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Altro Mondo

Altro Mondo

3D exhibitions

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    Living Traditions

    12 Nov 2022 – 03 Dec 2022

    LIVING TRADITIONS curated by Prof. Jerry Yapo by JAM Aguinaldo, CD Encarnacion, MKM Sajona, LB Ballaran, AJA Quilloy, BA Vista and AE Carandang A nation’s cultural identity is expressed in art. Much of who we are is latched on to our enduring artforms. Living Traditions directs our attention to the fine craftsmanship of our folk artists in the province of Laguna. The exhibit brings together six of the province’s most promising visual artists as they create pieces on Laguna’s iconic crafts: habi, lilok, taka, kayas, lala, at tsinelas. Theirs are an attempt to visualize the relatively distinct aesthetics of their chosen subject. Also featured are works rendering local artisans in situ. In doing so, we are sensitized to the constraints under which our artisans operate. Much as we want to understand the aesthetics of their output, local artisans deserve patronage of their unique forms of cultural expression. Traditions are treasured through artforms that endure time’s passing. - Prof. Jerry Yapo

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    L'anima della Materia (The Essence of the Medium)

    17 Nov 2022 – 31 Dec 2022

    L'anima della Materia (The Essence of the Medium) by Elvino Motti Elvino Motti is an Italian artist from Como, Italy. He studied under the tutelage of renowned Italian sculptor Guiliano Vangi at the Art Institute of Cantù, and then graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in 1975. His sculptures catch the attention of the public for their elegant and innovative style, described as being made of extreme smoothness and roundness, yet not domed. These pieces show themselves in their becoming, manifesting what is about to be born from their shapeless, what they would like to be, but still are not and never will be totally. In his exhibit L'anima della Materia (The Essence of the Medium), each sculpture has an intrinsic sensuality that induces you to lightly slide your fingers over it to understand its visual, tactile, and material effects. Motti has exhibited his works in various Italian locations: Rome, Milan, Mantua, Venice, Florence, Como, Assisi and abroad: Providence (USA), Dubai, London, Dubrovnik, Berlin and Tirana, Nice, France and Athens, Greece. He has also been present at some of the world's most important art fairs: Milan, Rome, Genoa, Forte dei Marmi, Arezzo, Padua, Reggio Emilia, Cesena and Bergamo.

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    Bagas

    15 Oct 2022 – 05 Nov 2022

    Bagas by Lorebert "Maralita" Comision In the Waray language, the word "bagas" refers to dehusking, a process of farming coconut also known as pagkokopra in Filipino, the primary livelihood of locals in Northern Samar. The word is also the title of artist Lorebert "Maralita" Comision's solo exhibition, himself a native of the region. The works in "Bagas" take inspiration from the experiences of Maralita's grandfather and other local farmers there, aiming to "dehusk" their stories which are being silenced and embedded deep among the roots of the coconut trees. Each piece depicts the daily lives of laborers and locals, utilizing Maralita's signature hyperstylized approach to the human form, as they are bent and contorted to snugly fit the edges of the canvas. The dejected expressions on their faces and their hunched posture convey the systemic entrapment of these self-effacing figures by Philippine society. Despite this, his compositions feature vibrant shades of oranges and browns against a muted palette, replete with Filipino iconography. This sprightly color choice is symbolic of Maralita's hopeful spirit, and a symbolic choice to invoke dusk and dawn, times of the day that signal promise and hope. He hopes that through his continued creative practice, he may be able to build an art community in his hometown and foster the spirit of unity among Samar artists. The works in the exhibit, and Maralita's enduring optimism, speak to his belief that the disempowered may come to realize a hope for themselves.

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    PLAY-DO

    15 Oct 2022 – 05 Nov 2022

    PLAY-DO by Faye Pamintuan and Poeleen Alvarez Some notes on wandering 1. Be a wanderer. 2. Be an explorer of the world. 3. See things with fresh eyes. 4. Interact with your surroundings. 5. Go to places you have never traversed before. 6. Always be looking. 7. Let your curiosity guide you. 8. Trace things back to their origin. 9. Listen to the stories around you. 10. Find an alternative path. 11. Get lost. 12. Collect objects. 13. Engage all of your senses. 14. Use all of your senses in your explorations. 15. Bring a notebook and record your findings. 16. Find kindred wanderers along the way. 17. Observe things from a distance. 18. Notice the tiniest of details. 19. Find the recurring patterns in nature and life. 20. Learn from everything. 21. Let go of expectations. 22. Allow space for the unplanned. 23. The unknown is your friend. 24. There are no rules. 25. Have fun. 26. Be present. 27. Play. The act of wandering is an invitation for play. When we start to question things, we open doors to new perspectives, possibilities and magic. Wandering is not about reaching a specific destination. Instead, it is about allowing ourselves to experience freedom—and let our body, mind and soul roam free. Wandering encourages a willingness and openness to fully engage with life and the unknown. To allow ourselves to be pushed beyond our comfort zones towards the unbound. A wanderer follows the path of indeterminacy– to allow, listen to hunches, daydream, flow, immerse, imagine, ramble, uncover, look, brainstorm, investigate, get lost, be in the moment, be idle, and play. John Cage once described writing music as “...purposeless play…This play, however, is an affirmation of life–not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and one’s desires out of its way and lets it act on its own accord”. Similarly, another approach to making art is through purposeless play. To create art for its own sake. To create without knowing the final image. Both Faye and Poeleen embody the energy of “Play-Do” by choosing to create from a more intuitive, spontaneous and playful approach. To be led by their wonderings —exploring, experimenting, allowing and making room for the unexpected. In the process, they discover, rediscover and unearth new worlds, formations and landscapes to traverse even if only in their minds. Danna Espinosa

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    Forefront

    10 Sep 2022 – 08 Oct 2022

    Forefront Nasser Zulueta, Tom Russ, Elwin Lyon The pandemic has brought forth many realizations; chief among them is the validation of the importance of certain jobs and workers we often take for granted. They’ve become indispensable as we continue to navigate a global health crisis and a hazy future. We’ve known them as the FRONTLINERS—the people at the forefront of this battle who risk their lives for the public. However, so much has been said, but less has been done to acknowledge their significant contributions. “Forefront,” a group exhibition featuring the works of Nasser Zulueta, Tom Russ, and Elwin Lyon, aims to honor their legacy by confronting the injustices and unfair treatment they endured. This exhibition hopes to raise awareness of the plight of our frontliners and bring different sectors of our society together to start conversations on this matter. Funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under the 2022 Competitive Grants, three artists have come together to honor our modern heroes. Nasser Zulueta, in his signature style, pays tribute to essential workers through monumentally sized works that play with scale and hues. Like a mosaic, each square piece reflects our distinct yet collective experiences in the past years. Elwin Lyon, a mental health advocate, puts her advocacy on display by combining her signature oil on canvas seascape painting style with her long-term passion for the game of chess. She depicts the ideal balance between work and play. With analogies to the movement and atmosphere of the sea, she explores the essence and contributions of the laboring citizens. And Tom Russ, a mixed media artist, highlights the struggles frontliners face by exploring different mediums, with each artwork underscoring the risks frontliners have faced. Using familiar objects, Tom created conceptual pieces for the fallen heroes and those who continue fighting. Together, these three very diverse artists will use their artistic voices to amplify the call for action.

