"Perya" is a nod to the unique place of carnivals in Philippine culture and society. Even with the advent of new media, the perya or fair, has not only continued to be a source of entertainment, but also a shared reflection of Filipino values, hopes, and even art itself. This is the 8th installation of CANVAS’ Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project. 

Let's all fly to our stars, leave the same old rides behind.

This work depicts the perya game "Sa Pula, Sa Puti" while also reflects the issue of the disputed land between China and the Philippines.

The work tries to capture an imagined day in the life of a "perya" worker whose reality is poised as entertainment.

The "perya" is an instrument of thrill and fun for everyone, a partial escape from the circular motion of life.

Behind their looks and talents, they feel despair and loneliness.

This piece speaks about the art market and how it revolves around the ecosystem in which young, emerging artists are speculated upon, presented, highlighted, and exploited into a direction where gold glitters and fame is everything.

The day I turned seven, my dad, with the little money he had, brought me to the carnival. I thought we would never run out of time.

The "perya" is not complete without games of chance, the highlight of which is the grand bingo stall. Some people play just for fun with their spare change, while some put their earnings of the day at stake in the hopes of taking home a bigger reward.

The stage illusion of a woman inside a box turns her body in a disarranged position as part of a magical show. This breathtaking event interprets the life of an OFW, especially the domestic helper. The four-layer mismade box represents the "balik-bayan" box. Unfortunately, some OFWs return home inside a box in a disarranged fate.

It has been our tradition to experience the fiesta and enter the premises of "perya". It's a must to see bizarre human acts and unique features. Taong Ibon is a sentimental favorite.

When I was young, I always wanted to meet one of the magicians in a "perya". Until now, I am still amazed by the tricks they do using doves.

This is a work about the artist's personal experience as a woman, a visual diary of her traumatic past, a self-portrait.

A country held by the neck by popular opinion, handpicked pop culture, and the ever-unifying television propaganda.

Democracy is power vested in people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. No matter who we are, we have the right to choose or change our leaders.

Thinking VS Feeling: A comedy and a tragedy

Most youth amusements of present time are camouflages for serious adult concerns… These “amusements” breed tilted dreams…

It is through melody, lights, and colors that playful memories become tangible instead of remaining illusions; providing comfort and ease amidst the hustling and bustling noise of chaos and responsibilities.

As citizens, we are responsible for being critical of the leaders who represent us.

We're in a place where delusions are realities. When living on false truths, reality is different from what you see and feel.

Blossoms shrivel like withering hope in a land incessantly watered with a rapture only few can understand.

This artwork, in a string of emojis, is a summary of Amado Guerrero's 1970 mimeograph of Philippine Society and Revolution.

The Farce awakens in these times of political positioning; a national spectacle and a freak show that elicits animalistic misanthropy.

The Philippines became an oligarchy from a historical experience of colonialism. Instituting a national state government was inadequate to detract from the power of landowning families who had governed during colonial rule. Under Spanish colonial rule, the Philippines was characterized by a type of feudalism where aristocrats of Spanish lineage (mestizos) controlled large sections of land (haciendas) with indigenous people as laborers.

Politics, where limbs and lips are pulled by the strings by its puppeteer.

The ringmaster plunders natural resources and controls the ancestral domains of Lumads in Mindanao, but the continuing slaughter of tribal and community leaders will not silence the struggle for self-determination. Instead, it will cultivate more rights defenders and leaders in each tribe.

Philippine politics is a spectacle unto itself: it juggles sleight-of-hand tactics, under the table deals, and freakish policies that are designed to bewilder the masses into submissio--pretty much like those sideshows at the "perya".

A woman inside a blade box, usually seen in circus acts. It represents people who enter such a risky way of life, as the blades pierce the box, they hope to come out unscathed and that their hardships will bring a fruitful outcome.

This painting is an allegorical piece commenting on the Igorots displayed as living exhibits during the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. This depicted the Igorota like the Virgin Mary with a halo and ferris wheel on her head to symbolize rape of culture.

A spectrum of festive recollection from the past. Drawn to present the vague, vibrant, and toxic atmosphere of amusements.

Inspired by the playful colors from the "perya", I created a composition integrating  various images from Philippine culture -  boxer codex,  ibong maya,  mata ng agimat, masks. The images were juxtaposed in a playful manner to create a game-like layout with rules undefined. This nameless gamecan be interpreted  by the audience in any way that they please.

This is about taking chances as part of the survival of city inhabitants.

Keeping one's composure and inner peace amidst the ups and downs in the carousel of life is a virtue uncommon to many.

As children take home dyed chicks as prizes from the "perya", they die sooner than later. Where do they go?

This is the island where they can live happily forever.

Not knowing what lies beneath, the children are tempted to climb the carousel. Once they are lost, they can't find their way back.

Is it just a game we play every six years? Or are we ready to learn from our past gambles?

This is a homage to a dying local pastime replaced by technology and social media.

In a world where mercantile obsessiveness rules, Art suffers the same fate as hollywood celebrities. The glorification of deskilling deserves a curator of scrutinizing power, such as a man as Gen. Antonio Luna. With his apron marked with the very word that cusses everything that is kitschy, anything zeitgeist, and anything that conforms, we badly need such a man to stand up against the banality of consummata.

The proof of desire is pursuit. You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue. Desire is not what you want, it's what you cannot live without.

Credits: Story

Looking for Juan is a program of CANVAS that centers on creative activities and events designed to explore the use of art to drive debate and discussion on selected social issues, particularly national identity, free expression, technology & culture, and sustainable development.

To see the complete images of the artworks, visit http://www.canvas.ph/looking-for-juan/perya.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.