May marks the end of the ferocity of summer as we transition into the rainy season in our country. And as the local art scene transitions into new exhibits for the month, one should use time to take stock of all the great art gifted to the public this month. 

There’s so much craft and creativity out there that it feels almost impossible to write about it all. And yet we try anyways, because art blossoms out of the personal, and reflects a world beyond ourselves that begets empathy and care for our and others’ being.

One of the banners for Gerome Soriano's exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the banners for Gerome Soriano’s exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.

In the interest of showcasing as much as the country has to offer, we at BluPrint created this list to shine a spotlight on the interesting artists and exhibits that you may have missed.

Epjey Pacheco – Musings 

In Musings, shown at West Gallery this May, contemporary artist Epjey Pacheco crafts a sprawling series of painted chaos depicting the wildness of his own imagination. The artists uses different ideas to depict their vision: disfigured people with flowers for heads, chimeran creations of birds merged with human bodies, the merging of violent tools with human attributes

It’s a clash of different ideas displaying the intricate world we live in, and the interconnectedness of humanity with its environment. The artworks pulse with a sense of hopelessness as they depict a rising tide of sacrifices and dead bodies that have accumulated in humanity’s continued drumming for progress. 

Wall of faces made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.
Wall of faces made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.
A painting for the art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
A painting for the art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Close-up on wall of faces. Photo by Elle Yap.
Close-up on wall of faces. Photo by Elle Yap.
Painting made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.
Painting made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.
Painting made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.
Painting made by Epjey Pacheco. Photo by Elle Yap.

Beyond the paintings of chaos, Pacheco put up a wall filled with drawings of empty, blank faces surrounded by scribblings and colorful, tattoo-esque designs. Contrasted with the vibe of the rest of the works, it feels like looking into the eyes of the victims of violence. The work bursts forth with nihilism, especially in today’s landscape where we all watch the destruction of a genocidal war within our phone’s fingertips.   

Gerome Soriano –  NORIAI BUS -変わりゆく日々の Prayer 

One doesn’t necessarily see street protest art in galleries and museums. Protest art, more than anything, comes from the spontaneity of the moment, the indignation that one feels bubbling up into raw emotions on the artist’s chosen canvas. It thrives on simplicity to ensure understanding of the message, and doesn’t necessarily lend itself to being displayed.

Space of Gerome Soriano's art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Space of Gerome Soriano’s art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Rooster sticker on the wall. Photo by Elle Yap.
Rooster sticker on the wall. Photo by Elle Yap.
TV screen with changing images. Photo by Elle Yap.
TV screen with changing images. Photo by Elle Yap.
An image on the wall of the exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
An image on the wall of the exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.

And yet, NORIAI BUS -変わりゆく日々の Prayer utilizes the language of street protest art to create a portrait of the issues facing society today. Gerome Soriano’s exhibit explicitly hits against topics like nuclear power, the Israel-Palestinian war, the government’s controversial jeepney phaseout program. Tiny toy cars, stickers of roosters, and other photographs tie together the seemingly-ramshackle nature of the exhibit.

"Free Palestine" banner. Photo by Elle Yap.
“Free Palestine” banner. Photo by Elle Yap.
Banner against Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Photo by Elle Yap.
Banner against Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Photo by Elle Yap.
Anti-nuclear power plant banner. Photo by Elle Yap.
Anti-nuclear power plant banner. Photo by Elle Yap.

The presentation of the banners and artworks forces you into a small enclosure to put one face to face with these ideas. The banners are longer than the room’s height at times, creating a tightness that mimics the density of an actual protest. It’s a provocation, and an honest one that forces its audience to reckon with the weight of the world on its shoulders.

Tekla Tamoria – The Ylang-Ylang Chapters

The Ylang-Ylang Chapters in Gravity Art Space (literally) weaves together histories and traditions of womanhood in the country. Modern society still reckons with the patriarchy and its oppression for women for most of civilized history. For most of existence, women could not create as freely as men. Many of them worry instead about familial obligations, sexism, and economic realities not being as abundant for their gender.

