CRE­AT­ING INSIDE THE BOX

In Zean Ca­bangis’s stu­dio, ev­ery spot and cor­ner is part of the art

Scout - - SPACE CRAFT - BY ROMEO MO­RAN PHO­TOS BY KAITY CHUA COL­LAGE BY ARA VER­GARA

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.

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