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    Day One

    30 Oct 2021 – 26 Nov 2021

    Day One "In every phase of our imaginative, aesthetic, and emotional lives we are profoundly dependent on this larger context of the surrounding world." ― Thomas Berry When in the presence of nature, something within us is stirred. As we listen deeply to the voice of the natural world, we often find ourselves enraptured by its revelations drawing us to contemplate its nature and our relation to it. Whether we are in awe of its profound beauty ― struck by the grandeur of a tree, the stillness of the rocks, the vastness of the fields, the tranquility of the mountains, to the gush of the falls and the rhythm of the waves, the gentle touch of the wind and the pouring rain, the descent of a bird, the patterns of a honeycomb, the scent of a flower, or the gentle comfort as we walk barefoot on the grass, or in terror of its immense power―in the roaring thunder, or the swirling storms, the massive shaking of the ground, or the spewing flame of a volcano,―there is in us an intrinsic knowing that apart from the human race, we are constantly in the presence of life forms and non-life elements, from which we are not separate, and sustains our existence. “The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human”. ― Thomas Berry The proclivities and works of the artists in this exhibition resonate with what Thomas Berry has eloquently expressed about the universe as "a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects". Each artist engages a dialogue with the natural world ― particularly with a 'subject' of nature with which they have a distinct affinity or personal relationship. It is an invitation to bring forth the poetic visual language of the subtle intimations of a conversation between the artist and the ‘subject.’ An experience is personal but a relationship is intimate. Recollecting the experience of communing with nature, the artists re-create a space of engagement between the human and the natural world represented by creative responses. As a collective, the exhibition echoes the continuing profound presencing of nature to humans and the human to nature. “We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin “Day One” suggests a moment in time, of a beginning, a newness, that projects or anticipates a continuance –a progression, of possibilities, of movement. Yet it can also imply every moment as a beginning – every day as 'day one' – taken in the context that every moment affects the moment that comes after – initiating something that prompts a reaction. We need not look far. All of nature reveals this to us. For where we are now and how we are today is all because of the ‘flaring forth’ on ‘day one.’ “Nature is a realm of intricate structures and processes, as artists, our intervention stems from our consciousness of connecting to the larger realm of living beings…,” says Sam Feleo who has collaborated with her friend Anjo Joaquin in the creation of terraria. Each terrarium is 'a reminder of our forgotten selves, and of beings that sustain us.' Deeply fascinated with biomineralization, teeth, bones, shells, and crystals, Sam Feleo responds with another work, 'Crystal Burst, Sonic Bloom,' through the process of deconstruction and reconstruction of images. Curiously studying images, she cuts parts into pieces and meticulously re-assembles/re-configures them to create a collage of a new expression of the same thing, in what she calls a ‘sonorous type of energy, like a burst of life.’ Yas Doctor observes, reflects, creates. She states, “‘Reclamation’ is a word often associated with manmade projects supposedly made for the benefit of the people.” In her work, she says, “reclamation is taken from the point of nature--- from as big as sinkholes to the tiny sprouts of foliage appearing between concrete cracks.”Her keen observation of the seemingly ordinarythings and their processes of action and reactionreveal the same pattern in the bigger scheme of life and the processes of nature,teaching us through metaphors the many layers of the reality of life. In ‘I am smaller than what is happening to me,’ND Harnvisualizesher“fear of the inescapable and uncontrollable nature of a natural disaster, a pandemic, and the complicated relationships in my home life. "Recognizing the powers of nature, the complexity and vulnerability of life, and the often-irresponsible attitude of humans, she responds with this series that depicts her house gradually getting submerged in black, trapping her inside. For Harn, it represents not only the fear of living in a flood-prone area during a pandemic but also the hopelessness of not being able to fix or leave behind a broken relationship. Meanwhile,Anton Villaruel takes on a creative relational project. As an active response to the worsening climate crisis, in his ‘HALA MÆN,’ he initiates a ‘one art installation is to one tree planting rule 'to engage others for a more proactive response to the issue. From his place as an artist, he does not stop at creating an output to be experienced, but one that invites the viewer 'to foster a tree by volunteering their efforts and space’ for the propagation of ‘life.’ Finally, Diwa Abueva brings us ‘home’ – to our domestic environment. Speaking of her cat, and perhaps of any pet, that man has a close relation to, she says, "A long process of evolution has made it possible for our species and theirs to come and live together. I find myself amazed and happy about this and think of it as a continuing personal relationship with the cosmos. What my cat thinks, on the other hand, is still a mystery.” And perhaps will remain a mystery within the limits of the intellect. But in our hearts, we know to be true what nature speaks - in the glimpses of intimations of their presence when we choose to be present and attentive.

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    Penumbra Gong

    04 Sep 2021 – 26 Sep 2021

    This exhibition is a culmination of J Consunji’s paintings from January 2020 to August 2021. The works are a reflection on the effects and roles of humankind on the environment, interspersed with thoughts on the artist’s personal experiences that permeate day to day living during this period. An element that envelops the works is the capturing of light in a diffracted state, such as twilight. This transitional period creates the setting for a more abstract world — the edges of colors and lines shimmer, and the edges of delineation soften and disperse. A gradual shift from one reality to another is a pervasive and immanent condition. This inevitable change is presented here in its forceful and authoritative power. From the depiction of gentle winds that pass through the interstitial leaves of trees that transform into violent gales, to the setting of a searing and looming sun — Nature is a reckoning force.

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    ALBUM: Filipinas

    30 Aug 2021 – 19 Sep 2021

    Album: Filipinas Felix Mago Miguel Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea is pleased to present ALBUM: FILIPINAS, a solo exhibition featuring the works of Felix Mago Miguel. Album: Filipinas takes its name from a chapter of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, one of the first books to record our history as a country. The chapter is a collection of portraits that tell stories of the past. Similarly, this exhibit features a series of portraits covering different chapters of Philippine history, each carrying with it a multitude of symbols, narratives, and iconography that reveal the subject's individual story and allude to our shared experience as a nation. As we look inside Felix Mago Miguel's Album and see into the past, he hopes that it may help begin the unfolding of more stores that were shelved, abandoned, erased, lost, and retold — that it may serve as a mirror and a lens with which we can see our true image reflected back to us: Filipinas.

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    Manila Synethesia

    31 Jul 2021 – 31 Aug 2021

    Manila Synesthesia is Marius Black’s 5th solo show. It tackles the neurological condition known as synesthesia, where information is meant to stimulate one of the senses, instead stimulates several of them. Similarly, Marius, conjures Manila not just by portraying its people and citizens, but also by painting still life, flowers, cats and dogs, which reflect the identity of the city. Through his Manila Ukiyo-E Series, Marius Black uses color and poetry to tell stories about how we can still find beauty living in our lives in Manila no matter how hard and complicated it gets.

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    ONGAAAA!!!

    31 Jul 2021 – 22 Aug 2021

    It has always been the young and the uninitiated that the lure of the contemporary pulls at strongest. And for his first solo exhibition, Ongaaa, award-winning visual artist Lorebert Comision who goes by the artist name, “Maralita”, visually gives his loudest and most ear-splitting roar to date. The exhibit displays a maturity beyond the artist’s years as well as a great potential deserving of being featured in a premier Manila art space. It marks a new phase for Maralita in exploring different approaches to painting after being recognized in national art competitions for his distinctly indigenous visual language. Onga or Unga is the long, arduous, guttural sound made by the kalabaw or water buffalo, a creature which reminds Maralita of his humble beginnings growing in Northern Samar. It can either be a nod in agreement as in “oo nga” or a drawn out lamentation of a lingering pain or a paused longing. Ongaaa is an aptly strong title for Maralita’s first solo exhibition, featuring works that are a simultaneous nod to his past and at the same time a chronicle of his moving forward in fulfillment of his artistic calling. The phrase honors his beloved Samar roots as a constant reminder of the pains of growing up poor and downtrodden. Unfazed by the limitations of traditional media, he mixes three or more coats of paint, expanding the possibilities of materiality by painting in reverse or even traversing the production process. Maralita’s brand of realism counters the constrictions of traditional genres to redefine contemporary narratives in his own language. Often interjecting the banal with the sacred, his art defies fixation with norms. Importantly, practicing in the peripheries has given him fresh perspectives on his own distinct experiences. This is helping him to develop a creative process by which he translates these experiences to evocative expressions. From the confidence and certainty in this debut show, one can tell, Maralita has only just begun.

