Dealing with the invisible
ASTRONG sense of aberration persists nearly seven months into the “new normal.” Not in any way does this imply that a daily global death toll in the thousands from an airborne disease should feel everyday by now nor ever, only that our present living conditions still demand some getting used to even after what feels like in equal parts an eternity and an instant.
No matter our individual adjustments, however, there seems to be a great deal of dread felt by everyone. The mental strain, the financial hit, the emotional toll—all of it and more are the points of contemplation in Kaida Contemporary’s new pair of shows that opened over the weekend.
One is a solo exhibition featuring Mark Arcamo, a painter noted for his textured play on geometrical forms and asymmetrical shapes that carves depth in both aesthetic and message. It’s a three-dimensional style that works perfectly in his new show, titled Gaining Ground.
Arcamo visualizes the layered frustrations and disappointments of the human mind over the last few months, along with the search for something stable to hold on to at a time when everything seems to be anything but.
The artist’s latest works for the show are also imbued with a message of hope. Together with the busy lines that zig and zag across the canvass are images that are defined, albeit incomplete, as if these were puzzle pieces now scrambled but needing only the right time and set of hands to be pieced together and made whole again.
Musings on the global health crisis extend to Kaida’s second show, titled Present Tense, which is a three-man group exhibition featuring Nick Navarro, Oddin Sena and Jone Sibugan. The trio draw on their own experiences and ways to cope with the pandemic.
In Sending Failed, Navarro portrays a dim gallery setup featuring a framed depiction of the Google T-rex on one wall, and a TV signoff and static screens on another. Perhaps the piece symbolizes technological communications, devoid of human elements, failing to establish genuine connection.
Meanwhile, Sena’s works are reflections of the artist’s stint in bicycle delivery service. His acrylic paintings carry the titles, such as Jampacked, On the Way and Waiting.
Finally, Sibugan’s oil-on-canvas creations feature figures that melt into their backgrounds, much like how realities have in the past months.
Physical viewing of Gaining Ground and Present Tense begins today, October 6, at Kaida Contemporary in Quezon City. The shows run until October 19.
Excess admiration, Mark Arcamo, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48”x36”
I am, but not your only Truth, Jone Sibugan, 2020, oil on canvas, 36”x24”
Sending Failed, Nick Navarro, 2020, acrylic and calcium carbonate on canvas, 24”x36”