THE CONVERGENCE of science fiction, engineering and visual art is ongoing in an art exhibit at Galerie Joaquin, with a group of artists adding their own unique twist to the burgeoning steampunk movement.
Calling their exhibit “The Steampunk Manifesto,” these artists—Natalio Alob, Renato Andres, Caña, Roen Capule, Buddy Ching, Buds Convocar, Noy Gepte, Erwin Mallari, Ram Mallari Jr., Nestor Ong, Badz Palacio, Erwin Pineda, Omi Reyes, Aner Sebastian, Kiss Toledo, Jik Villanueva, with the special participation of Juvenal Sansó—declared their allegiance to the steampunk aesthetic by merging industrial chic with the style of graphic novels such as Alan Moore’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” video games such as “BioShock Infinite” and films such as Kerry Conran’s “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.”
“The Steampunk Manifesto” is an attempt to capture this momentum and “tropicalize” it to something Filipino.
Perhaps definitive of this realized steampunk ideal is the work of metal sculptor Mallari, who uses found objects to construct complex sculptural machinery.
Ching presents two cultural icons—José Rizal and a joker in steampunk attire.
Painter Pineda delves into steampunk with his portraits of turn-of-the-century folk with gears instead of heads, the twist being the Filipiniana garb of maria claras and barongs.
Caña has relief works in this exhibition, using insectoid figures built from acrylic machine parts against a painted backdrop of clockwork.