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    Scopic Anatomies: Recent Works by Sam Feleo

    03 Aug 2021 – 22 Aug 2021

    Artist Sam Feleo uses her medium as a way of combining disparate parts to create a whole. In Scopic Anatomies, Feleo brings the foundations of this artistic process to the idea of life as a conglomeration of different things, highlighting its true nature as an intricate network of elements in a state of dynamic balance. This series of collage work seeks to understand these biological structures by paring them down to their most basic parts then juxtaposing components with each other. The consequent product is a mix of playful and absurd imagery reminiscent of a Dali painting. An eyeball encased in a mollusk shell, a frog leg poking out from a tree branch — these unnatural yet mesmerizing organisms tease the eye and invite the viewer to look closer. As Feleo combines jarring, spliced hybrids of animal parts and vegetal masses, what emerges is an intimate look at life on different levels, from the tiniest atom to the cosmic biosphere.

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    Keep Calm and Octopus

    29 May 2021 – 20 Jun 2021

    KEEP CALM AND OCTOPUS by Abe Orobia “When the Covid-19 pandemic took over last year, it brought fear to the world and I found myself back to the fear of dying, or fear that my anxiety might relapse. These paintings I did for this show is a stark reminder for me to stay calm, be steady, and most importantly, breathe because this too shall pass.” —Emman Acasio A Father’s Muse Known for his pop-surrealist highly detailed works Emman Acasio’s latest exhibition titled Keep Calm and Octopus was described by him as a love letter to his son, Jacek, who was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay (GDD). Among Jacek’s comfort words is “octopus!” which he says repeatedly until his mom Joanna repeats it to appease him. Emman’s musings are inspired by both his struggles during this pandemic and of Jaceks “octopus” word. His life’s predicaments are what lead him to work on the exhibit’s title and in creating a framework based on the intermarriage of his form and content. Another highlight of the show will be the showcase of Joanna’s handwritten letters to Jacek. Aside from the octopus, Joanna incorporated Jacek’s favorite toys, food, and random things significant to their child in the last 5 years in each work. The figure of the octopus represents adaptability, since in the wild, octopuses are known to adapt to their surroundings at any given situation. As an octopus in its natural habitat expels ink resembling itself to escape prey, Emman’s technique of building layers of poured paints then painting it over with distinguishable elements are representations of his and of Jacek’s approach to the world, and their adaptability and resilience in difficult situations.

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    Devi

    24 Apr 2021 – 23 May 2021

    Devi – the title of this exhibit – means "heavenly, divine, anything of excellence. "It is the feminine equivalent of a deity or god in Sanskrit, deva being the masculine form. The term diwata is a derivative of deva. In this collection of paintings, the artist Guy Custodio portrays his inspired goddesses either in the Spanish colonial finery of the 1800s or in the precolonial costumes of our ancestors, complete with gold jewelry that used to be part of their everyday attire. Custodio, whose roots are in Spain, is influenced by Spanish religious art. And so, just as the enshrined image of the Macarena in Sevilla, Spain is overdressed with embroidery and lace, Custodio’s deities are as elaborately fitted out. For the quincentennial celebration of Christianity in the Philippines, he produced twelve original artworks about Philippine mythological deities, in recognition that before the arrival of Christianity in our islands we believed in Diwata and Bathala, much in the same way that we believe in Christianitytoday. He chosemyths, legends and folklore because, like in the creation process,these stories generate extensive symbolism from unknown origin and without boundaries. Custodio does not pretend to impress a new creation through his paints and brushes, but simply wishes to convey an essential expression of delight. The ever-present jar (balanga, belanga, or banga) in all his paintings alludes to its important role in our ancestors’ life and death – fermenting rice, storing food and water, cooking, and burying the dead. And in the latter context, its significance even extends to the afterlife. Custodio also created his own petroglyphs and his own Kawi-and Baybayin-like scripts, suspended behind abstract frameworks. The pusô (boiled rice in woven pouch of palm leaves) in the Salembangen painting is in homage to the practice bypre-Hispanic Filipinos of making offerings of pusô to the Diwata spirits, and of its use in rituals, festivities, and religious events. The artist created original patterns of batik and banigas uniquely-designed background for his paintings. Most of the titles, characters, and stories of the paintings were invented, reimagined, and retold folktales. Note that in the first three paintings Custodio described all the elements surrounding each deity, but he left the rest of the paintings open to the viewer’s imagination. The artworks were painted in oil, charcoal, pastel, chalk, metal leaf and acrylic on canvas. Guy Custodio is a visual artist and a painting conservator. He studied fine arts in Los Angeles, California and lived in Spain for more than two decades, where he also studied restoration of religious art and painting conservation under distinguished professors from Escuela de Artes y Antiguedades and the Istituto Centrale del Restauro. He lived in Bohol where he restored many church retablos and ceiling paintings. He held several exhibits in Manila; and recently has been commissioned by the National Museum of the Philippines to restore the ceiling paintings and retablos of colonial churches in Bohol and Samar. -Ruby Candelaria Escosa

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    Spatial Spotlight

    20 Mar 2021 – 11 Apr 2021

    Spatial Spotlight gathers some of the Philippines’ best and brightest abstractionists working today, namely Nestor Vinluan, Kenneth Montegrande, Josep Pascual, Raul Isidro, Raul Lebajo, Poch Naval, Jacob Lindo, Binong Javier, Sio Montera, Niño Hernandez, J Consunji, Eddie Santillan, Louie Ignacio, Pete Jimenez, Melbourne Aquino, Marlon Magbanua, Jonathan Olazo, Pancho Piano, Raul Rodriguez, and Red Mansueto. The exhibit demonstrates this group of artists’ excellent command of their craftsmanship, drawing the viewers attention to their magnetic use of colors, shapes, gestural markings, and forms. Grouped together, the works coalesce and reveal the groups’ masterful ability to translate their ideas onto a blank canvas, spotlighting their magnificent use of space as a vehicle for their imaginative depictions of visual reality.

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    Of Art and Her Stories

    20 Mar 2021 – 11 Apr 2021

    Art. Story. Her story. It is where women and their art forms meld in wonderful visual harmony to tell each of their unique stories through their creations. In these current times, gone are the days that art is predominantly male because the female psyche has been emerging tremendously. Women are equally prolific, and in some cases, even more than men. But truth be told, art is and should never be about gender. It is all about the musings that translate cerebral abstracts from nothingness to magnificent works of visual arts. In the case of “Of Art and Her Story”, one will genuinely feel the emotions coming out of each stroke, each sheen, each scratch of the featured art pieces. And maybe, just wonderfully maybe, understand the creative processes that consumed all our female artists during their moments of creation. From mixed media, sculptures and even wearable art, “Of Art and Her Story” will give you more than just stories to tell.

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    The Sea is not a Quiet Place

