NEAR Resident Artist: Mike Adrao

Michael Alvin Adrao (b. 1973) studied fine arts major in painting at the University of the Philippines, College of Fine Arts in 1998. He had participated in some notable group exhibitions, including “Ang Delatang Pinoy: Yes, the Filipino Can!” at Hiraya Gallery and “Mula Filibustero Hanggang Kay Marimar” in 1996. Mike Adrao was also among the selected artists for the “Young Artists Discovery Series” of Hiraya Gallery where he mounted "Verses" in 1997. His other group exhibitions include “Crossroads” at the Australian Center in 1998, “Songs of Renewal” at Casa San Miguel in Zambales in 1999, “Recent Works 4” and “Urbanisasyon” at Kulay Diwa Art Galleries in 2003. He also participated in MATAHATI’s second fundraising exhibition “Artriangle” at Soka Gakkai in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008. Mike Adrao will be NEAR Manila resident artist from May to August, 2009.

Solo Exhibition: Christopher Zamora

Project Space Pilipinas proudly presents “Sorrowful Mysteries,” a collection of new paintings by former NEAR Manila resident artist Christopher Zamora.

Taking its title from one of the four mysteries of the Holy Rosary, “Sorrowful Mysteries” at its clear-cut representation, reflects upon the current social and spiritual conditions in the Philippines. Being one of the largest Catholic nations in Asia, it goes without saying that faith plays a vital role in the daily lives of Filipinos. Religion in the Philippines is not something practiced only once a week, but rather a force governing everyday lives. Making the sign of the cross prior to almost every important undertaking carried out is as natural as hoping for best outcomes. Personal prayers are often whispered between breaths for good luck and guidance when embarking on a journey or making important decisions that may change lives. Indeed, the Catholic faith in the Philippines is the same divine energy that offers direction and confidence to the common people to survive through the day.

As Zamora noted, the idea of “Sorrowful Mysteries” originally stemmed out from his body of work that tackles various human struggles to escape the harsh realities brought about by poverty. Regardless of the continuing global economic predicament everyone faces, depression in the country is a commonplace image explicitly manifested in our daily actions. Many Filipinos are still hoping for instant relief from indigence through different ways such as playing the lotto or joining games and reality shows on TV. Church goers are growing consistently as life gets tougher everyday. Many are praying harder, wishing for miracles and solution to their seemingly endless destitution.

Christopher Zamora studied Fine Arts at the Philippine Women’s University in 1998, majoring in painting. In 2002, he bagged the 3rd prize in the oil category of Metrobank Foundation’s Annual Painting Competition. His solo exhibitions include “Everybody Wants to Feel Better” at Kulay Diwa Gallery in 2003, “Silip” at Boston Gallery in 2005, “Ordinary” at Blanc Space Gallery in 2007 and “Infectious” at West Gallery in 2009. Christopher Zamora has participated in some notable group exhibitions like “Emo” at Boston Gallery in 2001, “Ignorance is Bliss” at Kulay Diwa Gallery in 2003, “2nd Hand Smoke” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2006, “Art Triangle” at Soka Gakkai in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and “Tenggara: Recent Paintings from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines” at Novas Gallery in Liverpool, UK in 2008. He was a NEAR Manila resident artist in 2008.

Sorrowful Mysteries will run until May 16, 2009.

Kissing the Methods

“In the works presented for the show, Angki no longer speaks about photography. Instead he expands his ideas on to the attempt at finding/creating objects within their new environments. The environment here can be referred to as the context that moves according to the age. So he combines particular natural elements with plastic—as one of the most amazing human creation of the century—and playing with it” (Nuraini Juliastuti).

Technology is inherent in all human works. A human-made thing I think will never reach its final stage. It will continue to morph until it finally finds its perfect post to let the people to react to it. Monalisa, for example, has always been an inspiration and source to be explored. Likewise, Che Guevara and Jesus Christ (and the Cross) have proved to be everlasting images.

Looking from this perspective, I do admire some works that I think are beautifully successful in marking the age of humanity. They—among others-are Nam Jun Paik: Electronic Opera no.1-1969, Nobuyoshi Araki: Sur-sentimentalist Manifest-1970, Damien Hirst: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living-1992, Djoko Pekik: Berburu Celeng-1998, Mella Jaarsmaa: Hi Inlander (Hello native) 1998-1999, Agung Kurniawan: Sketch for Museum of Misunderstandings-2008.

They have invented genuine expression in examining local situations and responding them. The outcomes are often sensational narrativities. Living in today Indonesia, I feel like trapping in delusional fantasies that heavily shielded the real stories and experiences of the people until the real meanings are evaporating and gone to nothingness.

Kissing the Methods are the results of the acts of revising and updating towards the dynamic relation of Indonesian visual arts (that is arrogant and strict) and the audience. What else? – Angki Purbandono

Kissing The Methods, May 9 - 23, 2009
Richard Koh Fine Art, Solaris Mont' Kiara

No.7-1, Jalan Solaris 3, Solaris Mont' Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur,