About the Event
A nook for Cordillera art and culture, Tam-awan Village presents “Stand Out”, an engaging art exhibit that focuses on the roles of icons as vessels of cultural ideals and ideas.
Featuring the paintings of Art Lozano and Lester Rodriguez, the two-man exhibit showcases complementary artworks that seek to explore the underlying relationships between icons and the forces that make them.
For Filipinos who are accustomed to crowd-puller religious statues and ubiquitous celebrity billboards, icons and idols are not new. But for Lozano and Rodriguez, they mean much more than what they simply depict.
Juxtaposing conventional sketches of cultural and historical icons with untraditional imagery, the two artists create inquiries on our common notions of popular images, how they are created, and what ideas they carry. In “Stand Out”, icons and their makers are put on equal footing and go head to head as vessels of ideals and ideas.
Points of inquiries
In one of the complementary artworks, Lozano, who is known for incorporating indigenous patterns and icons in his paintings, puts the Ifugao rice god bulol as a central figure. Traditionally made in pairs and placed in Igorot houses and granaries, the bulol figure is a respected icon among Igorots.
In their works, the common presumption of the bulol as a mere representation of a preternatural being is put under examination by the artists, as the idol finds an emblematic contemporary match in Rodriguez’s rendering of a rice cooker oddly shrouded by a rice sack. Playing on contrast and similarity, the two icons create a statement on Filipinos’ eternal aspiration for abundance amid scarcity.
In another pair, Rodriguez, known for realistic works that often confront societal norms, creates an icon out of an image of a pedicab driver. Put alongside Lozano’s mechanical Volkswagen, the two subjects echo ideas that reflect on the absurd ideals of progress and convenience.
In all these, both Lozano and Rodriguez challenge the viewers to look beyond the visual familiarity inherent in icons and idols, and to see them as points of inquiries that question our customary notions on popular images and the breadth and depth of their impact on our collective ideals and ideas.
“Stand Out” is on view at the Tam-awan Village, Pinsao Proper, Baguio City, until May 5.