    08 Jan 2022 – 12 Feb 2022

    The Sea is not a quiet place… Third Solo Exhibition by Joar Songcuya “My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “How to represent the wind? How to paint emptiness? And the light, its brightness, its purity? I did not want to reproduce but to juxtapose forms, to assemble them in order to find in them the whispering wind over still water.” -Zao Wou-Ki Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them. Self taught artist Joar Songcuya continues his saga at sea with his exciting new works presented by Altro Mondo Creative Space and wonderfully curated by Ricky Francisco. The current aesthetic dialogue of the artist with his increasing followers is an extension of Joar Songcuya’s first solo exhibit, entitled “The History of Water” successfully mounted last year in the same art gallery and curated by Charlie Samuya Veric. His talent did not escape the discriminating eye of art writer and critic Patrick Flores when his works were included in the recently concluded Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference (Viva Excon) Exhibit in Bacolod presenting the “Atlantiko, Pasipiko, Artiko” series. The exhibit elicited much attention and interest from art collectors and aficionados alike. His new works are immersed in the crucible of modernism while also drawing on traditional and classical motifs to create his singular visual image. The works are modern versions of the aesthetic influences of William Turner, Van Gogh, Sisley and certainly not to a lesser degree, with that of the Greek, Iannis Tsarouchis, minus the latter’s erotic fantasies. Obliquely, his subjects, Filipino seamen at work in large ships often appear in allegories. They express anxiety, longing as well as desire. Evidently, the works in review demonstrate a creative mind at work always looking for existential profundity. He aimed for truth, not just something pleasant, acceptable, entertaining or even macabre. That suffices to give his work a compelling edge over new artists of his generation for its candidness and social relevance. Songcuya’s strength is in the way he has convincingly formulated a unique artistic language. His works establish their own symbolic universe, mixing personal memory, loss and desire, pointing to the negotiation and transgression of limits between art and the everyday experiences at sea that were central to his work and his aesthetic philosophy emphasis was placed on the profoundly spiritual qualities of his painting as well as the artist’s ability to reveal the inner harmony of his compositions. The beauty of his swirling brushstrokes and his subtle, tender colours have become a pleasant visual massage to the senses. They are authentic, confident, simultaneously delicate and bold. Much like Zao Wouki, his subtle colours are light and fire that could express a sense of space. Not so obsessed with form, his almost abstract brushstrokes are full of depth, projecting a vital organic quality. It is quite evident that his exploration with abstraction, just like other great artists before him, seems to be inspired by prehistoric art. Interestingly, his new works have become more reassured and are no longer confined to preconceived ideas. The works took on new energy, evolving to incorporate sweeping and dynamic brushstrokes and greater use of moderate impasto. He continues to experiment with colour, light, space, and movement. His confident transition is clearly demonstrated in “The Sea is Not A Quiet Place”, In this electrifying piece, an intense combination of white and pink clouds is set against turbulent waves of black and blue at the foreground like a burst of light and darkness spreading downwards into a dark, unfathomable space at the bottom of the ocean. Yet the masterpiece also reflects the descriptive brushwork found in traditional painting resonating Turner. Songcuya alludes to a natural turbulent seascape in this painting. As if from a cave-like space or between onrushing waves, we see a ray of light. Songcuya avers that the water world possesses such a language so strange and foreign that one could only decipher it by the growling sound and erratic movement of the water. The impressionable currents are the sea’s voice. It took a long time for this professional marine engineer to finally connect and understand what they convey or conjure. In these transitional moments, Songcuya evokes the power of primeval forces with life, fire, blood and passion - the energetic forces regarded as fundamental elements of both nature and humanity. “Port of Call: Africa”, a 48 x 72 oil on canvas composition mirrors the artist’s indelible experience with the world’s greatest ports. It marked his sailing years where he learned real hard work, patience, sympathy and sacrifice. This experience likewise was shared by many Filipino sailors peopling merchant and cargo ships, tankers, and even giant luxury liners. This portrait of anchored ships, somewhat reverberates a much needed respite from the ever present danger at sea. In my opinion, there is no less picturesqueness in this seemingly industrial landscape. The composition presents a wide variety of shapes, rhythms, complex structures, and a lot of colours executed using high quality materials with different brushes and a palette knife to achieve this complex colourful texture. Its narrative is just as admirable. In “Dancing Waves”, Songcuya keenly observes these whirling waves rolling like some graceful dancers at twilight. The sea sways its hips seducing a looker. The sea is tamer to anyone who invades that territory like a siren luring a drifter. As artist, he was driven by his desire to see, his tremendous love for light and what it could do; but in his life he was too much driven by his desire to hide, to be in the dark. The way light and dark are in his work is breathtaking; the way these opposites quarrel in his life is monumentally painful and sad. One sees something like heaven, with that angel whiteness and breadth of blue, light sky in “Tidal Apparition” and “Hear the Sea Sing” But unseen in the foreground are imaginary subliminal “dingy oddments,” that predominate the inner life of Pinoy seafarers. And that is the “pain,” that this poet artist constantly writes about. The great message of all those magnificent paintings is—light and litter are in the same world. It is a message that means a great deal to Songcuya and it affirms Eli Siegel’s Aesthetic Realism principle: “In reality opposites are one; art shows this”. In this new exhibit, Joar displays an apparent welcome evolution in his painting style and that, in his very young career. Though he still stays true to the genre of land and seascape, his career is progressing quite maturely as he begins to pay less attention to the details of objects and seascape and more attention to the effects of light and color. He remains increasingly fascinated with natural and atmospheric elements. He has likewise staged some distinctive dramatis personae in his creations, where sailors, in their varied tasks on deck, are paid tribute to in their thankless life at sea. One of the finest paintings in this series is the incandescent “Caught Between the Devil and The Sea”. The tricolor red, white and blue of this extraordinary œuvre owe as much to the romanticism of Delacroix as to Paul Klee. The vertical colourfields are shot through with fragments of red (the character of “fire” is among the few that are decipherable) misshapen ripostes to his subconscious tradition of casual, confident, calligraphic brush movements that place Songcuya's mature aesthetic spirit on the same expressive predilection as de Kooning, one of Abstract Expressionism’s most vibrant rebels. If viewed as a singing contest, Songcuya manages to capture centre stage in this third solo exhibit, letting lose two soaring arias with cobalt blue blaring fortissimo the immense 48 x72 inches paintings, “Port of Call: Africa” and “The Sea is not a Quiet Place”. Both pieces soar free of the constraints of stifling, predictable tradition. All other pieces that accompany these chefs d’œuvres, offer just as much visual magnetism to the audience. The assembly of works also presents a significant lesson of well controlled, mixed blue tones of this young master. Joar’s billowing liquid blue at the core of his two monumental pièces de résistance calls to mind the great watercolour and ink abstractions of that renegade Chinese Modernist, Zhang Da-Quian. The artist’s vibrantly evolving paintings already faintly avoid representation of forms from nature, expressing instead the Abstract feeling of the colours, reflections, energy, and harmony of land, sea, earth, and sky. “The Sea is not a Quiet Place” is a magnificent art exhibit to start an exciting year right. It should not to be missed. It certainly is worth a détour. - Remigio I David

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    Dysfunctional

    04 Sep 2021 – 26 Sep 2021

    Dysfunctional Dysfunctional is a solo exhibition featuring new works by artist Darel Javier. In this exhibit, Javier explores the boundaries of art through his creative practice. His works blend together figurative painting with elements of glitch art and abstract art, peppered in with humorous yet pointed commentary. Javier believes that art has no rules, which is evident in the dynamic and unfettered imagery in his work. Though he works outside the limits of his imagination, he still manages to ground his compositions with layers of meaning and narratives that interest him. Raised in a family of artists, Darel Javier graduated with a degree in Architecture from La Consolation College. After migrating to North Carolina to work in construction related projects, he returned to Bacolod City to pursue a career as a full-time artist. His work was cited in 2014 as Juror’s Choice in the Philippine Art Awards Visayas.

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    Certain Shade of Green

    08 Jan 2022 – 12 Feb 2022

    JAYSON PETTZ MURING’s “CERTAIN SHADE OF GREEN” By Cid Reyes Different strokes for different folks. Some artists use their public persona as a fulcrum to achieve celebrity and fame, though in actuality their work may be held less in esteem than the works of artists who prefer to keep their privacy to themselves. A classic example of this behavior is that between the flamboyant Andy Warhol and the reclusive Jasper Johns. In propelling the development of their art, some artists choose to sublimate their works to the commercial demands of the market, while other artists prefer to enrich their works with their values and beliefs. Classic examples are the Pop artist Peter Max and the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko. Against this essential background, we approach the New Year’s opening show at Altro Mondo, the third solo exhibition of Jayson Pettz Muring tantalizingly titled “Certain Shade of Green.” The artist himself shares that he derived the title and inspiration from the song of the American rock band “Incubus”. The album is billed as “S. C. I. E. N.C. E.” which, according to the band members, stands for “Sailing Catamarans is Every Nautical Captain’s Fantasy.” To quote a band member: “Sometimes, we just sit around and come up with these for laughs. In other words, there’s not just one meaning. It’s just food for thought.” A catamaran, by the way, is a multi-hulled water craft featuring two parallel hulls of equal size. It was invented by the Austronesian peoples which enabled their expansion to the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A reading of the lyrics helps clarify the theme and message. “A certain shade of green Tell me is that what you mean They say move ahead Could someone please explain to me Your present lack of speed” Since green is universally acknowledged as the color of the traffic light that gives the Go signal, the emerging theme then is procrastination. At the outset, however, one cautions the viewer not to look for a literal correlation between the theme and Muring’s abstract works. To start with, abstraction rejects any depiction of reality, since its language is one of shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks. Indeed, the word “abstract” means “to separate or withdraw from something else” and therefore does not make visual references. What is visually apparent, however, is Muring’s adoption of the color green, in its various medley of shades. One is hard-put to identify which particular shade of green dominates his canvases. And certainly, we have learned that photographs of artworks can be but an approximation of the actual painting. But perhaps it will suffice to say that Muring courted the shades of forest green, emerald, shamrock, teal, moss green, and even a mirage of turquoise. Nonetheless, the subtleties and nuances of these shades of green engage the eye in a contemplation of the sea. Such a surface where one may see the swiftly sailing catamarans. The effect is immersive and summons total retinal absorption. One perceives a diffusion of floating islands of greens moving together in harmony or dispersing away from each other. Muring’s canvases are drenched with aquatic light that quietly descends into the oceanic depths, asking nothing of the viewer but a submission to their chromatic spell. Indeed, they could in fact be a nautical captain’s ecstasy. The works are composed as diptychs and triptychs, a favored format which accommodates the resources of an expansive space, an oceanic calm. But what these works will not accommodate is a literal interpretation of the Incubus lyrics: “What are you waiting for A certain shade of green I think I grew a gray watching you procrastinate.”

