Silverlens Launches Carbon-Neutral Public Art Residency on Philippine Island
Nearly five years in the making, Silverlens Galleries calls on six chosen artists to use and upcycle indigenous raw materials found exclusively on the slipper-shaped island to create carbon-neutral public art installations.
About Kopiat Island
Kopiat Island is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and unique history, making it one of the country's most breathtaking locations with views of the UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Hamiguitan, sunrises over the all-green mountains, and sunsets on the silver blue gulf side.
Having gone through a remarkable recovery in the tourism and wildlife ecosystem – an effort which dates back to the 90s initiated by Lanang Realty Development Corporation (LRDC), it now hosts one of the most diverse cetacean habitats in the country. The emergence of ecotourism as a thriving industry has since propelled local businesses, leading to a significant economic boost and culminating in a partnership between Dusit Thani and LRDC in 2016 to operate the Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort.
Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort, Kopiat Island, Mabini, Province of Davao de Oro, Philippines. Photo courtesy of Neli Go and Silverlens
A Platform and Second Life
The Lubi Art Residency (named after the Visayan term for coconut) was established to offer artists a distinctive platform and abundant resources to create fully carbon-neutral public installations. These artworks will be exclusively created using materials sourced from the island itself, such as driftwood, bamboo, and debris washed ashore. The resulting installations will be both permanent and ephemeral, gradually deteriorating over time as nature reclaims its control.
Lubi Art Residency is produced in collaboration with Lanang Realty Development Corporation.
The first cohort of artists are Corinne de San Jose, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Wawi Navarroza, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Bernardo Pacquing, and James Clar. New artworks will be realized by the end of 2023 and displayed in public spaces around the island by March 2024, with the thematic emphasis of each residency cycle transitioning in sync with the changing seasons.
James Clar is a light and media artist whose work has been included in numerous exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, as well as being in various private and institutional collections. His work explores the conceptual and narrative potential of light and technology. These systems are integrated into our daily lives, altering the way we receive information and communicate. They inform our perception of reality, time, and space. Every system for communication enhances certain types of information while limiting and simplifying others. These modulated effects to our perception have become a thematic focus to his works and a way to experiment with narrative forms.
Corinne De San Jose is an interdisciplinary media artist based in the Philippines. Her works range from printmaking and video art to sculptures and sound installations, reflecting complex systems that interact among these different forms. They deal with the different processes between materiality and the inherent performativity to explore other possibilities of perceiving her own environment within and around.
Wawi Navarroza is a Filipino contemporary artist known for her works in photography, actively exhibiting in galleries and museums in the Philippines and internationally. Her images explore Self and Surrounding as seen in her works in contemporary landscape, constructed tableaus and self-portraits. Informed by tropicality within the dynamics of post-colonial dialogue, globalization, and the artist as transnational, her works transmute personal experience to the symbolic while probing materials and studio practice; all perhaps to mirror a path to understanding a deeper sense of place & identity.
Bernardo Pacquing continues to approach the expressive potential of abstraction in painting and sculpture through the use of disparate found objects that confront and disrupt perceptions of aesthetic representation, form, and value. By focusing on the organic shapes of visual reality, his work displaces notions of indisputable forms and opens possibilities for coexisting affirmations and denials.
Gary-Ross Pastrana’s art has been one of the most persistent in terms of combining concepts with objects. His conceptual pieces, although loaded with poetic intensity, remain unobtrusively subtle and even almost quaint in their appearance. Coiled photographs, woven tales from found pictures in the internet, sawed off parts of a boat shipped to another country, his shirt tied into a pole to commensurate a flag, these are the slightest of turns Pastrana has his objects make to create a new text within.
Christina Quisumbing Ramilo examines and reimagines objects and surfaces through a sensitive approach to material and site specificity. Her artistic practice shows a profound interest in the life and history of objects and centers on interventions that reconfigure, transform, or give new life to existing forms. She renders known forms unfamiliar, making works that ultimately express and respond to personal poetries.
Bernardo Pacquing. Earth Mounds at Kopiat Island, Philippines. Courtesy of Silverlens.
About Silverlens Galleries
Silverlens is an international gallery with locations in both Manila and New York. Through its artist representation, institutional partnerships, art consultancy, and exhibition programming including art fairs and gallery collaborations, Silverlens aims to place its artists within the broader framework of the contemporary art dialogue. Its continuing efforts to transcend borders across art communities in Asia have earned it recognition as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Southeast Asia.
Silverlens was founded in Manila by Isa Lorenzo in 2004, and in 2007 she was joined by co-director Rachel Rillo. In September 2022, the gallery opened its doors in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, broadening its international scope and bringing its diverse roster of artists to a new global audience.
About Lanang Realty Development Corporation
Lanang Realty Development Corporation (LRDC) was founded in 1999 to bring distinctive real estate developments in the Davao Region. Its roster of projects includes award-winning leisure destinations and accommodations in the Davao region–Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort in Davao de Oro, and d2Davao and Dusit Thani Residence Davao in Davao City. It is also the developer of Ciudades, a 200-hectare integrated-use development in Davao City envisioned to bring residential communities, workspaces, commercial areas, leisure, and educational institutions into one convenient location.
LRDC is a subsidiary of Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation, a pioneer in premium student residences in Metro Manila that has since grown to become a full-scale developer with residential, integrated use, and hospitality projects in key growth areas in the Philippines.
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