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Canned Thoughts

Carlo Tanseco

May 4 - June 1, 2024

Press Release

Across the neighborhoods of the Philippine archipelago, from the tiniest shanty to the grandest mansion, canned goods stand as ubiquitous symbols of sustenance and familiarity. They line the shelves of sari-sari stores and supermarkets alike, bridging socio-economic divides. Among those about to live or work abroad, they carry these items in suitcases as they serve as steadfast reminders of home.

Within this commonplace canvas that Carlo Tanseco’s solo exhibition, Canned Thoughts, finds its inspiration. With ingenuity and wit, the artist appropriates the labels of these everyday items, transforming them into conduits of humor, puns, mottos, and motivational statements.

Working under the tradition of Pop Art, Tanseco cleverly re-interprets the names, branding, and other distinctive features of these household staples. By breathing new life into these mundane objects, he invites viewers to linger and contemplate the altered text that adorns the gallery walls.

As visitors navigate through the exhibition, they are greeted with a playful reimagining of familiar objects, each bearing the imprint of Tanseco’s unique perspective. Whether it’s a tongue-in-cheek slogan or a poignant reflection on the Filipino experience, Canned Thoughts offers a refreshing take on the symbols that unite us and the stories that define us.

Larger-than-life, the pieces blur the lines between two- and three-dimensionality, serving as both paintings and sculptures. Some works are offered as prints, echoing the repetition found on store shelves and further emphasizing their status as cultural touchstones.

Tanseco’s vision extends beyond the confines of traditional gallery spaces. In a nod to the communal spirit of Filipino culture, he constructs a makeshift sari-sari store installation, complete with colorful snacks and candies for visitors to partake in. Here, amidst the whimsy of his creations, one can’t help but be drawn into a deeper reflection on the complexities and nuances of contemporary Filipino identity.

Canned Thoughts not merely celebrates these pantry staples and what they portray but also affirms the resilience, resourcefulness, and optimism that define the Filipino spirit. In his exploration of humor, culture, and the mundane aspects of daily life, Tanseco invites audiences to reconsider the ordinary, finding beauty and meaning in these ever- present consumer goods.

Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

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