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Out of Eden

Daniel Dela Cruz

July 6, 2024 - July 27, 2024

Press Release

For his solo exhibition, Out of Eden, at Art Cube, Daniel dela Cruz provides a compelling visual metaphor of humanity’s departure from paradise and its subsequent journey into the vast expanse of the world. The title itself encapsulates this exploration of the fall from grace, symbolizing mankind’s inevitable sallying forth into the four corners of the globe.

The genesis of this exhibition is the work “Inevitability,” created in 2014 and inspired by Ecclesiastes 12:7: “Before dust returns to the earth as it was before and the life-breath returns to God who gave it.” This piece features a man’s outstretched arm, intertwined with a snake, capturing the essence of the biblical passage and the unavoidable return to our origins. It reflects on the cycle of life and death, and the eternal struggle between sin and redemption.

A recurring motif in dela Cruz’s work is the boat, serving as a potent metaphor for the human
experience. The majority of the sculptures depict men rowing boats, either alone or with companions, navigating the waves of life. These boats are crafted from wood, a material historically used by our ancestors as they explored the world, grounding the sculptures in a deep historical and cultural context. However, the figures themselves remain in metal, staying true to dela Cruz’s distinctive material of choice.

The artist explains, "Boats have been a constant metaphor for the human experience as we traverse the tumultuous seas of life, searching for a way back to God." This sentiment is echoed throughout the exhibition, emphasizing the spiritual and existential aspects of our journeys.

Incorporating his thoughts on redemption, dela Cruz states, “We must remember that the waters within us could also provide redemption. They may be stirred or tumultuous, but they can also wash away the debris of the past and provide us with a clean slate. We can use these moments to clear our minds and find new paths and experiences pointing to new destinations and horizons. This is how we find meaning.”

Through this series, the artist offers a metaphor for the journeys we undertake, whether alone or with others, universally acknowledging our shared experiences and search for meaning. He anchors our resolve to our faith, determination, and belief in the paths life presents us. Out of Eden reflects on the human condition, our trials, and our constant quest for purpose and connection.

-Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

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