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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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