Dusted – One Element, Multiple Perspectives

Over one and a half years ago, I wrote a blog post about my experience on going to an art exhibit. It was enriching and enigmatic (in a fun way) at the same time. The recent one that I attended, entitled Dusted  was no different in terms of its impact to me. The theme revolves around earthen materials presented in a wide variety of media and allegories. Based on the exhibit’s write-up, it aims to wake the Philippine Society out of its years of status quo, and calls for reflection. While keeping the goal in mind, I tried my “non-artist” eyes to see what I see, and let my mind sew my own interpretation. I will give a disclaimer early on that I didn’t undergo any formal training in fine arts so some of my observations may be far-fetched from what a true artist will immediately see, and some of the terms I used maybe lost in context since I only depend on the stuff that I’ve read before (corrections are welcome if you find any).  This post focuses more on my personal perspective and experience :).

One Element

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Even if the theme is solely based on earthen materials, it didn’t stop the creativity of the artists to utilize it in a form that they want to use. The result was a myriad of visual expressions. There were sculptures, paintings ranging from something that seems non-objective (since I can’t recognize any real-world objects as its basis) to something abstract, and even a video of a zoomed-in view of a road while the artist is riding a tricycle. The formed pattern was amazing.

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There are sewn images of overhead  maps paired with cloth with embroidered patterns. You’ll also find images with some hand-drawn lines and coal etches (for my lack of better term), all of which were printed in grayscale, which I consider as another statement for the theme since the different shades of black and gray are close connotation of dust and other similar materials.

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Another artwork uses soil, a mat, and a pillow. Upon a closer look, the pillow has a design that somehow resembles a tombstone, so I’m guessing it’s a representation of a grave. It’s quite fascinating actually.

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The way that this exhibit was presented kinda reminds me of a game jam, where the participants will make a game based on a specific theme. The variation of the output was wide and unpredictable in a fun way.

Multiple Perspectives

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One of the artists asked me of my observations on the different artworks. If you’ve read my blog post before, I have this fear of not deciphering the message it’s trying to convey, but the question was just a simple query of observation. For instance, looking at an artwork of rocks hanging in threads made me think that this will make a good picture from afar to give the illusion that the rock is floating. For the artist that I’ve talked to (not the one who made the artwork above), she said she was fascinated with the shadows formed by the hanging threads. After she pointed that out, I was amazed myself, but maybe in a different way because what I saw somehow resembles a 3D graph that can be formed by a certain mathematical equation. Pardon my geek side XD. However, my point here is that with one base element in mind, the artists brought the idea to life in so many forms and different perspectives. It never fails to impress that they have such keen eyes in paying attention to details and a creative mind to express thoughts in an unorthodox manner.

It was fun to see the irony on this artwork. Here are sculpted soaps with carved words, “maputi” (white), “makinis” (smooth), and “mabango” (fragrant). These are the benefits that are brought by the depicted object, yet I find it ironic since the material used was clay which texture and color pertain more to dirt. If I extend my thoughts beyond what I see, this can represent people trying to conceal their dark side by acting clean and innocent.

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The combination of the image of a woman and an apple instantly struck me with the idea of the divine creation. I interpret the red lines as the taint of sin referencing the events when the forbidden fruit was eaten.

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First thing that comes to my mind when I saw this was Jenga. Yeah, it’s just me being really fond of games. If I’ll play with the concept further, I could link this to government projects not being able to hold its expected lifespan due to corrupted budgets, like a Jenga brick being removed from the overall structure.

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How about you? What things have you pondered on while looking at the artworks? I know my pictures didn’t justify the beauty of these works (spare me for I’m just using my Xperia Play), so if you find the time and these creations piqued your curiosity, I suggest you visit the exhibit located in NCCA Building, Intramuros, Manila.  The exhibit runs until the 30th of September. While you’re at it, you can roam around Intramuros as well. There are lots of sites to behold. (~^_^)~

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Ali Aldaba
Ralph Barrientos
Brisa Dominguez
Joseph Gabriel
Clara Herrera
Kulay Labitigan
Catcat Mendoza
Katherine Nuñez
Issay Rodriguez
Luigi Singson

Curated By: Noëll EL Farol

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5 comments on “Dusted – One Element, Multiple Perspectives

  1. stump3d says:

    I’m usually at sucker at deciphering meanings in works of art, especially the modern and postmodern ones. I’m more of a fan of realism and a vibrant use of colors. 🙂

  2. nccagallery says:

    “For the artist, she said she was fascinated with the shadows formed by the hanging threads.”

    We were just wondering about the artist you were referring to for this work since you mentioned here that it’s a “she”. We were thinking that maybe you were able to talk to a different artist, (not the one who actually created the installation) since even the context of the work she told you does not fit with the actual intention of the artist. Could you describe how does “she” look like and did “she” actually claim that it’s her work? Were you there during the opening? We just need some clarifications.

    Thank you very much for this article and we are glad that you liked the show. 🙂

    • iron59 says:

      Ah yes, I know that she wasn’t the one who made that artwork. Sorry for the confusion. Let me clarify that in the post. Congratulations for the well done exhibit. 🙂

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