ART ALL AROUND: ‘Transformatika’ and ‘Vicinage: A Michael Cacnio Solo Exhibition’

Published February 24, 2021, 2:09 PM

by MB Lifestyle

Step into the creative world of these artists and see the lives of Filipinos depicted through brushstrokes and bended metal

Ongoing: ‘Transformatika’

Venue: Altro Mondo Creative Space, 1159 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City

Each creation is a glimpse of an artist’s life. Each stroke sheds a part of his soul laid bare before us and his development is the testimony of a transcended difficult journey. 

Nasser Zulueta’s art reveals some turning points in his life that ushered his growth as an artist. Traversing the world alone at an early age and meeting many strangers has influenced his technique and style—varied, spontaneous, and bold. He has lived many lives and using a single medium is never enough to tell his story. Look closely and you will discover order in chaos, light in darkness, and beauty in hideousness.

Tom Russ’s artworks take us to a colorful journey down south. His art is highly influenced by his advocacy and his encounters with the Tri-People of Mindanao (Christian, Muslims, and Lumads). Living and walking among them gave him a different perspective and anchored his artistic and personal transformation. Displacement, solitude, struggles, and injustices are central themes of his works.

‘Transfomatika’ is open for viewing until March 14, 2021.

Ongoing: ‘Vicinage: A Michael Cacnio Solo Exhibition’

Venue: Galerie Joaquin Pop-Up Gallery, R1 Level, New Wing of Power Plant Mall, Makati City
By Grace Ng 

What makes Michael Cacnio’s art unique is his distinct way of drawing out the beauty in the ordinary, finding serenity amid chaos, discovering the joy in isolation, and bringing out poetry in the mundane. He has also not shied away from social realism, conjuring sculptural introspections on subjects such as despair and social inequity. His art goes beyond self-expression.

Michael was born in 1969 and grew up in Malabon, Metro Manila. His artistic genes were evident even when he was still a child. Michael was observant and loved viewing the whole area of Malabon from the rooftop of his grandmother’s house that was considered pretty high during the 1950s. The artist recalled growing up in an environment where things were simple and happy during the early years. The atmosphere was happy despite the poverty that generally surrounded the place. 

This imagery became his inspiration for “Vicinage,” as he expounds on the realities behind dense urban settlements and the crowded and compact housing units, yet frames the artworks in a sense that it connects to ideas of resilience, endurance, and survival despite the challenges.  Michael hopes to confront the stereotypical perception of slums as despairing places inhabited by hopeless people. The exhibit aims to present those from marginalized communities as productive and hardworking—even content and happy.

In another viewpoint, the exhibit also renounces the idea of poverty being overlooked and romanticized. By openly discussing the reasons behind the imagery, the exhibit attempts to reveal the plight of the poor; as these communities remain woven into the fabric of Philippine culture, with its political, historical, and economic concerns still yearning to be heard. 

This special sculpture exhibit will comprise a series of 25 framed metal relief artworks. Exhibiting a propensity for trying out new things, Cacnio continuously goes out of his comfort zone both technically and thematically through “Vicinage.”

‘Vicinage: A Michael Cacnio Solo Exhibition’ runs until Feb. 28, 2021.