Monday, November 3, 2014

The Cave

invite image by Czar Kristoff

"This is an attempt to self-reflection. A process which involves a strong will to self-recovery. For the past months, I have become my self, far more liberated than my old 'self', who I am trying to be with again. We were apart far too long that I felt so alone. I need to be him again to move on. Not to start over but to continue in this journey. To be intact again. To answer more to the questions of existence - in discovering the 'self' by determining the current state of being."- May 12, 2013 journal entry, Zeus Bascon

10.75 x 8 in | acrylic and lacquer on canvas, chain and crafting materials

39.25 x 37.25 in | charcoal on paper

8.5 x 11.75 in | mixed media on paper

Strength of Being
9 x 12 in | acrylic and oil on canvas

Untitled (Recurring elementals)
7.5 x 13.5 in (framed) | mixed media on paper

Untitled (Screaming figure)
4.5 x 6.25 in | mixed media on paper

Untitled (Fold)
7.5 x 22 in (framed) | mixed media on paper

Pretty visitors

56 x 85.25 in | permanent markers on curtain, stainless rod


23.25 x 17 in | acrylic on canvas

Sense of Place

24.25 x 18.25 | acrylic on canvas


Spirit warrior
size variable | ink and spike studs on clothing

27.5 x 40 in | acrylic and oil on canvas

size variable | note enclosed in found object, covered with collage and lacquer

photo by Art Informal

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Let's do the craft!

Craft instantaneously translates to something made by hand or to work with hands or, almost unanimously synonymous to physical labor done through a certain duration of time which is becoming quite rare in these fast-paced times that’s continually being gobbled up by the manufactured and the factory-made. 

According to writer Bruce Metcalf : “Historically the discourse considering craft as an art form states that craft must be a physical object made by hand using traditional methods and because of this it limits the art work’s aspect and meaning.” Adding further that, “the craft world accepts the meanings of felt experience and the body, whereas the art world remains dedicated to meaning embedded in texts and discourse.”

The intensive engagement with material that understandably march with time, renders craft as a purely durational exercise induced to an evolving mastery. The meaning that artists derive from employing craft is more experiential rather than purely rational, the approach to material being more instinctual as well. Combined with the vicissitudes of art idioms, the twinning of material and craft renders their work a conceptual layer, and by which the artists of Hand Job rearticulates craft, subverting the decorative arts and the fine arts in a mash-up of pure form and everyday life

These are palpably extrapolated from a discourse on the nature of labor and authorship via Bascon’s wired detailed instructions for his family to execute his work; to a mitigation of material weaving disparate surfaces such as plastic and photographic print with embroidery in Villanueva’s reiteration of selected quotes from Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, and in Lim’s repurposing of industrial, synthetic material to fashion flesh-like underwear; to drawing parallelisms between ecstatic catharsis through physical pain in Garcia’s gilded and embroidered panels that explore BDSM themes that uses religious iconography, thus elucidating craft as an exercise in endurance. 

The rest of the works are driven by exuberance and jouissance for the craft, as its ritualistic routine through the manic paper folding of Tamoria’s modular origami sculptures, to the whimsical crocheted pieces of See, and to the cutting dark humor of Gallardo’s stuffed dolls.

What threads them together perhaps is their unwavering pursuit for all possible medium, technique and format and use them as their practice allow them as part of the language in their art works. In a rather oblique and radicalized approach and homage to these traditional craft techniques, they ensure the continuum of such practice, embedding them further with new meaning and a broadening avenue for what’s possible in contemporary art.

Curated by Lena Cobangbang

Curtains (Into the No land)

Positivity Mantra

Fortune No. 1


Family Romance

Lena also prepared an online zine so you can view all the artists' works and details.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The realization of the self as a means to an end

Fictive Communities - Koganecho Bazaar 2014

June 4 - August 20, Yokohama, Japan

The Cave

The exhibition title, The Cave, virtually refers to the location: be it the exhibition site, or the Koganecho area; of which directly affected the development of the project from the original proposal, Tribesmen. There have been revisions but the same objective remains: to form a narrative.

Upon entrance, one can see from the arch a group of colorful eyes watching everything from above; an illustrated cape covering the black figure lying dead on the ground; radiating with blinding lights, a chamber where one may expect a treasure;  column of faces; a picture depicting a ritual, opening a portal; the wearing of the cape on the night of the full moon; the moving sound of thousands of bells; and the burning of the altar, are all part of a vision - an installation primarily resulting from the observed conflicts between the industrial construction of the site and the nature of my works.
The plot thickens as I subject The Self more along the process. Creating layers of interpretations, blurring the meaning.

