Lopez Museum’s “BEAT” Exhibition


Lopez Museum’s “BEAT” Exhibition

Weary, tired, exhausted. This word could also mean striking repeatedly or to act with violence. The rhythm is the beat. Our heart beats 60-80 per minute. When Michael Jackson says “beat it” in his song, what does he mean?


The four-letter word BEAT has a lot of meaning but how do we understand its meaning when connected to Art installations, paintings and the likes. Find out with Lopez Museum’s “BEAT” Exhibition that features intersection of the colonial and recent past alongside contemporary issues.

I was fortunate to be invited to the launching of the "BEAT" art exhibition at the Lopez Memorial Museum. It's an exhibit that showcase two lines – present and recent past. I was informed that we will be meeting two young artists, Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion.

Bewitch with unfamiliar art installation, I can’t help myself but wonder why the artist has come up with such idea. I wanted to find out more, even ask something personal.

That moment, I remember the paintings I made about 15 years ago. A stone house in a secluded area; a nipa house near a river and another one at the middle of the forest. The  sky, water and the moon were my favorite subjects. My friends see the “house” full of sadness, loneliness, incomplete and broken. True, there was sadness at home yet I found refuge in the sky, my sanctuary. The water symbolizes strength and power and the moon signifies beauty. I stopped painting my imaginations, my dreams and aspirations even my nightmares at the age of 18. All my projects are gone and no where to find. I felt a sudden regret, I should have kept them.

We started the tour at Gallery 1 which features Concepcion’s mixed media.

Ernest Conception’s Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit Mixed media Dimension variable 2012

Ernest Conception’s Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit Mixed media Dimension variable 2012Lopez Museum | BEAT: Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit Mixed media Dimension variable 2012BEAT: Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit Mixed media Dimension variable 2012

I haven’t seen drawings on acetate huge like these. Looking at his work, I was right when I made a guess on the artist’s age, he’s young and very cheerful reflecting. How great his idea of connecting one from another and forming a huge and more symbolic piece. I saw aircrafts, military tanks and water vessels. The artist used black ink and  I would like to think of war, like the World War I or maybe revolution and people power.


As I look more closely with the wall paintings, I thought of Hidalgo and Concepcion as one. The mixture and connection of two different artist with the same passion that came from different time, Hidalgo in the past and Concepcion in the present time.

Hidalgo and Ernest ConcepcionHidalgo and Ernest Concepcion

There are wall paintings in vibrant and strong colors such as red, green, blue. Concepcion’s work can be seen in other parts of the museum as well. He also revealed that the wall paints are not yet complete, he will add more and I’m looking forward to it.

“The simplest words, the gray areas we find. I make something out of these.” - Nikki Luna

Precious and Fertile Installation

Nikki Luna's Precious and Fertile Installation

They are bamboo poles. At first glance there was fear and terror looking at each pieces. The dark soil looks heavy too. I was afraid to give my own interpretation but Luna who spent few minutes with our group inspired me as she explained the installation.

(From Left to Right, Nikki Luna’s 7 Lupa and Azucarera Installation)

Nikki Luna's  7 LUPANikki Luna's Azucarera Installation

Based on my photos, what do you think of this installation? How do you feel about it?

7 LUPA: Kibawe-Bukidnon, Maramag-Bukidnon, Opol-Misamis Oriental, San Fernando Bukidnon, Ramain-Lanao Sur, Dalwangan-Malaybalay, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental Installation (1 cup of soil per display case)

BEAT, Nikki Luna's 7 LUPADSC01590

The fences symbolizes fighting for a cause, revolution while the land represents mining. The two symbolizes advocacy, fighting for the land. Just like Filipinos who fought for the country, farmers who fought for their rights and many other similar incidents that became part of the history. 

The "BEAT" Nikki Luna's Precious and Fertile InstallationThe "BEAT" Nikki Luna's Precious and Fertile InstallationNikki Luna's Azucarera (7 pcs Brown)Nikki Luna's Azucarera ( 7 pcs White)

In true Foucauldian fashion, Luna finds history in the most unlikely places such as memory and sentiments – and then narrates these wordlessly, through nuanced installations and paintings. – from http://nikkiluna.com

Art is not only confined to drawings on a piece of paper, of colors and paints on a canvas. Different sizes, shapes, materials (soil, acetate, bamboo pole, gems) forming together, connecting and creating various interpretation on every man’s artistic view. It's how you perceived it, how you react on pieces of art displayed in the gallery that will give an installation its true meaning.

“There is deliberately forlorn and somber tone to this outing. Images of the prostate and crestfallen easily evoke a stance of defeat, a succumbing to odds. But BEAT also linguistically traverses a more mobile positionality, possibly one that suggests a desire to plod on in sheer resilience or blind resolve. By staying on in the present tense rather than as the more definitive “beaten”, this exhibition also conscripts the energies of artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion to effect staging of confrontation with the difficult, the resistant and even the impossible.” 


More photos from other galleries.

Galley 6|HidalgoLopez Museum's BEAT Felix Hidalgo's La Derorota de Limahong Oil on WoodLopez Museum's BEAT Lopez Museum's BEAT Lopez Museum's BEAT DSC01648Lopez Museum's BEAT

Once again, my imagination travelled me from the past and brought me back to the present with the understanding of its connection. I was fascinated, moved and inspired with every design I saw. Indeed, the work of art becomes the museum.

The Lopez Museum continues to invite and encourage people to experience the work of art. The "Beat" exhibition will run from May 16 to October 13, 2012. Experience it, take a tour on inspiring art pieces from renowned Filipino artists.


About the Artists:

ERNEST%20CONCEPCION_Picture[1]Ernest Concepcion was able to exhibit both here and abroad. In 2011 he was both a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) finalist in the Drawing Category and a Nominee for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Currently, he is a full-time artist making new works and a graphic novel based on the conflict-ridden planet of Ona to be released soon.


nikki_profile02[1]Nikki Luna is an artist and the founder of StartArtproject, a non-profit organization aimed at providing art workshops to women and youth victims of armed conflict and human rights violations in the Philippines. Her works have been shown locally and abroad Milan Italy and Singapore. A Painting major graduate from the University of the Philippines (UP) Fine Arts Department, Luna went on to take an art residency in Cooper Union new york. In 2010, her firearm sculptures/installation. Her women advocacy is an endeavor she is currently studying in-depth in her Masters in Women and Development Studies in UP.


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