Tuesday, September 25, 2018

MCAD's The Extra Extra Ordinary Exhibition Preview

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We exerienced Museum of Contemporary Art and Design's "The Extra Extra Ordinary" preview and behind the scenes with artists Tromarama, Chou Yu-Cheng, & Gary-Ross Patrana a few days before their actual exhibition on September 20 and were warned the current setup is not yet complete as planned. Both artists and curators were quite apologetic that it was totally new for them to entertain media before exhibition day.

Curated by Joselina Cruz and Ester Lu, this exhibition located at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is artistically different yet at first sight yet fascinating once you know the story behind it especially with the blinking lights from various lamp posts that actually are giving out equivalent binary digit representations of tweets.

We saw foursections from bottom to top, ground floor to the next floor,  but since the organizers were not yet completely done of their setup, what we saw may just be a portion of the entire exhibit.

You'll think twice about the two LED monitors showing a seemingly continuing video loop.

That goes the same at the upper level where walls were erected showcasing video images.

What we actually saw were Indonesian Art Collective Tromarama’s “Soliloquy”, an 8-min three-channel projection titled, “Rewilding” by Filipino artist Gary-Ross Pastrana and Taiwanese artist Chou Yu-Cheng’s mixed media installation titled, “Chemical Gilding”.

Since meanings of art works would largely depend on the viewer, it is sort of advantageous to also hear about the insights from the artists themselves. Our personal interpretations are influenced by our individual life experiences and how significant objects are for us. Our memories also adds to the overall interpretation, plus our current emotions and situations could give deeper or shallow meanings to what we see right now. Thus art works could be seen differently from one person to the next.

Watch our video coverage posted on our official Facebook page at or on my personal page at to personally see how the art works influence you.

Gary-Ross Pastrana's process resembles, in some ways, an un-process, and an un-thinking of materiality, value and beauty, as we are accustomed to thinking of such concepts. Numerous critics and writers have pointed to an element of deconstruction as central to Pastrana's creative undertaking, visible in his collage works wherein he deconstructs forms into repurposed assemblages of color. The thrust behind Pastrana's deconstruction is an examination into an object's intrinsic wholeness and totality, even if part or nearly all of the object is destroyed, repurposed or changed in form. In his process. It is important that objects or materials undergo a certain operation that can alter them physically.

Apart from being  a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)  2006 Thirteen Artists Award, he also took part in the Japan Foundation Jenesys Program in Kyoto, Japan (2008),  and the NTU CCA Research Residency (2015) in Singapore. In 2016, he was a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize.

Chou Yu-Cheng works across a wide range of media including installations, sculpture, digital media, painting. The artist investigates the interrelationship between society and aesthetics through a minimalist yet thoughtfully choreographed skill set of knowledge and aesthetics that allows him to reveal the peculiarities of art, object, and space.

His works are in the collection of  National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art, JUT Foundation, RC culture and arts foundation, Center for Chinese Contemporary Art and White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection.

Information about Tromarama still eludes me but I promise to update this post once I see some about him.

"The Extra Extra Ordinary proposes a new sensory processor to attend our contemporary everyday life with add-ons movements and sensitivities. The title suggests an abstraction of affects shared among the human and the non-human; their correlation and disjoints as informed by contemporary objects, technology and culture. The exhibition also presents possibilities towards the generation of various sets of social and material connections, finding ourselves simultaneously in the process of becoming and worlding.
The growing tension to unlearn ethics between human and non-human worlds is one of the burning issues of our time. We question the culture we’ve inherited in the face of accumulated ecological catastrophes, of wars and the continuously increasing debts that are passed on to the coming generations. Our anxiety goes even further beyond traditional boundaries with technology invention all the time. Many of us have been addressing ideas of the Post-Human and that of New Materialism as a possibility of finding ways to think beyond human principles, reasons and perspectives. The Extra Extra Ordinary shares such concerns specific to our modern material conditions, and seeks to offer an alternative spacetime for us to exercise and explore how we can relate ourselves among things seen and unseen.
By creating a simulation of such a worlding process with works presented by artists, The Extra Extra Ordinary conceives many unparalleled sensibilities to operate the essence of life in detail, interexchanges and connections among matter, energy and life. With the circulation of these ideas, where agents such as audience become intrinsic parts of the media outputting the extraordinary celebration of every ordinary life takes on a poetic and imaginative turn."

#MCAD #TheExtraExtraOrdinary

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