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Chapter 2 CONTRAST

CEBU, Philippines - Cebuano visual artists Ronyel Compra and Khriss “Bakh” Bajade encourage young Filipino artists to offer different perspectives of their creativity and concepts via the opening of “Chapter 2 Contrast” art exhibit last Tuesday, April 6.

The title revolves around the idea of two young artists having two contrasting views on their works.

They are both recently doing mixed media works, mostly done on two dimensional forms. The artists are challenged to complement with and incorporate their individual art making processes in creating two different perspectives while showcasing new forms of art.

For Bajade, he is into assemblage which is a form of sculpture comprised of objects (organic or man-made) arranged to form a piece.

In “Locomotion” for example, which this writer finds most interesting, the artwork consists of layers of metal that suggest similarities to that of paper-cut collage. In fact, the superimposition of materials on canvas gives the effect of creased, crinkled paper. However, for “Locomotion” particularly, work differs from collage beginning from the process to the finished piece.

Bajade said that the result blurs the margins of relief sculpture, collage and painting.

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The usage of metal for the plane, according to him, proved to be very helpful since it gave larger boundaries for the process. “It is sturdy; therefore, it can withstand a specific stress,” he said.

When asked to explain on the specific piece, Bajade said that what every viewer must notice is that one of the valued essence of this art is the ascendance of each layer as though an illusion that the pieces float on top or from one another but that they work together, amazingly, to form a single piece.

In addition, the very same aspect can be likened to clouds overlapping each other and forming figures that are often associated to any forms that are familiar such as that of animals.

As for “Duet” which he collaborated with Compra, the former explained that the work is similar when one goes up from under a tree and sees layers of leaves, twigs and branches that block the light from the sky. The humble gaps in between the layers, the sequence of the different shapes of the plates, the interaction between positive and negative spaces, and the form every piece alludes to as a whole makes the piece different, thus effective.

Compra, meanwhile, takes nature as a perfect reservoir of inspiration. Based on an adage, it is “innate response of a person growing upon its environment to be adaptive.”

As an artist, he said that he worked mainly on various techniques within the production. The process involves procedures that were mimicked from traditional local crafts and production methods.

Further, he said that most of these methods derived from earlier civilization such as weaving and coiling. “It was commonly used before into weaving and building boats and in the Filipino setting, building traditional houses like the nipa huts and various local crafts.”

“I use dry bones of animals and uway (rattan strips), giving the work a tribal or indigenous feel,” Compra said.

Total atmosphere of the artwork which is organic is further enhanced by the rendition of neutral and earth tones resembled from the material and the environment itself.

“The goal is to create an autobiographical piece, a memoir relating to the artist’s visual experiences, to the overall present state and aiming to comprise his relationship with nature delving into a universal mean,” this was further learned.

“Chapter 2 Contrast” is open for public viewing until April 19.

The two-man art exhibit dubbed “Chapter 1: First Canvas” was held earlier at the Bistro Ayala, also here in Cebu City.

Compra became a finalist of the GSIS painting competition in Manila last year, as well as a second placer in the 32nd Jose Joya Awards in 2008 while Bajade won third place in the Abstrakan Awards in 2008; first place in the 31st Jose Joya Awards in 2006-2007, among various awards and recognitions.

Both artists received their Bachelor of Fine Arts diploma from the University of the Philippines Visayas Cebu College.

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