“Grounded”, Inspirational Exhibition at Lopez Museum

Lopez Museum G/F Benpres Building, 
Exchange Rd. Cor Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. 
Telephone No. 631-2417/ 635-9545

“What is the role of art in today's society and what is the role of society in  art?” - questions I had in mind when I saw the ongoing exhibition at Lopez Museum.

Grounded” Another Inspirational Exhibition at Lopez Museum

Yesterday, I ventured to the Lopez Museum and Library to see their "exhibition", Grounded. I quoted "exhibition" because as much as exhibition, it leaves a mark, a  personal insight, from the paintings to multimedia installation.

I have written previously about my personal experiences towards some of the arts that comes on previous exhibition at Lopez Museum.

Yesterday, as I entered the museum, the usual calm and relaxing atmosphere greeted me. I immediately noticed the first gallery located at the right corner facing the main hall.


I've been a frequent guest at Lopez Museum since last year. Still amused with the exhibitions featuring the works of Juan Luna and Hidalgo; books and memorabilia of Jose Rizal, paintings and installations of young artists Niki Luna, Ernest Conception. Even the sound and wave exhibition held at the SM Mall of Asia.

Let me share the new exhibition at the Lopez Museum entitled “Grounded”. The term has various meaning. Literally, it means chained in the ground, laying low and not allowed to fly.

For me “grounded” means awareness, being present in the situation. There is awareness of what’s happening around you.

Alma Quinto “Jutay” Installation (2013)

Projections on the table are there for human interaction. I come closer and saw visitors’ art creation, a description of oneself and they are beautifully posted on the four corners of the gallery. I realized the artist may want to convey freedom, respect and woman’s right, but again I reminded myself that it is not there to be described but to experience.

Toym Imao P/flight Fiberglass 76x77x141 cm (2013 Artist’s Collection)
Toym Imao P/flight Fiberglass 76x77x141 cm (2013 Artist’s Collection)

The room was a bit dark, there are two big wooden tables, a wooden chair "bangkito", some dry leaves. I thought it's a work station of the featured artists.

While waiting for my colleagues, I can’t help but start to click the shutter of my camera, "shooting without flash".  Then, I noticed two big icons painted in white. Although, I've seen the first one on my last visit. The second one was quite intriguing. Is it a man or a woman? It has a woman's body but  a facial feature of a man, and also the hair. He looks like he wanted to be free. 

Toym Imao P/flight Fiberglass 76x77x141 cm (2013 Artist’s Collection)
Toym Imao P/flight Fiberglass 76x77x141 cm (2013 Artist’s Collection)

They said it connotes “Si Malakas at si Maganda”. That is also how I personally describe the tattooed human body made of fiberglass. What makes it more interesting is the significance of these tattoos. According to Artist Toym Imao, it represents ten most frequently visited airports of our OFWs. He also compares the art and design to the prisoners, who wanted to be free but are grounded.  Having said that, I felt a little sadness. Toym’s P/Flight is so dramatic and expressive.

Toym Imao “Drawn, Done, Drown”  made of brass, metal and wood 238.5x57x269 cm (2013 Artist’s Collection)Toym Imao “Drawn, Done, Drown” Toym Imao “Drawn, Done, Drown”

We proceeded to Gallery 2 with other Toym Imao’s work including “Drawn, Done, Drown”. The joystick, the metal chain, hands and a ship are related to what ‘grounded’ literally means. You will also notice the ship (that looks like a paper airplane) ready to be freed by the hand. I would like to relate this design to the peaceful revolutions where pen and paper was being used to claim freedom.

Toym Imao “Diyos, Choose, Dues” Fiberglass, Sawdust, Silica sand

Toym Imao “Diyos, Choose, Dues” Fiberglass, Sawdust, Silica sand

Visitors will immediately notice the beautiful exhibit located at the museum’s rotunda. I see God and human hand in his design. It could simply means God touching us, humans. It could also be perceived as God playing our lives just the way we play a cootie catcher, a children’s fortune-telling game. If you come closer, the “cootie catcher” you may perceive it as mountains. 

Still at Gallery 2 is Goldie Poblador “Ang Simula ng Pagsibol” Sandblasted Glass, Phosphor, Neon gas, Wood.

I find it extra special, it was extremely appealing yet I don’t even know the reason. It’s very calming. We seldom see art designs like this. It’s very comforting yet playful. It lit as you touch it.


Toym Imao “Ship, Shift, Strip” made of resin, fiberglass, iron sheets, brass, wood
Toym Imao “Ship, Shift, Strip” made of resin, fiberglass, iron sheets, brass, wood

There are still traditional art works including  their lovely painting. I compiled photos of the artists’ paintings, you may view the slideshow in SkyDive.

Ahmed Al Shaer “Selection, Reflection, Attention” Video
Ahmed Al Shaer “Selection, Reflection, Attention” Video

There’s some sort of ambiguity in this video. Although it would make one think of what the artist would like to convey, it provides a good interactions between the artist and the critic. It was a unique video presentation! Imagine a creature that has a man’s body and head of a beast not doing anything just walking, passing by. The strangeness of the creature was quite funny, but it made me think of how we become beast in our own ways. At times, we wanted to control nature to satisfy our own desires.

I was also interested in Josephine Turalba’s “Scandal” located at Gallery 5. Aside from its stylish bullet shell sandals “tsinelas”, she gave a very intriguing art name “scandal”. Combining both negative and positive aura inside the gallery - the bullets which usually has a negative impression and the white wall with lit which I personally highlight as clean, sacred and pure.

Josephine Turalba’s “Scandal”
Josephine Turalba’s “Scandal”Josephine Turalba’s “Scandal”Josephine Turalba’s “Scandal”

A few more Personal Highlights

Presented in different inspirational facet of arts, in whatever it may be appealing I will forever give high regard and recognize every installation, multimedia presentation and styles of artwork the artist somehow caught my awareness.

Pacita Abad’s Recluse, a painted cloth stitched on dyed linen and canvas


Sometimes words are hard to find to describe the pieces but the nearest I can get is the influence both spiritually and emotionally.

Lopez Museum is a place where art moves or makes one react to, perhaps it could be dramatic or silently influencing you.

This exhibition, Grounded brings together artists and work of arts from the past such as Felix Hidalgo and Juan Luna. The styles of artists specializing in new media, electronic, light and sounds. Also the works of  Toym Imao, Josephine Turalba, and Eric Zamuco. Grounded is a posed exercise, of looking back and hopefully trudging forward despite.  

Moreover, Lopez Museum & Library invites the public for the museal neurosis: Grounded Artist Talk this Saturday, March 9 from 2pm to 4pm with  Toym Imao, Josephine Turalba & Eric Zamuco.


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