They discover a thousand and one things. Some even find themselves.
Seven young artists from the University of the Philippines show their stirring take on what wandering, being lost, and subsequently found.
Their artistic interpretations of this state of “wanderlust”---or the strong desire to travel---are on display in the ongoing “Wander Lost” exhibit that runs until Feb.28 at the Republikha Art Gallery on E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City.
The featured artists include Karla Aggarao, Brisa Dominguez, Ian Fabro, Francis Natividad, Miguel Puyat, Camille Quintos, and Roman Soleño.
“I’ve always experienced wanderlust,” says 20-year-old Aggarao. “There’s a certain joy in being outside our comfort zone and experiencing new things, not only physically. I also get to travel with my mind.”
For Aggarao, wanderlust is a universal feeling which everyone experiences, feels, and sees, through various forms, even in dreams. Using mostly acrylic or ink, Aggarao’s artworks for “Wander Lost” accentuate her love for travel.
She migrated alone to the Philippines when she was 17. Living independently has taught her to vividly explore her imagination and discover herself more through art and words; she writes prose and poetry as well.
Aggarao says she admires the works of Ramona Dela Cruz-Gaston, Dave Lock, Jason Montinola, Katrina Pallon, Rodel Tapaya, and Ronald Ventura.
She recycled her room’s old door for her artwork, called “Bag of Thoughts.” She emphasized her expression of wanderlust by putting rusty objects onto it.
“The rust signifies a phase in my life when I used to feel stuck – immovable. It also reflects the controlled life in the city,” Dominguez explains.
She also incorporated a self-portrait on her old door. “In spite of getting lost, I know there will always be an open door for me,” she says.
She gets inspiration from the works of her father (who is also a painter) and those of artist Ling Quisumbing Ramillo.
Dominguez, an active member of the UP Artists Circle Sorority, teaches young natives of Mountain Province to paint murals.
Fabro’s contributions to “Wander Lost” center on how a person deals with exploring what’s beyond his comfort zone. “Overcoming doubt and fear is one of the hardest things to do – it limits me... (my desire for) experiencing and learning new things,” says the 19-year-old artist.
He admires the artworks of Victor Balanon, Alan Balisi, Dave Lock, and Onib Olmedo.
Natividad, 26, is fond of textured abstracts, assemblages, and black and white portraits. He extracts ideas from delving into culture and eccentric environments.
For his artwork “Again Hello Goodbye,” he used metal sheets as canvas. To convey his interpretation of wanderlust, he chose vibrant color schemes to illuminate his geographical, physical, and even spiritual personal and interpersonal wanderings.
“It represents long-lasting relationships and their imprints, which make me, as a wanderer, lust for them repeatedly,” Natividad points out.
This young artist is also into interior design, fashion, and jewellery. He is also currently affiliated with Artworx Studios in Cambodia.
He is inspired by the works of Santiago Bose, Benjie Cabangis, and Nestor Vinluan.
One of the youngest in the group at 19, Puyat likes working on found objects. In his artwork called “2200 Meter Mark,” he used a different medium – dust – to literally and figuratively illustrate the concept of leaving trails when a person travels.
He loves skateboarding and plans to incorporate this extreme sport into his art.
Puyat admires the works of Argie Bandoy, Bernardo Pacquing, and Ramillo.
Quintos, 27, abandoned the corporate world a few years ago to study painting in UP Diliman. Still in the process of finding her art’s direction and style, her current works, which are usually self-portraits, explore life, death, spirituality, and identity.
In “BLEH!,” a series of her self-portraits,Quintos tries to come up with something different.
“I feel like I’m having an artist’s block so I made something unusual,” she shares. “To get new ideas, I need to travel to new places, meet new people, learn new things, and have new experiences – just like wanderlust.”
She is influenced by the works of Christina Dy, who was also her former teacher.
Soleño thinks that wanderlust is similar to falling asleep – like a form of escapism. “When you’re sleeping, you don’t think about your problems,” he says.
The 19-year-old artist also plays the drums, and creates film projects.