It has always been the young that the lure for the contem- porary pulls at its strongest. Comprised of thirteen large- scale artworks, Caught in a Crossfire expresses the pre- dominant metaphors reflected in the experimental yet distinct, confident yet sensitive brushstrokes of emerging artists of Iloilo. Mostly newly initiated in the art scene, these artists are members of local art groups, product of fine arts or architecture and other disciplines who have already shown potential by exhibiting in Manila art galleries or have already been recognized in national art competitions for their promising visual language and in finding new approa- ches to painting and sculpture.
Eschewing grand narratives for plurality of moments, Contemporary Philippine art persists in Iloilo dwelling much on identity, socio-politics, spirituality and artistic autonomy as its main corpus. Caught in a Crossfire dwells further of the heterogeneity of present to their fast evolving visual styles.
In Songs from the Sea, Nunelucio Alvarado, a founding member of the Visayan collective Black Artists in Asia, takes inspiration from everyday life in the coastal town of Sagay, Negros Occidental. Through this new series of works on paper and canvas, we observe a fresher turn in Alvarado’s practice ---in which art is a means to give back to the community he helped create.
Nunelucio Alvarado (b. 1950, Fabrica Negros Occ.) is a painter known for his work as a social realist. Nune, as he called by friends, is known for large-scale depictions of difficulty and despondency in the cane fields of Negros. While these works have won him awards and recognition---appearing in the first ever Asia Pacific Triennial and collected by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum as well as the Singapore Art Museum---they have more importantly drawn critical attention to the plight of the Sakada, as well as other marginalized members of society. Alvarado now lives in Sagay City, where he runs Kape Albarako, a cafe and art space that integral to the city’s creative community.
I have always sought a balance between the manner of expres- sing my concerns as an artist and articulating my discontent as a human being. I believe that art must embody our highest aspi- rations in terms of expertise, intellectual rigor and imagination, yet must also be responsive to and reflective of Zeitgeist or the spirit of the times.
In my words I try to discern the “poetic potential” of each subject / object in order to narrate on issues of social and philosophical significance. I employ juxtaposition and metamorphosis as stra- tegies to create allegories, ironies, parodies and parallelisms. In particular, I have created works that have dealt with alienation, conspiracy, displacement, resistance and assertion, while integ- rating a pictorial language sourced out from personal and universal symbolisms.