Thursday, November 6, 2008

designing the divine

I had the chance to bring my back my passion for sculpture and installation art when I was invited by the Arts Lounge - one of Cambodia's largest and most progressive art spaces at the Hotel de la Paix to exhibit a couple months ago.


The exhibit was with another artist - a Cambodian named Koun Sothea - and was apltly titled Designing the Divine - as we both tackled our interpreatitons of Buddhism as a religion and as a universal culture. Sothea explored Buddhism more personally as it was his religion and he did it through color-rich oil paintings.


Mine was more of a discovery of Buddhism and how I relate to it as a Christian or as an outsider to this faith. I did it through sculptures and installations made of different materials like welded metal, cutlery, found objects, wires, manila hemp, plastic, paper, and whole load of things my kitchen and my stockrooms yielded (coupled with several trips to the local market!).
My work was more so an antithesis of divinity - wherein it represents things, ideals and beliefs that we should sacrifice and let go of - in order for us to attain real enlightenment...


This was the first piece bought from my series which tackles our search for eternal life, how to stop time and live forever - hence the clocks and the elements of time. It is that fervent search for ways to stop time that sometimes forbids us from making the most out of our lives...


See how you interpret Designing the Divine through my other pieces...


It's funny to note that I wasn't originally part of the exhibit, but the idea came up last minute from Hotel de la Paix General Manager Nick to invite me for the show.

So given the concept and such a limited time to put things together (barely three weeks!), I got back to the studio right away and started working non stop (stopping only to eat or catch some winks!) until I got this through.


The morning before the exhibition opening, I thought that my final piece wasn't working, so I went around to look for a second hand mannequin and created "Desire".


This installation was featured in the last issue of Fah Thai Magazine...


The crowd during the exhibition...
The unveiling began with the lights off and the gentle humming of my friend Jessie and poetry readings by my friend Kristian. The show was curated by another friend, Don Protasio.

I don't think I could do a show as rushed as this ever again! All of my clients almost threatened to deport me as I had to shut down my entire world to dedicate my heart to this. I love the intensity of pouring your entire energy to one particular vision, but balancing it together with a business and work is truly a tough challenge...
*exhibition photos by John McDermott

39 comments:

Megan said...

so, tell me, is there any thing you don't do creatively? Loved you work! It's great!

Luis Batchoy said...

My interpretations
1. Borrowed time/ Immortality in a second
2.Feed the soul
3.Illumination/Deconstruction of faith
4. Divinity in a nutshell (looks like an almond nut to me)
5. With out the manequin I'd say "give us this day..." in a Buddhist sense... with the manequin I say "Zen-suality!"

That's just me...

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

desire is sooooooooo gr8

i love it totally

cheers mate

when are u coming to meet me..

chezza said...

They seem to be clinging on something which prolly means we are forever clinging on to things or to each other....
The hands prolly depicts suffering...
...And kudos to your adrenaline, they did a great job! :)

RONeiluke, RN said...

very impressive work! gosh... i thought you're only a photographer... i didn't know installation of artworks is your job too...

i love the one with the spoons and forks! cool! and the desire of course :)

---
hindi nga???!!! i did'nt know walang movie house dayn for english films...hmmm...kakaiba pala dyan sa cambodia. pati books? hmmm...

astig nga yung vatican...maxado kasi silang masikreto... secrecy harbors curiosity ika nga.. hehehe!

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

Wow! You make every Filipino proud with your art. I love yung "desire" ang galing ng concept ;)

Sharon said...

My favourite is the clocks one.You are very talented!!
My first reaction was like Megan's:)
You are officially the greatest multi-tasker I know of lol.

the spool artist said...

@megan: thanks. wow, i am very much humbled by your comment. Yes, there are a lot of things I wish I am better at. Like managing my resources and finances. And also having a good business sense in what I do!

@luis batchoy: wow, interesting interpretations. You truly are an artist and an articulate soul rolled into one!

@rainville: Our India trip is still on the owrks, man. My schedule and my wife's schedules don;t seem to add up for a long holiday yet. We were warned not to do a cramped Indian odyssey - minimum should always be at least 2 weeks for an India trip!

ZJ said...

Astig! Now this made me want to have a full-time job SOON so I could get me one of your artworks!

Speaking about India, don't forget to include Rahjasthan in your trip and this place I forgot where the Dalai Lama resides. Kasya kaya ako sa luggage niyo? *lol*

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

i understand..i think even 2 weeks will be short.

lemme know when u come over mate..

take care

the spool artist said...

@chezza: yup, having such immense pressure under your shoulder makes you accomplish impossible things (so feeling ko si tom cruise ako sa Mission Impossible! hahahah) But looking back at it, I couldn't believe how I managed it!

@roneiluke: being a photographer is actually my source of income here and it pays for what i do for art! so it's just a good balance. also, photography comes in handy to realize your visions as an artist... well yes, i wish Henry Sy would come to Cambodia with his SM Cinema complexes! hahaha.

@ar-wee-der-yet: thanks. I am very proud to be Filipino too! I wish though that I have more chances to exhibit my works back home. :-(

@sharon: hahaha. thanks for that compliment. It's good to be multi-tasking you know! The clock pice or "youth" is also my son's favorite!

the spool artist said...

@ZJ: hahaha. You know me, I always extend affordable rates to friends!

@rainville: yup, will let you know how it goes! If I reach India, all of my life's wishes are granted!

bulitas said...

superb!
your artworks- wow!
you are one talented person!
kudos to you sir! keep it up!

