LIMANG DAANG TAON
May 29 - June 19, 2021
Limang Daang Taon
Mula sa pagtungo, pamamalagi, at pagsulong ni Oclos, ang may-akda’y nagpapatuloy. Makalipas ang pagbabaybay sa pagitan ng magkakasalungat na puwersa ng buhay ay ang pagbubunyag ng mga nasilayan at ng mga kinahinatnan. Maaaring naisiwalat na ng paulit-ulit ng may-akda ang kaniyang panig ng katotohanan. Ngunit, ano nga ba ang ating nakamit sa bawat pagtitig natin?
Ang pagdating. Ang namumukod-tangi. Ang mga pasanin. Ang hangganan. Ang paghuhusga. Ang mga bulong ng mga anghel. Ang nagkakasala. Ang mga salitang mapanaksak.
Naghahandog ang may-akda ng kaniyang siyam na dasal patungkol sa ating danas sa loob ng Limang Daang Taon. Naghahamon ng mga tanong. Nagtatalaga ng kasalungat ng mga bawat pagkakataon. Naglalatag ng kaniyang desisyon. Nagsusumamo na hanapin ang sarili nating taimtim sa gitna ng ating mga panalangin. Nananalig sa kasarinlan ng ating mga diwa at isip.
“Walang inaatake dito.” Nagmamatyag, nanunuri, at naninindigan sa tungkulin ng isang artista ng bayan, ang wari ng may-akda ay magpamalas ng panig ng katotohanan. Nagpapaalala kung saan tayo naiwan o iniwanan at kung saan ang pupuntahan o mapupuntahan. Tao ang pinapanigan.
Sa pagtatakda ng nais na maisalaysay ng may-akda, makakamit mo ang bahagi ng isang mulat na pagpapasya. Mayroon kang matatamo na paniguradong hindi lamang kaibhan mula sa wangis ng isang katha. At ang iiwanan na tanong sa iyo, ano ang panig ng kuwento ang ipamamahagi mo?
Dahil ang mga makukuha mo ay isang paniniwalang binago, buhay na nagbago, at mga namamatay habambuhay na pagkatao. Nabuo ba nila tayo? Buo na ang katha. Buo ang may-akda. Buo ang Limang Daang Taon na tayo ay pinaniwala. Nawa’y maibahagi at maikalat mo ang banal na salita.
Five Hundred Years
From Oclos’ elegy of going, staying, and moving, the maker is still found unwavering. After the traverse in between opposing forces of life, comes a chapter of his own revelation and a moment of “then there was light”. What is shown is the maker’s meditation of his repeated scars and the relentless pursuit to the side of truth. Do we stare and muse enough to see beyond his markings? Ang pagdating (The Arrival). Ang namumukod—tangi (The One and Only). Ang mga pasanin (The Burdens). Ang hangganan (The Limits). Ang paghuhusga (The Judgement). Ang mga bulong ng mga anghel (The Whisper of Angels). Ang nagkakasala (The Sinner). Ang mga salitang mapanaksak (The Stabbing Words).
The offering of Oclos’ are his nine prayers of our mass experience throughout Limang Daang Taon (Five Hundred Years) and counting. Probing. Provoking. Pleading. Stating ironies bereft of any agency. Laying reason for every decision. Asking us to entrench ourselves into the solemnity of our own entreaties. Ultimately gripping to the liberation in the name of the body, mind, and spirit. “Walang inaatake dito (No one is being attacked here).” As a maker, Oclos’ embraces the duty of unravelling every cord and every veil. Reminding us of our shrouded past that got us abandoned and left behind, and what delivered us from our own paradise. His truth may always be the people. The creed.
And in this verse, it is not about Oclos’ following to gain and not a belief for someone to obtain, but a maker’s judgement calling. It is not when we “let make man in our image, after our likeness”. It may be letting every human make their own image, in the likeness of their own nature, in the likeness of their own story, in the likeness of whatever it is that makes sense in their own reality. You, the wholly good, wholly mighty one, wholly immortal one, did you have mercy on us and the whole world? Did you have mercy on every faith restrained, on every native life changed, on every daily death instead of just our daily bread? Go into all the world and preach to every creature. Thanks be to You.
Archie Oclos creates pieces that are physically and socially larger than life. His works can depict a quiet kinetic, where the human landscape is disquieted, and seeming to speak, but cannot or will not. His propensity to paint the silenced comes from a long-known understanding of universal powers at play: the state, the people, the self, and the soul.
In this exhibition, Oclos composes his works of events, stories and sorrows five hundred years since the arrival, conquest and distribution of Christianity in the Philippines, which made the country as it is today. Inspired by surviving the situations of today made painting his way of prayer and life.
Many of his notable works reside in these urban spaces, in buildings such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the same institution that lauded him a Thirteen Artist Awardee in 2018; additionally, he is also one of the Winners in the Ateneo Art Awards in 2019. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Major in Painting degree. He has currently mounted countless solo shows and has been a part of numerous group shows with both emerging and established talents nationwide.