Breaking the Mold: 7 Must-See Local Art Exhibits this April 2023 | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The Heisenberg Effect at Artinformal by SOMATOSONIC artists
The Heisenberg Effect at Artinformal by SOMATOSONIC artists

After the first quarter of the year opened with Art Fair Philippines and Art in the Park, an “artsy fever” still hangs in the air. Since the fairs, artists and art institutions have collaborated to go deeper with their projects—with many challenging the conventions of the traditional art world.

As the weather warms up and summer goes into full force, art enthusiasts are in for a treat with the range of exhibits ongoing this month. We’ve chronicled a list of must-see exhibits this April in galleries, museums, and virtual realms, showcasing a wide range of styles that break new ground.

1. Khavn Dela Cruz, “Nardong Putic SJ’s ‘Fauna de Filipinas’ (1837)” at Gravity Art Space

Since Gravity Art Space (GAS) opened in Quezon City over the pandemic, the artist-run space has become a hub that brings together different members of the creative community. One example is the recent exhibit by Director Khavn Dela Cruz, considered the father of Philippine digital filmmaking. 

Last year, he discovered his mother’s aunt had passed at 99. The artist inherited a peculiar item—a terracotta tablet with strange markings. This arcane tablet compelled him to create, and over the course of a sleepless night, he sculpted a seven-foot figure made out of clay. Unknowingly, he had resurrected, “Leonardo Distor, SJ, or Nardong Putic, SJ.” 

The final result of his labors includes 28 terracotta sculptures with accompanying plants and animals, in an exhibit that combines history, nature, and hints of the divine.

Khavn Dela Cruz, "Nardong Putic SJ’s ‘Fauna de Filipinas’ (1837)" at Gravity Art Space
Installation view. Image courtesy of Gravity Art Space.

“Nardong Putic SJ’s ‘Fauna de Filipinas’ (1837)” runs at Gravity Art Space until April 15, 2023.

2. Christina Dy, Tad Ermitaño, and Marco Ortiga, “Tangents & Secants” at Artinformal

Taking from mathematical concepts, three artists collaborated to create an exhibit that represents the point where their talents intersect. 

For their first-ever exhibit, collective SOMATOSONIC experiments with movement, sound, technology and math, exploring largely uncharted territory in the local art scene.

Filmmaker and sound artist Tad Ermitano experiments with space and sound. Ortiga uses the movement of kinetic sculpture. While visual artist and dancer Christina Dy presents physical drawings, with performance art. 

Artinformal Christina Dy, Tad Ermitaño, and Marco Ortiga
SOMATOSONIC, “Origami Machine 1 (XX)” 2023, MS steel plates, archival paper, approx. 17 x 15.5 x 5.75 in. Works like the “Origami Machine” transforms the origami of Dy with the mechanical tinkering of Ortiga. Image courtesy of Artinformal.

“Tangents & Secants” runs at Artinformal Makati until April 19, 2023.

3. Pope Bacay, “no where now here” at West Gallery

What is a place? Is a place is defined by memory—like if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, can it still be considered a place, if there is no one around to perceive it?

In this latest series, Bacay presents a variety of artwork: 

Large-scale paintings show elements of architecture that feel familiar, but is in idiosyncratic layers. Others show empty but symbolic frames. Originally from Roxas in Oriental Mindoro, some of Bacay’s works show certain tempos during travel. 

Through sophisticated technique and conceptual backing, “no where now here” builds on the idea of place through the artist’s own lived experience.

Pope Bacay artwork at West Gallery
Photos courtesy of Pope Bacay, Tin-aw Art Management & West Gallery

“no where / now here” runs at West Gallery from March 23 – April 22, 2023.

4. Group exhibition, “Adaptation: A Reconnected Earth” at MCAD Manila

Over the last few years, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) has mounted exhibits with thoughtfully crafted curation.

“Adaptation: A Reconnected Earth” presents a new approach to understanding the state of our planet affected by climate change and environmental degradation—yet not without a renewed sense of action. 

Exhibiting artists include Patty Chang (US), Agnes Denes (US), Josh Kline (US), Lui Medina (Philippines), Issay Rodriguez (Philippines), Derek Tumala (Philippines), Deniz Tortum & Kathryn Hamilton (Turkey/US), and Bartolina Xixa (Argentina). 

The exhibition encourages us to address these environmental changes with care and kinship. 

Adaptation MCAD
Patty Chang, Invocation for a Wandering Lake, Part I, 2015–2016, two-channel video. Installation view. Photo by Ma. Angelica Almonte/MCAD Manila

“Adaptation: A Reconnected Earth” runs at MCAD Manila from 28 March–23 July 2023

5. Jan Balquin, “the song of a bird that fell in love with its cage” at MO_Space

Jan Balquin is known for work that spans across various media. In her latest exhibit at MO_Space, she meditates on something we often seek but fail to find—silence and stillness, while meditating on the concept of the “painting.” 

In the silence of the gallery space, the exhibit makes you ponder in the silence, what exactly is a painting?

After taking a photo of the rolled canvas, the artist painted this rolled canvas on canvas–then repeated the process. From here, Balquin created a highly-meta installation by connecting the paintings of the rolled canvas with the canvas itself. 

Jan Balquin at MO Space
Jan Balquin at MO_Space. Image courtesy of MO_Space.

“the song of a bird that fell in love with its cage” runs at MO_Space from March 25 to April 23, 2023.

6. Cheenee Ladrido, “I Make Things Happen” at Cartellino

In a virtual exhibition, Chenee Ladrido explores the everyday challenges of making a choice in our daily lives. 

She presents variations of hands, unfinished in the non-finito styles of past masters. These hands move to form an acrylic storyboard that imagines how our choices mark the nerve-wracking starting point of “any opportunity, turning point, or new adventure,” (Cartellino). Yet at the end it, reminds viewers that it will all be okay. 

Cheenee Ladrido art at Cartellino
“Make it Happen IV” 2023, acrylic on canvas 11 x 11 in.

“I Make Things Happen” at Cartellino runs from March 22 to April 21, 2023.

7. Geremy Samala, “Ephemeral Bliss” at Finale Art File

The work of Geremy Samala is more than a still life of potted plants. These figurative works manifest his “life’s passion”. The vibrant bouquets are filled will all kinds of flora, while littered with celestial elements like stars or flames.

There is a sense that his work has an inter-dimensional take, as he experiments with unconventional color palettes. Through this meeting point of plants in paint, the work connects both artist and viewers to central points of energy in life.

Geremy Samala artwork at Finale Art File
Image courtesy of Geremy Samala.

“Ephemeral Bliss” at Finale Art File runs from April 4 to 29, 2023.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.