Archive for May, 2007

Time Turner

Monday, 21 May 07


The Queen circa 1985

I took the weekend off with some people and vegged at the fabulous and relaxing home of a friend a couple of hours away from the city center. We chatted, drank wine, and pigged out on blue cheese, pasta, barbecue, and salad. It was a good thing that we stopped ourselves from buying chips and a box of non-bake Oreo cake mix at the supermarket before leaving Manila—with all the food and me sitting on my ass the whole time, I would have gained 5 kilos by just looking at them! Hah. We also played with Lola, the resident black Labrador pup, who made sure that we were all impeccably grimy the whole time. She loved to pounce and ambush us—right after taking a dip in the birdbath and taking a quick roll on the dusty ground.

I really needed to go on this break, just to relax, do nothing, and disengage myself from my mobile phone, laptop, wire cutters, and pliers. I’ve been feeling disjointed and sapped lately. Some of my friends concluded that I was probably suffering from post-art-partum depression. I was cooped up alone with my wire sculptures for weeks on end and then all of sudden they were up there, hanging right smack in the middle of a public place for the whole world to see. I know, I know… the whole point of creating the pieces was for people to look at them, but to suddenly have them there and be shoved in the spotlight, well, it was all so surreal. I love my sculptures and I am glad people received them with open arms, but I still needed some time to get my bearings after the opening. I guess I also suffered from some form of withdrawal.

Whenever I feel the need to regain my center and reconnect with myself, I go back to a favorite period of my life, a special time when I felt unshakable, when I knew what I wanted, and when I believed in my imagination and dreams. In order to get to that place, I either read my comic books or the novels I read at that time or both. The third option, which I did, is to listen to my preferred music during that era. The whole week last week I played songs from the Culture Club, Duran Duran, the Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, Lotus Eaters, and company. This weekend, though, the artist/musician that turned time for me was the Queen of Reinvention herself—Madonna. It helped that my friend had all the albums, DVDs, singles that were ever published by/for/about her. I insisted on just listening to her early works, though. “Crazy for You,” which was probably my first ever “love song” (I was enamored with Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor, John Taylor, and Nick Rhodes at that time), still makes me smile. I was delighted to be back in the 80’s, although I was scared that I would return to Manila with a tsunami fringe and shoulder pads!

I have to admit that I cheated and didn’t completely disconnect this weekend. I took photos of some accessories I’ve been making. It wasn’t really work, work; at least I enjoyed playing with the camera for a bit.

We returned to the city late Sunday night and I had to go straight to Greenbelt 3 to pull out my sculptures. I was grateful that I had that nostalgic weekend; I was fine while I was taking the pieces down. Now I get to spend some time with them for a little while. I will have to say goodbye to each one of them soon, though. Hopefully their new owners will take good care of them and will let me visit them some time.


Barba Wired

Monday, 14 May 07

Vittorio Trousers (BARBA exhibit, May 9, Greenbelt 3 lobby)

Photo by VikiBi, taken at 6’30ish AM


My wire sculptures are currently on display at the lobby of the Greenbelt 3 mall, Makati City. I think they will be there for another week or so.

I’ve never done anything like this before. A couple of months ago, the ingenious Filipino fashion designer Vic Barba asked me to make a handful of wire sculptures for the preview/exhibit of his new boutique at Greenbelt 5. The building is not even up yet (the shop opens in October), but the developers wanted to start announcing the stores that were going to open there. He wanted something different—he didn’t want to display the actual clothes or photos of his previous work—so he asked me to recreate (make my own interpretation of) his designs. It looked like an insurmountable, incredibly intimidating task, a challenge to my sculptural and artistic skills. I wanted to run the other way, but, of course, I accepted the job. I immediately prayed to all the gods of creativity to help me figure out how to make this happen.

After months of experimenting, cutting, bending, of shedding blood, sweat, and tears (probably an unconscious offering to the gods), we finally finished the fashion-art installation and opened the exhibit last Wednesday, May 9th.

I am still recuperating from the countless sleepless nights and frenzied working days laboring over each piece. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I still don’t know what to make of it. It took me 5 days to actually sit down and write about it. I still haven’t recovered from the entire hullabaloo and the response I got from that night. I think I shall reserve that for another post, when my thoughts are a little bit more coherent and I have my head on straight.

In the meantime, here are some pics of my new wired work.