Press Releases - Lunduyan Art Gallery

Sininggang: A decade of art and ties that bind

This July 26 to August 9, Sininggang celebrates a renewal of creative ties and their simmering ten years of common intentions, retrospection, friendship and fine art.

The show entitled, Primera Decada is a reunion of sort bringing together abstract art from 13 independently successful artists with some guest artists, whose works will fill the walls of Lunduyan Art Gallery, a newly shared locale of emerging contemporary artists in Kamuning, Quezon City.

Aestheticizing both familiar and new bold themes, Primera Decada showcases a visual language of abstract works and visceral connections of each piece to the collective evolution of the group. Not without a novelty, these abstract propositions also constitute unique mastery of colors, techniques and visual elements attempting to make more facile what is liminal in the understanding of the larger truth.

Icons and collective consciousness

They all come from UE College of Fine Arts, mostly advertising majors, college buddies brought together by the same creative passion for visual arts. Now they’ve become a motley of professional painters, photographers, filmmakers, etc. Various trades and disciplines, diversity of skills and creative idiosyncrasies are the ironies which passionately bind the Gang together.

Ten years ago was the same year that Black American Jean Michel Basquiat (best known for his SOMA graffiti), the famed artist, died. Basquiat who left a profound influence on the group that continues to manifest in their art.

Along with other prevalent styles of the late 1990s that have also influenced the group, they markedly embraced figurative yet minimalist styles. However, they are inclined to appreciate and identify with artists who like themselves succinctly involve an attitude and grit that is daringly honest and unwavering.

Throughout the years, each of the members’ home became their tambayan and creative habitué where at each turn they bonded and engaged not only in drunken foolery (inuman), not necessarily raving drunk in spirits but in art and art making. They have since steadily nurtured themselves in critical discussions, art films, and other creative exchange that they religiously sustain until today.

Sininggang name sounds like the local gastronomic delight “sinigang”, because it decidedly is. The affinity is witty but also a principled one. The dish is the same inspiration and where they got the gang’s name from, not only because it’s their favorite food but the sense that they also in a way emerged like a “lutong bahay “, domestically produced, the artists explained.

True to their tradition, no group show is complete without sinigang served at every reception or their posters without “sili” for an icon which according to them is the spice that characteristically defines the group. Another sense of identity for them is “one day plate” referring to artworks done hurriedly in a day, is familiar expression and common joke that they still up to now laugh at.

Asked to how they describe their group: It is a beautifully loose group, its organized yet loose; “a group of individuals yet an indivisible whole.” It’s a consensually flat organization. Besides an SEC registration that required some nominal officers, everyone is dynamically equal says Maxbal, one of the artists.

Guerilla exhibits and subtle rebellion

Their story is that of the common rebellion against the elite and homogenizing character of the local art scene which oftentimes dominated and bent towards only few giant names. Taking cue and inspiration from Basquiat, their struggle can be described as a subtle revolt from the tambayan, to guerilla exhibits to gallery fame. The show is a mark of their artistic convictions, like many artists refusing the pervading pecking order of the local art scene.

Maxbal, recalls how they faced scathing and casual rejection from art galleries their early days. Fired–up from those denials, they would hold sketching sessions in front of Megamall’s entrance and make an alternative art space for themselves and for the public to see. Needless to say, this undaunted spirit kick-started and steered their careers.

However, much of the situation remains contentiously the same, young artists are still struggling and have little places to go and be recognized. For Sininggang, success is relative, but the decade-long journey of art has been definitely worthy and rewarding.

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