Monday, July 22, 2019

First Three Artworks of the 2018 CCP Thirteen Artist Awards Exhibit Revealed

Wazzup Pilipinas!

For the first time in the history of the prestigious Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Thirteen Artist Awards (TAA), the works of the recognized creators will be exhibited outside the halls of the CCP and find home at the School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

The first wave of a series of installations of the much-awaited 2018 CCP Thirteen Artists Awards at Benilde was finally revealed by co-curators Center for Campus Art (CCA) Director Architect Gerry Torres and 2000 Thirteen Artist Awardee Karen Ocampo Flores.

The pioneer project is in collaboration with the CCA, which gave artistic freedom to the winners to illustrate their advocacies walls and barriers, to transform them into public attractions that demanded both attention and action.

Bakwit by Archie Oclos found its solace on the exteriors of the College’s 14-floor building along the narrow Dominga Street. Standing at almost 70 meters tall, the head-turning artwork’s rich blend of vibrant colors highlighted the socio-political issue and concern of the indigenous people in the country. Bakwit, which is a twist on the English word evacuate, narrates the story of the Lumad students who, due to militarization, are forced to leave their schools and their communities to escape to the lowlands by foot.

The mural was finished in 24 days and depicted an image of a travelling child carrying his younger brother, a stack of supplies, and a book. Inspired by his own immersion with the tribes, Oclos promised the bakwit children that he will impart their plight and hardships. Apart from the TAA, Oclos made it to the reputable Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2017.

Hindi Totoo by Rasel Trinidad – also known for his street name Doktor Karayom – is a vibrant floor-to-ceiling mural that enveloped the fourth floor fire exit area at the heart of the SDA Campus. The brush strokes in Doktor Karayom’s signature red immortalized the peculiar and macabre creatures and imagined demons from the classic Filipino mythology.

With the power of horror as his tool, the engrossing artwork tackled a myriad of issues that aimed to reconnect the values of the lost tradition to the present society. It explored the nature of fear and its power as an element that can both divide and unite people through shared roots in oral history. While the artwork showcased lurking grotesque monsters, it also questioned the varying aspects in life that should really be the subjects of fear. Prior to the TAA, Trinidad held a one-man sculpture exhibit at the CCP entitled Linya and was also recognized with an Ateneo Art Award for his visual arts.

Dead Masks by Zeus Bascon exhibited four serpents crawling and writhing on the white walls at the Fifth Floor Theater Lobby. They were shaped using an amalgamation of lined masks, which are considered as the very symbol of theater. At a closer look, however, the artist veered away from the classic drama and tragedy as the headgear depicted the infiniteness or non-existence of emotion.

Collectively, the artwork speaks of the binary oppositions – the duality of snakes being revered and dreaded at the same time. It is likewise a reference to the seamless incorporation of paints and tarpaulins, which are both considered as forgotten materials and assigned markers of passage or standpoints to the meeting of ends. Before winning the TAA, Bascon has had nine solo exhibitions in major venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the Vargas Museum and Vinyl on Vinyl. He was lauded with the 2010 Alcala Prize Honorable Mention from the Philippine Board on Books for Young People.

More forthcoming installments of the TAA recipients will include dancer Eisa Jocson, photographer Carlo Gabuco, performance artist Bea Camacho, filmmaker Shireen Seno, and intermedia artists Cian Dayrit, Janos Dela Cruz, Dina Gadia, Guerrero Habulan, Raffy Napay, and Lynyrd Paras.

All the artworks will be on view throughout the year and until the end of 2021.

The CCP Thirteen Artists Awards recognizes the country’s most notable young artists whose body of work was “characterized by artistic integrity, innovativeness, cogency of ideas, sustained artistic activity and responsiveness to contemporary realities.”

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