Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Day of Art: Nostalgia and Hero Worship

In July, while school was out and the weather cooperated, Zoe and I went to UP Diliman to visit two museums that had very interesting exhibits. Before heading to Vargas Museum and the Bulwagan ng Dangal, we dropped by the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and met up with Sir Totet "DJ" De Jesus. He initiated us into the CFA's gallery where works of alumni were on exhibit. Furthermore, he gave ua a tour of the entire college including the new building. More on this in future posts.

We headed to the Bulwagan ng Dangal where Toym Imao's art installations were on exhibit.

It. was. AWESOME.

Mixing Japanese robot heroes, Voltes V and Mazinger Z, with Philippine heroes and the infamy of Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda, Imao's work is like an eat all you can buffet. Scan the entire table and pick what to eat. His huge installations can overwhelm the senses.  But if taken in by bits and pieces, looking at and examining the tiny parts that make up the whole, his art prompts the viewer to look at relationships big and small. The message is not at all lost in his art installations. It magnifies the personal experiences of looking up at our heroes and being tricked or fooled by another. Super Robot + Super Reboot challenges us to examine our definitions of heroes and the beliefs we hold true at a time when villains are clothed in capes or robotic powers.

After an hour spent at Bulwagan, we went to Vargas for CANVAS' Tumba-Tumba: Children's Museum of Philippine Art.

With it's press release, I was expecting a Museo Pambata feel. Bright. In the now. Safe for kids. It was the exact opposite. A few game boards and interactive art activities did not convince me that the exhibit is for children. It celebrates childhood memories and the nostalgia it brings. The art is amazing, that's for sure. But I found it appealing to an adult's sensibilities of bygone years.

At the end of the day, kids art or not, it was what our souls needed.

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