Joseph Gandiongco and Paolo Torres
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The condition of a garden’s existence is dependent on its caretakers–the devotion to growth and survival is necessary. From a spattering of seeds to defining plants of all shapes and sizes, emotive flowers in pots, trees rooted to the earth, fields of grass, and wilting symbols in glass jars and skeletal frames, the garden serves to make life possible for others: insects, birds, and among others, human beings. As a metaphor, it serves as a microcosm of the individual’s experience of life, as one is affected by their respective environment.
The artists collaboratively aim to explore the diverse emotions we collectively experience. The garden translates the factors–whether nurturing or otherwise–that manifest in our behavior as we go about the mundane moments that lead to our everyday consciousness. In the exchange of overlapping layers, the intentional strokes, aggressive texturing, and careful engineering of various elements, the works express the artists’ acceptance of life’s absurdities, but also the sense of urgency for a meaningful existence.
How do we think and what do we choose to think?
This determines the nature of our relationship with the world–introspection and self-awareness influences one’s ability to imagine. It allows one to paint a picture of what to strive towards: an ideal version of ourselves. However, this freedom to idealize also allows for self-destructive tendencies due to the pressure, grief, and trauma that is forever tethered to the rest of the world.
Contemplating the current trajectory of life, the artists express these parallel themes in the garden. In each work, the audience is presented with a story on how the growth, progress, and survival of one’s garden is a testament to seeking self-improvement, and ultimately, how the garden holds up a mirror–a reflection on the struggle to live.