Recreating Philippine Society
ON BOARD a vessel with no direction, powered by frivolous men and women, closed to opinions astray from their own.
In their joint art exhibit, 20-year-old University of Philippines Cebu Fine Arts students Janine Reserva and Aldrich Maligsa bring to Cebuanos “A Ship of Fools,” a peek into their unique perspective on Philippine society through the language of art.
The exhibit name is rooted from Plato’s allegory “a ship of fools” which shows a ship taken over by a mob of deranged fools that remain unaware of their pilot, more often than not, rejecting the pilot, the true solution to their problems.
Using non-traditional styles and largely abstract concepts, the sculptures, art installations, textured mixed-media paintings and found-object art pieces create an overall sensory experience that immerses the audience in the country’s plight towards finding answers.
A standout piece is “The Unhappiest Man” by Maligsa, which is a copper sculpture formed into a garbage bag, a visual of how even the most expensive things would still be regarded as garbage when the person is no longer interested in it.
“This is a piece that talks about the culture of consumerism and how man tries to satisfy his greed at all costs,” Maligsa shared.
On the other hand, “Steps to Eden” by Reserva is a suspended fabric art installation that talks about a materialist way of life and how it merely provides temporary happiness that needs constant reinforcement.
“It means that to be truly content, your happiness should be based on firm foundations and genuine standards,” she said.
The 16-piece display is the perfect mix of Maligsa’s concept on enlightening audiences on the struggles of the Filipino people under an unfair system, and Reserva’s more general tone on the current trend of worldly pursuits and the reality of the fast-paced lifestyle.
The exhibit is on display at The Henry Hotel, Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Road, Cebu City until May 26.