Arts & Culture

Powerful and Haunting Works of Art Capture the Essence of Manila

“Launch” and “Aliennation” runs until October 7 at NOVA Gallery.

The influential contemporary artist Wire Tuazon curates two shows early this month at Charlie Cojuangco’s NOVA Gallery in Makati. With “Launch,” the former president of the Neo-Angono Artists Collective showcases the works of his Rizal provincemates, Jie Adamat, Chito Borja, and Jerome Choco.

Adamat, the most experienced of this trio, earned her fine arts degree at the University of Santo Tomas and is affiliated with the Parola Artist Collective. Known for her paintings, wall murals, and set designs, her work is based on inspiring situations that bring life to an otherwise undramatic middle-class existence. Borja, from the University of Rizal System and a member of the Neo Angono Artists Collective, specializes in sculpture, painting, and mixed media art. Shaped by architectural concepts, his assemblage works are highly experimental in nature, resulting in pieces that Tuazon describes as “touchingly beautiful but at the same time painfully attractive.”

Untitled, by Jie Adamat

Choco, the youngest of the group at 25 years old, is building a reputation for his photo-based hyperrealist works and 3D-art. The extreme details in his canvases may spark sensory overload, part of his desire to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. As the curator suggests, take the time to connect with the works and “explore how and why these images haunt us, like evocative moments in a good film, long after you’ve seen them.”

Grandioso, by Jerome Choco

The second of Tuazon’s curated exhibits, Pasig-based artist Ramon “Chitoy” Zapata’s solo show “Aliennation,” revisits recurring themes in his body of work, referencing far-left ideological concepts versus the capitalist market system. His new works have an added dimension though, parodying mass media and the Filipino’s obsession with Western culture. Ongoing until October 7, Warehouse 12-A, La Fuerza Compound, Chino Roces Avenue; 659.3697;


This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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