"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.