DANCING TO THE BEAT AT LOPEZ MUSEUM

DANCING TO THE BEAT AT LOPEZ MUSEUM

My brother and I visited the Beat Art Exhibit at Lopez Memorial Museum in Pasig for the first time.
The Beat Art Exhibit at Lopez Memorial Museum pamphlet that was given to us has Ofelia by Hidalgo on the cover.

Beat exhibit curatorial note by Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez :

There is a deliberately forlorn and somber tone to this outing. Images of the prostrate and crestfallen easily evoke a stance of defeat, a succumbing to odds. But Beat also linguistically traverses a more mobile positionality, possibly one that suggests a desire to plod on in sheer resilience or blind resolve. By staying on in the present tense rather than as the more definitive ‘beaten’, this exhibition also conscripts the energies of artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion to effect stagings of confrontation with the difficult, the resistant, and even the impossible.

As I entered the Lopez Memorial Museum, I couldn’t help but feel nervous and giddy at the same time. Visiting art galleries and art exhibits never fails to excites me. You see, I was one of the lucky bloggers who were invited to the current art exhibit at the Lopez Memorial Museum called Beat, which is about the intersections of the colonial and recent past alongside contemporary issues. Young artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion were commissioned by the Lopez Memorial Museum to contemplate the multiple meanings of the word Beat such as defeat and rhythm.
First stop is Ernest Concepcion’s Beat interpretation.
 
The author with the artist Ernest Concepcion at Beat Art Exhibit, Lopez Museum.
 
Ernest Concepcion’s Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit 2012 in acetate sheets. I so love this! Felix Hidalgo through Ernest Concepcion’s mind. He’s so playful and uses modern art. Ernest has a great mind. The confrontation on his art pieces goes back to childhood, he discussed with me how he loves duels, confrontations and video games.  His series started with squirrels vs. ants in New York. He made do of what was available at hand and got his inspiration from the ants and squirrels outside his apartment. It was a liberating moment for him.

If you look closely on Ernest Concepcion’s interpretation of Hidalgo you will realize that Felix Hidalgo was portrayed as a robot by Ernest Concepcion. Hidalgo was plug in the electrical outlet inside the museum. Can you see where I am pointing to? That is the main plug of Hidalgo. Ha ha ha!

Ernest Concepcion is very creative. His works are interconnected with his previous works from other galleries. Because of the colors that he used on his art interpretation, the curator decided to put Alfonso Osorio Faineants (Loafers) in watercolor/ink on paper (34.2 x 55 cm) done in 1945. This can be found on the rightmost corner of the picture above and Danilo Dalena’s Jai-Alai series: Talo which is an oil on canvas (83.8 x 61 cm.) done in 1989 on the leftmost corner. Ernest art is confrontational. He believes their should always be an interaction and collaboration between art pieces. Yes, you got it right, a hand-in-hand connectivity.
Actress Angel Aquino is intently looking at Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s The Assasination of Governor General Bustamante with Ernest Concepcion’s response.

He can’t get enough of his art that he decided to make his own skin as a canvass to visualize his ideas. Oh, he is not a tattoo artist though. He hired a professional artist to execute his ideas on his arms.

Ernest Concepcion is a Patriotic Pinoy. He had a Darna Tattoo.
 
 Space Battleship Yamato of Anime Star Blazers
The author with J. Elizalde Navarro’s Flying Machine for Icarus
 Ernest Concepcion’s wall painting, I love it!
Ernest Concepcion will be having a solo exhibit at the Manila Peninsula Blanc Gallery on May 26, 2012.
 
Who is Ernest Concepcion?
He grew on a family of doctors but he seriously took up art, inspired by his older brother who’s gifted with artistic hands too and by his friends.
He believes in painting moving images as a powerful way of connecting communities.
Next stop is Nikki Luna’s installation. When I entered Gallery 2 and saw Nikki Luna’s installation, I got startled. The sight and sound of Luna’s art was eerie. I can hear bullets from the background. This is the first time that I get to see an installation done by Nikki Luna up close and personal. The artist was very effective in her attempt to move her audience through her installations and sounds. Everyone who entered the gallery reacted and asked questions. Her installation reminds me of a not so distant past. The martial law, when demonstrations were rampant, where riots and political unrest was so common. Bone China are the material used in China to make ceramic tea and coffee cups which only the rich could afford. They are easy to break just like a person’s head that can easily break when beaten by sticks.
 
 Nikki Luna’s 2012 Precious and Fertile installation. 