Title weaving of the exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Title weaving of the exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Space of the art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Space of the art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
A work by Tekla Tamoria in her recent art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
A work by Tekla Tamoria in her recent art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the works by Tekla Tamoria in "The Ylang-Ylang Club." Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the works by Tekla Tamoria in “The Ylang-Ylang Club.” Photo by Elle Yap.

Tekla Tamoria’s textile collage tapestries evaluate that history of womanhood as she meditates on the opportunities afforded to her today as the first female artist in her family. She sews family portraits, images of female friendships, and the Filipino woman pondering her place in the universe. 

The works resonate emotionally, especially if one has had to choose between ambition and their personal relationships. It crafts an idealized look into womanhood at large, and tasks the audience to understanding the way we can move forward in society to give women the opportunities they might never have had.

Creativity Unbound

The interesting thing about art is not that it necessarily pushes boundaries, but gives voices to ideas and personal reflections that we might otherwise not know. The creation of art finds in us the ability to be honest about our feelings, about our society, and about our past. 

Epjey Pacheco's painting for "Musings" art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
Epjey Pacheco’s painting for “Musings” art exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the works by Tekla Tamoria in "The Ylang-Ylang Club." Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the works by Tekla Tamoria in “The Ylang-Ylang Club.” Photo by Elle Yap.
A work by Tekla Tamoria . Photo by Elle Yap.
A work by Tekla Tamoria. Photo by Elle Yap.

These May exhibits exemplify that attitude. It shows us seeking more a sense of the self in a world so heavily commodified and darkened.

Related reading: ‘Alburoto’: Recontextualizing Labor Rights as a Women’s Issue

Two onlookers in front of Pete Jimenez's exhibit. Photo by Elle Yap.

‘Travel Light’: Pete Jimenez Finds Life in Construction Detritus

Travel Light, Pete Jimenez’s newest exhibit at Artinformal Gallery in Makati, supplies its central thesis within the subtitle. “Take nothing for the journey – keep it simple; no bag, no bread, no money.” It references a verse in the Bible, but within this context, it exemplifies a non-consumerist take on our existence. Shift with the […]

UArts with a flying Pride flag in the foreground. Photo by Beyond My Ken. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Philadelphia University of the Arts Shutters, Leaving Students in Limbo

Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, also known as UArts, suddenly closed down the institution on Friday, June 7. The sudden closure, of which faculty and students weren’t even informed of until the press announcement, triggered protests from the campus population.  UArts’ administration said that the institution was facing declining revenue rates and enrollment. In a […]

The Ultimate Guide to Future Proofing Your Home.

The Ultimate Guide to Future Proofing Your Home

Future proofing focuses on improving your home in order to prepare it for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Along with this, this concept also maximizes your comfort and enjoyment today with smart design choices and innovative technologies. This may come in different styles and priorities depending on the users’ interest and needs. But […]

The Parthenon Marbles in display at the British Museum. Photo by Dominic's pics. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Brits Refuse Return of Parthenon Marbles After Turkey Finds No Proof of Claim

The British Museum refused calls to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece after Turkey rejected the long-standing claim by the United Kingdom that the statues were acquired by Lord Elgin from the Ottoman empire at the time.  The statement from Turkey came during a UNESCO meeting in Paris, France. A British official parroted the claim […]

6 Historical Places in the Philippines that Celebrate Its Independence.

6 Historical Places in the Philippines that Celebrate Its Independence

The journey to Philippine independence is a story of valor, sacrifice, and unwavering resolve. This narrative is not only preserved in books and memories but also enshrined in the country’s architectural landmarks. These edifices stand as silent witnesses to pivotal moments in history, each contributing to the nation’s quest for freedom. In commemorating Independence Day, […]

One of the buildings for SAMA Square Market. Photo by Heart Patrick Photography.

SAMA Square Market: Accessible Community Spaces Made for the People

The nature of public spaces continues to evolve. Beyond just looking attractive, they must serve multiple purposes to benefit the community effectively. We see those decisions at work at the SAMA Square Market and how welcoming it is to people of different stripes and backgrounds.  SAMA Square Market is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. TKCA […]

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]