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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Malikmata by Mark Orozco Justiniani

Malikmata by Mark Orozco Justiniani
February 19, Friday

Celebrated painter, Mark Orozco Justiniani, veers his latest work away from the medium he has long been associated with and instead takes it to the world of sculpture where corners and frames cannot bind. This world, entitled Malikmata, is one where night and day converge, and folklore and reality abandon their distinction.

Justiniani's keen interest in Filipino society and tradition takes the sculptural route to present Filipino folklore in a form that is multidimensional, concrete and tangible. Not only do the eyes find the splendor of the earth as the sun sets and shadows creep in; this inbetween too awakens the other four senses, and at the same time stirs the imagination. Meant to heighten every sensation, Malikmata, Justiniani explains, involves a lot of ` "looking through" with peepholes and lenses with several angles and different vantage points'. With viewers' participation, the world Justiniani creates is sculptural commentary infused with physical interaction.

Malikmata reveals the creatures of the night, from the fireflies and spiders that lurk in our backyards to those monsters that haunt our dreams. Taking us into the world where what is real and unreal coexist, Justiniani presents a tikbalang who no longer tricks people into getting lost in the forest it guards; a manananggal who discovers the worlds her two halves occupy are one and the same; and an Agtayabun, the man-bird that arbitrates between the realms of the divine and the bestial, who has sided with the latter and allowed chaos to reign. Thought to be lost in modern consciousness, these creatures of folklore defiantly linger and taunt us to surrender to our darkest nightmares.

With sculptural representations manifest of a society that often combines rationality and mysticism, religion and folklore, fact and faith, Justiniani's Malikmata is indeed a journey that goes back and forth between realms that are supposed to be distinct. More than confusing our senses, Malikmata questions how we construct reality and define illusion.

Malikmata is in collaboration with Tin-aw Art Management.

Malikmata will be shown alongside STRIP 2010 with Tammy David, Jake Verzosa, Veejay Villafranca at Silverlens Gallery and Saucerful of Secrets by Mariano Ching with Haraya Ching at 20SQUARE, SLab. Mark Orozco Justiniani will have his Artist Talk on March 06, 2010, Saturday, 3-5 pm.

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, 816-0044, 0917-5874011, or manage@silverlensph Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am-7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm. www.silverlensphoto .com / slab.silverlensphot

Words: Bea Davila
Image: Studies for Malikmata by Mark Orozco Justiniani

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