Balay | January
These brothels take front and center again in his new exhibition, Balay. While the title of the show seems to be encompassing of all domicile (“balay” means “house” in various Philippine languages), it zooms in on these whorehouses, evoked as patched-up makeshift structures, held together by something that is at once ephemeral and enduring.
Every Nook and Cranny| March
It is often the case that an artist's concept springs forth from the fusion of multitude of ideas and experiences; and as you, the audience, go through my series of works in this exhibition they may make you recall imagery and concepts from various traditions and adjacent perspectives you might be familiar with. One most common observation I get is how they resemble ruins of ancient civilizations; cities carved through solid rock like the ones in Petra and Cappadoccia.
The Gift | January
In The Gift, Michael Villagante offers the viewer the heart—both as physical fact and the spiritual center of man. In this suite of works, the heart is exposed, offered as a gift. It has roots in Catholic iconography: Jesus Christ is depicted with his heart exposed and strewn with thorns. As a visual symbol, the heart is near universal. It is one of the first things that a child is able to draw. When one says that the heart is offered, it means that the self is given in its entirety and without conditions.
At Patuloy ang Gulong | March
The works in At Patuloy Ang Gulong bear this complexity of resiliency in the face of structural oppression and exploitation, painting at the intersection of nostalgia and critique to show just how far back in time that exploitation stretches, and how it continues, rolling into the present, while immersing us in its urgencies. Like a wheel, the disaster will pass, but the overwhelming grey sheath only reminds us that it also leaves incalculable losses in its wake. But still, the world will keep turning, life must go on, and in every frame the volcano still appears, dormant but waiting. We dust the ash off and push forward.
Recent Works | January
In his solo exhibition, Recent Works, Barrera continues to plumb the depths of childhood to surface some its enduring images: action heroes, pets and loved ones, imaginary friends. Central to its narrative was his early life in Caloocan which saw his grandmother as a dominant figure, serving as a parental figure to grandchildren whose fathers and mothers were abroad making a living.
Scripture and Soul | March
Elegance, simplicity, and graceful rhythm, —these are what a viewer immediately senses in Tessa Mendoza’s current solo exhibit. The paintings breathe a quiet spirituality. Entitled “Scripture and Soul,” artist Tessa Mendoza elaborates: “I’ve been reading Scripture since 1986 and it never ceases to amaze me. It's dynamic and it's effective—both mysterious and perceptible.
Material Culture | February
Daniel Dela Cruz
Trendy objects that mark the differences of cultural periods, and our complex relationship with them, take center stage in Daniel Dela Cruz’s Material Culture. Through several discrete groups of artworks which can actually comprise solo exhibitions within themselves, Material Culture as a conglomerate solo exhibition can be seen as the comparisons between how objects that define the idea of “cool” are valued by a culture at a particular time; how these objects are ascribed with meaning by our society; and how we allow these meaning-vested objects to define us.
Bisyo Cycle | March
Aligaen’s work in “Bisyo Cycle” once again displays his playful interpretation of the world around him. In these series of works, he tackles the dependence of people on literal and figurative vices. Aligaen uses people’s reactions to life’s unpredictability and harshness as a focal point to show how they easily become self-centered, delusional, and obsessed with man-made comforts in their struggle to mold their ideal “reality.”
Frontline | May
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.
Noontide Hagonoy| May
The fishing municipality of Hagonoy in Bulacan sits on land that consists of archipelagic marsh and river tributaries where at noon, the water from the sea evaporates, humidity filling the air. The place has become the center of probe in Renz Baluyot’s “Noontide Hagonoy” where sites are re-evaluated as with the artist’s attachment to it. Here is where he is no more than an observer and yet, where he might have come from. Living in metropolitan Manila, his family would drive north at every chance they could get. Hagonoy has always been home.
Given Time | May
Jaime Pacena III
Pacena presents recent works that reflect the mental, emotional and physical space of isolation and quarantine during this pandemic. It features a series of recent paintings that highlights the stages of grief of an individual during this global crisis. This is presented in a virtual gallery space that somehow investigates the notions of the new normal we all belong now, which even the art industry cannot escape. The project extends in this social media platform take over as Pacena presents his daily life in his home and studio as an exploration on the practice of Artist-in-Residence during this trying times.
Interception | May
Quizon favors ongoing dialogues of strange objects into a new visual language. These explorations of incongruousness in existence are often highlighted by intricate details and unusual perspectives. Notice the brain and how it is highlighted to represent knowledge. It is inherent that we think what is right for us through where the light leads us. Often he distorts his space using hyperrealism marked by rustic finish and in raw and limited monotone palette often depicting his mood.