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    Spatial Spotlight II

    11 Nov 2022 – 02 Dec 2022

    Spatial Spotlight II is a group exhibition featuring the works of Rosscapili, Nestor Vinluan, J Consunji, Kenneth Montegrande, Jay Ragma, Niccolo Jose, Jacob Lindo, Lee Caces, Poch Naval, Fitz Herrera, Pablo Biglang-awa, Sal Ponce Enrile, Red Mansueto, Niño Hernandez, Gary Custodio, Rico Lascano, Beatrix Syjuco, Allain Hablo, Richard Buxani, Joel Reglos, and Marlon Magbanua. Following the previous Spatial Spotlight show from last year, the exhibit once again brings together the country’s leading abstract artists in one creative venue to showcase the best of contemporary abstract art. The show illustrates these artists’ mastery of their craft, putting their impressive use of colors, shapes, gestural markings, and forms front and center. As a collection, the works reveal each artist’s skillful ability to transform a blank canvas into a point of departure for their imaginative depictions of reality.

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    Dilemma

    04 Sep 2021 – 26 Sep 2021

    Dilemma Inspired by the uncertainties in the present world and the fear of the unknown, Dilemma is a group exhibition featuring the works of Edmund Andrada, Jerome Choco, Kel Hilario, Nelson Ricahuerta, Obet Tiaño, Pabsie Martus, Ralph Allen Semilla, and Elyen Elyen. The word dilemma refers to a difficult situation or problem ¬¬– a fitting description for what the global situation has been these preceding months. The exhibit seeks to explore the myriad ways each artist has chosen to move forward from these current unfortunate circumstances, how they’ve trusted the process, and sought light at the end of the tunnel. It is a creative examination of resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

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    On Making God Laugh

    08 Jan 2022 – 12 Feb 2022

    "ON MAKING GOD LAUGH” Written by Tony Aran “Mann tracht, un Gott lacht”. “Man plans, and God laughs." On Making God Laugh brings together four artists, four close friends, as they enjoy their own versions of being in their 30’s. The exhibit reunites them and gives them the opportunity to look back on various significant life events: marriage, fatherhood, remaining single. They reflect upon their growth in terms of their personal and professional lives, which has influenced and sustained their artistic development. Working off of his fascination with erosion and decay, Ioannis Sicuya moves away from his usual themes of degradation to include subjects relating to overgrowth, permeation and progression. In his works, which he divides into three levels: “Early Stage”, “Mid-Stage”, and “End-Stage”, he reflects on various significant points in one’s lifetime, highlighting the parallels between life and a game. Each level not necessarily references age, but explores the expectations imposed on an individual at each stage of life. Within each stage, he invites the audience to engage in a visual tour through his miniaturized landscape of maze-like levels, to navigate through and/or get lost in their complexities. By doing so, the audience is introduced into his far subtler point which is to question that very need to move forward: "Why is it that, as if we were stuck in a game we don’t understand, we have that primal urge to move, or explore, or plain just displace ourselves from our current position or situation?” “Why is it that although we are doubtful of any ‘rules,’ and regardless of whether or not we have a conscious purpose when, like in life, the playing field is just as convoluted and its rules (if any at all) are just as obscured, we are all still compelled to play our turns, even if it just means leaving everything to chance?” Chad Montero's work revisits the wealth of lore from old children’s stories, particularly from the fables he encountered as a child. As an adult, he re-examines the veracity of their purported "moral lessons," which he finds, if not entirely inapplicable, are otherwise completely backwards and removed from the much harsher, more nuanced subtleties of real life. In the real world, there is no moral narrative safeguard that ensures that the good guys "win." More often than not, it is the "Pagongs" that lose and fall victim to circumstance to the benefit of the "Kunehos" and "Matsings" of the world. "Butil," "Lampara", "Trono" and "Karera" lay bare these stark truths. The works are framed in an old cabinet and within the insides of a drawer to signify where such childhood stories end up lost in memory. The works present ‘amendments’ to these outdated narratives. Montero fittingly borrows from old 12th century illuminated manuscripts, as if to give these satirical credence, while modifying them with new, updated "moral lessons" he gleaned from his own experiences. Adeo Sta. Juana’s painstakingly precise, meticulously calculated constructional compositions become a setting that encourages digression, such as the playful and free-wheeling collaborative scribbles of his wife Magi and their daughter Chaouen. These serve as visual metaphors for how the best laid plans are still subject to the inevitable, yet interesting and hopefully delightful, uncertainties of life. Adeo draws the inspiration for his works from their shared activities as a family. In "Valencia in Fourths and Eighths," he takes inspiration from the simple act of eating an orange together. His knowledge in the principles of geometry has brought out the underlying math involved in dissecting the spheroid-shaped fruit. His works, therefore, with "Imperceptible Matters" and the aptly titled "Trio Attempting Normalcy", are more than just paintings. They are memories that physically manifest as traces of small, seemingly inconsequential activities in their lives. Once more, using the medium as part of his message, Carlo Aranton contemplates upon order and chaos through his experimentations with Aluminum foil. Chosen for its delicate and fragile nature, he challenges himself to recreate origami pieces as a way of confronting his obsessive compulsions for perfectionism and control. The titles of the three works in his Rhopalocera series: “Larva", "Chrysalis", and "Imago," come from the Latin terms used to describe the stages of evolution of a butterfly. These three stages are formed in origami, juxtaposed against a backdrop of crumpled aluminum—as a way of conveying how our efforts to control and exercise "order" are but limited islands of convenience and comprehension against a vast continuum of entropy. The use of foil instead of paper for origami, clues us into his analogy of how life ‘feels’ like—at least, to him. It’s delicate, susceptible to accidental damage and setbacks and, at least from an origami standpoint, it gets messed up very easily but it doesn’t get diminished in its use or value for being wrinkly and inconvenient. In fact, it is meant to do all that. And that is his point: The screwups were not aberrations, they were a feature and that if he’d just treated life more that way, he’d just may be on the verge of discovering a new ingredient to improve his “lemonade” recipe. On Making God Laugh is a collaborative group show that dares to imagine how the Higher Power would laugh at these attempts to map out and tame an unpredictable world. So, how do you make God laugh? Well... you tell Him your plans.

