The night sky paints a picture of a seemingly calm, unchanging Universe. For centuries, people have gazed at the stars, imagining the existence of galaxies beyond the scope of the human eye. Scientists have been in awe of the Universe’s creation, developing various theories to explain its origins. One example is the Big Bang Theory, which wasn’t the explosion of matter from a single point, but rather the expansion of space itself, an infinite cosmos that cannot be quantified.
The twelve young artists in this group exhibition entitled “Pitik” refer to that moment of expansion in their respective practices as divine manifestation, when creative energy from a multitude of sources surges to the forefront of their consciousness. Looking inward to the self, they not only explore the poetic gestures of the human body, but also the mind’s infinite canvas.
The process of creation, therefore, becomes the subject. Expressed in a variety of mediums ranging from fabric and oil on canvas, sculpture, pen and ink on paper, thread on canvas, and ink and acrylic on wood, the artists tackle the figurative and abstract self through the lens of introspection and emergence.
This notion of duality and its correspondence to the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, in which opposing forces are simultaneously interdependent and connected in the natural world, also apply to the approaches these artists have undertaken when excavating the epiphanies of the self.
For Chloe Dellosa, this appears in her use of complementary colors to express melancholic and choleric temperaments in oil-on-canvas paintings of gestural figures. Camille Quintos’ acrylic self-portraits on wood reveal the interplay of what the artist views as positive and negative emotions. For Gianneluisa Gonzales, the juxtaposition of women’s lips and the bodies of insects evoke both beauty and repulsion. There are also a few collaborative pieces, such as the animal spirit self-portraits by Camille Quintos and Karla Aggarao, wherein both artists merged their aesthetics for compositional symmetry.
Through an amalgamation of forms, imagery, and self-reflexive practice, the artists seek to portray the expansion of their interior universe, compelling viewers to re-examine the relationships between the self, the body, and the divine. United more by sensibility rather than style, the artists are adept at blurring the fine lines between symbolism and certainty, truth and fiction.
The twelve featured artists—Chloe Dellosa, Camille Quintos, Karla Aggarao, Sarah Zemirah “Ayka” Go, Gianneluisa Gonzales, Romeo Carlos Ramos, Ren Lopez III, Genavee Lazaro, Neil John Callado, Ian Fabro, Jason Pasion, Arsenise S. Fuentes—are currently students at the School of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.