Devotion at an arm’s length 

*Don’t you just love following that obscure neon sign amidst unoccupied spaces in buildings for lease that lead to a staircase to an exhibit in progress

an edit I made from two other corners of the exhibit 🛠

This is supposed to be Polish artist Pawel Althamer‘s take on Quiapo’s diversity. But the historical district is also where thousands of entangled bodies pile on each other once a year during the Black Nazarene.

Apart from the religious undertones, it actually looks to me a lot like a gym on leg day, where people are enslaved to body goals. That is, if it was open to interpretation, the sort of environment I’m more aware of.

Cool thing is, visitors that drop by are welcomed to become part of the exhibit. Though it primarily represents disenfranchised members of community, now all walks of life can be unified in Nazareno: Quiapo Constellations. This is through casts of faces and limbs held together by old scraps of wood and metal from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.


Featured image: a corner of Bellas Artes Outpost

Baby blues

*Had a little fun w my haircut and a new polo dress, the first thing I’ve gotten from Zara in sooo long, haha. And my Tretorns are about to break anytime sooo 

baby bangs, baby blue, baby doll dress, baby everything but anyone’s baby

Persisting I

*Passed by the Art Elements Asian Gallery weeks ago with my parents and we discovered Norlie Meimban. Boy would I have loved to take home a piece or have something commissioned. Given his animation background, his style is a lovely mix of techniques and themes that give it a very postmodern look. Would love to meet him someday and see more of his work and how else it can evolve

nm2nm3

that centerpiece!

I’ve been so fixated on his series of unbroken motion depicting ideas of perhaps of a persisting self. I’ll always be curious about the temporal and the causal facets of continuity. Much to read on. Art that makes you think, a feast for the eyes, and food for thought, y’know 😊


Featured images: © Norlie Meimban

The plight of the baby’s breath

*I tend to revisit photos I took from one of my favorite writing assignments for the school paper which was a Valentine’s Day feature a year ago. Wish I could revisit Dang Wa again but it’s gotten too hot so maybe on a cloudy cool day. I have a thing for wild looking flowers, as in roadside wildflowers haha

Florists have tucked stems of baby’s breath in and around larger centerpiece breeds for bouquets and flower arrangements for a long time now. They come a lot cheaper than the average showstopper rose and tulip. However as the wallflower of the flora world, in bundles especially, it has a standalone charm despite appearing precarious and delicate rendering it an extra on rotation in a commercial shop. Imagine being the decor for what’s already regarded as decor. But the baby’s breath’s hushed prettiness tugs at you in contrast along the dampened streets of a busy flower market against the medley of vendors trading in green for a sea of colors, a sight already typical in a place where bigger is usually better.

Interim Evergreen

My dominantly white, pastel, crisp blue feed has gone green. Evergreen, to be specific. There’s just a special place in this city kid’s heart for roaming the great outdoors. It’s a priceless change of scenery. 🌲💚💙

Screen shot 2016-08-15 at 4.09.19 PM

7 out of 9 of these were taken during my stroll around Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver with family. Still wish I had an SLR to better capture the landscape. The two videos are from my stroll around UBC with Janelle on another day

 

A Lone State

A year and a half ago I stumbled on what is still one of my favorite silent shorts and I’m revisiting it. If you watch it, you’ll find it isn’t so silent after all. The only words uttered in the voice message in the beginning leaves a painful spell that remains long after anything is ever said. It nudges most who are familiar with this kind of feeling, a feeling unsure of what it is and what it can be as it changes minute by minute. The film rests on these changing internal tides where accepted solitude is constant. Backed up by a new retro inspired score, my favorite specifically being Video Dreams by Haunt, it explores the varying emotional states of heartbreak that turns into a stabilizing peace. He doesn’t seem lonely to me, just alone and as is with having nowhere to be with nobody else. But I can sense his state of missing.

The frustrated com arts major in me would’ve liked to work on a project quite like this one. If not for the unique play on music, it was a treat to the eyes more than anything. Viktor Pakpour’s cinematography is subtle in his panorama but particular with his setting. His color choices almost look surreal in the day then alternates with a relatable rawness in the evening which wonderfully capture the boredom and beauty in “life goes on”.

It’s not romantic, it’s the anti-romantic but especially artistic take on the reality of solitude today. I do enjoy taking romantic trips to convenient stores on my own too, does that count? I don’t live in the US but if this looks nothing like the high soaring American dream, this might just be the high point of its opposite in fact. He’s lost and he doesn’t mind, and this looks to me and obviously Victor Pakpour as one of the nicer places to go missing. We live in a pressing time wherein so many of us are actually being missed and missing the other, but always surrounded by the wrong crowds among things.

The six and a half minute short is like a trip back in time to my favorite decade, the 80s with hints of the 90s. I’m almost jealous because it’s hard to find yourself comfortably alone in the cross between what we’re never sure is suburbia or a mega city anymore. This is an acceptable form of withdrawal he was almost forced into by his situation, and he’s taking it rather chill, rather well if I might add. He does it in style. It’s interesting to note that he never once brought out his phone to connect to the past or to the far off others unlike all proper young adults living out realities posted online or y’know, it didn’t happen. And it looks like he can’t be bothered to. This film reminds me of the times I found myself under one of the sky’s many pastel hues despite being remotely removed from the side of the world I’d rather be in, and for a minute I can’t be bothered to as well.

Toy Stories

Earlier we had our annual (sometimes biannual but sometimes we skip) garage sale. After what feels like three moves and more than two decades of growing up and out, I surveyed the mini bazaar in our lanai hoping not to sneeze from the dust. Nobody wants to buy my pink gingham dress from when I was fourteen. Everyone insists to pay too little for that literal hot dog floater I climbed on in the pool when I was ten. I see my brothers’ old matching toddler clothes and think about how they still look nothing alike but brothers nonetheless. My mom’s now vintage bags and clothes from the 90s have been such a joy to salvage. Is this the throwaway society I read about the evils of capitalism? Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure? We’ll donate the rest. The old you’s belongings will be the older you’s pocket money after a hopefully successful garage sale.

After what feels like three moves, more than two decades of growing up and out, I know there will probably be more moves. We can’t hold on to every single thing other than the hope we start to buy less but more in terms of quality. I guess they’re just treasures we can’t drag along or keep in boxes to line our walls. Earlier we had our annual garage sale and it was a sight to see bits of our childhood and memories on display for usually less than a hundred. Thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who came. Money can’t buy the underlying value of my Hello Kitty cassette player or the toy cars and building blocks from my brothers’ long gone playtime two to three houses ago.