I could not believe that in the most unexpected place at the heart of Makati I would stumble onto a really beguiling show. A friend
told me that Ricco Renzo Gallery at the LRI Plaza in Reposo St. had small pieces that I may find interesting. Without expecting much, and seeing that I had actually completed the Christmas shopping, I decided to drop by on my way home. Nestled above the cafe on the ground floor, and squeezed in beside a private meeting room and a display case for Hunter Douglas window blinds, you find K+kkk+K=K ayos, a show featuring the talented De Guia family.
Is there anyone in this clan who did not inherit a creative gene? The show is anchored on a wonderful installation by Kidlat Tahimik called Ay Apo! may BambooKam Indigenous Film Crew! Ever the indie
filmmaker, he makes a stand against formulaic Hollywood blockbusters. The kind produced using cameras that get smaller and smaller as techonology advances. He offers the bamboo camera as an award for film makers that share his spirit. This piece simulates the set of a Kidlat Tahimik production. He creates this installation working with indigenous artists from the Cordilleras: Rogelio Giraroy, Rommel Pidazo, Tim-manem, Donata Himiwat, Jason Domling, and Kabunyan de Guia.
Kabunyan’s digital prints on mosaic hang on the walls. He does them in organic shapes, like the broken bits we see displayed in antiquity museums. The colors and patterns of the mosaic tiles take off and continue from the colors and content of his prints. Try and spot the orange serpent in his piece Nang dumaan ang orenj na ahas.
I love Tim-manem’s woodcarvings! I especially adore his Tikbalang-like creature that seems about to scold his companions. This stands as part of a trio, a small coven positioned around a crystal ball at the installation’s edge.
Alongside Kidlat Tahimik’s piece, on two of the other walls, Kawayan de Guia shows small-scale mixed media collages. For this show, he brings out pieces made from his student days. How interesting that even then, he already showed an affinity for collages put together with that ethnic kitschy look that we have come to associate with his art. As always, Kawayan’s frames complete his work. He touched on the family’s history for these. He uses wooden frames shaped like houses to remember their home in Baguio that burned down five years ago. On each roof, a glass-covered receptacle holds ashes gathered after the fire. Each piece, therefore, transforms into a dwelling of his personal memorabilia.
Katrin de Guia, mother of the brood, assembles the most charming sculpture from found objects. Her exhibit notes describe her pieces as put together from remnants of their house that burned down and bric-a-brac washed into the shore. She has an eyeglass fairy, a sea king and queen, a spirit boat made from driftwood and old spoons, and other delightful knick knacks.
Kidlat de Guia exhibits his black and white travel photographs printed on handmade paper, purposely torn and put together like a jigsaw. This Kidlat was one of the artists short-listed earlier this year for the Ateneo Art Awards.
The show still has a month left before completing its run, so go go go! What a pity to miss this one!
K+kkk+K=K ayos runs until January 15, 2010 at the Ricco Renzo Gallery, GF LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia (Reposo) St., Bel Air II, Makati. Phone (632)898-2543 or visit http://www.riccorenzo.com