Joan Antonio Balbarona’s “Senbazuru,” showing till Sept. 16 at Galerie Joaquin Podium, is inspired by the ancient Japanese legend that promises anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will get one’s wish.
The title refers to the Japanese practice: senbazuru literally means “1,000 cranes.”
For Balbarona, the crane is a deeply personal symbol. She turned senbazuru into a meditative practice to cope with personal difficulties and struggles. She found the practice healing.
Through the exhibit, she transposes the practice to the canvas. The acrylic works depict the delicate nature of the origami crane. The cranes take on character, personality, and life.
“In a precisely realistic style, the artist renders the paper birds in a variety of patterns and colors and stages them in piles; offering a strong visual metaphor of solidarity, especially in trying times,” said art writer Grace Ng.
Balbarona is a self-taught artist from Hindang, Leyte, who took up food science and technology at University of the Philippines Los Baños. In 2013, she studied at the Art Students League of New York, under the tutelage of abstractionist Ronnie Landfield. She was a finalist in nonrepresentational painting in the 2017 GSIS (Government Service Insurance Corporation) national art competition and a finalist in sculpture in the 2017 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence. —CONTRIBUTED
Balbarona’s “Senbazuru” will have an Artist’s Reception Sept. 11, 6 p.m., at Galerie Joaquin Podium, The Podium, Mandaluyong City. Tel. 6347954; email firstname.lastname@example.org.