'Loob, Labas' Art Exhibit at the Asian Center

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Loob, Labas is a group art exhibition of Yan Abeledo, Rita Aznar, Reuben Ramas Cañete, Jake Salvador, Aman Santos and Katti Sta Ana. Curated by Katti Sta. Ana, the show focuses on the use of manmade found and natural found materials. The exhibit is aptly titled as the works will be viewed within the China Hall of the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center of the University of the Philippines Diliman, and outside into the cultural center’s Rear Garden, even extending to the building’s rooftop. It also tackles themes “within” and “without” (outside), such as self, childhood, home, community, environment and the natural world around us.

Using a combination of natural and manmade found objects, Reuben Ramas Cañete, art writer and professor at the Asian Center, in his work “Sarcophagus,” creates a reflection of the cyclic aspect of existence: from germination, growth, decay and death, to rebirth, using leaves & branches, paper, and charcoal. For his installation work on the rooftop, he lays out a directional sign for magnetic north with the lingling-o motif—a prehistoric Philippine fertility symbol, with painted concrete tile, white pebbles and lights, to comment on contemporary regional problems.

Jake Salvador, a former photojournalist for the Manila Bulletin, burns plywood scraps to transform them into weapons of his childhood. Again using wood, he playfully turns dead tree trunks into what he calls “happycons,” providing rest to the weary beside living trees.

From his own work refuse, Fine Arts teacher and graphic designer Aman Santos creates a colorful impression of his body with rubber foam, a material used mainly in footwear; a material also heavily used in recent years by the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA). Turning his attention to this community for his installation work, he digs up seedlings that sprout on the ground from the fallen seeds of trees at the CFA. He replants the seedlings in paper cups used by the same community to provide the young life a better chance to grow, similar to the nurturing education provided by the college. 

Yan Abeledo, an art teacher and video artist, derives inspiration from expended synthetic materials found in laboratories, arranging them into structures of bacterial, plant, and animal cells. He extends his explorations outdoors to create an installation illustrative of parasitism and symbiotic relationships.

Katti Sta. Ana, an awarded studio artist and illustrator, tackles domesticity in her work, using materials that provide security, sustenance, and protection in the home, while manifesting her uneasiness about the time eaten up by domestic duties on one’s possibilities. She also takes the bedroom outdoors, complete with banig and kulambo, bringing the private out in the open. The installation is reminiscent of the camping out of the carefree, or the living without shelter of the homeless. 

Katti Sta. Ana is a Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists awardee who uses art to engage the public in social and environmental issues. A senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman Department of Studio Arts and Masters in Fine Arts Program, she currently works mainly with clay in her ceramics studio in Marikina.

Rita Aznar, an educational materials designer, for her part, hangs a curtain of plastic egg trays to create an artificial wall garden—a paradox of industrialized urban life: beauty and trash. She then plants faucets on soil using waste: aluminum duct, can clips, plastic soda bottles, nylon cords, wire, and aluminum foil, tapping into water as a source of life, its scarcity, and at the same time its abundance in a denuded land.

Loob, Labas is open for viewing at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, Magsaysay Ave., corner Guerrero Street, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Quezon City. The exhibit will run until October 25, 2013.

For inquiries, call Dino Carlo Santos at 981-8500 loc 3580 or 9203535. Loob, Labas is made possible through the support of the UP Asian Center and the UP College of Fine Arts.

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