Monthly Archives: October 2015

Lucky Cat Lady

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One of these things is not like the others...

Most of my friends immediately think of me when they see cats, be it real ones walking down the street or feline videos on YouTube. A number can’t help themselves and buy cat things for me. I love unexpected gifts! Yes, I have incredibly thoughtful friends and I am grateful. I am one lucky cat lady. :mrgreen:

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Little Monster

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I screamed at my cats today. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I lost it earlier. I had a lot of things to do, but was not getting anything done. My internet connection was unstable and it took a minute to send text messages. To top it all off, I was still suffering from migraine postdrome (like a mental hangover after a migraine attack) and was just not present. I was trapped in a cloudy state in the bowels of my head and I was starting to fray at the edges.

Cats are very sensitive creatures so they picked up on my mood. They we’re all nervous and antsy, so that made them irritable. One wrong move and a feline rumble started. They rolled over the kitchen counter and broke a feeding bowl, a drinking glass, and my incense burner in the process. Then I lost it. I threw my wallet, my keys, a cushion at nothing in particular. I bellowed with rage and picked up the cats’ scratching lounges and threw them against the wall. One broke in half. I got all my rugs and started hitting them against the wall, scattering dust and fur in the air.  Then I lost steam and just sat on the floor. Then I stood up and started cleaning up.

Sometimes I feel the need to let the monster out and go on a rampage. Being a teacher and a fur mom to 5 FeLV+ cats, I don’t give in to this urge easily. I’ve trained myself to count back from 10 and breathe and exhale my anger. But I have limits and my monster needs to come outside once in a while otherwise it will fester and grow and would take over during some inopportune moment.

Sigh.

So I breathe in and out. In and out while I mop up my mess. Goodbye, Little Monster. Maybe I’ll see you in a year.

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Ghost

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Upside down. Peel.

“The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.” 

–Neil Gaiman, American Gods

I had to unpack some of the garments from my Peel installation yesterday and I was hit by a sudden wave of nostalgia. After residing at the Little Theater Lobby for about a month, they smelled musty and old, enveloped in the aroma of worn wood and of art; they smelled strongly of the CCP.

The scent of my work took me back to the Cultural Center of my youth, a place simmering with beaming hope and wild expectations. For a time during the early 90s, I used to hang out in its hallowed halls. I joined a summer art workshop and bonded with my classmates and the organizers. We even formed a group—The XXI Strokes—and had a show called “First” (and last!!! Hah!) at a reputable gallery Manila after.

That was a passionate juncture in my life—for the first time I let myself believe that I could create art. Funny how I don’t remember the names of my fellow artists or the things that we did, but I recall snippets of our stint there: I see my hands cutting a design on a rubber mat for the first time, I am observing the underside of work tables as I try to take a nap on the floor, I catch beams of light as we go ghost hunting after dark, and I am sitting in awe, communing with the works of Luz and Ocampo. I don’t remember much, but I am certain that that mildewed and stale odor accompanied me like an old friend everywhere. It was not imposing or bothersome, mind you. But it was comforting, comfortable, and ever present.

My old friend greeted me at the door the first time we had our meeting at the CCP. In my excitement over the upcoming show, I failed to acknowledge his presence. I knew that he was there with me during the days of our setup, up to the days when I would introduce Peel to my friends. He was the steady hand that guided me through my artist talk and he sat quietly with me as I said goodbye to the empty space.

I was taken aback when the scent emerged as I unpacked my pieces. It was the CCP of my youth, yes, but the wiff of sawdust has altered it. I clung to the fabric and drew in the new mix. I have come full circle, that’s what it said. My previous hopes and expectations were now realized dreams and memories. That old friend served its purpose and is gone. This new one promises a fresh chapter imprinted with untrodden visions.

With all souls’ day fast approaching, I’m taking the time to honor my old friend. I was apprehensive about the future, of what comes next, but this little haunting reminded me that all was well. It made me look back and see how the dots I’ve planted even back then have all connected and are pointing me to the future. So, thank you, dear friend. Thank you.

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Sleeve. Peel.

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HANDMADE: Steph Palallos

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Sirens, 2008 (Photo by Tiffany Urrutia)

Before our exhibit ends on the 18th, allow me to talk a little bit about myself and my work.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Ateneo de Manila University. I studied Applied Creativity (in Education and Art) at the University of Santiago del Compostela, Spain. I moved to Barcelona in 2003 and studied Contemporary Visual Arts Practices at METÁFORA-University of Barcelona.

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Zen Garden, 2003

When I started making sculptures in 2003, my work centered on my personal narrative: moving to a different country and struggling with an invisible illness made me feel disjointed and fragmented. In my attempt to reconstruct and fabricate a new identity, I tried to build on pieces of my body.

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Untitled Triptych, 2003

I have been back in Manila for ten years. I took a brief hiatus from sculpting about 5 years ago and now I find myself going back to where I left off, but this time around I want to use softer materials—fabric—to tell my story. The years have changed my narrative, but some themes remain. My pieces are still self portraits; they center on my embodied identity with missing pieces and fragile, incongruous parts. I still fabricate subtle and quiet images that trigger memories and emotions, focusing on loneliness, loss, and isolation. With the use of translucent materials, I also explore the idea of fragility and lightness, of wanting to be transparent, wanting to disappear.

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From the Untitled Triptych, 2003

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Peel, 2015. Photo by Giovanni D. Co

To see more of my work, please visit my website.

HANDMADE exhibit is open for viewing at the CCP until this Sunday, 18 October 2015.

