Alwin Reamillo’s Balut Rain and Reign at Tin-Aw

April 25, 2011

Exhibit installation view

You didn’t need to hunt for eggs at Tin-aw this Easter.  Alwin Reamillo had them everywhere:  hanging from the ceiling, leaning on shelves, spread out over the low table at the center of the gallery.  On opening night, he even had some of them warming inside a pot, ready to be put in a basket, then taken out into busy Makati Avenue.  AngBalutViand, A Transcultural Project by Alwin Reamillo represents the Manila leg of an undertaking that started in Hong Kong, part of the territory’s annual Art Walk.

Another exhibit installation view

The Hong Kong Art Walk happens one night a year when galleries stay open from 5:00 pm until midnight.  Ticket holders are meant to visit these galleries that evening, all to benefit a designated charity.  Installations and performances line the routes.  As the resident artist of this year’s Art Walk, Alwin had been provided a studio in Hong Kong for a month, the base from which he produced work and carried out his performance as a transplanted balut vendor.

Another exhibit installation view

The performance required Alwin to do the rounds of Hong Kong’s known Pinoy haunts, notably Central on Sundays, when OFWs take over Statue Square.  Not all the balut in his basket were edible.  Almost of them had been emptied and refilled with plaster, embellished with minute figures and transferred images that reference events in Philippine history.

Alwin Reamillo, "Egg Object From The Transcultural Balut Series"

More of these egg objects have now been scattered around Tin-aw’s space. Alwin also exhibits other pieces that we consider hallmarks of his work:  a grand piano’s wings, emptied crab shells, wooden panels, all of which have been worked on and lacquered with images and found objects.

Alwin Reamillo, "Egg Object From The Transcultural Balut Series"

Credit Tin-aw’s Dawn Atienza for persuading Alwin to bring this project to Manila.  Otherwise, we would have missed out on a truly worthwhile piece, one of the best that Tin-aw has mounted.

Alwin Reamillo, "Tatlong Itlog (Los Indios Bravos)"

AngBalutViand, A Transcultural Project by Alwin Reamillo runs from 15 April to 6 May 2011 at Tin-aw Art Gallery, Upper G/F, Somerset Olympia Makati, Makati Ave. corner Sto. Tomas Sts., Makati City.  Phone (632) 892-7522 or visit http://www.tin-aw.com

Alwin Reamillo, "Egg Object From The Transcultural Balut Series"

Alwin Reamillo, "Balut Cloud/HK Central"

Alwin Reamillo, "Posporo Rizal"

Balut in a cabinet

Alwin Reamillo, "Maodan Shrine Let A Thousand Balut Hatch"

Alwin Reamillo, "Egg Object From The Transcultural Balut Series"

Alwin Reamillo, "Posporo Rizal", detail

Alwin Reamillo, "Winged Maodan"

Alwin Reamillo, "Balut Sa Puti"

Alwin Reamillo, "What's Up Daffy Doc (North)"


Clouds and Wings, Alwin and Juliet

June 23, 2010
Alwin Reamillo, detail of "Mutya ng Pasig", one of the restored pianos

Alwin Reamillo, detail of "Mutya ng Pasig", one of his restored pianos

A friend of mine described it as an art lover’s show.   And with good reason.  Alwin Reamillo continues to channel his family’s involvement in local piano-making into art pieces, producing large and small wall-bound assemblages and three restored pianos.  Clouds and Wings is a two-person exhibit with Juliet Lea, and aside from both artists’ individual works, they also show collaborative pieces.

Installation of four large-scale wings

It’s the first time that I’ve seen Manila Contemporary mount an exhibit without a cast of thousands.  What a difference it makes when the space allows us viewers to enjoy an artist’s work in-depth.  Although I am familiar with Alwin’s piano projects, and I know that the Singapore Art Museum acquired one of his pianos for its collection, I have not actually seen any of them before.  Here he shows one grand piano inspired by Nicanor Abelardo, embellished with image transfers and found objects.  He treats  his wings in a similar vein, finishing these off with the gloss that you use on actual pianos.  The wings take their name from the shape of the grand piano’s awning.  He names four of the bigger ones after seasonal wind directions:  Amianan, Katimugan, Kanluran, Sirangan.