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    Seres Fifos

    25 Sep 2021 – 24 Oct 2021

    Carlos Blanco Artero is a visual artist who spent his formative years travelling between Madrid and Zaragoza in Spain. The only constant in his life has been painting, a practice that he’s dedicated himself exclusively to since 2003. This constant change of cities and schools may in some way contribute to the unique disjointedness that characterizes his work. Blanco's organized chaos and patchwork disfigurations reference the human body and everyday scenes from his childhood, pieced together like a puzzle, bringing to mind George Condo and Picasso's eclectic yet singular visions. These kinds of peculiarities certainly play a role in Seres Fifos, the artist’s first solo show in the Philippines and Altro Mondo’s first purely virtual exhibit. It is also Altro Mondo’s first show by an international artist since the pandemic began. The term seres fifos is a play on the Spanish phrase seres vivos meaning "living beings." Artero has always been struck by the way in which a small group of Spanish people pronounce "v" as "f." He says that if his characters were living beings themselves, they would use this peculiar way of communicating, especially to feel more different from the rest of the world. It's these kinds of idiosyncrasies that underscore his work. The works in Seres Fifos, in particular, showcase his penchant for bold abstractions, disordered anatomy, and rich color palettes. It's here where Artero's masterful puppetry of objects and the human form is on full display, creating expressing, gestural paintings with out-of-focus figurative elements.

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    Begin with the Second, A Mirror of the First

    08 Jan 2022 – 12 Feb 2022

    I Split an Image into Two, but Still Ended up with One It is quite uncommon to find a concept that connotes a beauty that straddles multiple disciplines despite extreme differences between them. Mathematicians see it on either side of equations. Physicists see it as they study microscopic and macroscopic universes. Poets see it in the way words interact. Architecture puts great consideration into its existence in every aspect of the built environment. This is the value of symmetry in the human experience and this is ever so true when it comes to Art. Children are trained to master shapes like circles, squares, and triangles in early art classes, and later on growing up entails the need to mathematically bisect them at the least (with many questioning the purpose of such a skill). Most, if not all of us, learn to fold paper in half: the beginnings of a paper plane, a paper boat. For some it will evolve into paper cranes or any of the advanced techniques origami has to offer. Yet it all begins with turning what was one into two. Two. A pair. A human pair’s bond is such a valuable relationship. Out of all humans, out of the countless personalities, traits, idiosyncrasies, or even genetic mutations, to find another human being that seems to be that perfect reflection of ourselves is most likely a once in a lifetime phenomenon. It exists between friends, lovers, family members, and pets – but the destruction, the severance of this bond can shatter to such a degree that the beings involved are never the same... never whole again. Because it is such: two halves of a whole, two sides of a coin; or a binary - left and right, black and white, yin and yang – it only makes sense in juxtaposition, being side by side in an intangible symmetry. And yet after all that has been said, it is not a binary, or not simply so. It might be that there are a variety of symmetries: rotational, radial, translational, bilateral, reflection, among others, but they all begin with a second, a mirror of the first. One that has always been considered whole, is actually two halves of a complementary image. And then it expands both ways: broken down into smaller components, or building upon itself. Going back to the circle, square, and triangle - most of the complex things around you right now can be reduced to these shapes, as symmetry does not end with just two parts. A study by Sasaki Yuka and colleagues (2005) found that the visual cortex is activated better by symmetrical visuals, while many other studies have shown that human aesthetic preference has a predisposition to be governed by the symmetrical. However, even the human body, in its apparent bilateral symmetry, bears a multitude of nuances. Some things are slightly lower on this side, bigger on that side. Unfolding a paper crane reveals a delicate yet captivating array of lines, not all of which appear on the other side. At this point it should be obvious that symmetry is also about the relation of parts to a whole – considering how the Golden Ratio explains the way symmetry works in either reduction or replication. In her seminal essay “Reading the Image,” Alice Guillermo discusses the relationship of figures or elements in a work, how these “occur in temporal sequence to constitute a narrative or may take the form of simultaneous facets or aspects of reality.” However intentional, there will always be a layer of subconscious, even of the mystical, in how these relationships turn into images. Eventually given a purpose to understand the elements that form any symmetry as a metaphor, each of the artists in this exhibition partake of a whole and split the images in their minds as they explore personal symmetries. — Francisco Lee

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    Repository of Reflection

    12 Nov 2022 – 03 Dec 2022

    Repository Of Reflection by Jea Mina, Wil Magsino, Kalem, Roomel Catapang, Ma. Luinette Belen, Jayvie Maglente, Chiz Cueva, Kenneth Batubatan, Jaycel Musnit, Froilan Galpo, Jopet Arias and Randolf Novis Art is an instrument for self-reflection, allowing one’s self to gain perspective about life and where they stand in it. Similarly, Repository of Reflection serves as a storage of realizations. The group exhibit features work by Jea Mina, Wil Magsino, Kalem, Roomel Catapang, Ma. Luinette Belen, Jayvie Maglente, Chiz Cueva, Kenneth Batubatan, Jaycel Musnit, Froilan Galpo, Jopet Arias and Randolf Novis. Just as one keeps a journal to reflect on the minutiae and intimacies of the day to day, each work in the show presents the contemplations of its respective artist– candid enough to resonate with its anonymous audience. From distilled renderings of the pure, unbridled joys of childhood to pensive meditations on adulthood, the collection asks viewers to stop and consider: What regrets have you had in life? What would you have done differently?

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    Symphonies of Seas and Skies

    25 Sep 2021 – 24 Oct 2021

    I live not in myself, but I become Portion of that around me; and to me, High mountains are a feeling, but the hum Of human cities torture: I can see Nothing to loathe in nature, save to be A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, Class’d among creatures, when the soul can flee, And with the sky, the peak, the heaving plain Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in vain. (Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto 3, stanza 72) When Lord Byron wrote of the profound connection of humanity with nature in his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, he stressed the affinity of the Divine with the natural world, quite unlike the earlier predominant thought that nature was something that man had to subdue. Western philosophers, theologians, and yes, even painters latched on the idea of the sublime as an approximation of an experience of the divine – where man feels simultaneously the terror of being so small and insignificant in relation to the vastness and magnitude of nature, at the same time, awe and fascination for that which is eminently greater. In Kenneth Montegrande’s Symphonies of Seas and Skies, we experience the sublime, despite the smaller canvases that he uses. Through the intimate works, we get a glimpse of the artist’s spirituality which is a foundation of his artistic endeavors. In the fourteen paintings which comprise the exhibition, we experience what the artist described as symphonies of seas and skies. And like a symphony, it can be divided into movements between overwhelming power and calm, quiet joy. The works The Mystery of Light Out of Darkness, Embracing Darkness, Lights of Wisdom, Night Whispers, When Clouds Kiss the Sky III, Light of Life, Still, Sound of Inner Silence all give the impression of – overwhelming power, vastness, and magnitude. Through the proficient use of chiaroscuro, and the proficient composition which thematically uses the power of the waves echo the form of the clouds creating the illusion of a vast unity between sea and sky, Montegrande astutely suggests the sublime presence of the divine in the ordered natural world, in a similar awe-inspiring way asGod appeared as an earthquake and thunder and lightning over Mount Sinai as he gave the Israelites His commandments on their escape from slavery. The works liberate us from the dreariness of the everyday, specially now that we have a pandemic which has overwhelmed our way of life, and briefly allow us to marvel at the glory of God, assured that He is in control. In the same analogy that the paintings are a theophany, the second movement in his symphony, manifested in the predominantly monochromatic works namely When Clouds Kiss the Sky IV, One Fine Day, Midnight Peace, and In Your Presence, which focuses on the quiet and calm joy that a peaceful seascape brings, they are in a sense akin to the incarnation of God as a carpenter from Nazareth, bereft of glory, but filled with hope, peace and a gentle authority. Accessibility is given priority over the overwhelming glory allowing us to ponder the divine in our daily existence. Beethoven’s music for his Ninth Symphony, with lyrics from Shiller’s poetry, seem an appropriate imaginary soundtrack as one contemplates the works on exhibit. And like the music which moves us, we begin to understand Schiller’s words loosely paraphrased “We enter drunk with fire, thy sanctuary…all people, divided by customs, become brothers, where your gentle wings abide. Brothers there must be a loving Father above the starry canopy. Do you sense the Creator, world?” - Ricky Francisco

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    Endless Possibilities II

    06 Aug 2022 – 13 Sep 2022

    Despite her last name, Naomi Banal believes she is anything but banal (ordinary). Her works reflect her scintillating personality––colorful, vibrant, and extraordinary. For her solo exhibition Endless Possibilities II, she brings her out-of-the-box creativity to her works, experimenting with various styles and techniques to come up with unique pieces that entice the eye. Banal injects feeling and emotion into abstraction, expressing something melodious and rhythmical through form and color. Each piece in the exhibit features layers of colors upon colors, punctuated by the occasional line and haphazard shape. Whether it be her refreshing take on flowers or lyrical abstract expressions, she skillfully straddles the line between tradition and innovation to create pieces that are uniquely hers.