The Cave, 2014
Acrylic paint, bells, crafting materials, fabric, found objects, hardware light fixtures, net, oil-based markers, painting, plastic letters, styrofoam, tape, tarpaulins, thread, vinyl stickers, wax, wire, wood

you can view photos during my residency here

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nang Mamatay Ang Mga Sirena

Zeus Bascon | Sergio Bumatay | Mica Cabildo
Outlooke Pointe Foundation

Brochure text:
UnangAgos, Filipino for “first stream/current”, is the first of a series of exhibitions byOutlooke Pointe Foundation (OPF) Artist Summit participants. Artists are given free rein to choose their exhibit concept under the guidance of OPF. For this exhibition, artists Zeus Bascon, Sergio Bumatay and Mica Cabildo immediately took to the exhibit venue. They chose to focus on the site of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with its rich history and aesthetic inundations. Each of the artists’ work echoes the Center’s proximity to Manila Bay, a body of water often associated with the imposing building that houses thehallway gallery. UnangAgos is an exploration of OPF’s enduring vision of constantly seeing things with a new perspective, of expressing passion for the nation through creative expression that eludes any labels traditionally attributed to art.
Based in Laguna,artist ZeusBasconoften makes mixed media work from materials that are readily available or familiar to him. He was a participant of the Tagaytay Artist Summit in 2009. His work for this exhibit, Promises ii, is an installation that engages the social and spatial aspects of artistic presentation. A natural forager, he makes use of beads, bells, pearls,and chains of all colors to create a fishing net worthy of the Center. The materials he chose vernacularly make up adornments or decorations for those who practice a certain kind of, as the artist describes,“faith/fate”. These ornaments carry heavy meaning within them, not unlike the halls of the Cultural Center. But contrasting the magnificence of the building and its history, the materials are also fundamentally crude, inexpensive, and generic.
Bascon’sintention lies in the process of drawing out the viewer's interaction with an invented mythology thereby creating an alternate religion of sorts.  Each viewer positions their own belief in the seemingly familiar imagery.  Viewers are drawn by the display which questions what they venerate and how they define beauty.  They are also reminded of items they’ve once lost, maybe not at sea, but in their own tumultuous lives, forming a narrative in their mind.
Sergio Bumatay also makes up the exhibitUnangAgos.An illustrator at heart, he is known for the fascinating characters and dreamlike worlds that he creates in children’s books and on canvas. He participated in the 2009 Artist Summit held in Panglao Island, Bohol.
Bumatay’s series of paintings for this exhibition, not unlike the exhibit concept itself, went through quite a series of processes. As he made his work and discussed with his fellow artists, Bumatay eventually wound up using glass as his main material surface. He was inspired by glass bottles, portholes and vehicle windows, which presented to him an internal artistic adventure that was totally new to the artist. He attempted for the first time to try reverse painting techniques, using glass with acrylic medium.
Collectively titled Through the Looking Glass, Bumatay’s paintings remind viewers of drawing on frosted or dusty glass with their fingers as children. It frames passenger scenes and maritime narratives. Viewers are provoked to look inside the paintings and become spectators ofvarious travelling characters, while their own faces and surroundings reflect back on them.
Mica Cabildo, on the other hand, diverts her attention from the personal or introspective. She creates an installation informed by her work as a graphic designer and by her experiences as a multidisciplinary artist. A participant in both the Tagaytay (2009) and Benguet (2010) Artist Summits, she constantly works with varied materials in her art practice, which includes installation, traditional crafts, and performance.
Cabildo’swork for the exhibit, entitled Cabo Negro (Black Out),is composed of wall-bound mixed media works, small fiber sculptures and a mural. It began with, similar to her fellow artists, an interest in her initial material of choice, which was rope, particularly the indigenous rope used in the construction of the balangay, a pre-Hispanic form of transportation used for water travel. Wood planks are sewn together with rope to make the body of the boat. The installation explores the visual & graphic play ofher materials,wood and rope, how each once manifests itself, and how they are viewed, particularly with the additional element of LED lights.
The Philippines is blessed with beautiful summers that have their days of extreme heat, but are also plagued with deadly rains, and stubborn and petty as we are, these inescapable conditions bind us together.Cabildo depicts phenomena caused by extreme exposure to the elements while on voyage such as the darkening of the skin (negro), andsnow blindness via her rope lights.
The three artists of UnangAgos, different as their artistic tendencies are, somehow all find inspiration in the materials that burden them. They are all slaves to their artistic media. But before concepts arise from their material, they are firstly informed by their surroundings. Exhibiting in the Pasilyo Vicente Manansala of the CCP, with its view of the Roxas Blvd. and the adjacent Manila Bay,finds both merit and contemplation in the three young artists.

The Outlooke Pointe Foundation (OPF), established in 2007, is a non-profit organization with the vision of rekindling passion for the country through artistic and cultural initiatives. One of its major initiatives under the visual arts is the Artist Summit. Each Artist Summit has provided opportunity for visual artists to engage socially and creatively in new environments with the underlying mission of continued artistic interaction. With its four Artist Summits to date, Bohol (2009), Tagaytay (2009),Benguet (2010) and Dumaguete (2012), OPF continually aims in tapping the nationwide potential of developing and exchanging ideas on contemporary art. By providing studio space, materials, workshops and artistic consultation to up-and-coming artists, OPF’s Artist Summits have essentially been bringing artists from different backgrounds together, thereby creating a nationwide dialogue of art and the fostering of art communes. (MRAE, 2014)

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Promises ii

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Duwende | 2014

Package From The No Land

Pebble Tile | 8.25 x 11 in | laminated printed paper, 245 sheets of paper, graphite, packing tape, stickers and acrylic | 2014


Still Life

Wildflower ii | 2012-2013

Burnt, No Exit | 2013


photo credits: Mariano Ching
view the exhibition here