Photos from my first exposure exhibit which opened last two weeks ago and ends tomorrow. A very singular opportunity, so I saved this one non-blurry photo of me between my two pieces. I suddenly get very fidgety placed in front of a camera. I hoped to get a better one for keeps but never got the chance to, so the dorky outtake stays.
Existence: A Southern Exposures Series
Qube Gallery, Cebu City
August 4, 2014
Juvenal Sanso | Rare and Essential
I asked our intern after work last night if she’s heard of anything lined up for arts month. I gathered it isn’t quite a thing here but she referred me to a gallery she knew. I’ve been itching to explore more of the Cebu art scene since after Binisaya Filmfest about a couple of months ago.
I looked the gallery up last night and was thrilled at finding an exhibit up until February 8 - today!
Qube gallery is at The Henry Hotel - a rather artsy, cooky little hotel I’ll save for another post - in Banilad, Cebu. By the time my friend and I got to the gallery, we were about an hour over its Saturday exhibit hours but the kind lady waved us in and turned on all the lights just for us!
I haven’t actually heard of Mr. Sanso prior to last night but just as I suspected, I should have. He’s only won an award Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali have as well as something akin to a knighthood by a Spanish king.
His personal collection was beautiful.
They were in acrylics and tempera - summer beach scenes (I really liked getting lost inside the tiny boats with tiny white sails), green landscapes and still lifes of flowers in bold neons.
It’s something I got to really appreciate when I learned he studied under Fernando Amorsolo in UP (which should explain his excellent technique in light and bright colors) and knowing that as a boy of 14, he had been tortured by the Japanese during the war. Had I been on my own, I’d have whipped out my tube of colored pencils and tried sketching out a painting just like I had daydreamed this morning.
Also in the collection was a set of rare textiles that Sanso lived off of in the 60’s (pictured above) in Europe by selling his designs to design houses like Balenciaga.
I had a nice chat with the nice Miss Bea about everything else about Mr. Sanso and I wished I knew about the exhibit when it opened so I could have met him in person. This one article on the newspaper said he joked about his name sounding like “juvenile” and that he was “makulit”.
After making a preliminary round of all the paintings, I realized that this was the gallery for the #SugBohol art auction.
After the earthquake last October, I mailed four of my favorite small pieces to Cebu. Miss Bea tells me that all the contributed artwork sold out and raised a heart warming Php 200,000 that single night. Just the cherry on top of such a nice gallery visit.
There was this one small bit that stuck as I scanned through this book about Sanso on the gallery counter. When he was getting into painting, he studied with a private tutor, Alejandro Celis who eventually told him that he can’t just go on studying alone. That he had to go to UP or elsewhere. Hm. I don’t know, what do you make of that?
Two free-swingin’ folks – obviously a couple from their matching wide toothless laughter, dashing for it in the hazy orange morning light. Looking to me as if waiting for me to acknowledge the hilarity of their situation, they ran on past.
Got me smiling all the way to work.
Right around the corner where I turn for work, a couple of scrap collectors were caught right in the middle of an 8AM traffic jam of cranky not-to-mention late motorists with a rickety wagon of junk. Their grins were so bright with childish mischief and playfulness, they made me think of menacing peasant children chased down by a butcher or a confectioner and in the grey-orange flurry of dust, sun and morning chill, the sight of them was so cinematic, for a second there, I had this alien feeling that I was in somebody else’s life, not in mine. haha.
I never have time for drawing anymore so I made do with 5-minute squiggles with a purple Sharpie at work so I could at least have a small memento of the two free-swinigin’, toothless folks before sitting down for work.
P.S. They actually had enough teeth but their toothlessness stood out more so let’s leave it at that.
P.P.S. Ah, this is all I want to do, talk about silly people I see on the streets and draw and paint.
First actual after-work night out with new friends.
I haven’t been on here quite a while. This overly familiar sun symbol right under the tumblr logo just killed me. Dang.
Thank you to everybody who left me messages in my inbox asking if I’m alright/alive. I’m super fine :’)
I sat at the back seat, looking
past tidy rows of street lamps
a steady humming;
low and controlled -
clearly keeping something from quavering,
almost a thin visible film
over cars driving along
with sure, quiet purpose.
The radio was up,
not a station with a single bad pop tune
instead a man or a woman
with quite a lot to say.
From where I sat I heard everybody
from inside the next car
to the tiny red dots
stark against the black horizon,
Take it from the Chinese
It’s funny my life’s “big” adventures so far always happen to coincide with the times in my life that I don’t have a camera with me. Last summer I had the chance to go to Laguna on my own for the first time and to Tagaytay with a couple of friends I just met over my internship and I didn’t even have a camera phone with me.
