The Hooman Experience
In a time when we are challenged to keep only the most essential for survival, what is the purpose of art The exhibition reflects upon the human body and mind as it bears witness to experiences that challenge its limitations. Using popular media as a vehicle to encourage engagement, the artists aim to take a closer, deeper look on what it really takes to be human in an especially tough time — one that is dominated by quick ‘add to cart’ fixes, social media high, and candy-coated memes.
Often working with minute clay sculptures, Zee Aquilizan takes a jab at the unrealistic expectations imposed upon women in order to be considered ‘acceptable’ in society. These so-called needs are commodified to serve only the best interests of the capitalist few.
The eeriness of mental and physical isolation brought about by the pandemic is strongly present in Leon Carreon’s works — a concretized reflection of the artist’s disposition inside one of the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdowns to date.
Maia San Diego tackles the use of memes to deal with the physical and mental entrapments we are forced in, only to face new forms of entrapments in the days moving forward. It reminds us of that classic, overly-romanticized narrative: The Filipino resiliency, or smiling through the most inhumane conditions.
The desire to raise awareness regarding medical conditions often misunderstood is something that’s persistent in Stephen Lucio’s works. Through encouraging the viewer to participate in his installation work, the artist aims to stimulate a conversation around the reality our medical front liners are living in now, and what we can do to help ensure their (and in turn, our) survival. The work will be gifted to a medical front liner close to the artist.
Bryan Pollero deals with the fragility of mental and emotional struggles, recording daily gestures that reflect his state of mind, rendered delicately on unfired slabs of clay. Coincidentally, this also represents a time where touch, one of the most basic human instincts, is considered life-threatening.
We all look forward to waking up to some semblance of normalcy again. But the days just go on without end, like pages blurring as we progress. Gabi Nazareno’s work alludes to the state the country is in, one year after it announced lockdown, and begs us to ask the question: Will we ever see the end of all this?
Perhaps the purpose of art is to reflect the times, and all the mundane things enveloped within. Perhaps it encourages us to be a bit more understanding of the things that make us human. As we go through days of endless scrolling, this exhibition gives us a safe space to become honest with ourselves, and in our own ways, try to concretize these emotions that otherwise prove too overwhelming. And when we understand the struggles of others, we understand more about ourselves too. After all, how can we move forward if we don’t take from the past? Lastly, the exhibition hopes to leave you a question to ponder on.
What really is the hooman experience? – Regina Reyes