The ___ and the Self | July
The ___ and the Self is an online exhibit that visually presents the personal experiences, realizations and feelings of the participating artists, accompanied by literary works.
It aspires to become an avenue where viewers can relate and be inspired to the subject's consciousness. The pieces aim to highlight the importance of being sensitive not only to the situation of others, but most importantly to the condition of one's self.
The artwork shared by the participating artists became a collective stories of persistence and finding hope and peace in times of emotional instability, isolation, fragility, loss and despair. As we dive into their pieces, we get deeper into their stories, relate to their life at home, and explore the depths of their minds.
Attachment | July
Jara shares his sentiments about how the elderly are much more affected by the pandemic since they are more prone to the disease. And because of this, they are being prohibited in doing many things which we sometimes forget also affects both their physical and mental health. Jara wanted to give face to the struggles they continue to experience, and how things we are used to cannot be done again any time soon, and where both sadness and hints of hope are wonderfully depicted through the subjects' expressions.
Other People | July
In his series of works, Other People, Julius Claveria Redillas references this type of portraiture centering around people of prestige. Rather than painting them in stark verisimilitude, the artist represents these figures as clumps of ribbons of flesh, peering through malevolent eyes, set against a single-color background. Their clothes, that would have mirrored their importance, are reduced to floating silhouettes of white, which intensely frame the monstrous face.
Kamunduhan | July
Kamunduhan, as a whole, reveals its fascinations and disenchantments with the world, how our own embodiment is both prison and freedom (for how else could we navigate the space and time of the here and now?). It asks question on the nature of the body itself, how the desire that propels creation ultimately leads to the body’s own dissolution. In light of a pandemic, global warming, and ecological collapse, the exhibition jolts us out of our complacency, bringing our attention to the world, which may be the only thing we have.
Thrown-ness | August
Winner Jumalon | Ian Quirante
“Thrown-ness”, a two-person show by Winner Jumalon and Ian Quirante explores the state and feeling of being thrown into a new reality, a new normal where there is absolutely no escape. Thrown-ness borrows from Martin Heidegger’s reinterpretation of Dasein which is often translated into English as “existence”.
IGNITED | September
Ignited chronicles the stages of a family’s collapse and how these shape and define the remaining members as they grapple with their new life. It is never-ending search of the “why” and the grief is never completely resolved because the loss is brought about not by death but by a decision. While the members are shown together and occasionally provide support, they are depicted to be going through their respective emotional journey on their own, bearing their own traumas as they meet the version of themselves away from the comfort, safety, and certainty of what they have sought to maintain all their lives.
OH WELL | October
Maribel Magpoc & Raphael Carloto
Carloto’s sentiments are embodied within these images: on the outside, the world appears to have regained some sense of normality, and yet, internally, we are all screaming. Meanwhile, the works of Maribel Magpoc illustrate narratives that appear to have been seized in time. Magpoc’s body of works depicts her sister, who is living with Down syndrome, in everyday scenarios. This conscious insertion of her subject calls for equal rights and treatment of people with disabilities. However, today the world has turned 360-degree. Magpoc painted images of her sister in scenes that mirror what the rest of us are doing: inside our homes and hopelessly waiting for progress on how to defeat the notorious virus. The irregularity of the circumstances re-defined our capacities to survive, whether in our physical or emotional state.
Stop Counting The Days | August
In the middle of these all, art has become a vital ingredient of our everyday, carrying our hopes to go across another plane of reality ,or even to evolve as human beings and we STOP COUNTING THE DAYS.
KAPAWA | September
Holding his 2nd Solo Exhibit, Kapáwà, an exhibit which comes directly after his residency in Linangan Art Residency in Alfonso, Cavite where he was locked down due to Covid 19 quarantine; Noel Elicana, embodies the confidence and clarity that comes with renewed faith. This is reflected in the sure strokes, sober palette and more stable compositions of his works for this exhibition.
A full-time artist, Noel Elicana from Oton, Iloilo has been receiving awards throughout his career. One of the latest being a grand awardee for the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) competition last 2018. His work has been seeing appreciation ever since he started his career as an artist, as he connects through group and solo exhibitions with various galleries.
SKETCH MARKS | November
In Sketch Marks, a group show curated by Elmer Borlongan, drawing takes on a central focus as still one of the most relevant forms of art-making. Though he has established himself as a painter (and one of the most accomplished there is), Borlongan acknowledges the foundational role of drawing not merely as a preparatory work for painting (from the initial sketches to the grids on canvas) but as a way of imagining the world with its unique vocabulary of densities, shadings, tonalities, hatchings, and rounding of forms in space.