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    Island

    02 Oct 2021 – 24 Oct 2021

    Raul Deodato Arellano (b. 1965) is a visual artist from the Philippines. Prior to pursuing a career in art, he was a successful actor in the Philippine film and TV scene. In 1995, he left for the United States to study film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After a brief return to the Philippines, Arellano returned to the United States and began painting expressionist plein air landscapes in California, and has not stopped since. He completed a degree in Painting and Art History in El Camino College Torrance, California. His works have been exhibited in several galleries in California, such as the Diamond Valley Arts Council (2013), Takeuchi Gallery (2011), Verdes Art Center (2001), and Pomona Gallery (1999). He participated in two shows with Altro Mondo in 2018: the ALLEGORIA Group Show at Arte Contemporanea and STROKING THE LIGHT at Picasso Residence.

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    Every War is Different, Every War is the Same

    06 Aug 2022 – 03 Sep 2022

    Reynold de la Cruz's "Every war is different, every war is the same" was born out of chaos––the chaos of the world around him, and the chaos inherent in every aspect of life. Every living person and creature faces a battle. Man's first opponent is himself as he struggles to make decisions, with his conscience being the most formidable adversary. This truth underscores de la Cruz's work in the exhibit, with conflict centered at the heart of it. Symbols of destruction and anarchy––an atom bomb going off, an obscene gesture, a loaded firearm––contrast with otherwise innocent and youthful cartoonish imagery. He overlays familiar characters of our youth like Spongebob and Yosemite Sam atop photographs of classical sculptures and beautiful women, often engaged in what the most prudent of society would consider licentious acts. Despite the work's sometimes antagonistic imagery, the show adopts a sentimental angle with the piece "Mona Lisa New." Its title refers to the fact that when de la Cruz was young, it was Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa that first exposed him to the world of painting. When he finally got to visit the Louvre Museum last June 2022, he was able to see the painting in person, but the impression it left on de la Cruz had changed. Instead, the piece opened his eyes to the liberal nature of art in Europe, and the freedom of expression that's been granted to artists since then, which has inspired him to hold steadfast with his advocacies. One glimpse at the work and it's no surprise that de la Cruz takes inspiration from pop art icons like Banksy, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Each of whose work challenges the traditions of fine art, borrowing images from popular and mass culture, as de la Cruz does. The juxtapositions in each piece communicate the warfare that goes beyond an exchange of fire. There are battles for survival––in hospitals, among the poor, and the suffering. There are disputes between tradition and modernity, between the conservative and liberated. Discord is rooted at the heart of society, manifesting itself in different forms and eventually revealing itself in de la Cruz's work. Reynold Dela Cruz is a Filipino contemporary painter hailing from San Pedro, Laguna. Born in 1974, Dela Cruz taught himself the craft and persevered to understand the nuances of his medium and connect his circumstances to his chosen aesthetic. Dela Cruz takes inspiration from his everyday life and is usually moved creatively by his experiences. The different phases of his life have been incorporated into his work throughout the years, endeavoring to create work that features beautiful faces and recognizable iconography.

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    Studies 2.1

    02 Oct 2021 – 24 Oct 2021

    STUDIES 2.1 When the late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois was asked about the struggles she encountered in her career, she said, “It did not discourage me at all. Because you see, I did not abandon the work. I kept the work. I had complete faith in the work, and I kept it.” The exhibition “Studies 2.1” brings together Angelo Tabije, Anthony Palo, Cristina Escario, Eugenia Alcaide, Jaypee Samson, Madonna Mortera, Miguel Buhay, and Vincent Diñoso. Almost twenty years since they met at the UP College of Fine Arts as students, these artists are now presenting works that articulate the progress of their practices. The exhibition is a conversation exploring each other’s growth and evolution as an artist. Angelo Tabije (b. 1980) often depicts different interpretations of the human form. At times, his subjects are figures caught between the human body and a machine. However, in this exhibition, Tabije decided to capture human emotion in its purest form. His works “Tara” and “Dagat” paint playful outdoor interactions, which are scenes that seemed impossible to do when living through a pandemic. Tabije received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and was a Grand Prize (Oil and Acrylic) winner at the 6th Art Petron National Competition in 2006. His works have been exhibited in the Philippines and Singapore. Anthony Palo (b. 1984) uses elements from comics and the Baroque and Renaissance periods in introducing compositions that evoke children’s play. Palo received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and was a finalist at the 34th Shell National Students Art Competition. Cristina Escario’s “Mga PusasaLiwanag at Dilim ng Maynila” features portraits of cats as they stand in front of what looks like a map of the city of Manila. In her works, Escario highlights the environment that she often interacts with at random. Animals and nature are some of the images one can find in her works. She received her BFA and MFA from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Eugenia Alcaide (b. 1983) primarily works with layered thread on stretched silk canvas. In this exhibition, she presents “Afloat” ---a series that explores themes of isolation, desolation, and the calming acceptance of one’s loss. The series depicts subjects submerged in water while clouds hover above them. The works induce feelings of melancholy, building a sense of peace as the calming presence of the images would dominate the space. Alcaide received her BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Jaypee Samson (b. 1985) merges different historical and contemporary references in his work “Piraso ng Kasaysayan.” A deviation from his usual works that explored communities and people in his hometown of Antipolo, “Piraso ng Kasaysayan” is a more imaginative response to the challenges of figuration in painting symbols that represent different socio-political contexts. Samson received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and is a CCP Thirteen Artists Awards recipient. Madonna Mortera’s “Scarlet Sky” and “Shades of Red” depict the artist’s curiosities in exploring the human body in its most natural form. In her works, the faces of her subjects are either covered or hidden from view to suggest anonymity and the mysterious narratives surrounding the images. Miguel Buhay is an artist who works with the classical genres of painting: still life, portraiture, and landscape. In this exhibition, different portrayals of women are presented. Every canvas is an opportunity to understand the female body and its divinity. Buhay’s bold colors blend with the texture of his brushstrokes in dispensing tender accounts of intimate scenes. Buhay started painting with L’arcen Ciel Atelier in 2009 and he studied Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman and at The Art Students’ League of New York. Vincent Diñoso’s works for “Studies 2.1” reveal the artist’s inclination to new figuration. His paintings depict subjects whose faces are hidden from the audience and their bodies are either walking away from or moving sideways. Diñoso received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

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    At The Tip Of My Tongue

    10 Sep 2022 – 08 Oct 2022

    At The Tip Of My Tongue Justine Amores, Sarah Conanan, Tammy De Roca, Faye Pamintuan, Bryan Pollero, Regina Reyes, Jone Sibugan, Raffy Ugaddan It is often said that trees remember drought so profoundly that they remain prudent even when water becomes bountiful. How devoted they are to remembering!, so implacable in their hurt, that archaeologists can know the shape of famine from a hundred million years ago. The same is observed even in great rocks – the ridges of their impervious bodies tell the story of how they, too, have once been malleable to the gentle lapping of ocean waves. At the heart of this exhibition is a belief: objects remember. They can become such uncanny reflections of the reality within our minds that just the mere sight of them evokes entire lifetimes long gone, washed away, carried by the sands of persistent time. Reactions felt viscerally – a pang so sharp in the chest, splintering into shrapnel of salt water on the lashes – it begs to have a name. But just as much as this is about the corporeality of remembering, this is also about the pervasiveness of lack – like how the weight of one’s tongue can feel acutely foreign inside the mouth after the loss of a tooth. Sometimes, the disappearances of objects allow for the kindness of not-remembering, especially when memories feel more like bad intentions instead of well-wishes. A hypersensitivity to missing, a paranoia to forgetting. And now, here: so utterly entrenched in the past, in a feeling so already-known, that the mind blanks. Adamant, still, in recalling, but blanking just the same, and it is there– It escapes me, but it is there – at the tip of my tongue - Pantay Bituin

