Saturday, February 19, 2011



No, we're not required to write a reaction paper for this... I never really had to react, first and foremost, whatever I have to say in this piece really won't matter at all. Second, I am not in the position to review works for such dignitaries whose accomplishments have been bannered at the entrance of the exhibit hall at LRI, Makati City. I'm just a tiny spec compared to the depth of these empowered women's abilities and achievements.

I'm talking about Cris Dumlao, Bea Lapa, and Rebie Ramoso. (I dropped the formal "Ms." or "Madame" so as to make this sound as if it's coming from someone credible, hahaha!) These are empowered women braving the waves of the art industry. Seldom do we see "womyn" shows and exhibits, but nonetheless we also know that a big part of the feminine set-up is artistic and communicative in their basic senses...

The exhibit, lasting for 2 or 3 days, was really worth catching. I mean, with a small exhibit time, it is best really to invite as much people and welcome as much people as one can. Me and my friends went there at the opening night, braving Makati's legendary traffic on a Friday night, when everybody else feels like partying and getting drunk all night.

We had a secondary purpose: to visit our advisers and consult them regarding our folios, but really, that was kind of a joke. Hahaha! We know the artists will be busy entertaining people and we don't want to steal them from their crowd. Want another joke? We were all tagging each other earlier, saying "Tara na, sumipsip na tayo!"but really we're just excited to see what our professors will be showing in the exhibit.

Arriving there, we were greeted by Curator Elvert Bañares' wall note and descriptions of the artists. What I do usually is to read the wall note first before looking at the artwork... Reading halfway through it, however, it felt like I had to view the works first instead. The wall note was exceptionally written but then again, the mysteries were solved--and I wanted to solve them myself. I wanted to interpret it on my own, not to prove anything... It was always my reason why I frequent art exhibits--I wanted to explore them in my own feeble capabilities, probably to create another interpretation of some sort... hahaha! I just browsed the artists' profile and went along to see the works...

Artworks varied in size and medium--but more than that, they also varied in their individual messages.

details in Ramoso's Do I See You Again

Ramoso's paintings were filled with hidden symbols and arbitrary messages, randomly appearing in the many works that she was able to display. Her individual approach to the theme of transition are best described by spaces in her paintings--the irony of putting in detailed strokes in some parts and leaving the other parts of the canvas blank with pale colors and breathing lines. The semiotic sources and elements are visually stirring in the viewer the modes and notions of inquiries, of longing for something, of waiting for an orgasmic inter-relation. It is not only artificial--neither linguistic nor symbolic, but moreover, it was really a sensation of kindred sensible qualities, that of which could come across relations, reactions, and modal audible silence.

Dumlao's Season-Based Artworks

Dumlao, creating species of artworks that release themselves from the other two branches that existed in the hall, had for herself transitions that were visually narrated to pixel-like artworks of the abstract--proving in it the depth and the secrecy to which her own story-telling depends on. Described by titles and by the curator's words, her works have been trying to visualize seasonal transitions--but one has to look further--deeper, into it. The works were neither breaking apart or being reconnected again; the vast area filled with pixels of various colors to which one could suggest as either established images broken to disrupt the visual strength or disrupted pixels randomly formed together to create a hidden, more so, abstract, reaction and uncovering of emotion. Entering emotions and feelings, her works were probably the most secretive--not because it was abstract, but on top of that she was actually privy in her own transitional secrets. It emphasizes her strength and her weakness, and therefore had proven much honesty as an artist.

Lapa's digital + traditional merging

Lapa was a surprise in her artworks which she would continually explain as merging of the digital and traditional media. The era of art today, as would often the era of art in the other centuries, continue to change, and artists, too, continue to rave and scavenge and suit themselves into the changes. That, in itself, is transition. Lapa's works, especially those where images are juxtaposed with texts of her own notes, completes the notion that art pieces are mirrors of the artists's thoughts. It also completes the claim to which the exhibition stands for, and probably her works were able to show a completed transition. Lapa had always narrated how she was a strong concept maker, backed by her knowledge in psychology and IT. She was actually uneasy with shifting these to art pieces, but her works for this art show proved that to be wrong. We were all surprised, really, with how it managed to show Lapa's image in all the pieces. The artworks were strong because the medium and the concept works together. Lapa didn't have to explain--the art pieces, more so the technique, all constituted to the creativity and the process to which she stood firmly and almost irrevocably.

Paying 100 Pesos for the taxi fare, walking myself home to Mandaluyong Bridge, and getting a break from a whole week of job orders and meetings and facing SM Executives alone (because SoMA Director is sick, I had to fill in), Transitions was a breather. Kudos!


  1. Thanks, Paul! I'm so happy to see you and the ICC at the exhibit. We might move the pieces to another gallery. (Hopefully very soon.) We're already talking about another exhibit, but we'll rest first. Haha. Thanks again. :D