Thursday, October 23, 2008


A lot of people came for the opening of The Rocking for Juan Exhibit and it was simply marvelous. 7 Visual Artists with two paintings each paired off with 7 Musicians with two songs each.

The Painters - Plet Bolipata, Elmer Borlongan, Alfredo Esquillo, Karen Flores, Manny Garibay, Winner Jumalon and Mark Justiniani - had two paintings each hanging on the walls of the Ayala Museum.

I have my personal favorites (of course), but I'd have to say that Winner Jumalon's painting using two media and hung as a diptych was a site to behold. I love the idea that he had all these pictures from around him compiled and set up on a canvas like some sort of Kodak-dreamscape and on the second half of the diptych is a darkened painting of his house's doorway. It's a jumble of his life's images paired of with the entry to his house, presumably his mind. Ayluvit!

I wish I could get a better photo of this huge piece.
That's the diptych hanging on the wall of the Ayala Museum.

Winner Jumalon's
First part of the diptych, WALLS OF SPACES TO HOME
4 ft. x 8 ft.

I have to admit that it is also the first time I have seen Karen Flores' works up close. Coupled with the Lyrics of PERYODIKO, I figured that theirs is a partnership that spoke for the hope of what once was and what could. Staring at Karen's painting "Nang Dahil sa Iyo" I figured she "talks" of family and country - like it was a distant memory. When I heard Peryodiko sing their ditty, it drove the nail head on.

Nang Dahil sa Iyo, painting by Karen Flores
Ang Dahil sa Iyo'y Mabuhay, music by Peryodiko

They say that as an artist, we are in a unique position to capture thoughts and feelings of a people, a community or a country and put these in a form that can sway the imagination. Well, that night, my thoughts were indeed swayed.

The biting lyrics of Dong Abay's song God Bless Our Trip coupled with Elmer Borlongan's Batang Edsa opened my own eyes to that ubiquitous presence in our city streets - the children that tap on the car windows selling everything from cigarettes to jasmine leis. Abay's use of EDSA as a line in his chorus simply gave new meaning to that artery that slices the city into some sort of prayer that cuts through everyone's lives.

How Elmer paints the children is simply fascinating. I felt like while I am that car passenger looking at the children through from my aquarium window, and in my eyes, these children are other-worldly, disengaged from my own comfortable existence and their stories are definitely distant from mine. Yet, amazingly, I see them everyday, living and moving through the same street we both pass through every day.

Batang Edsa, painting by Elmer Borlongan
God Bless Our Trip, music by Dong Abay

The highlight of the evening was when two musicians played their music - Peryodiko and Cynthia Alexander. Peryodiko was a wonderful revelation. (Again, I just got out of a foxhole and this is the first time I heard of them. I took the photos from here and here.)

Cynthia Alexander playing her guitar. She brought the house down

...and this is Plet's painting for that song.

PERYODIKO doing their sets. I'd have to watch more of these guys. I particularly like the lead vocals for his unusual voice that reminds me of coconut farmers singing in my grandfather's fields before. I don't know why.

It was a great evening of music and art. Too bad though I didn't get to hear Up Dharma Down perform. (But I intend to hound them later tonight at their album launch at RCBC. Big Bald Guy running amuck just to listen to them singing! Nyehehehe) Too bad that I didn't get whoozy from alcohol and started slurring my speech or started hugging some freaked-out, unwary creature. The wine ran out.

Otherwise, it was a night that I wished you were there.



rhodora said...

Sayang, we were not able to go.

I love UpDharma Down. I used to listen to their song "Oo" over and over.

My daughter, Gem, wants to say hi to you. Her Humanities prof was impressed with her interview project. :) I will be with her in Manila early November. Will drop by at your gallery to give your 'pasalubong'. :D

Ebb Tide said...

So loud bands with an art is the trend in Manila today? Well, I guess my taste is the opposite. I go for the "classic." During my recent art show, I hired a harpist. Pls. view my 2nd series fr. my art show:
As an artist, I like softer music. We all have different taste
and beauty is subjective. Best wishes to these artists.

Anonymous said...

Too bad I wasn't near Manila during the exhibit, I should've seen these paintings by talented artists. I would love to see them up close. I am always in awe when I see these kinds of paintings.

As to the music, I have not heard these groups play. If, however, they played soft rock, well, then I would've enjoyed it.

Thanks for posting these paintings.


FilMasons NSW said...

This show must really rocked! Any DVD or any bootlegged compilations of the songs and the paintings!

palma tayona said...

@ rhodora: am glad I was of help to your daughter. she told me she wants to express herself visually. i suggested she try the summer workshops at the u.p. college of fine arts. :-)

cheers! i also looooove U.D.D.

palma tayona said...

@ ebb : i haven't had the time yet to really sit down and write about my thoughts about your exhibit. as of the moment two phrases keep popping up in my mind: an avalanche of food and, an explosion of color. i kept on going to your site but am still gathering my thougts. :-)

my next post is about your wonderful, wonderful exhibit.


p.s. youth and loud music, they always go hand-in-hand together. :-)

palma tayona said...

@ filmasons: yes, it was an extremely wonderful time. the museum literally rocked. the museum people were actually worried that the two bands might cause a loud ruckus with their music. apparently, they were all smiles and the next day, we're assured their doors are always open for our canvas. hehehe...

i actually have some of the songs in my hard drive since i'm still designing the album cover. (you know, to get the "drift" of the music as i come up with a cover design) BUT, no bootleg can be released or else, my head will roll. hehehehe.... i'll sound you off when the album's released and where to get it though.

here's a teaser though: the musicians do capture in music what it feels like right now to be pinoy at heart and soul.

palma tayona said...

@ anonymous: "As to the music, I have not heard these groups play. If, however, they played soft rock, well, then I would've enjoyed it." it's a variety of sounds. there's soft and there's a bit of "hard" rock. all-in-all, the musicians did capture that current "pinoy" rythm in their sounds. it's... hmmm, "thinking" rock. i am still at awe with their sounds.