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    Akut Ikut Ikat

    02 Oct 2021 – 24 Oct 2021

    AKUT IKUT IKAT Agus Kama Loedin is an Indonesian visual artist known for his masterful use of wires, lights, and fabric in his creative practice. His works make use of bamboo and rattan weaving techniques, as well as knot-tying methods used by boy scouts, to create dynamic works of art with lives of their own. The wires bend to Loedin's will, transforming into lively and organic pieces that beckon the viewer to thoroughly examine them. Besides his predilection for skillfully manipulating uncommon materials to create beautiful masterpieces, Loedin also puts culture at the forefront of his works. His exhibitions tend to cover a variety of themes borrowed from Indonesian culture, particularly religion and philosophy from Java and Bali. In AKUT IKUT IKAT, Loedin sets his sights on exploring the theme of movement, specifically the movement of ideas. Created during the beginning of the pandemic, this series investigates this theme by way of the ikat method, a decorative technique wherein the artists warp or weft threads are tie-dyed prior to weaving. Loedin observed that the technique and the decorative symbols he studied during his research for the show had been utilized throughout various regions of the globe, with individuals modifying these techniques and symbols to fit their beliefs, cultures, and traditions. Thus, the practice highlights the power of movement and the nature of transformative ideas. The age-old craft and its corresponding imagery, which the artist creatively transforms yet again through his own aesthetic inclinations, values, and beliefs, now manifest in this exhibit. As a result, the artistry of ikat, which has moved through people and through time, arrives at this very moment today, by way of Loedin's transformational work.

  • Altro Mondo

    ...still-ness...

    30 Oct 2021 – 26 Nov 2021

  • Altro Mondo

    CULTURE AS TALISMAN

    15 Oct 2022 – 05 Nov 2022

    CULTURE AS TALISMAN by John Frank Sabado Visual artist John Frank Sabado looks to the future but doesn't forget the past. This is most evident in Culture as Talisman, a solo exhibition which brings Sabado's penchant for linking the indigenous with the contemporary, both in context of the material and spiritual, to the fore. Also on display is his proclivity towards representations of nature and talismans, offering an insight into ancestral memory. Sabado's extensive knowledge on the beliefs and traditions of the Cordillera is the driving force behind works, informing his craft-based approach which is deeply rooted in the art of indigenous people. He also borrows imagery from native culture, such as the "bulols" (wooden figures) showcased in some of his pieces, representing the guardians of the Cordillerans that protect nature from industrialization. Through his works, Sabado also turns his sights on himself, using his medium to interpret his cultural identity and reiterate his beliefs. The undulating patterns and vibrant palettes of the works, coupled with otherworldly imagery of myths and the gods and goddesses of yore, underscore the value of culture as our talisman to educate and enchant us in times of desperation.

  • Altro Mondo

    The Living

    30 Oct 2021 – 26 Nov 2021

    Tristram Miravalles is drawn to the spectra of human behavior, especially that which causes havoc. He inquires in dismay; “Why are we doomed to be so powerful that we can destroy this planet yet so helpless that we cannot stop ourselves?” Elements of violence are tackled in the artist’s practice. The forms of scorn emerge to be examined more than to be resolved. He points the gaze closer to the nearest yet most overlooked matters of all; the self, the here, and the now. For perhaps as such is the poetry and tragedy of the living; the apocalypse is a personal day by day occurrence. Not a distant end. Miravalles approaches a blank canvas like a sculptor. He starts his composition based on the foreground and lighting of his studio. In effect, his paintings manifest the essence of his actual environment while transitioning to the unreal; making both realms inextricable from each other. He eternizes characters with unfinished gestures and encloses them within an array of symbols. Although the artist’s images gravitate towards the follies of man, as they are placed on canvas, they are catapulted from a place of violence and into the light of awareness. Whatever pain they convey confront the living being with sharp parcels of truth between society and the psyche. Tristram Miravalles is a multidisciplinary visual artist who focuses on oil painting and installation. He took up Architecture and Fine Arts- Major in Painting in La Consolacion College, Bacolod. His past exhibitions include Dirt to Man, SaLang Vol. 2 in Project Space Pilipinas,Lucban (2018), As We Sleep for the Philippine Art fair 2017, Surviving the Burning Fields in the Artist Space, Ayala Museum (2015), Prayers of the Sick in Blanc Gallery (2014), Lethal Dose in Ysobel Gallery (2014), and his first solo- Mental Shock in Gallery Orange, Bacolod City (2011). He finished his SAGE (Southeast Asia Artist Group Exchange) residency in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2013. He was granted residency by HOM Art Trans International Artist Residency program in Malaysia last 2014. And in 2015, he accepted a residency in IILM School of Design, New Delhi, India. Miravalles is currently an organizing member of Art Satellite- an artist initiative that functions to create and organize creative programs such as local and international exhibitions and collaborations in Negros Occidental, Philippines.

    latest works

    • Jopet Arias

      Uncertain Duality: Observation, 2022
      24 x 20 x 1.5 inch (h x w x d)
      Multidimensional media on canvas
      PHP 28000
    • Froilan Galpo

      ENDLESS, 2022
      48 x 36 x 2.6 inch (h x w x d)
      Acrylic
      PHP 235000
    • Jaycel Musnit

      Dream House, 2022
      24 x 24 x 1 inch (h x w x d)
      Mixed media on canvas
      PHP 11500
    • Jaycel Musnit

      Dream High, 2022
      24 x 24 x 1 inch (h x w x d)
      Acrylic on canvas
      PHP 11500
    • Kenneth Batubatan

      The Stairs, 2022
      24 x 24 x 1 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 21500
    • Kenneth Batubatan

      The Lightning, 2022
      24 x 24 x 0.7 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 21500
    • Chiz Cueva

      Together Forever III, 2022
      24 x 24 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Acrylic on canvas
      PHP 17000
    • Chiz Cueva

      Chaos III, 2022
      30 x 24 x 0.5 inch (h x w x d)
      Acrylic on board
      PHP 17000
    • Jayvie Maglente

      SHRED, 2022
      48 x 36 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 49500
    • Ma. Luinette Belen

      Adam, 2022
      24 x 36 x 1.3 inch (h x w x d)
      Mixed media
      PHP 58100
    • Ma. Luinette Belen

      Chino, 2022
      36 x 48 x 1.3 inch (h x w x d)
      Mixed media
      PHP 120000
    • Roomel Catapang

      Abuloy, 2022
      36 x 48 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Mixed media on canvas
      PHP 40000
    • Kalem

      Haywire, 2022
      36 x 36 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Mixed media on canvas
      PHP 28000
    • Wil Magsino

      GoodLuck, 2022
      48 x 24 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 22550
    • Jea Mina

      The Floor Is Water, 2022
      48 x 36 x 1.6 inch (h x w x d)
      Acrylic on canvas
      PHP 22500
    • Randolf Novis

      Muerte, 2022
      36 x 24 x 1.8 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 40000
    • AE Carandang

      La Casa De Laguna, 2022
      48 x 36 x 3.3 inch (h x w x d)
      Cement, wood, capiz shells, glass, and metal
      PHP 170000
    • AE Carandang

      Ventana De Plantita, 2022
      24 x 18 x 4.3 inch (h x w x d)
      Cement, wood, capiz shells, and glass
      PHP 36000
    • AE Carandang

      Bintanang Capiz, 2022
      24 x 18 x 2.3 inch (h x w x d)
      Cement, wood, capiz shells, and glass
      PHP 36000
    • BA Vista

      Kayas III (Delicate Art of Pakil), 2021
      48 x 36 x 2.5 inch (h x w x d)
      Oil on canvas
      PHP 170000