Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Project 3 artwork, cont'd

More of the art generated for Project 3, the final project of the semester in Fil-Am Arts.

Project 3 critique
Project 3: Daniella Murphy

With the use of appropriated photos from pop culture, fine arts, and multicultural iconography, I've created a pseudo-curatorial assemblage installation, meant to create a discourse between contemporary social standard(s) and natural sexual representation/expression. Each image holds its own recognizable weight, as used in various prior fashions, but with that said, I've taken the liberty of pairing and teaming these images into separate groups, to create a singular question or statement, per level.

The installation is meant to work on a linear scale, from top to bottom and left to right throughout, hoping to question the contemporary concepts of femininity (and its place), masculinity (and its many possible definitions), with the opposing attributes of certain signifying icons to open up more questions options, in the face of what we take for granted as fact.

In a sense, I've engaged in the guilty pleasure of curating my mini-exhibition, by way of the work of others, however, manipulating and recreating the images themselves to form my own world with them. By reappropriating these photos, I've given them new singular meaning and helped them to serve my own means, as if a museum curator had the power and gall to change the artwork to suit her message, helping the viewer to become the artist.

Project 3: Jocelyn Dumlao
"The Greatest Gift"

What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of something that is beautiful or strong? For some, beauty is skin-deep and can only go as far as the color of one’s eyes or attractiveness of one’s physique. For others, strength is measured by how “manly” or “down” one can be. This project, although simple in concept, has challenged me to look beyond what we normally associate with beauty and strength and highlight that which is beautiful and strong in its own right.

The inspiration for my piece came from this idea of how beauty and strength is portrayed in one’s ability to rise to the challenge and transcend beyond one’s limitations. I think its amazing how people, no matter how hard their lives are, have the capacity and audacity to go above and beyond what others expect of them and achieve things far beyond anyone’s imagination.

This project hits home for me as it is a tribute to my grandfather who passed away when I was a sophomore in high school. My grandfather is my epitome of what it means to be beautiful and strong. He was the greatest father figure that anyone could ever ask for. He was intelligent, witty, and compassionate. He cared for everyone and anyone. He worked every single of day of his life without complaint or remorse. He carried himself in such a way that was so full of life that you couldn’t help but gravitate towards him. Many people have at least one person that has touched their lives in the most positive way possible. My grandfather was this person for me. He was my cheerleader, tear-wiper, and best friend.

The idea of my project revolves around the idea of hands – my grandfather’s hands. My grandfather loved to work with his hands, whether it was fixing a broken door or building a tool shed. I can recall one night when he and I were sitting at the dining room table. He looked at me and said, “You see my hands, Ashley? You see how hard and rough they are? I work hard so that your hands don’t turn out like mine.” To this day, I remember these words and I am forever thankful for all the sacrifices that he has made for me.

The execution for this project was somewhat difficult. I have never really worked with clay and sculpture before, so I was a little apprehensive when beginning this project. I really wanted the hands to come out realistic and indicative of hands that are labored. It took a few days of experimentation before I truly started working on the hands.

I placed the hands in a box with tissue paper and a bow, making it look like a gift. For me, my grandfather’s sacrifice and hard work is the greatest gift that he could have every given to me.

This project was very emotional for me because it required me to get my hands dirty – just like how my grandfather did with his around-the-house projects. I like to think of this project as coming full circle. He really is one of the strongest and most beautiful people that I know because of his zest for life and willingness to share that with others, and I only hope that I can be as strong beautiful as him.

Project 3: Melissa Sayo

After being given this project, a rush of ideas came over me as to what I thought were really appropriate for the idea of strength and beauty. I initially wrote all the words down that related to these words, whether they were synonyms of the words, or how the words strength and beauty came together. I did this because I could not visually imagine anything straight away. I then got a flood of ideas after I had spoken with other people outside of the class. Charles had also given me a great idea an example of how women in the Philippines have had significant roles in politics, history as well as the family lifestyle. They are the ones that make the final decisions and a lot of women are also the bread winners of the family and are there to sustain the family. I saw a hybridity of the old school mentality and a combination of the present day roles of women and how there can be strength not only physically but through the wisdom that one may have and gain through their years. The piece of art that I have created is a combination of the new way people have come to think. Strength can be seen through the knowledge an individual may have. And beauty is no longer measured through your size or color of your skin. These words are simply subjective and are up for their own interpretation. Although my background is primarily in a rectangular and box like format I laid out the pieces so that the primary shape would be circular. The shape in itself signifies a circular motion with the overlapping of the several pieces.

The collage of images is what I believe shows the physical beauty and strength as well as the internal images of what beauty and strength is. There is an image of a doll, bar bells, a weighing scale, and elderly, breast cancer awareness ribbon, a cap and gown (with diploma) referencing strength through education. I decided to create this piece as a collage because I have realized that these two words now are subject and are relative only to each individual. I also incorporated tennis shoes and a boom box in representation of the hip-hop culture, something that quite a few Filipinos highly regard and may find strength and beauty. Whether it is through the culture or simply the music or style that is exuded in the Hip-hop culture.