Taking part in the show are Ben Albino, Chad Montero, Charlie Co, CJ Tañedo, Daniel Palma Tayona, Darel Javier, Borlongan, Epjey Pacheco, Odang, Jill Arteche, John Marin, Jonathan Joven, Lorina Tayag Capitulo, Peque Gallaga, Pinggot Zulueta, Rene Cuvos, Ronson Culubrina, and Soler. Tayona and Gallaga are participating posthumously.
Exquisite Derangements | September
Randalf Dilla’s 6th solo exhibition Exquisite Derangements contextualised his works within the space of a museum—the secular temple in which people encounter works of art that move them in all sorts of ways. He imagines for some to have an experience in which one can call close to a religious transformation that in reality; silent, inert objects become powerful conveyors of thoughts, feelings and ideas promising a powerful connection between the artist, the medium and the viewer that transcends time itself.
IN SACRED GROUNDS | October
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. That is, the Filipino indigenous peoples he often depicts, in their distinct traditional garb, in their wise faces, in their abundance or starvation, offer a map and a mirror to the noisy urbane and its equally disquieted inhabitants. 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 six solo shows and has been a part of numerous group shows with both emerging and established talents nationwide.
LOCKDOWN | November
Caloy Gernale | Mervin Pimentel | Christopher Zamora | Luigi Almuena
The Lockdown Group Show is a compilation of works created by artists Caloy Gernale, Mervin Pimentel, Luigi Almuena and Christopher Zamora. The works were gathered throughout the declaration of the lockdown in the Philippines. The show highlights the deprivation of Justice that is noticeable even more so during these trying times. In Lockdown, the works can be seen with wit and double entendre. This mirrors the vast concepts of how deprivation in various aspects are present within the society, the community and more especially, as humans with our own rights.
Lockdown disposes the attention of the audience toward the purpose of sharing the diverse realities that became present during the hardships of Filipinos in the covid-19 year. The question present in our minds of whether we still have hope for the last bit of justice we can receive from our rulers or do we just live life as it is and stretch ourselves to perceive what we can now witness. As artists with a voice turned to action, they allow to be drenched in the rain, they dance with their work, they speak what they observe and they tread hard no matter how difficult the injustices can get as long as they have their voices be heard.
Basic Painting | September
Mark Andy Garcia
Basic Painting makes plain and accessible the joys that come from allowing an attentiveness to take root and blossom. A blue night, a blur of trees, a stand of trees, a vase of flowers: their gift is immense and worthy of adoration. We are not bereft of beauty. As paintings, they are moments of revelation of an inner inquiry. Garcia shows that the deepest praise is quiet and unadorned. The simple is the spiritual.
NOW OPEN | October
These artists are Revelie Bueno, Roncal Cayas, Cedrick Dela Paz, Rhoss John Gadiana, Mark Laza, Christian Jame Maglente, Arnel Natividad, Ricky Natividad, Jolo Senense, and Macj Turla. All alumni of Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), which has emerged as a hotspot of artistic talent in recent years, the artists showcase a penchant for figuration that verges into the symbolic, capturing the sense of isolation, helplessness, and vulnerability that most people feel as they continue to live their lives despite the invisible but no less insidious threat of the novel coronavirus. As Now Open marks the collective’s initial venture, it would be interesting how this group of artists will forge their own path into the future. Nonetheless, the collective is now open, inviting the viewers to discover what they have to offer.
SOLACE | Year - End December 2020
Art Cube Gallery’s year-end exhibit features 58 artists who, by the highly creative works of their hands and imagination, seek to bring us to reflect on what has become of our lives and to give gratitude for our days of survival. It has been a most challenging chapter in our lives, as we have all struggled to keep the light shining within ourselves and to rekindle embers of life in our beings. As the ravages of this most wretched season has brought intense despair, we forge on empowered by memories of tranquility of days past. We are at a place and circumstance that are neither an end nor a beginning, but a state of flux, impelled by all the wisdom that days of yore have instilled in us.
“Solace” portrays standpoints and viewpoints of a battered world, as well as fantasies and daydreams of a better world. As day-by-day survivors of dangers and perils, we strive to find strength and comfort in knowing that people who matter in our hearts are making the same arduous journey with us. The feeling of being caged - trapped as we are in our physical and metaphysical worlds - transforms into a realisation that we are each ensconced inside our solace of survival, and in the process a sentiment of gratitude sprouts from the recesses of our being. The enchantment of life will hopefully crawl back into our souls. The austerity of our days, stripped of ambient noise that clutter our thoughts, will hopefully give way to an invisible force that infuses purpose and meaning in the remainder of our days.