July 24 - August 14, 2021
Element of Uncertainty in the Dreamland
There is an element of uncertainty in the dreamland that Michael Delmo has conjured for us in his fourth solo exhibition, Ugmad.
Ugmad, a word shared by Cebuano and Hiligaynon alike, often pertains to the verb “to cultivate” as in “to foster growth”, “to raise”, “to work the soil”, or “to domesticate.” It can also stretch itself to mean “to prepare”, “to tame”, “to civilize”, “to accommodate” or “to refine”. All these cognate meanings apply to the precarious state that is common to all the works that comprise the exhibition.
Delmo speaks of the current state of the world as the inspiration for the exhibition. The past two years have become full of the unexpected and have brought so much for us to process or to cope with. Many of the characters in the imaginary world Delmo gives us, have eyes that express a range of emotions that we have all experienced from this recent precariousness, from cautiousness, determination, defiance.
Michael Delmo, born in 1992, is an Information Technology graduate of the Professional Electronics Institute in Iloilo City, who prides himself as a self-taught artist. An essential mindset he carries along with him on the daily is the mantra "art is a prayer”. The mantra allows him to connect with his divinity and share meaningful ideals to his audience. Delmo explains with passion that "art chooses the artist as a channel through which it will be created and not the other way around". He considers himself lucky to be a vessel of messages that are spoken through his work.
Deeply inspired by his wife and the people he surrounds himself with, Delmo also finds himself immersed in nature, listening to folk tales, myths, and the like. This is prevalent in his works that fall under the style that he calls "Magical Surrealism". He shares that in each process, he surrenders his mind and lets go of all hindrances and distractions to create.
For his upcoming show, titled— Ugma, a bisaya word which means Tomorrow. Delmo aims to make his viewers feel a heightened sensuality when they enter a world suffused with the beauty of the unknown. His vision is to draw his audience into an enigmatic alien terrain that helps them explore beyond the corners of the canvas by using their intuition and imagination. Delmo opens himself to constantly explore and experiment. In his earlier years, he was heavily influenced by his exposure as a production designer for the Dinagyang Festival. A lot of folk and mythological elements are present in his paintings.