The second in a trilogy of shows that looks at visual linguistics in relation to communicating fundamental human emotions, Hate Mail attempts to narrate and deconstruct experiences of hate in contemporary society.
To display intense hate is viewed as morally wrong. It indicates an often angry and corrupted mind. In religion to hate is a sin, in secular society to openly hate is taboo and unattractive. But what is hate? Is it the bitterness and resentment many feel when experiencing anxiety, disappointment, obsession, jealousy and insecurity in oneself, love, school, friends, family and careers? Or a
psychological imbalance that leads to suffering and violence?
Unlike love, hate is normally concealed and not openly communicated. As part of contemporary vernacular, casual comments of hate are often used to express intense dislike for objects and people but do not necessarily convey the true complexity of the word. Therefore hate comes in many forms and degrees of intensity. We all have experienced this emotion in some form or another and yet it is a misunderstood concept problematically linked to religion and ethics.
Hate mail is the reverse of a love letter but has a similar effect. It is an expression of intense emotion sent to destabilize and disrupt the reader. It can take the form of a childish smear campaign scrawled on bathroom walls or virtual words through emails, social networks and blogs. A physical letter, an intimate form of expression, can cause fear, frustration and more hate between recipient and sender. The communication of hate therefore is something highly negative and less popular to read, share and understand than love in popular culture.
Hate Mail is the second in a trilogy of group shows that looks at the language of hate, and how visual art translates feelings of violence, revenge, anger and grudges towards people, objects and events through personal and imagined autobiographies as well as social observation. Attempting to communicate the ferocities and quiet resentments through passionate and dispassionate work, the show aims to create an uncomfortable reflection of humanity for pause and meditation on our contemporary condition.
Previous exhibitions in the series include Love Letters (12 February – 27 March). Hate Mail will be followed by Confessions of A Sinner (17 September – 09 October).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Catalina Africa (b. 1988) is a Fine Arts student at the University of the Philippines. She has been participating in group exhibitions since 2007, some of which include Seeing You, Seeing Me (Manila Contemporary, 2009) and 12×9 (West Gallery, 2010). She had her first solo show at West Gallery in 2010, entitled The Etymology of Disaster.
Ronald Caringal (b. 1980) is an advertising graduate from the University of Santo Tomas. A self-trained artist, he was listed in the Philippines Directory as one of 61 Artists that will change the world. He has exhibited works at Goliath Gallery in New York and at Primo Marella Gallery in Milan, Italy, apart from showing in numerous galleries and venues here in Manila. He has also done solo
shows, the most recent entitled Puff the Magic Jargon (Blanc Gallery Peninsula, 2010).
Maria Jeona (b. 1989) is a Painting major from the University of the Philippines. Her first exhibition was at the Faculty Center in the University of the Philippines in 2008 and since then, she has been a provocative addition to group shows such as Imagination is an Overused Cliché and Honey Honey in the Sunshine (Paseo Gallery), and Bayan ni Nanding and Seeing you, Seeing Me (Manila
Contemporary). She mounted her first exhibition last year entitled Smile Smile Happy Happy Picture Picture (SLab’s 20 Square).
Jose Legaspi (b. 1959) is a widely exhibited visual artist in the Philippines and abroad. With a degree in Zoology, he has made a name for himself with numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Stories of Dreams and Realities: Contemporary Art from the Philippines (Rossi& Rossi in London, 2011), Art Stage Singapore (2011), Slick Paris (2010), Catholic (SOKA Contemporary Space in Taipei, 2008), Phelgm, Art in General (New York, 2001) and Aberrations in Monochrome (Hiraya Gallery in Manila, 2000).
Robert Langenegger (b. 1983) studied Fine Arts in Kalayaan College and University of the Philippines. He has had six solo exhibitions since 2006. His works have been featured in Freies Museum Berlin, MOP Projects Sydney, VOLTA6 in Basel, Goliath Visual Space in Brooklyn and most recently at Galerie Zimmerman-Kratochwill in Austria. His exhibition “Irish Bull of the mother and child” was shortlisted in the 2008 Ateneo Art Awards. He was also a Finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2008. Langenegger's works are described to be “phantasmagoric carnivals of hallucinogenic, carnal carnage”, where gritty imagery is juxtaposed with cool, vapid scenery.