The yellow rose in the middle signifies both strength and beauty for many reasons. Esthetically it is a beautiful flower but the thorns that are on the stem of the rose have characteristics of strength and protection for the delicate bud/rose. Also personally the yellow rose signified my grandfather who has passed 10 years ago. This was one of the first funerals for me and the rose reminds me of the strength and beauty that my grandfather had passed on to me through the short time that we had known and encountered one another. I also placed the rose in the center because for me it captures the cyclical motion that strength and beauty encompass.

Project 3: LM
Project 3: ML

Project 3: Val Fernandez

In one of the readings on contemporary art, one artist commented that contemporary art is largely made up of artists who have an art history background and simply draw influences from historical works and interpret them as their own. Keeping this in mind when brainstorming for my final project, my goal in this piece was to incorporate prominent works that stood out for me throughout the semester. I wanted it to serve as a reflection of key artists, works, and concepts that really spoke to me as a spectator, and incorporate those ideas in my role as an artist.

This piece, which have I named “Untitled” holds the possibility of being interpreted by people in many different ways, and therefore I believe that it is up to the spectator to title the piece based on his or her own view. Even as the artist myself, the story and meanings I tell surrounding the piece vary with my mood at that time, showing that the work has the capability to adapt to become the spectator’s own. With that said, here is my interpretation of the piece at this very moment in time:

Two of the three main gods of the Philippines were fighting when the third god, the god of the sky, Amihan, served as their mediator in the form of the bird. As a peace offering, one of the gods offered the other a bamboo seed, which Amihan pecked open. This is when Malakas at Maganda stepped out, side by side in unison. To me, this version of the creation story does not serve as a nice tale or folk lore about how the Philippines was created. Rather, it serves as a woman empowerment story. Maganda stepped out at the same time as Malakas, not in his shadow. Filipinas, before colonization, held prominent roles in this non-patriarchic society. This piece is a reflection of the powerful pedestal that women once stood on in Filipino society.

Drawing upon the influences of Alfie Numeric, the young Pinay painter I focused on for my final paper, I found my subjects for this piece. According to Alfie, the owls she paints in her pieces represent “infinite female wisdom” while the bleeding heart doves, which are found only in the Philippines, act as a symbol of the Philippines itself. These birds are found predominantly in war-torn regions of Mindanao, yet they have survived as symbols of beauty and strength. I chose to construct hybrids of both the owl and the bleeding heart dove, all with their own different characteristics. These three different birds also symbolize the three different main regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Hung in a manner similar to the shape of the Philippine islands, these three also serve as symbols of the three different gods that created the Philippines despite their differences.

With the subject of my piece in mind, my choice of medium was based on the vast number of installation pieces that were introduced to me during this class. From impressive installation works by Eliza Barrios, Reanne Estrada, and Stephanie Syjuco, many different mediums came to mind. Yet it was the wire/quilt piece by Reanne Estrada that really stood out for me. When I first saw her piece, it first reminded me of a five dollar, copper wire picture frame of my family’s last name I bought off a bum on Market Street. I was always amazed at what simplicity it took to make such a beautiful piece of work, so I decided to give it a shot. While working with the wire, I realized that it too drew connections to the Malakas at Maganda story. The wire is sturdy, durable, and tough yet the piece itself is proof that the material shows a beauty when bent the right way. In addition, the characteristic that it is easy to manipulate calls upon the role of women which has evolved through time. Lastly, the perches the birds are handing on symbolize the roots of nature they once stood on which have been manipulated into contained perches. Also noticeably, the birds are not enclosed in an actual bird cage, and therefore find themselves in a constant struggle whether to comply with their confined lifestyles or to fly back to their roots

Monday, May 12, 2008

Project 3 Art

Project 3: MI

Project 3: Marco Santiago
"Sira ni Malakas at ni Maganda"

While making my artwork I had no idea to what to make. I thought about what was the importance of “Maganda” (Pretty) or “Malakas”(Strong) in Filipino culture. At first I thought a lot about what made Filipino’s strong and beautiful. I ended up thinking a lot and creating a list of ideas that were long that I probably couldn’t have incorporated it into my artwork. That being said I was at a completely lost in my ideas of strength and beauty. It got to the point where I confused myself on what exactly I was focusing on. So I took a step back and I revaluated my concepts. Since there were so many things that made Filipino’s strong and beautiful, I thought about what made Filipino’s weak and ugly.

The myth Maganda at si Malakas states, two people came out of bamboo, flew on a bird, and populated the Philippines. After reading the myth a couple of times I realized that without the bamboo, there would be no more strength or beauty in the Philippines because there would be no more Filipinos. Therefore, I knew I wanted to include bamboo in my piece because it was such a vital part of the myth.

