CREATING INSIDE THE BOX
In Zean Cabangis’s studio, every spot and corner is part of the art
Zean Cabangis admits that the location of his art studio, situated in his parents’ house in UP Diliman, wasn’t really his top choice for a working environment. Yes, UP is pretty, yes, its environment and atmosphere are alive and vibrant, but the 29-year-old visual artist needed a space to do his thing right after graduating from UP’s Fine Arts program—and that other vacant room in their house was literally the closest thing available.
Zean’s cozy home studio—neither very large nor too tiny, with canvas after canvas of his paintings leaning on gray walls that make the room seem like a concrete box—is metaphorically divided, each spot and corner maximized to serve a specific purpose in his artistic process. “May
lugar where I paint, where I put emulsion, where I put images, etc.,” he explains. “Para siyang circuit training. That setup allows me to multitask; feeling
ko effective sa akin ‘yun.” But all his ideas come from observing the world outside the studio, when his brain is not on artist mode. His latest solo exhibit, a collection of acrylic emulsion paintings titled “Reclaim,” was born out of observing nature at its most pristine.
“I bike a lot, and most of the time, napupunta kami sa mga lugar na hindi pa occupied ng tao,” Zean says. “May times na ‘yung open space na nakita mo noong previous ride mo, may signs na na- invade ng tao. Then slowly,
[with] every ride, unti-unti nang nade- develop ‘ yung structure. Praning lang ako na maoverdevelop ang isang lugar—may construction
boom kasi ngayon na puro condo na lang; kahit yung skyline, na- invade ng tao. In the end, irereclaim din naman ng nature ang lahat.” We can’t wait to see what new marvels come out of the box next.