With the CCP not exactly in my neighborhood, I debated whether I had the time to swing by Implode, a special exhibit of selected alumni from the Technological University of Philippines College of Architecture and Fine Arts. Luckily, my schedule cooperated, as did the traffic lights on EDSA, and I found myself in the CCP’s third floor gallery in half an hour, right before the show opened. Best of all, save for the artists busy with their last minute arrangements, I had the space all to myself.
What a revelation! I didn’t realize until I saw the works gathered together how many of today’s exciting artists graduated from TUP: Lirio Salvador, Lynyrd Paras, Mac Valdezco, Eugene Jarque, Dex Fernandez, Mark Andy Garcia, Joey Cobcobo, Froilan Calayag, Ryan Rubio, Ferdie Doctolero, Noell El Farol (who curated the exhibit). The works lean heavily towards paintings and wall-bound pieces, but all so well-constructed. Nobody can fault these guys for their technical skills.
I have to admit a bias towards the non-paintings —Mac Valdezco’s reprised Plastic Ghost, her polymorphic sculpture from saran wrap and wire, Dex Fernandez’s Ready To Riot, mixed media on photograph, and Bente-Benteng Kuwento , Edward Simon’s installation of framed photographs. Dex’s manipulated photo complemented Hi, essentially a three-dimensional canvas piece with the texture of tooled leather, transformed into a robot-like creature.
The exhibit also yielded two surprising discoveries, artists John Sy and Neil Arvin Javier. John, who works full-time for GMA 7, showed two paintings. His canvases groan from the weight of figures compressed so close together that they seem to meld into one single pattern. They remind me of David Cortez Medalla’s piece in the Ateneo Art Gallery collection. Arvin, on the other hand, brought out a collage from his stash of pieces, works he has only shown to “underground” galleries. I thought It Was So Good ,with its references to graffiti art, was one of the most eye catching in the entire show. It would be great to see what else these two can do!
Implode runs from 14 October to 28 November 2010 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna, 3F Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd, Manila. For more information call the CCP Visual Arts and Museo Division (632) 832-3702.