Thursday, March 7, 2013

Grounded at the Lopez Museum : What's Keeping You From Flight?

Wazzup Pilipinas ! I am "Grounded".

Are we too tied up and "grounded" that it holds us back from our fullest potential?

We try our best to exceed, excel and escape from the norm....but more often than not, we end up getting criticized, questioned, and stricken from the ranks of a so-called law-abiding society.

To be branded as a rebel, a liberal and a rogue makes me wonder if we are all here just to please everyone else except ourselves.

For going above and beyond everyone else's idea of standards, ethics and comfort zones, we limit ourselves to only what others want us to be....and we set aside our real intentions and hide behind a mask of deception.

The Lopez Memorial Museum and Library, the oldest privately owned and publicly accessible museum and library in the Philippines, has on display an exhibit entitled "Grounded".

"Grounded" is a literal and metaphorical take on notions of rootedness, engagement, and mobility in scapes and interventions within and without these referenced sites. This broadly interpreted themeis paralleled in the diversity of practices evinced here alongside other pieces from the collection of the museum.

From Alma Quinto's researched-propelled work with Pasig River Warriors to Eric Zamuco's allusive staging of seeming precariousness, from Goldie Poblador's touch-baiting hybrid of art and laboratory artifice to Barbara Hlali's painful depiction of bodily engagement, from Ahmed Al Shaer's comical take on natural selection to Toym Imao's cross-referencing folk and diaspotic armature, from Khaled Hafez's tri-image ode to a stalled revolution to Josephine Turalba's  dis-charged footwear bidding a traipse through a once private memory trove, Grounded is a posed exercise, of looking back and hopefully trudging forward people despite of being held back.


The first time I set foot at the Lopez Museum was sort of an exhilarating experience. I often pass by the Benpres building in Ortigas but it was only then that I knew there was a museum inside. When we got inside, most of the lights were turned off, so it was a dark gloomy feeling that I felt. But I continued to step forward until I reached their sort of library were the lights were brighter. The collection of books were significant yet all were hard-bounded with plain colored covers and not as colorful when you go inside a modern bookstore, or even the Thomas Jefferson Library that I used to go to during my younger years.

Reminiscing the past when I used to research in our college library. Those were the old days, now that there is the Internet, I have never stepped on a library. The multiple number of books were a treat to my camera.

Finally somebody showed up noticing I was taking pictures in the dark.

With walls painted white and lights setting the mood, it was a melodramatic moment as the images and sculptures transformed miraculously right before my eyes. The synergy of the lights and sound on some display was also sensational.

I have often been said to have an eye for beauty, and could easily appreciate any work of art. I believe it is also a talent if you are able to put yourself in the shoes of the artists and feel their passion and emotion, and be able to identify yourself with the image.

A work of art can be interpreted differently. It is how we interpret it that determines what kind of individual we are.

There are quite a lot of things that are keeping us from taking flight - towards the skies, towards our ideals, towards our dreams, it pains me to realize I could only settle for a view of what could have been if I keep my feet on the ground.

I would rather jump off from a cliff to test my wings rather than just sit back in one corner and get old wondering what could have transpired if I just had the guts to take the risk.

I believe the rules of society were meant only to guide us and not to keep us from modifying it to what is more appropriate. Rules were meant to be broken, taken apart and then reassembled to create a better form.

With a camera in my hand, I could only take pictures of the interesting stuff I see around me. However, my next move will determine what kind of person I really am.

Life is a never-ending process of self-improvement but we all deserve respect for being unique and eccentric.

So please do not hate us if we seem to have an out-of-this-world personality.

We take pride in letting our feet leave the ground.... as we continue to spread our wings.... and soar high in the sky!

We thank Mr. Toym Imao, one of the artists of the exhibit, as he explained to us his interpretations - and the meanings (both intentional or accidental) he would like to share - of the creative masterpieces he has on display for the public to appreciate.

Get the chance to meet him and other artists like Josephine Turalba and Eric Zamuco as they conduct a talk on Saturday, March 9 at 2 pm.

Ama Quinto and Goldie Poblador will also have their talk on June 9.

"Grounded" will run until August 3, 2013. Lopez Museum and Library is at the G/F Benpres Bldg., Meralco cor. Exchange Rd., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Museum hours are 8-5pm Mondays through Saturdays except Sundays and holidays.

More pictures from the exhibit here:

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  1. The first few lines were an eye-opener for me. The whole article was very inspirational and very stimulating to the mind. Somewhat, I found my self standing before the artworks, on some points, being the artwork itself.

    Good job! I'll be sharing this post to my friends.

    1. Thanks, John.

      I am a very sentimental person even though I often wear a "happy" mask. It was nice reflecting and getting in touch with the inner soul during this museum visit.


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