Guerrero Z. Habulan’s ‘Disneytopia’ at BenCab Museum | Inquirer Lifestyle
“No se puede saber por que” (“One Can't TellWhy”), etching by Goya.
“No se puede saber por que” (“One Can't Tell Why”), etching by Goya.

Guerrero Z. Habulan’s ‘Disneytopia’ at BenCab Museum

“No se puede saber por que” (“One Can't TellWhy”), etching by Goya.
“No se puede saber por que” (“One Can’t Tell Why”), etching by Goya.

Organized in cooperation with Art Cube, “Disneytopia” by Guerrero Z. Habulan interrogates our ready acceptance of the “cultural properties” of the West that we consume through our senses and our bodies.

For Habulan, “Disneyfication” is now manifest destiny, of how places all around us shrug off their original character in order to assume the uniform face of modernity.

The renovation takes place primarily on the mindspace of Habulan’s figures, as symbolized by cranes, pulleys and other implements of construction that demolish lush landscapes and local architecture to give way to stern, box-like realities teeming with cartoon characters.

On one child, the transformation is complete: his head is now a fully operational gizmo that only needs the click of a switch to work.

An heir to the tradition of Social Realism, Habulan employs its strategies through quiet, but no less powerful, forms: allegories and symbolism that are still able to reflect contemporary conditions.

“Nesting 1,” by Guerrero Habulan
“Nesting 1,” by Guerrero Habulan

Guerrero “RG” Z. Habulan studied Fine Arts at University of the Philippines Diliman and gained recognition from major painting competitions where he won numerous top awards. He has been a recipient of an Artist Residency awarded by Artesan Gallery Singapore in 2012 and has exhibited in the Philippines and abroad. Guerrero is a young realist artist whose works are imbued with a witty sense of humor which has the effect of lightening the load of sordid visual realities.

Museum visitors can also view Old Master Prints at BenCab Museum’s Print Gallery, featuring 16th to 18th century etchings and engravings by Rembrandt, Goya, Dürer, and more.

Both exhibitions will be on view until Dec. 4.

BenCab Museum is on Km. 6 Asin Road, Tuba, Metro Baguio, and is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, closed on Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Call (074) 4427165, 0920-5301954, 0915-1286393; e-mail [email protected]mail.com; visit www.bencabmuseum.org.