“Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year - and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” - Anthony Robbins.
It takes resilience and determination for any endeavour to reach its 10th year. As eras are spelled out in decades, we’ve seen prominent art space Galerie Joaquin define the discourse of Philippine visual art in the last ten years. The intrepid nature of this gallery has put it at the forefront in shaping the explosive progression of the Philippine art scene in the last decade - and has helped establish it as one of the most important galleries in the country today.
This year, we kick-start Galerie Joaquin’s 10 years in the art scene with its annual anniversary exhibition at the 4th Floor Art Center of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City from January 13 to 28. The first event of a year-long celebration, Year 10 features the culmination of a decade as one of the preeminent art galleries in the country with works by artists such as Presidential Medal of Merit winner Juvenal Sanso, National Artists Frederico Aguilar-Alcuaz and Abdulmari Imao, Major Artists Dominic Rubio, Ramon Orlina, Mario Parial, Michael Cacnio and Lydia Velasco, and well as a gathering of some of the best contemporary artists in the scene today including Daniel dela Cruz, Eufemio Rasco, Carlo Magno, Juanito Torres, Vincent de Pio, Jaspher Penuliar, Aileen Lanuza, Migs Villanueva, Pro Gelladuga, Amador Barquilla, Richard Arimado, Jovan Benito, Aljo Pingol, Jef Cablog, Ronald Caringal, Karina Baluyut, PJ Jalandoni, Roel Obemio, Edwin Tres Reyes, Dominador Laroza, Gino Tioseco, Glenn Cagandahan, and Hamzah Marbella.
Juvenal Sanso continues his renowned moderno series inspired by vistas and landscapes of memorable places in his past, while still-life abstractions and portraits by late National Artist Aguilar Alcuaz demonstrate a singularity of skill in technique and vision.
National Artist Abdulmari Imao plays with the traditions of Southeast Asian Islamic motifs with naga-like sculptural forms of the sarimanok trope. Ramon Orlina proves once again that he is a master of the medium of glass and all its permutations with new works of differing shades. Dominic Rubio continues his usage of elongated figurations within colonial contexts, which pairs fantastically with Mario Parial’s naÃ¯f take on whimsical interludes and Lydia Velasco’s investigations on feminine sensibilities.
Among contemporary artists, Vincent de Pio connects his surrealist approach to traditional female preoccupations and Asian cultures while Juanito Torres, as the leading historical painter in the country, takes scenes straight out of Philippine history with his large-scale canvases.
Roel Obemio shows his alignment with Boterismo concerns of exaggerated volume within genre contexts while the renowned sculptor Michael Cacnio revels in playful scenes in mixed metals which blend in perfectly with the equally-gifted sculptor Daniel dela Cruz’s approach to the feminine mystique portrayed with different metals.
NaÃ¯f works continue with the alluring visions of child prodigy Hamzah Marbella, whose works capture an indomitable optimism and innocence which is enhanced by the usage of crowds by Amador Barquilla in his jigsaw-like compositions.
Works from Eufemio Rasco IV, Jaspher Penuliar, and Pro Gelladuga are at the bleeding edge of the contemporary avant garde, with a conceptual mileu that is thoughtfully juxtaposed with refined technique and rebelliousness that has come to define the scene today.
Pure abstraction, perhaps the most technically-challenging form of painting, is well represented by the master of the form, Carlo Magno, and by Karina Baluyut. Narrative sensibilities are, on the other hand, presented by Migs Villanueva who, in the tradition of the likes of E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz, also happens to be an award-winning writer.
The start of a year-long celebration, Year 10 heralds a new dawn for Galerie Joaquin - a celebration of its place in the discourse and a sign of better things to come.