I got a chance to talk to Nikki Luna. She said that she is an activist artist. And her interpretation of Beat is about the value of land, a continuation of her installation “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo”. Nikki Luna put up hanging bone china to represent picket line fences and sticks that are used to hit people in rallies or demonstrations during dispersal. There’s an idea of chaos as represented by the chaotic shadows on the screen. People who are beaten or tired of their situations. The victims of human rights violations beaten to the ground. She said that her installation symbolizes indigenous people community in Mindanao, or a group of people who fight for their cause, not necessarily the farmers of Hacienda Luisita, but especially on land disputes, mining, and against human rights violations.

Lopez Memorial Museum

Nikki said that the soil on the floor represents her belief on the value of land and her support to farmers against land grabbing and mining. The video background is taken from a farm where you could hear from the background the sounds of guns being fired. These are the actual gunshots that claimed the lives of the farmer demonstrators in that area. The sound was recorded by Nikki’s friend.

Lopez Memorial Museum
On display too are Nikki’s sugar diamonds. Aptly called Azucacera.
Lopez Memorial Museum  Lopez Memorial Museum
Azucacera are composed of seven white sugar diamonds and seven brown sugar diamonds. She made use of resin and sugar to mold the sugar diamonds.
She also molded Palay and Monggo out of 14 karat gold. Both precious and fertile.
Lopez Memorial Museum
Monggo
Lopez Memorial Museum
Palay

Embellished Earth (Rice and Monggo topped with 14k Gold)

Lopez Memorial Museum
At gallery 3 you will find this on display:
Lopez Memorial Museum
7 Lupa 2012 (Soils from Kibawe-Bukidnon, Maramag-Bukidnon, Opol-Misamis Oriental, San Fernano-Bukidnon, Ramain-Lanao Sur, Dalwangan-Malaybalay, Balingasag and Misamis Oriental) One (1) cup of soil per display case.
Lopez Memorial Museum 
The author together with Tintin Bersola-Babao, Julius Babao, and Nikki Luna.
Lopez Memorial Museum, Tintin Bersola-Babao, Julius Babao, Nikki Luna

Who is Nikki Luna?


Nikki Luna is an artist and the founder of StartArtproject, a non-profit organization aimed at providing art workshops to women and youth victims of armed conflict and human rights violations in the Philippines. Her works have been shown locally and abroad Milan Italy and Singapore. Her women advocacy is an endeavor she is currently studying in-depth in her Masters in Women and Development Studies in UP.

Lopez Memorial Museum 
Liz Uy, Nikki Luna, Julius Babao and Tintin Bersola-Babao
 Lopez Memorial Museum

The art exhibit of Ernest Concepcion and Nikki Luna is so intimate. One will not feel deprived looking at their artworks, up close and personal. Nikki Luna invoked intense emotions emanating from personal and collective trauma. While Concepcion, in these recent years of re-establishing his art practice in the East Coast of the United States, has taken to staging art duels starting from the squirrel vs. ants. Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion’s artworks has made me realized that art is not only about making a statement but it is also a tool on advocating something worthy to give back to the society in general.

Lopez Memorial Museum
Beat registers as ultimate defeat and/or surrender, relational terms that could easily be associated with such pieces as Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s The Assassination of Governor General Bustamante, Ofelia or La derota de Limahong; Juan Arellano’s Christ Down from the Cross; Galo Ocampo’s Cruxifixion, Ang Kiukok’s Seated Figure; Jeremias Navarro’s Flying Machine for Icarus, and, Danilo Dalena’s Talo. It may also indicate rhythm and movement as in the ribaldry of Juvenal Sanso’s Carnival, La Fete, Mardi gras, Joyride, or retreat as in Onib Olmedo’s The Prey or Bar Scene, and Pacita Abad’s Recluse.
Lopez Memorial Museum
Lopez Memorial Museum
As I roamed around The Lopez Museum, I discovered that the museum has an extensive collection of books in their library as well as an amazing collection of Filipino artworks and historical artifacts.
Lopez Memorial Museum
I got so excited when I saw Juvenal Sanso’s work entitled Mardi Gras, Carnival and La Fete a’ Guillaume way back in 1929 and his Joyride Oil on Canvas in 1957. I couldn’t believe that Sanso has a very different art style way back then.
Lopez Memorial Museum 
Curated by Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez and with artistic direction provided by Claro Ramirez Jr.
The exhibit formally opened last Saturday, May 19, 2012 and will run until October 13, 2012. 
Lopez Memorial Museum
The Lopez Memorial Museum is located at the ground floor of Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. Museum days and hours are Mondays to Saturdays, except holidays, from 8am-5pm. For more information, call 631-2417. 
Lopez Memorial Museum
Bring your children at Lopez Museum because it is not only educational but also teach your children about the history of our country.

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