The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project is a group art exhibition organized around a theme of timely, social, or cultural relevance. It seeks to use art as a platform for the discussion of such pressing issues. Now on its 9th year, Looking for Juan: Karapatan takes a closer look at what human rights mean in our country today. The undercurrent of all our Looking for Juan shows is the question, “What does it mean to be Filipino?” Perhaps this year, we also ask, “What does it mean to be human and Filipino?”
"I constructed a piece that resembles an altar using specific figures that translate to devotional aspects of Filipino’s religious culture. It also shows a portrait of a man of low status in society, pointing to himself. In general, my artwork exhibits a sense of hypocrisy toward society’s definition of morality."
"The artwork signifies the news about the continuously bloody results of the government’s anti-drug campaign and how it affects children. This has raised concerns about the sustained exposure of children to violence – indirectly or otherwise – and how this may affect their behavior and thinking."
"The so called Police Scalawags have been terminating or murdering the victims (witnesses/runners for drugs) which may lead to their implication in drug business or crime. So they plant drugs and guns, and say that the victims fought or fired against them. An excuse that saves them from the law."
"This artwork is a relational sculpture. The viewer is invited to place his or her hands inside the mirror cube, to “see” with hands and manipulate the sculpture inside as he or she wishes to. Because of the mirrors, the action of reaching in and augmenting the clay corresponds to reaching into one’s self."
"Our souls are like dandelion pappi flying away where our winds would take us. There is fate and uncertainty, but ultimately, we are alive to live the life that we are destined to live. Freedom is essential in helping wildflowers thrive and flourish beautifully. Take it away, and they will slowly wither and fade into nothingness."
"I represent women here in communist uniform to symbolize their courage in fighting against maltreatment and oppression. If everyone will come to realize that we are not the body, and that in reality, we are spirit souls — no labels attached, no color, no religion, no country, no male, no female — then we will achieve real equality and peace."
"The artwork depicts children’s right to freedom of expression. In the foreground are symbols of constraint such as chains, wires, and fences slowly loosening up to form an open sea with a boundless horizon, where children have the freedom to sail in the vastness of their imagination and expressions."
"To the watcher behind these symbols: Could justice be blindly tilted? Or do we all blindly watch rightful retribution? Lest we succumb to selfish adoration of personalities instead of every fellowman’s welfare. We must all then ever remain vigilant that of the consciousness: peering, watching, and guarding each and every one of us."
"Human rights guarantee equality and freedom that is universal to all. This declaration asserts we share common experiences and needs, hence entails a common responsibility and duty to each other. But this declaration doesn’t exist and function in a vacuum. Power structures dominate and define the limits and extent of certain rights on different levels, micro and global. We are only equal and free depending on how we define our boundaries and constraints, for us and the other."
#JusticeForTheVictimsOfMendiolaMassacre #NoToTerrorism #NoToAllOutWar #JusticeForTheVictimsOfKidapawanMassacre #BigasHindiBala #StopKillingFarmers #AFPBerdugo #JusticeForTheVictimsOfHaciendaLuisitaMassacre #RememberLuisita #NeverForget #LiftMartialLaw #EndStateFascism #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners #KalinawMindanao #StopExtrajudicialKillings #EndTheDrugWar #StopKillingThePoor
"With the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and the implementation of a brutal All-Out War policy targeting the revolutionary peasant masses in countryside, the self-proclaimed “First Leftist President” is actually moving in the opposite direction, a path that leads directly to the proverbial "kangkungan" of history."
"Humanity must understand the relation of victims and offenders, that there are underlying conditions that we can view alike. It is our task, as a society, especially those who are in power, to restore the sense of civility. One should understand the malleability of social conditions, and understand the difference of destruction and tender reformation."
"The artwork embodies our identity shaped by social injustices and inequalities that plague our daily lives — massive corruption, crime, unabated poverty, unemployment, and selective access to free and quality education — the set-up of an oppressive structure that marginalizes our people, especially the masses.
"The basic right to shelter is not as “basic” to some. For those who continue to live in forested areas such as our indigenous brothers and sisters, deforestation because of greed and illegal logging is a big concern to them. Continuously being driven away — trees and people — we endanger our heritage and our resources."
“LUKSONG TINIK (Jumping Over Thorns) is a popular Filipino game played by leaping through obstacles. In the painting, a woman jumps over a clump of barbed wire, soaring above risks and across troubled waters that hinder a calm journey to her very own land. The image is similar to the territorial dispute happening in our country."
--John Paul Antido
"Rice is our basic food and the country’s main agricultural product. But rice producers, the farmers, remain landless and poor. The state of monopoly of landlords, foreign corporations, and military-mercenaries respond violently to their clamor for land reform. The artwork honors the peasants, their struggles and demands for justice."
--Boyet De Mesa
"Human rights violations occur all the time, some are more apparent than others. They are so common that they seem to have become the norm. Every once in a while, we are reminded of its existence by graphic images that momentarily stir our emotions. But these too are soon forgotten as we turn our attention to things that appear more pleasant."
“Echoes tackles the view of an old man that seems to be staring and waiting for death to come — frightened for the younger generation that might experience the violence and inhumane moments of his time. He instantly recalls when his fellow countrymen were slaughtered like helpless deer through the eye of a hunter in a forest."
"The Hunter tells of the irony of how a worker risks his life hunting for treasure for another man’s pleasure. In every age, it has been the tyrant, the oppressor, and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and awe the people.”
"The painting is a study, a projection, of a statue depicting the fragility of human rights. A thorn-laden wreath forms a perimeter around a naked form — this is how I envision the 30 declarations of natural rights of humanity — asserted only by force of social contracts as a boundary of fragile beauty. The figure is occluded by a shadow in the form of a guillotine blade: again another representation of the threat to natural rights in the form of populist violence. The figure is based on one of the sculptures in Trocadero, a place in Paris where these human rights were first written and promulgated at the end of the second world war."
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 more exhibits, please visit www.canvas.ph