Art Fair Philippines 2022

We are delighted to present two concurrent exhibitions to inaugurate its first presence at Art Fair Philippines 2022. The show entitled “Visceral Ecologies” is offered for viewing at our Main Gallery, while “Upon a Threshold” is unveiled at our Loft and Collectors’ Galleries.

Shift in Pathos: New World-making in Filipino Art

The landscape of Philippine art has experienced several significant shifts since the 70’s, especially in painting, where its evolutions, whenever confined within the frame, can serve as locus to more thematic observations.

One of the more longstanding subjects of concern in Filipino image-making is how effectively, and also for somehow accuratelyshould it convey the Filipino condition? And all these attempts are especially evident during most artists’ active involvement in groups associated with Social Realism that have sustained influences in many of the styles that we encounter until today.

But we have also witnessed the significant break from that tradition, mainly during the 90’s, in which more artists have begun to explore and have attempted to find other clues to the ‘Filipino condition’ outside the image-supplies of the urban slums, the afflicted pastoral and rural fields, the melancholic portraits of the repressed, as well as the raised fists of the oppressedall of which remain powerful containers of pathos, without question, that helped us understand the situation of the Filipino people better.

But as soon as these sets of images have become numerous and commonplace, the Filipino artist has also begun to understand that for art to remain meaningful, the space for her autonomy should never be simply surrendered. And in finding new forms through subjective experiences, she has opened herself to influences: Western in particular, but also in equal degrees: myths and the folkloric; the personal and the cathartic; fantasy and reality; technology and philosophy.

This openness is symptomatic to representations that embrace complexity and expansion. These expansions of views in turn bring together a different kind of totality, one that address both the familiar and the new, the known and the unknown. And these amalgamations give way to the visceralthe impulse, of what was not only encountered but actually ‘felt’ in the world—especially in the present world which has opened itself again to interpretation. And within these possible re-interpretations, artists can put as much claim as the intelligentsia. “The skin,” writes Brian Massumi, “is faster than the word.”

– Cocoy Lumbao

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