“SIKSIKAN”

“Horror vacui” is a Latin phrase that means “fear of empty space.” It is one of the most identifying traits of the Filipino in the modern culture, in full display in our jeepneys, transformed into a veritable canvas where nearly every square inch is covered with decorative ornaments in bright, gaudy colors, and in our fiestas such as the Quezon Festival of Pahiyas, when the façade of houses are festooned with a hundreds and hundreds of multicoloredkipingor rice wafers. The Filipino’s sense of space finds even its comfort zone in the extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous Black Nazarene procession of Quiapo, when the streets of the environs are crowded with a wall-to-wall multitude.

“Earthquake Baroque” is what the critic Eric Torres called our version of horror vacui, reflecting the grassroots Pinoy taste in his lifestyle, environment and décor. It is the nightmare of the minimalists whose classic dictum is “Less is More.” That, however, is quickly rebutted by the maximalists, with their retort: “Less is a Bore.” Or with the English-fractured slogan, “The More, the Many-er!”
Nor is horror vacui exclusive to Filipino taste. Indeed, the philosophical concept dates back to Aristotle with the idea of nature abhorring a vacuum. It is thus manifested from the cluttered interior design of the Victorian age down to the arabesque design of Moslem mosques and Persian carpets, and the wallpaper and fabric designs of the William Morris of the Arts and Crafts Movement, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite painters of England.Even Jackson Pollock’s monumental drip and smear abstractions are so sumptuously crowded they are without beginning, middle and end. In Philippine visual arts, the cellular proliferation of National Artist Hernando Ocampo echoes that of the French art brut master Jean Dubuffet. National Artist Vicente Manansala’s collective multiple figures lined up in procession are a privation of “breathing space” and so are Mario Parial’s folk genre still lifes and Mother and Child paintings.

A Filipino word evocatively captures the idea of horror vacui: siksikan.Meaning crowded and packed, it conveys a stifling sense of claustrophobia, a throng of bodies gathered closely together with little or no room for movement. The concept is explored and celebrated by Galerie Anna in a show which bears as its title: “Siksikan: Horror Vacui in Philippine Street Culture.”
Participating artists are: Jessie Mondares, Chrisanto Aquino, Geovanni Abing, Sam Penaso, and Melvin Culaba.

Mondares captures the gritty street scenes of Manila as a reflection of an urban jungle, while Culaba limns the human figures located in survival mode against the spectre of poverty. Abing channels the 17th century Italian artist GiuseppiArcimboldo, with his faces molded from a chaos of objects, as Aquino unravels the distraught psyche of existential dreams and anxieties. Penaso unreels a panoply of Philippine ancient and modern images defining our conflicted religious faith.

“Siksikan” runs until Feb 26.
Galerie Anna is at the 4/F., The Artwalk, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City.
For inquiries, call tel: (02) 470-2511

"SIKSIKAN" a Group show by Jessie Mondares, Sam Penaso. Geovanni Abing, Chrisanto Aquino and Melvin Culaba

"SIKSIKAN" a Group show by Jessie Mondares, Sam Penaso. Geovanni Abing, Chrisanto Aquino and Melvin Culaba

Start Date: 
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
End date: 
Monday, February 25, 2019
Exhibit_Category: 
Exhibits_Review: 

“SIKSIKAN”

“Horror vacui” is a Latin phrase that means “fear of empty space.” It is one of the most identifying traits of the Filipino in the modern culture, in full display in our jeepneys, transformed into a veritable canvas where nearly every square inch is covered with decorative ornaments in bright, gaudy colors, and in our fiestas such as the Quezon Festival of Pahiyas, when the façade of houses are festooned with a hundreds and hundreds of multicoloredkipingor rice wafers. The Filipino’s sense of space finds even its comfort zone in the extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous Black Nazarene procession of Quiapo, when the streets of the environs are crowded with a wall-to-wall multitude.

“Earthquake Baroque” is what the critic Eric Torres called our version of horror vacui, reflecting the grassroots Pinoy taste in his lifestyle, environment and décor. It is the nightmare of the minimalists whose classic dictum is “Less is More.” That, however, is quickly rebutted by the maximalists, with their retort: “Less is a Bore.” Or with the English-fractured slogan, “The More, the Many-er!”
Nor is horror vacui exclusive to Filipino taste. Indeed, the philosophical concept dates back to Aristotle with the idea of nature abhorring a vacuum. It is thus manifested from the cluttered interior design of the Victorian age down to the arabesque design of Moslem mosques and Persian carpets, and the wallpaper and fabric designs of the William Morris of the Arts and Crafts Movement, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite painters of England.Even Jackson Pollock’s monumental drip and smear abstractions are so sumptuously crowded they are without beginning, middle and end. In Philippine visual arts, the cellular proliferation of National Artist Hernando Ocampo echoes that of the French art brut master Jean Dubuffet. National Artist Vicente Manansala’s collective multiple figures lined up in procession are a privation of “breathing space” and so are Mario Parial’s folk genre still lifes and Mother and Child paintings.

A Filipino word evocatively captures the idea of horror vacui: siksikan.Meaning crowded and packed, it conveys a stifling sense of claustrophobia, a throng of bodies gathered closely together with little or no room for movement. The concept is explored and celebrated by Galerie Anna in a show which bears as its title: “Siksikan: Horror Vacui in Philippine Street Culture.”
Participating artists are: Jessie Mondares, Chrisanto Aquino, Geovanni Abing, Sam Penaso, and Melvin Culaba.

Mondares captures the gritty street scenes of Manila as a reflection of an urban jungle, while Culaba limns the human figures located in survival mode against the spectre of poverty. Abing channels the 17th century Italian artist GiuseppiArcimboldo, with his faces molded from a chaos of objects, as Aquino unravels the distraught psyche of existential dreams and anxieties. Penaso unreels a panoply of Philippine ancient and modern images defining our conflicted religious faith.

“Siksikan” runs until Feb 26.
Galerie Anna is at the 4/F., The Artwalk, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City.
For inquiries, call tel: (02) 470-2511

"SIKSIKAN" a Group show by Jessie Mondares, Sam Penaso. Geovanni Abing, Chrisanto Aquino and Melvin Culaba

Exibits_Image: