Updated: Jun 15
Solo exhibition featuring the works of Anjo Bolarda
Anjo Bolarda touches on food security in an installation featuring his recent works in FOR/AGES. With his art practice mainly dwelling on concepts of home and the mundane objects that are found in it which bear varying social, spiritual and scientific implications, Bolarda creates a small army of human-faced spoons. Metal stamped by hand with a hammer and fine chisel, the expressionless features on the artist’s spoon heads are distinct yet universal, and might be considered as symbolic for the artist, family, friends and everyone who requires constant feeding. The title itself is a play on foraging, or gathering food, and “for ages”, signifying the time spent on the relentless cycle of hunger and satiation.
FOR/AGES is a reaction to the growing crises on food, its production, access and distribution. While the cliché “born with a silver spoon” gathers traction in the pandemic when calling out instances where privilege trumps basic need, Bolarda’s intervened objects are reminders of what matters. The resilience of metal and its resistance to the force cast onto it by the artist’s hand proved quite difficult, but resulted into faces that reflect the dire situation of the less fortunate, where empty spoons speak of hardships and the struggle to make ends meet. However, there are positive repercussions to this struggle as well—hunger has led different individuals to rely less on commerce and initiate the reallocation of backyards for planting, and even reconsider the costs we spend on unnecessary food items that sometimes lead to waste and spoilage. Perhaps Bolarda’s spoons collectively remind us to step back and rethink ways on which we can quell hunger on our own, and somehow align production with consumption.
Anjo Bolarda is a muralist, graphic designer, illustrator and cultural worker who has shown his works both locally and abroad. With his creative expression spanning several genres such as drawing, painting, mural, installation, video, event, performance and even workshops, he shows his experiences and observations regarding the everyday, customs, traditions, beliefs and myths, stories, food, information and even man’s spatial relationship with his environment.
In Bolarda’s art practice, his interpretation of geographical navigation through the examination of his personal space wherever he goes becomes the core of his work, both physically and in terms of logical reasoning. He intervenes into particular spaces he finds himself in, first exploring then then leading to minute observations that he would like art audiences to partake in, often providing a different way of seeing while exposing the intrinsic aspects of place, to be contemplated, explore and be more conscious of. Bolarda started exhibiting his works in Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery in 2011, joining group shows before venturing on his own. FOR/AGES is his fourth solo exhibition.