Romeo Lee (b. 1956) majored in Visual Communications and Painting in the University of the Philippines in the early 1980s. He exhibits actively in solo and group offerings in Manila. In recent years, he has also shown his work at group shows in Hong Kong, Singapore and Berlin. Lee, whose paintings were described as “colorful as himself,” has had several solo and collaborative
exhibitions, including ReLEEgious Paintings in January 2009; a two-man, one-woman exhibit with Elaine Navas and Jonathan Olazo in January 2010; and New Drawings with Victor Balanon in March 2010. In 2005, Lee's older brother Roxlee made a film based on Lee's unconventional life Romeo Must Rock. The film centers on the “Filipino Iggy Pop” who, despite being old and portly, just can't stop being a “Wild Thing.” The 46-minute film was shown at the Singapore International Film Festival and at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.
Nikki Luna took her Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Painting, in the University of the Philippines. In 2008, she was accepted in the Cooper Union Summer Residency in New York, the first Filipina in the residency, where she explored the definition of female in transit. In between, and before and after, Luna held various exhibitions that never really strayed far away from these same themes.
Her works are direct representations of her inspirations: “the simplest words, the gray areas we find. I make something out of these.” 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. Luna celebrates femininity through the sensual undulations,
not of flesh, but of contemplative space that balk against the repressive state apparatuses of patriarchy and government. Her journeys have mapped out for her the peripheries that she has made her prolific canvas—the woman and/in the third world.
Shuttling back and forth disparate geographies, identities and realities, she sees these margins as wounds to clean. Uncringing at the sight of exposed flesh, Luna patiently waits for a gradual closure.
Christina Quisumbing Ramilo graduated from the University of the Philippines and New York University. Her art has in recent years, shifted from drawing and painting to sculpture and installation using found objects. She received the Valentine Willie Art residency award in 2009 where she collaborated and made use of local objects and materials in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her works have been shown in Indonesia, New York and Manila.
Jucar Raquepo (b. 1973) has had several solo exhibitions and has participated in a number of group shows over the past 7 years. He has been recently awarded the 2009 Asia Pacific Fellowship at the National Museum of Contemporary in South Korea. His other involvements in South Korea include his participation in “The Gate Project,” a public art piece, along with group exhibitions in Changdong Gallery, Ryu Hawarang Alternative Space and Incheon Art Platform. Raquepo's work is about the harum-scarum organization of our recent and current way of life. His paintings consist of densely-packed scenarios that are observations of society achieved through a concoction of kitsch-art cartoon graffiti signs and symbols that are cubist and graphic in motif, combined altogether in a Filipino baroque aesthetic.
Kaloy Sanchez (b. 1982) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006. Recent solo exhibitions include Too Loud a Solitude (VWFA Kuala Lumpur, 2011), To The Memory of Sin (West Gallery, 2010), Black Water Cross (West Gallery, 2009) and Hint:Eye (West Gallery, 2008). He has also participated in numerous group shows such as Ma’Arteng Malabon (Pescadores, 2010), Enemy (Paseo Gallery, 2010), A Thousand Times Yes (Manila Contemporary, 2010), 2009 Figuration Now (Paseo Gallery, 2009), Seeing You, Seeing Me [Contemporary Portraiture] (Manila Contemporary, 2009), Bayan ni Nanding (Manila Contemporary, 2009), and “O” (Pablo Gallery, 2007).
MM Yu (b. 1978) took her fine arts education at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where she majored in painting. She received the coveted CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 2009, the Ateneo Art Award in 2007 and was published as the cover art for Playing with Fire- Stories from the Pacific Rim. During and especially after college, Yu was part of numerous exhibitions, with an average of
five per year. Her works have been displayed in Australia, Malaysia, USA, Hawaii and across the Philippines. In 2010, she took part in several international exhibitions, including Bastards of Misinterpretation- Doing Time on Filipino Time at the Freies Museum in Berlin and the Inversion of the Ideal at the Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill in Graz, Austria.
Costantino Zicarelli (b. 1984) graduated from the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design, major in Advertising in 2005. In the span of five years he has accumulated seven solo exhibitions in Metro Manila, the most recent being The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (Art Informal, 2009) and we are the kids that your parents warned you about (Art Informal, 2010) which
displayed his artistic ambidexterity in drawing, painting and installation. He is also known for his conceptual shows, notably his annual solo exhibition in his private residence: I’m with stupid/I’m not with stupid (2007) and HELL (2009), as well as collaborative and sometimes performative projects-exhibitions from The Suarelli Brothers have nothing to do with each other in Manila to World one minutes in Beijing. Selected group exhibitions include Forever and ever and ever and ever (VWFA SG), 2nd Inauguration (Finale Art File, Manila) and Flippin’ out: Manila to Williamsburg (Goliath Art Space, Brooklyn).