Alwin Reamillo, "Katimugan (Southern Wing)"

I suppose I can safely say that both artists work a lot with image transfers.  Although Juliet also exhibits a series of paintings on wood of mainly polka dot patterns.  These remind me a bit too much of Yayoi Kusama’s work.  I prefer her Cloud Books, charcoal cloud drawings on book paper.  And I thought she did really beautiful work for Garden Of Delights, where she put her image transfers on printed fabric.   Two other pieces on printed fabric  were done in collaboration with Alwin.  All these works on fabric spilled over with rich details that you won’t ever get tired of.  Well, I wouldn’t.

Juliet Lea, " Nevada Enewotok Atoll Bikini Atoll Johnston Island" and "Maralinga Malden Isand Christmas Island"

I missed the piano performance on opening night, but I did catch the random playing that ensued the rest of the evening. The tinkling of the keys, the free-flowing wine, and hors d’oeuvres from Cibo’s adjacent commissary—not a bad way to spend the early part of a Saturday evening.

Clouds and Wings runs from 19 June to 11 July 2010 at Manila Contemporary, Whitespace, 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City.  Phone (632) 844-7328 or visit http://www.manilacontemporary.com


Alwin Reamillo, "Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano"

Portrait of Nicanor Abelardo on the grand piano's soundboard

Another detail, grand piano

Alwin Reamillo, "Cloud Piano"

Juliet Lea, "Cloud Painting"

Juliet Lea, "Garden of Delights"

Juliet Lea and Alwin Reamillo, "Humayo Ka Satanas, sapagkat ito ay nakasulat, Wala kang ibang sasambahin kundi ang Panginoon Mong Diyos at tanging Siya lamang ang iyong paglilinkuran"

Alwin Remillo and Juliet Lea, detail of "Humayo Kayo at Magparami"

Alwin Reamillo, detail of "Mayon"

Alwin Reamillo, detail of "R+J (Havana)"

Alwin Reamillo, "Palipad Padapo"

Alwin Reamillo, detail of "Palipad Padapo"

Alwin Reamillo, "Strung Back"

Alwin Reamillo, "Tutubi/Helicopter"

Taking a turn on the piano

A view of the exhibit


Dragons at Manila Contemporary Gallery

August 23, 2009
Mariano Ching, "Stigmata (Left Hand)"

Mariano Ching, "Stigmata (Left Hand)"

I get wary when an exhibit’s list of artists reads like your Friends on Facebook (well, not mine).  All too often, these mega-group shows have walls merely carpeted with paintings.

Mariano Ching, "Stigmata (Right Hand)"

Mariano Ching, "Stigmata (Right Hand)"

Galleries end up like your third grade art classroom, everybody’s works just hang there with no rhyme or reason.

So to be honest, I hesitated to see this.  But I suppose when you have Ronald Achacoso and Nilo Ilarde working to put together an exhibit, they manage to steer it from the usual mishmash.  The show’s title, Here Be Dragons, comes from the tradition of medieval map makers to mark the unexplored and the unknown with serpents and other such creatures.  Frankly, I had to ask about the

concept that tied things together.  As the way of group shows of this size,  works came out uneven.  And maybe, it isn’t such a good thing when pieces we’ve seen before get rehashed to fit into another

Exhibit installation view from top

Exhibit installation view from top

idea.  But that doesn’t mean that you don’t find gems.  This show has its share.  Nilo’s installation makes it easy to appreciate each of the artists’ pieces.  It must have been difficult figuring out which works to group together.  That you do not feel stifled and overwhelmed must be credited to his use of  the gallery’s wonderful space.  And the natural light streaming in from the floor to ceiling windows helps make for very agreeable viewing.

Felix Bacolor, " Philippine Geographical Maps from National Mapping and Resource Information Authority"

Felix Bacolor, " Philippine Geographical Maps from National Mapping and Resource Information Authority"

I loved Mariano Ching’s Stigmatas, wooden hands embellished with pyrographs and acrylic images of serpents, lions, crusading ships, and Catholic missionaries.  Felix Bacolor’s installation has a great story behind it.  He

Yasmin Sison, "After Chabet's Boat"

Yasmin Sison, "After Chabet's Boat"

trekked to the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority to seek discards.  Instead they gave him the run of closets full of pre-war Philippine maps.

He shows just a fraction here, the others to be used for future projects.

Funny that I mentioned a grade school classroom project earlier.   Yasmin Sison actually brought one with her in After Chabet’s Boat where she uses paintings of Philippine maps by students of the Cavite Institute.

Whether or not they fit into the show’s concept, Johnny Alcazaren, Bernie Pacquing,  Gerardo Tan, and Trek  Valdizno always deliver quality. Nilo and Chabet as usual,  make us think.