Anonymous said...

In HKG now bound for PNH. Miss home na.

Will be in REP at 16:30 today.

Please pick me up.. hand carried royce for you.

wabs u

Anonymous said...

Hi Loven!

Finally got to see the art exhibit Mae and I missed. Funny that Luis Batchoy mentions the almond. The mandorla is in the front portal of italian churches. Its origin is lost in antiquity http://www.kyrie.com/symbols/mandorla.htm
I still have your invitation. It sits as a halo on my Jayavarman VII bust. The show looks like it was a success! Congratulations!!
Eugene

the spool artist said...

@bulitas: thanks for dropping by! cheers!

@anonymous: my oh my, i have royce!!! yipee!!!

@tito eugene: the mandorlas shape i am using is actually influenced by the shape of angkor wat's spires but that is also a very interesting note as i have grown accustomed to catholic-influenced architecture and art. the parabolic arch is also a widely used element by Antoni Gaudi - my ultimate favorite architect/artist! reallywish you and tita mae were able to see the show!

fuchsiaboy said...

the exhibit that cemented my reputation as a curator. love collaborating with you as always.

what's next?

the spool artist said...

a collaboration show at the tate modern?

or perhaps your fashion show in bryant park?

let's aim for the stars na!

eunice said...

Wow those are your artworks? U are so talented. Kudos!!

the spool artist said...

thanks eunice! yup, these are my "babies"!

RONeiluke, RN said...

ahhh.. i see... sa dami ba namang pictures na kinukuhanan mo i'm sure nahahasa lalo ang mata for creativity...:) astig ka talaga!

---
cool! pareho pala taying skinned eh. hehehe! naks naman nagmemane and tail ka pala! hahaha! well, ganun lang talaga..unaunahan lang mawalan ng buhok! hahaha!

lamang lang si went ng isang paligo eh..haha!

peace out!

Gilbert Semillano said...

Lupet, dude! Congrats sa exhibit! You rock! BTW, is digital art hitting the gallery walls there? What's the art scene like?

KRIS JASPER said...

With that exhibit, plus photography, plus travels plus blogging...

Im glad you have survived them all!

You have 25 hours/day in your zone perhaps?

the spool artist said...

roneiluke: oo nga, magtayo na tayo ng online skinheads club at tsaka mag put up na rin ng support group at forum for those na unti unti nang nawawalan ng buhok and who are psychologically unprepared for it! hahaha.

@gilbert: that's the thing, cambodia is surprisingly very open and forward about ANY type of art... and that includes digital art. Here in Siem Reap, notable galleries that give a good focus on that are the Red Gallery, Wa Gallery and the Arts Lounge. Phnom Penh too has a good share of galleries that embrace digital art!

@kris jasper: hahaha, you bet! the laid back vibe and the stress-free living here (no traffic, no queue, no hassle) could truly give you more time to do anything! also, i travel most of the time for work din so sama na dun ang photography and blogging! hehehe.

o kelan na kayo dito magbabakasyon ni A?

Jake said...

ganda! pahingi isa! :)

REDLAN said...

Iba talaga kapag hilig mo ang isang bagay. Kahit sa maikling panahon maka vreate ka ng magagandang designs. It's worth the effort naman. Ganda lahat lalo na yung may ika apat na picture.! Galing mo talaga!

eDreGiN said...

-Hanubeh! everytime ata na magcomment ako lageng me WOW! Napakatalented mo masyado sana man lang nabahagian ako..keep up the good work bro... :=)

the spool artist said...

@jake: mahal mag ship sa US eh! hehehe.

@redlan: thanks red! i asure you truly can relate to that! you're an artist as well! yup, it really does make a big difference if you are passionate about what you do...

@edregin: hahaha. thanks po... sana nandito kayo nung opening!

Jake said...

sige i-reserve ang isa at kukunin ko dyan! :)

the donG said...

wow! amazing exhibit. each one has mastered their own style. maybe you can do the same thing for the philippine culture.

the spool artist said...

@jake: sige, i reserve ko yung isa for you... kapalit lang eh isang comme des garcons H&M polka dot wallet from your blog(gusto ko rin yun!!!)

@the dong: thanks... that idea has actually been brewing on my mind!

r-yo said...

wow! you are so talented. "Desire" mesmerized me. Magnifico!

salingPUSA said...

you are such a talented man Kuya Loven. You are into so many things....so I can't believe how you still have to time to blog....are you superman?keke

the spool artist said...

@r-yo: Thanks man! I'm glad you liked Desire. It didn't get that much nod from the locals when i first installed it as they thought it was too obscene with the near-naked mannequin and all, but it they understood it as soon as the exhibition came through...

@salingpusa: hahaha, thanks anton. blogging is a great way of letting my family and friends know what I am up to (instead of emailing everybody!) so I have to spend time on it as much as I spend time on my art! Keeping a blog is actually more practical than updating everyone on your email list one by one!

Gilbert Semillano said...

Loven, saw ur comment on "decolores", Thanks, man! I am working on a porti now, sana nga you can forward it to your curator friends dyan at makapag exhibit (group show kaya tayo?) :-) Salamat and more power dre!

the spool artist said...

Gilbert, sige... A group show sounds great! Will look forward to receiving your portfolio!

Gilbert Semillano said...

Ayos! Yeheey! Thanks,Loven!

the spool artist said...

Email mo sa akin pre at spoolworks@hotmail.com

Cheers!

Pinoy Kollektor said...

Wow... what a beautiful exhibit. I wish I could see it personally.