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HANDMADE: Josephine Turalba

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Click. Tag. Share, 2015

HANDMADE features “Click. Tag. Share” by Josephine Turalba. Inspired from her travels to the non-West, she uses leatherwork as a means to re-imagine landscapes from memory.

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Out of Echoes, 2013

Josephine Turalba, born in Manila, Philippines is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates intersecting layers of different media: performance, sculpture, video, sound, photography. She holds an MFA, New Media from Transart Institute NY and Donau Universität Krems Austria and recently served as Dean at the School of Fine Arts and Design at the Philippine Women’s University (2012-2015).

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Ecdysis, 2010

Her works are in the collections of the Yuchengco Museum Manila, Philippines; Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines; Omer M. Koc Collection, Istanbul, Turkey & London, UK; Francis J. Greenburger Collection, NY, USA. They have been exhibited in 2015 at the European Cultural Center (concurrent with the 56th Venice Biennale) and Hofburg Innsbruck, Austria; in 2014 at Arter Space Istanbul, Turkey, Simultan Festival #10, Romania, and Yuchengco Museum, Manila; in 2013 at JOGJA International Mini Print Festival, Indonesia, VII Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art, Uzbekistan, 2nd Kathmandu Intl Arts Festival, Nepal, and 2nd Izmir International Biennal, Turkey; in 2012 at Santorini Biennale, Greece; La Cinematheque Francaise, École des Beaux-Arts Paris, France; Werkstatt der Kulturen Berlin, Germany; M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, and The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; in 2011 at South Hill Bracknel, UK, and Kunst-im-Tunnel Düsseldorf Germany, and Yuchengco Museum Manila; in 2010 at 12th Cairo Biennale, Egypt; in 2009 at Malta Contemporary Art Center; at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2007 and 2009; at the Lopez Museum, Manila in 2013, 2007 and 1992; and at the Ayala Museum Manila in 2013.

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Epona, 2013

Josephine Turalba’s works reflect on the politics of violence and dynamics of infliction and trauma, depicting spaces where empathy translates into healing. She negotiates influences from different cultures – foreign influences on Philippine culture and vice-versa, taking on an investigative approach to place and time (in history and the present), in relationship to a sense of self; using the female body as a ‘site’ of/on/around/for her sculptural pieces to speak of history and speak to different spaces in society. For the past six years, she has performed urban interventions in her sculptural bullet armour in different cities around the world investigating how histories of trauma define one’s identity through engagement with communities in marginal and liminal spaces.

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SMS Double Barrel, 2013

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SMS Double Barrel, 2013

To see more of Josephine Turalba’s work, go to her website at www.josephineturalba.com.

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HANDMADE: Carmel Lim-Torres

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Unapologetically Soft, 2008

Carmel Lim-Torres, Josephine Turalba, and I are gearing up for our Artists’ Talk and Finissage of our HANDMADE exhibition at the CCP’s Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby) on the 15th of October. Before our show ends on the 18th, I want to talk about the individual artists in the exhibit, so you can see a glimpse of their body of work.

Carmel, Steph, Josephine. We are all women sculptors and educators. We met at graduate school while working on our Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. For some reason or another, none of us completed the program at that institution—Jing finished hers in Austria, Carmel pursued other studies, and I focused on my Spanish projects—but we kept in touch and our friendship grew through the years. Last year, we decided to finally have a show together.

HANDMADE: Carmel Lim-Torres

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Unapologetically Soft: Big Green, 2008

From her bio:

“Sculptor, teacher, and mountaineer, Carmel Lim-Torres explores the limits of ceramics and other materials to express the limitless expanse of the natural world. Lim-Torres draws inspiration from her adventures as a mountaineer who witnessed the peaks of Mt. Apo, Mt. Iraya, Mt. Amuyao, Mt. Batur and Mt. Kilimanjaro, to create her multimedia installations. Wanting to share the peace and tranquility with those around her, she decided to marry the natural lines of nature with the rigidity of ceramics and wood. “I wanted to capture the fluid lines and forms onto permanent materials; the momentary made still” Lim explains. “I love texture and am drawn into the details of leaves, trees, beauty….”

Lim-Torres has a Fine Arts Sculpture degree from the University of the Philippines and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Buffalo. She currently teaches Visual Arts at the International School Manila. She has now settled in Manila with husband Robert (Bojo) Torres.”

To see more of Carmel’s work, you may get in touch with her via email at carmel_lim@yahoo.com.

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Hope, 2015

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Hope, 2015

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HANDMADE Finissage

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HANDMADE Finissage
15 October 2015
Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby)

Artists’ Talk 4pm
Cocktails 6pm

For their exhibition finissage, the artists of HANDMADE will have a special artist talk and closing cocktails on 15 October 2015. It will begin with an introduction by exhibit curator Leo Abaya, which will be followed by the artist talks of Josephine Turalba, Steph Palallos, and Carmel Lim-Torres.

In their exhibit, Palallos, Lim-Torres, and Turalba create diverse art highlighting the Handmade. They express personal experience rather than give voice to a collective social message. Consider Turalba’s leatherwork as a means to re-imagine landscapes from memory, or Palallos’ sewing fabric to construct garments that expose the ailing body, or Lim-Torres’ embroidery applied to paper, ceramics and wood to express hope amidst ecological peril.

Handmade is on view until 18 October 2015. Viewing hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm. The exhibition is supported by Active Group Incorporated, Pepi Cubano, Tacos Chingones, and Delbros Group. Photo is courtesy of Giovanni D. Co.

For more information, call the CCP Visual Arts & Museum Division, Production & Exhibition Department at (632) 832-1125 loc. 1504/1505, (632) 832-3702, mobile (63920) 4700690, email ccp.exhibits@gmail.com or visit http://www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

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