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July 11, 2012

Strip Show By Ja Cabato in Zamboanga

The word strip means to remove something, an undressing of some sort. In celebration of Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s centenary, the Gallery of the Peninsula and the Archipelago deviates from the usual aesthetics of paintings and sculptures stripping away the building blocks of art to its most basic. Strip Show by Ja Cabato bares art at its most elemental, almost primitive as she lets the purity of lines thread her work.

Against vinta colored walls of the gallery, she ushers in viewers to a three part exhibition: Taliti de Palabra, Mientras Tanto and Ri where she samples the possibilities of art’s basic element through a installation and illustration.

She showcases her skill in needlework by enticing viewers into the world of comics in the installation Taliti de Palabra meaning “shower of words”. Here, she sets the pattern to a style that truly characterizes her: simple but meticulous, quotidian but witty. Plump, soft, hand-sewn speech bubbles float above with phrases in English, Filipino and Chavacano engaging the viewer immediately into a literal conversation that could begin and end in different ways. A polished aesthetic can be found in the diligently seamed bubbles that traverse to her other works providing emphasis of lines.

On this same vein, viewers are introduced to various chapters of the artist’s visual life story through Mientras Tanto. Translated as “meanwhile,” it takes on a world of dynamic whimsical lines which dance in hypnotizing swirls and give a glimpse to the artist’s memories. Her drawings are a refreshing visual experience as compared to today’s chaotic and instant attitude. Carefree, she lets her ink flow to stir in the child in you and to create personal associations to images of her experiences.

Meaning “to smile or to laugh”, Ri bares more of the artist in a compilation of comic strips. A fictional autobiography, her flair for words attest to the humor of the dialogues inspired by conversations with family and friends. It is quite an added charm when she injects Chavacano in this quick-paced read of anecdotal scenes giving hints to the multiple facets of her life. Utilizing a minimalist approach in creating forms that communicate, she exposes her intentions, to highlight the line and strip the intimidation of art.

More than just personal nostalgia, the narratives of each image are familiar making it intimate. In its simplicity, the exhibit may seem to have dispensed away with the philosophical but it is through this that it has revealed a profound bidding to anyone who sees it, that art is accessible and that it should be.

Venue: Gallery of the Peninsula and the Archipelago, Ateneo de Zamboanga University
Ateneo University
Ateneo de Zamboanga

La Purisima St.
Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
Tuesday July 10, 2012 - Tuesday July 31, 2012

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