Over time I’ve developed the habit of collecting tiny bits of proof that those trips actually did happen; pressed flowers, notes, sometimes little bits of prose make their way too and if I’m really lucky — photos salvaged from friends’ mobile phones.
I never mean to be a sentimental packrat, I’m just one of the firm believers of the Chinese proverb that the palest ink is better than the best memory.
I guess it’s lucky that dad didn’t let me bring my camera that day we chased waterfalls in Dalipuga. The trip was pretty much a major thing for me that I actually tried to capture bits of it on paper.
I knew I had no reason to fuss because I was trekking with probably 10 cameras at the very least. However there’s something really obsessive about capturing something through your own eyes, the very viewpoint from right from where you stand. I don’t know.
Based on experience, it brings a much more vivid sense of nostalgia, sketches especially.
The one above is my quick sketch of the little stream connecting the three levels of Pampam falls featuring my friend Kate sitting in the middle of the stream after a cleverly concealed slip and two other friends in the background. Photo of the work in progress courtesy of Jeffrey Wong of www.gwapito.com
photos by Jam Jacosalem (traveljams.com)
For the last waterfall of the day I decided to attempt another quick watercolor while everybody went for their photo ops. We were really short on time because we had to be at somewhere before sunset so I guess I’ll get back to this when I’ll have a bit more than 20 minutes to sit down and paint.
The group suddenly came to a stop after a short trek and climb from Pampam falls. It felt like quite an awkward place to stop because there was barely enough room for all of us to stand even just at the awkward, perilous angles we were steadying ourselves at.
I felt a grin tugging at my cheeks when I hinted water from under the small cave which I also just noticed a split second earlier. I’ve never tried swimming through a cave before so there was a sudden flurry of my own trekking clothes in the air in no time.
Through and up the other end of the cave was the smaller than expected but charming all the same Kalubihon waterfalls.
I wish I brought a camera along because the rocks where the waterfall and the cave met were in really enchanting colors. They were almost exactly colored like one of the bloggers’ mermaid hair in turqoise hues, pale yellows and pinks.
The last time I remember hiking was labor day last May when a few friends and I decided to see what all the fuss surrounding Dodiongan falls was all about. It was mag-nificent by the way; quite the steal for an easy 20-minute hike.
Day 1 of the IBS Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0 took me and a happy bunch of backpacking bloggers from different parts of the Philippines to three different waterfalls in Kalubihon, Dalipuga conveniently named Kalubihon, Dalipuga and Pampam falls.
In between those three waterfalls were a lot of trekking. Up a few hills, down a few hills and over or across the tiniest streams with the occasional carabao dung to keep any hiker appropriately vigilant.
Before slipping into the trees and following the trail, we loaded up on fresh mangoes and a nice hot batch of puto maya. Actually, they did. I just kept my share in my bag - only to devour it when the group settled down for lunch. Something about the hike changed me. haha. The puto maya was surprisingly still pretty warm by the time I had it, though.
Moral of the story: never pass up any form of carbohydrate on hiking trips.
The first stretch of trekking was totally dry. We didn’t come across a waterform or any signs of it until the trail took us straight to our first waterfall which was Pampam.
Mhm. Right, yes, I can’t really judge and classify the type of climb and the levels of difficulty. My trekking prowess so far has only given me enough to grade terrain from an I can climb that level to a no can doodles.
They’re all can’s so far, see all the coolers we’re lugging. Trick I guess is to stop every once in a while to catch your breaths and talk with the people in front and behind in the trail to make the hike fly by.
I discovered I really like hiking. The whole time, I felt like I was in some Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros song.
(continued in next post)
Joining in the bandwagon! This may just be the most fashionable thing I’ve ever worn.
Tell the truth this is the most serene I’ve felt in quite a while now. Yesterday was such a burnout I slept like a baby and rolled out of bed quarter to 10 am. 10 AM (my parents have practically been terrorizing us if we dared going beyond 8 or 9 for all I can remember) and mom, dad, my sister and I had lunch at a family friend’s restaurant where I nicked black raspberry Twinnings off dear miss Janet before heading out to vote.
Surprisingly, it only took me less than a fifteen minute wait to get a ballot if you don’t count my 30 minutes of looking for my precinct because I forgot my number. hihi.
If you haven’t yet been able to exercise your right to vote, do make a mental note of having some way to remember your precinct number when you register and going at around lunch time or the early afternoon when voting. The place will be a ghost town.