLINE, Demi Padua narrates his reflections on the ongoing quarantine period. For Demi, every one of us is a front liner who he aims to represent in what he dubbed as intrapersonal portraits.
With his signature people wearing masks of collaged images, Demi's portraits are symbolic interpretations of our everyday struggle and adjustments. This is the artist reminding us that we dictate our future, and how we build, protect and strengthen it is all up to us.