Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BRANDED: A mixed media exhibit by Cris Dumlao

Start:     Aug 3, '09 7:00p
End:     Aug 5, '09
Location:     LRI Design Plaza
Opening night is at 7PM
LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St.
Makati City

 Gosh. I felt like I was the one doing the exhibit since I practically greeted almost everyone who came in after me. Visitors were a mix of artists, students and alumni from APC, CSB and UP.

The exhibit runs from August 3 to 5. So for those of you who haven't been there, please pay it a visit.

Had been excitedly waiting for this day. Congrats, girl! I'm so proud of you.

This exhibit was brought to Iloilo later in the month, before Cris left for Canada.  For those of you, who have not been to the show, here is curator Elvert de la Cruz Bañares' Exhibit Notes:

Everybody's an artist when we were kids. Our at least everyone was required to be one. We've all started with crayons and the basic watercolors. We've moved on to watercolor in tubes and pastel. Until every brand we've used becomes only a recurring memory because many move on to become non-artists. And those who become full-fledged visual artists would move on further to more expensive brands. The usual reason: quality. But reasons and prerogatives aside, many artists don't realize (or at least have not been bothered by the fact) that their creative activities are, in a way, "dictated" by the brands available for them to use.

"Branded", a mixed media exhibit by young and promising artist, Cris Dumlao, explores the processes of visual artists by asking them to reflect on the brands the artists use in their respective creations. It is not to question the quality of the brands vis-á-vis the quality of the artworks. It is more to tickle the wild imagination of artists seemingly asking them playful questions: "Have you ever wondered how would your artworks look if you switch brands of your materials?"; "Was there ever a time that you questioned yourself why you use these brands or you have simply accepted them because they're widely used by many of your peers?"; etc. The asking could go on and on but the end result would always make use realize that brands have been a part of the creative processes and their existence depends on their inability to be consumed by its patrons.

Aesthetics aside, "Branded" also explores nostalgic experiences of everyone (artists and non-artists alike). The artworks play as a series of flashbacks, making us remember (and wonder a bit about) the brands we used when we were still attempting to create our very first drawing that would make our parents smile; our first painting that would please our art teacher; our first serious artwork that would give pride to ourselves; and our very first art experiences with the brands available to us as we use them without question.  The joys of creation camouflage our inquisitive mind, preferring to create than question; preferring to communicate than investigate.

"Branded" is both an exploration of artistic experiences and a trip down the memory lane. It is playful as it is communicative. As many artists move on to the digital medium, we can't help but notice that the old brands are endangered and the traditional way of creating works are, little by little, superseded by activities that require electronics and/or mechanical help. At the end of the day, "Branded" poses a great concern that the simple experiences of young kids adversely affect how their adult activities are conducted -- spritually, psychologically and creatively.

The artist (in orange) with the APC-ABMA faculty.

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