my eyes wide open
I did a random visit to an art gallery last Thursday. Thanks to the same day, late afternoon invite of Dino, a DJ friend from Cebu. Rather timely as well cause I was able to watch the indie film “Ang Nawawala” on its 9th day on SM cinemas afterwards. A rare opportunity to practice viewing art on frame and on the silver screen, and enjoy great visual pleasure and careful thought.
Art Informal seems like a unique place for an art gallery with its residential facade and homey atmosphere. The main gallery is a long L-shaped corridor that leads to a garden where everyone gathers to enjoy the complimentary buffet and drinks. Adjacent to the main gallery is The Big Room, an elevated space that allows two simultaneous solo exhibits.
Opening that night are works of two contemporary artists, quite similar in style but differs in subjects, medium and execution. I was there mainly for Charles Buenconsejo‘s first solo exhibit at The Big Room. We had a history of working together taking pictures of Lilystars Records’ artists including my own back in 2009. (Here’s a sample.) I was intrigued and excited to get a glimpse of his work and it transcended my expectations communicating peculiar, personal insights. His framed work moves as I move, eliciting an astral warmth that begs to be experienced over and over.
Jacob Lindo’s work on the other hand features a collage of sculptures and mix media bordering on grotesque. It speaks a foreign language to me, and whatever the meaning is, I’m sure it will come later. Some ideas did came to mind as I feasted on unlimited fish/chicken balls situated outside the gallery, propelled by the cool pipe in music one can hear all over the place.
After my second bottle of beer a quick transition from Connecticut Street to Megamall took place. Dino and I find ourselves running up to the movie house section barely missing the beginning of “Ang Nawawala“. It’s the debut feature film of Marie Jamora! Music venerating and a visual feast. Something you can expect from the musician and celebrated music video director. (I had the pleasure of working with her on two MV projects. She did a remarkable job directing the music video to “Ang Katulad Mong Walang Katulad“. )
The film directly expresses the author’s culture with tight-knit friends (actors, artists and musicians) as part of the capable cast as well as the Manila indie music and hipster (as much as I hate to mention that word) scene and venues. A certain niche and demographics that many may not be familiar with. The coming of age drama and family tragedy is universal though irregardless of class and location. The film is commendable and I’m happy Marie has finally pulled it off after so many years of wanting and dreaming. Subtle, drifting, fleeting, earnest, and stylish. The music score is exceptional but sometimes confusing with the immoderate use of “kundiman”.
Looking forward to her next movie and I hope it will leap outside. Something that rise above the culture, and not merely represent it.
Reality Is A Hologram by Charles Buenconsejo
“It looked like a calm had settled, but then he realized he couldn’t shake off the restlessness. There must be something more than this. Suddenly Charles Buenconsejo felt limited within his own craft, after he reached a point when he thought he already knew what there was to know: about equations of lighting a face learned from his father’s studio, framing landscape from road trips with friends, setting up an image to tell a story for a magazine.
These have all become too familiar. The shuffling of life and work from behind the camera.
Recently he got caught in an obsession about concepts of an alternate universe, string theory and wormholes, devouring as much as he could from popularized works of theoretical physicists Stephen Hawkings and Michio Kaku. And as will all those who succumb to the pull of the unknown, Charles’ describes this recent fascination as “falling into a rabbit hole.”
Reality is a Hologram, Charles’ first solo exhibit, wrestles between the skilfulness of the photographer and the unknown that magnify his limitation. To compress within a single frame all the angles that exist in a story without cropping out all the evidence of truth, he can only do so much as a photographer.” – excerpt from the exhibit description by Dang Sering.
Every Built Thing by Jacob Lindo
“The idea is to make use of images from various media, such as photography, sculpture, drawing or painting as elements of composition through the medium of collage: To liberate these objects from their inherent meanings, usages or labels and via a process of intuitive reconstruction, uncover the formal potentials of found materials and break down notions of relationships through some form of collision or coalition on the surface of my work.” – Jacob Lindo
Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There) – A Film by Marie Jamora
Gibson Bonifacio stopped speaking as a child. He is now twenty years old, returning to Manila from his studies abroad, his first visit home in three years. He finds his family trying to keep it together, his mother still hurting from a tragic loss in the past. In the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend reaches out to him, and he finds a chance at his first real romantic relationship. Amidst the holidays, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationships with his family, his friends, and with himself.
Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2012 Audience Choice Award (New Breed Full-Feature Category)
Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2012 Best Music (New Breed Full-Feature Category)
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