Mind Set Art Center is delighted to present the exhibition “Every Island from Sea to Sea: Recent Philippine Art” curated by Dr. Patrick D. Flores from 15 October to 26 November 2016. Artists participating in this exhibition are Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Jess Ayco, Buen Calubayan, Marina Cruz, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Marc Gaba, Nona Garcia, Kidlat de Guia, Cocoy Lumbao, Dominic Mangila, Lui Medina, and Paulo Vinluan.
The exhibition is led by the work of Jess Ayco, a modern artist culturally rooted in Bacolod in the island of Negros in the Visayas, the central islands of the Philippines. His temperament was polyphonic, and there was a lot of whimsy in his at once esoteric and visceral pictorial universe. In conversation with Ayco’s work are 10 artists and a dual of the contemporary, presenting works in the forms of painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture and mixed media. The exhibition unfolds human kind’s travel, activities, and contemplation amongst the islands spreading in the vast sea, probing into how art transforms the unseen consciousness into tangible object, and to re-encounter time and place, thing and meaning.
From Earth Dig Tender Rocks by Patricia Perez Eustaquio exemplifies this process. Eustaquio photographed a mound of textured paint, printed it on velvet, which would be suspended like a drapery. The strains of paint, print, and fabric mix uncannily to complicate the procedures of representing, seeing, and displaying, while blurring the stature of painting, sculpture, photography, and textile. In the work of Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, the so-called commercial painting was cut up so that it could mutate into the ambiguity of its fragments. Thus, what is known, or captured, as landscape is reorganized by the artists as semblances of painting.
On the other hand, Nona Garcia pursues her abiding interest in the details of everyday life, which when made to pass through the sieve of intense realism, assume an otherworldly aura. The same realism describes an artifact that betrays its own devices. Cocoy Lumbao’s video work, Raft, gazes intently at “the image of a sea, as a subdued image, replacing the contents of an empty billboard as it blends with the sky.” This impulse sustains his attitude towards video practice, which to explore new ways of understanding phenomena, seeking to transmit not essentially the world he sees but the thought process that goes in observation.
As indicated by Dr. Flores, this exhibition is “about the air and clearing as a condition of expressive form.” Staging in the context of the ramifications of Jess Ayco’s allusion to a more unearthly reckoning of the material condition, “Every Island from Sea to Sea” seeks to intuit a necessary ground for the sensible to materialize, no matter how barely and elusively.