Sunday, March 16, 2008

TuTOK: Kargado

"How can one be international if one has no national to be inter about?" --Emmanuel Torres

Oo nga naman. Whatever we do, we cannot escape our Filipino-ness and the society we belong to. The curator of TuTOK: Kargado, the latest exhibit at the Ateneo Art Gallery points to the fact that the biennials in the past 30 years "all acceeded to art as chummy bedfellow of politics, involvement, critique and assessment of the current human condition". And so you can imagine what was on display: commentary on the Filipino situation. What I found noteworthy about the exhibit is that the pieces selected were excellent. Here are some that had a strong impact on me.

You could almost hear the cacophony of the cast of characters in Emmanuel Garibay's Me Lugar Pa sa Mesa. Kirby Roxas' Cyan Imagenta (2008) is a multi-layered play on words. I thought the jeepney symmetry of Alfredo Esquillo Jr.'s Jack en Poy was brilliant. Brenda Fajardo's Baraha ng Buhay Pilipino was spread on the floor, to good effect. Edgar Talusan Fernandez's mixed media Kinupot (1977) and Lipad Diwa (2007) are similarly haunting despite the 30-year gap between them. (Has nothing changed since then?) Most striking for me was Jose Tence Ruiz's Blu-Skreen Kotillion, showing a woman in the twisted metal of industrialization in the guise of period dress. Or is it the other way around?

As an aside, Impy Pilapil's Interactive series of outdoor installations in between Dela Costa Hall and the Social Sciences building is a lively mix of large-scale works that deserve a place on campus and the attention of the community. I hope they stay a long time. It is an excellent way to greet the incoming freshmen and to expose them to art outside the gallery setting.


  1. hello! i'm a freshman student from upd and i need to make some paper about this tutok: kargado stuff. can you help me with this?
    .why do you think lazaro soriano's and alfredo esquillo, jr.'s works are both entitled jack en poy? are there relationships between the two?
    .what can you say about the proxemics? like why do you think jose tence ruiz' "si erding erdrayb at ang kanyang palasyong abot tanaw" is placed beside alfredo esquillo jr.'s jack en poy? y not the jack en poy by lazaro soriano?
    thanks a lot!

  2. to give a decent response to your questions, i need to go back and look. (and maybe even if i did, there could be a lot of information that only the curator can answer.) try to go again by yourself and take your time. something will come up :)

  3. it was just unlucky that when i went there there's no curator or even someone who's really involved in the exhibit that i can ask. thanks anyway. xD

  4. if those questions given to you, they were probably designed to be deducible. give it another shot. :)

  5. we're glad that you like the tutoKargado exhibit. we've posted your comments in our multiply site. please visit us at thanks.

  6. thank you, too. will link to the site. :)