As recently as five years ago, checking out Manila’s entire art scene essentially meant a stroll down the fourth floor corridor of SM Megamall in Pasig. Perusing art did not differ much from malling, the Pinoy’s favorite pastime. While having the galleries stand side by side along that stretch certainly made art more accessible and democratic, we didn’t get much of the diversity and multi-sensory experiences we enjoy today. Unless, of course, the exhibit was “big” enough to merit booking the Art Center; definitely, this space hosted its share of memorable shows.
I thought I’d swing by Megamall, for old times sake. Crucible stood out from among the row of shop windows hawking paintings. A Soundtrack To Nothing converted their small space into a setting for street art. The same group of artists had done this before, at Manila Contemporary in November 2010 (for Painting With A Hammer To Nail The Crotch of Civilization: A Group Show of Wall Works and Tattoo Imagery) and earlier this year, at West Gallery, in an installation paired with Manuel Ocampo’s solo (Boycotter of Beauty and the Theoretical Steroid Defiled Modernist Chicken).
A repeat of the concept did not make the exhibit any less attractive. The vibrant splashes of paint beckoned to passers by, especially on a rainy, gloomy afternoon. The group collaborated on several small-scale canvases mounted as part of the installation, ensuring their fans could take home pieces of their work. Having graffiti-inspired work in Megamall, however, just proves how conventional this genre has become.
A Soundtrack to Nothing with Nemo Aguila, Bjorn Calleja, Rommel Celespara, Jigger Cruz, Don Dalmacio, Dex Fernandez, Epjey Pacheco, Edric Go, Dave Lock, Jason Montinola, and Beejay Esber runs from 26 July to 7 August 2011 at The Crucible, 4F SM Megamall. Phone (632) 635-6061 or visit http://www.thecruciblegallery.com