Alwin Reamillo and Juliet Lea, "Kakainin Ba Nila ang mga Saging"

Alwin Reamillo and Juliet Lea, "Kakainin Ba Nila ang mga Saging"

Next to Nano Ching’s piece, I would love to take home  Alwin Reamillo and Juliet Lea’s Kakainin Ba Nila Ang Mga Saging. Unfortunately, unlike the President, I can’t afford the cost of a  dinner at Le Cirque.  Come to think of it, that money would have been better spent on this.

Detail, "Kakainin Ba Nila Ang Mga Saging"

Detail, "Kakainin Ba Nila Ang Mga Saging"

View of installation with works of Bernie Pacquing(left) and Jonathan Olazo (right)

View of installation with works of Bernie Pacquing(left) and Jonathan Olazo (right)

Gerardo Tan, "Track 1"

Gerardo Tan, "Track 1"

Here Be Dragons with Ronald Achacoso, Alex Aguilar, Johnny Alcazaren, Poklong Anading, Felix Bacolor, Ringo Bunoan, Bea

Louie Cordero,

Louie Cordero,"Norwegian Wood"

Camacho, Roberto Chabet, Mariano Ching, Lena Cobanbang, Louie Cordero, Bembol dela Cruz, Dodo Dayao, Nilo Ilarde, Manuel Ocampo, Jonathan Olazo, Jayson Oliveria, Bernardo Pacquing, Gary Ross Pastrana, Alwin Reamillo, Raul Rodriguez, Juni Salvador, Gerardo Tan, Jay Ticar, Trek Valdizno, Cris Villanueva, Reg Yuson runs from 15 August to 6 September 2009 at the Manila Contemporary Gallery, Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Ave, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati.  Phone (632) 844-7228 or visit http://www.manilacontemporary.com

Johnny Alcazaren, "Slow Leak"

Johnny Alcazaren, "Slow Leak"


Map Ruminations: Apartment Art Series by Art Cabinet Philippines

December 3, 2008
Plainview Goal, Mixed Media Installation by Don Salubayba

Plainview Goal, Mixed Media Installation by Don Salubayba

Maps have fascinated for ages.  Picture crude etchings discovered in caves, a diagram of the heavens crafted by ancient man to guide his destiny. Or the rudimentary representations of land and sea that steered Balboa, Columbus, and Magellan to historic conquests.  In those days, cartographers depicted a flat planet that ended in a precipice, beyond which lay the great

Patricia and Patring by Tina Fernandez

Patricia and Patring by Tina Fernandez

unknown.  What would the legendary explorers make of the GPRS features in cars and phones of today, when one touch of a button steers us precisely two kilometers to the east or west, or pinpoints locations with precision?  Proof that maps serve both as guide and historic document,  getting more sophisticated as man marches on to progress.

Makina Anatomika by Brendale Tadeo

Makina Anatomika by Brendale Tadeo

 

leeroy-inst-detail

Detail, Leeroy New Hanging Installation

In this show, Art Cabinet Philippines challenges 12 artists to come up with their take on maps, each one alloted a space of their own choosing in a recently-vacated penthouse.  The non-traditional venue, with its commanding views of the city skyline,  help unleash the powers of their imagination, fueling creativity in what promises to be a truly unique show.  Hopefully, this heralds the beginning of a series of great concepts,  a different way of viewing and appreciating the visual arts.

Allegorical Partition by Anton del Castillo

Allegorical Partition by Anton del Castillo

Alice by Lea Lim

Alice by Lea Lim

2805B Map Ruminations by Anton del Castillo, Marc Cosico, Tina Fernandez, Mark Gaba, Mark Andy Garcia, Lea Lim, Leeroy New, Sandra Palomar, Alwin Reamillo, Don Salubayba, Brendale Tadeo, and Ian Victoriano is on view from 4 to 14 December  2008 at Apt. 2805B, Three Salcedo Place, Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village.  Viewing times are from 5 to 8 pm.  Contact (+63928) 5504816 or www.artcabinetphilippines.com

By Sandra Palomar

By Sandra Palomar

Detail, Who are the People in Your Neighborhood by Don Salubayba

Detail, Who are the People in Your Neighborhood by Don Salubayba

Crab Ilokandia by Alwin Reamillo

Crab Ilokandia by Alwin Reamillo

The Kumot Adventure by Marc Cosico

The Kumot Adventure by Marc Cosico


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