Transforming bad ‘Memories’ into beautiful art objects | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“Mambo Steeze,” sterling-silver sculpture with oxidized and 24k gold-plated parts by Lilianna Manahan
“Mambo Steeze,” sterling-silver sculpture with oxidized and 24k gold-plated parts by Lilianna Manahan


Designer Josef Crisanto recalls that in his childhood, his father was not consistently present in his life.

The boy saw him at night, during an evening ritual of stroking his fighting cocks while having a glass of whiskey on ice.

The sound of fluttering wings, the jingle of ice cubes, the dash of amber whiskey kept the father company.

Crisanto has not seen his father in 26 years. Hence, this memory lingers in the designer’s mind.


As an homage to his absentee father, he has created a large-scale whiskey glass, titled “Daddy.” In a press statement, Crisanto said he is making a collection for a client, using a synthetic material that embodies the qualities of glass. “Whiskey glass becomes a vessel of memories,” he said.


“Daddy” is one of the featured pieces in an exhibit-sale, “Memories: A Contemporary Objects Exhibition,” at A-11 Artelano.




Interior and industrial designer Eric Paras, also the owner of A-11, industrial designer Stanley Ruiz, and arts advocate and  organizer Stephanie Frondoso formed a platform, Signum, the Latin word for sign, for creatives.


“We created a program for ‘design/art’ objects,” Paras says.


Ruiz adds, “Our first exhibit is latched on the artists’ memories.”


Signum tapped 22 designers, artists and architects such as Leeroy New, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Juan Alcazaren, et al. to produce one-of-a-kind objects.


Industrial designer Gabriel Lichauco remembers his childhood days of playing with found objects in the garden or tool box, tying them together and letting his imagination run loose. His “Time Out” is composed of two side tables and a sculpture, all made of limestone and  metal accessories bound by red rope.


The limestones were sculpted by Filipino stone carvers, who were trained by Mexicans at the artisan crafts school, Escuela Taller. Furniture artisan, Oz Gallery, rendered the surface treatments of the metal parts.


The elements are exquisitely bound together by a bright red rope using the techniques of boat tying to secure the objects and shibari, a traditional Japanese form of knotting for aesthetics.


Jose Tong’s wooden “Tower of Memories,” pays homage to the ancient Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in Iraq which contains over 30,000 clay tablets and text since the 7th BC




Lilianna Manahan’s “Spring Swing” consists of three abstract sculptures, composed of sterling silver and 24k-plated gold. The sculptures were made using

silver-smithing techniques and feature gnarled bases from which a long-stemmed, golden flower emerges.


“They illustrate how our bad memories—fears, heartbreaks, insecurities can bring out growth in our character and be transformed into something beautiful,” Manahan said.


“One is about coming out from confusion to clarity. The second is about turning from uncertainty to hope. The third is about going from folly to wisdom,” Manahan said.


“I leave people with the question: Is this something we all want inside? Are we able to do it ourselves? For me, it was having a relationship with Christ that changed all these, and turned all those memories and internal struggles into beautiful things. These have transformed how I see things and act as well,” Manahan says.


Japan-born paper designer Wataru Sakuma created twin cones in his work, “Not What It Seems to Be.” At first look, the cones resemble black iron. In reality, they are made of recycled carton, filled with seeds to produce sounds and played like maracas. About the title, he explains that one starts with a concept, strays from it, and ultimately produces something unexpected.


Asked what triggered him to make a streamlined design with an obscure title, Sakuma says that when he visited his mother in Japan last September, he learned that she had signs of dementia.


“At first, she seemed okay. Then, from time to time, she could not remember the things that we did an hour ago. I thought a lot about her condition. I asked if I could use her Bible for this project, but I ended up not using it. From there, I came up with ‘Not What It Seems to Be.’”


Rita Godiño’s “Sigh” is a house and lighting holder, shaped from wood-fired stoneware and stoneware paper clay, and set on a mahogany base. As the house becomes lived in, it becomes a storeroom of memories. A candle receptacle, it symbolizes “memories that need illumination… and wisdom of the ages,” she says. –CONTRIBUTED



“Memories” runs until Nov.  11 at A-11 Artelano at 2680 F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City; tel. 8329972.

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