Visayan artists explore importance of physical spaces in 'Place Attachment'
MANILA, Philippines – Three visual artists from the Visayas are showcasing their work at the Sierra Madre Gallery in Mandaluyong, in an exhibit that explores themes of place, identity, and the idea of home.
The exhibit, called "Place Attachment," is named after a concept that refers to the connection between humans and their physical environment, and the emotional attachment people form to places they've stayed in.
"Place Attachment" highlights the importance of physical environment in our lives – how a mere place and its elements can bring comfort, meaning, identity, and a feeling of home.
It features mixed-media works by Cebu-based artist Ronyel Compra, and Bacolod artists Mikiboy Pama and Intel Japitana.
Ronyel Compra: 'Humans are Termites'
In his work for "Place Attachment," Ronyel made imprints of broken and unbroken tools to symbolize people's construction and destruction of the environment. He also created a termite installation to explore the metaphor of termites as humans, which is built on the observation that the insects, like humans, have the tendency to build and destroy.
Mikiboy Pama: 'Salvation in Liminality'
Mikiboy explores the connection between religion and place attachment with his installation, where he recreated a room in a liminal space. The room includes wall-bound sculptures of eyes, ears, and mouths to represent the 3 senses; a massive retablo with the image of the Black Nazarene and Sto Niño, and an altar with flowers and candles as offerings; scapulars, rosaries, and amulets hanging from the ceiling; and devotees' slippers spread on the floor.
The installation highlights the importance of space to religion, and brings the artists' views on religion, particularly Catholicism, which he believes is "passed down" rather than chosen by the majority.
Intel Japitana: 'Destiny in the Can'
Intel's art includes a monochromatic series of photographs of fishermen, where she captured the tranquility of their way of life, as well as their attachment to the sea.
She also created an installation out of "Kalayaan" sardine cans, which is meant to be an exploration of colonialism. Each can, wrapped in red packaging, symbolizes how China "cans" Philippine resources and packs up the country's freedom in airtight containers.
Ronyel, Mikiboy, and Intel's art will be on display at the Sierra Madre Gallery in Mandaluyong until February 17. – Rappler.com