Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Don't Mind Me... I'm Just Trippin' by Regen Mulingtapang

When the mind dives into a whole different world in which then comes intuitive perception and responsiveness to the environment, it is often marked by a full recollection of visions from colorful to playful characters. It is a dream-like state. Everything is trippy.

People have different hallucinations, some never forget their experience. Dreams can be an annoyance and a mystery to some. A higher level of conscious awareness, when taken advantage of, makes more sense when you enjoy the pleasures of your dream. Everything is trippy.

Don't find the middle ground. Don't try to understand. Stay high and have the most awesome adventures in your wakefulness. Lucid and vivid dreams that are magical and blissful. Everything is trippy.

If sleep is fascinating, to dream is even more so. But being awake is extremely benevolent and joyous as represented in fantasia. Everything is trippy.

Delusions come with profounding light. Time to propagate the experiences, the visions, the magical scenes then sleep long and deep. Don't mind me...I'm just trippin'. Everything is trippy.

Laro-Laruan by Whooop

A toy is a right of passage. No man goes through life without the rapture of a toy. Such has formed countless of childhoods. Vinyl toys, stuffed toys, dolls and robots, plastic cars and kitchen sets: symbols of the carefree and the imagined. Often equated with bliss, toys are an escape from the dreary shades of the mundane.

But beyond the reveries of childhood innocence is a parallelism with the tainted realities of modern day, an age where decay and corruption is all but void, and a time where the lives of many are played with.

Whoop’s Laro-laruan is a reflection of the irony in child’s play: that like children, the freedom we feel in play always comes with a duality: that beyond our playpen is a constricted freedom, a world where we both serve as the player and the played. Through the totems of our childhood, Whoop reminds us that toys aren’t always about fun and games.

An Other by Martin Honasan

”Why do we have a brain in the first place? Not to write books, articles, or plays; not to do science or play music. Brains develop because they are an expedient way of managing life in a body.”

- Antonio Damasio, Portuguese neurobiologist 

The human face is the organic seat of beauty. In it is expressed, in larger measure than in any other parts of the organization, the individuality to which the life has attained. It is the brilliant focus where the rays from within are centered, where those from without are reflected. It is the register of value in development, a record of Experience, whose legitimate office is to perfect the life, a legible language to those who will study it, of the majestic mistress, the Soul.

- “Woman and her Era”, Volume 1, 
Eliza Wood Farnham, American Novelist, Activist

In the study of psychology, a Gestalt is defined as something unified in a way in which the elements cannot be broken down into its parts and the total piece cannot just be thought of as a sum of all its parts. The idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” has been known since the time of Aristotle. In Gestaltism the phrase has been adapted and translated: "The whole is other than the sum of its parts," which suggests that the totality is a completely separate entity than its individual components. Thus, my work examines the concept of the self, identity or consciousness, and poses the question: What does it mean to be more than a container for a system of mechanical exchanges and electrical impulses? 

The physical language of painting—the gestures of brushstrokes, the manipulation of surfaces, the selection of hues—comprises a vital part of my work. All movement is anchored by figurative imagery, where facial details are grafted with textured forms, as if the face is a continuation or natural development of the patterns. Much of the process enables me to work across a broad range of improvisational and measured approaches, allowing me to explore both emotional and technical aspects of art making.

Every aesthetic decision in painting, as with all creative activities, is a physical culmination of experiences that germinate in the mind. There are no insignificant strokes, as each one is a result of subjective activity processed from a barrage of input from the physical world. Our minds contain layers of thoughts that elicit joy and fear, and shadows where the misunderstood parts of our psyche are locked away. These systems of the mind are tangibly expressed both deliberately and reflexively in my work.

My work is composed of two layers superimposed against each other, with two separate creative processes, executed from two different approaches, yet one process informs the direction and leads to the completion of the other. The paintings in this series are meditations on consciousness and identity as Gestalts, to explore the rigid dichotomy between self as a purely physical substance versus the human being as an immaterial spiritual owner of consciousness.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Power Overwhelming by Ramona Gaston

Ramona Dela Cruz-Gaston's painted mandalas are kaleidoscope-like tessellations that swirl with radiant colors. In her first solo exhibition, the artist meditates on the drama of womanhood and the journey from maiden to mother.

She navigates the technical difficulties of the mandala, a form of sacred art, and organizes her personal iconography into hypnotizing geometric designs. Her meticulous canvases swim with symbols, bounded always by the strict symmetry she imposes on herself. The mandala is her way of taking control and making sense out of chaos.

Influenced by Art Nouveau, an architectural movement inspired by organic forms and curved lines, Dela Cruz-GastonĂ­s signature is unapologetically feminine and emotional. Also leaving indelible marks on her practice are Frida Kahlo, a bold and fiery personality known for her self-portraits, and Patrick Woodroffe, beloved by science-fiction readers for his dreamlike book cover paintings. Combined, these forces have contributed to the vivid rendering of Dela Cruz-GastonĂ­s surreal canvases.

Threshold by JR Urao

All of existence is made up of a succession of beginnings. Universes have been formed, created and destroyed under the mere breath of beginning. It is a concept that has also shaped and created a people that is ever evolving.

Our lives are made up of beginnings. Every second is a genesis and every ending is but a beginning in disguise. Though often glorified for what it can concieve, beginnings weave around every moment, both great and mundane; from the emergence of generations, to making a choice of walking to work.

Threshold chronicles and reveres the unspoken beginnings; the everyday and otherwise easily overlooked quirks that comprise the seemingly ordinary. JR Urao explores the silent inceptions that make up life itself.

Cloud Child by Iyan De Jesus

Self-taught artist Iyan De Jesus, softens the metallic edge of steampunk with pliant alabaster skin. Each painting is a pastel-hued post-apocalyptic techno-fantasy suffused in color.

Holding court against a background of mechanical complications are nymph-like cyborgs—more human than robot—whose dignified expressions hide stories rooted in mythology, literature, snatches of song, and fleeting moments between lucidity and sleep. To help viewers divine a work’s narrative, De Jesus camouflages elements among a multitude of gears: owls, hearts, snowflakes, gas lamps, and totem poles all serve as subtle bearers of meaning.

The attention to minutiae, obsession with geometric compositions and patterns, cleanliness of lines, and smoothness of surface hark back to De Jesus’s background in architecture and computer-aided design. Unlike formally trained artists who went from canvas to screen, De Jesus started “painting” with a mouse before she shifted to brushes and glazes. The jump from digital to traditional was a rebellion against the ephemeral nature of bits and bytes, as well as a surrender to the soul’s desire to create something lasting.

Each painting demands more than a cursory glance. Those who linger and look will be rewarded by the unexpected lyricism disguised by steampunk’s retro-futuristic tendencies. In between pulleys and wheels lie images that summon the sound of the sea, the slow and steady beat of the human heart.