To start of my artwork grabbed the cardboard part of a gift-wrap rolls and created bamboo like figures. The bamboo was made by creating a ring with tape and sticking it onto the cardboard roll. The ring created a bulging surface that resembled real bamboo. After taping down the roll, I painted it with brown which added a wood like feel.

Second I printed pictures of the Philippines in its worst conditions. I found pictures of the ghettos in the Philippines and found pictures of huge garbage dumps. After I printed these two pictures in black and white, I pasted it onto the background and in front of the bamboo pieces. I chose to print it in black and white to add more focus to the other things in my piece. Once that was done, I moved to the last part of my artistic creation process which was the addition of garbage to the bottom.

Basically, the true concept of my piece is to show the myth’s importance in Filipino culture. Since the bamboo was the original sprout of strength and beauty, I wanted display that Philippines as a once beautiful land. My parents told me as a kid that people considered the Philippines a legitimate vacationing spot, much like Hawaii. I was truly shocked and now that I look at the Philippines, who would want to go there for a vacation? So I used my created bamboo to signify the beginning of strength and the beauty the Philippines once had. I mean honestly, now the Philippines is full of garbage and liter. No one cares about the environment in the Philippines. The strength and beauty the Philippines that it once had is now gone because of the lack of care to the environment.

Through this art piece, I hope to raise awareness about the environmental issues in the Philippines. My whole purpose is to remind people that the Philippines had so much beauty and strength, but the lack of caring for the environmental issues in the Philippines cause destruction. This is why my title is called, “Sira ni Malakas at ni Maganda” or in other words, “The Destruction of Strength and Beauty.”

Project 3 Critique:
Project 3: CJA
Project 3: Lester Banatao
For me, I see this scene as representative of the struggle of Filipinos both at home and abroad, while it can also represent anyone who has had to fight to get their foot in the door. What makes my piece a little more "Filpino," in a sense is that it does include religion. And while I don't mean Catholicism or Christianity in general, faith and a belief in something can help someone get through a struggle or help someone fight for something. A faith in God or any other higher being or even not having a specific "belief" can help someone find strength in difficult times. Whether it be fighting against oppressors, fighting against discrimination, or even just fighting to get ahead in life, a belief and faith in many things, including family, can be all that one needs to stay strong and move forward.

There is beauty all around us, and beauty can certainly be judged by "the eye of the beholder." Just in the Philippines alone, "beauty" might take on a very simple or shallow meaning judging from what one can see on Philippine television. But many people are able to see and acknowledge the beauty that is everywhere. Going back to religion and faith, many people see beauty in their beliefs. Whether it be the solemnity of a spiritual service or the community that is brought together by a common faith, people see beauty in what they hold close to their hearts and minds. There are times when people struggle with beauty, the need to be or have beauty or even how to maintain beauty that is found in our world. At its simplest form, beauty is just going outside and looking at what is out there.

Project 3: Grace MalkiAs an interpretation of the Malakas and Maganda creation story combined with elements of the Catholic faith (the main religion of the Philippines), this piece is about the importance of nature in creating human existence. I truly wanted to convey that human existence was not possible without plants or animals. Materials used in this piece are blown eggs, shells, leaves, moss, feathers, styrofoam, leather, artificial hair, and cloth.

I chose to display six figures, mounted with heads made from chicken eggs. The number six refers to man being created on the sixth day. I used eggs as the human heads to enforce the feeling that without the bird God sent down, we never would have “hatched.” The egg, an edible use of human’s and reproductive mechanism is an essential material to use to convey this message. I chose to use brown eggs to a feeling of indigenous persons. The inners of the eggs have been blown out for the purpose of depicting how humans are powerless without the driving force of nature.

Each “head” is adorned with an important element that symbolizes earth’s existence. The vine and leave wrapped eggs symbolize nature’s lush green plants while the leather wrapped egg symbolizes human’s use of animal hide and mammals. The shell embellished egg symbolizes the ocean and sea life, and the feather adorned egg symbolizes birds and the bird in the creation story, the key to creating human existence. The last head is adorned with artificial hair which was partially intended to be humorous and also was intended to reference to today’s desire to be a coiffured and a developed race. It is meant to be overly done up and fussy, and stand in comparison with nature’s simple beauty.

I decided to allude to the concept of hybridism by displaying the figures as a people and crucifixes. This symbolizes that we are all part of God’s being. By dressing the figures in all white cloth, I alluded to the Catholic religion and purity. Purity plays an important role in the meaning of nature to me and its simple and everlasting existence. By creating a sense of holiness, elements of Catholicism emerge, an important aspect of Filipino culture.

Project 3: Michelle Medina

Project 3 critique:Project 3: AM
Project 3: MCC