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Mugna Art Gallery is a platform dedicated to promoting local culture and fostering creativity through supporting emerging and undiscovered artists, offering a space for artistic expression and interaction with the community and wider audiences.

July 29, 2023 to September 3, 2023

Kaleidoscopia

Seeing Through The Artist's Lens
Rey Labarento | Portia Nemeño | Samnathis | Sandy Dupio | Jude Millares
Mugna Gallery
Valencia, Negros Oriental, Philippines

About

As colors come together in the visible spectrum, we see various shades and hues that give image and identity to everything from nature to objects, and countless in-betweens.

In order to visualize this, let’s take a look at the kaleidoscope: an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (originally glass, but nowadays plastic material), found at the end of mirror plates, the shifting of which provides endless patterns and images. We can liken people to the kaleidoscope, and the light that passes through it, as life itself. Although fundamentally the same, we all experience life differently, and it in turn makes each of us unique and valuable as humans.

Given this proposition, five artists who are part of Art Moves PH: Rey Labarento, Portia Nemeño, Samnathis, Sandy Dupio, and Jude Millares come together as individual kaleidoscopes, showcasing unique talents, techniques, and approaches to artmaking. Each one represents a color, not only as a visual cue, but also for all that it stands for, such as emotions, and a personal view of the world.

Nemeño challenges red: fiery through love, anger and passion. With her depictions of women and nature, she harnesses this color like a sword of truth. On the other end, Samnathis taps comfort through warm yellows that float a fluffy cloud in the middle. Surrounded by his sigils and signs, he builds a bridge between life and evolution. With three round canvases prominent with blues, Dupio recalls the process of grief and sorrow. Traversing the sea and the sky are animal companions who have moved on to the spiritual realm, and the works are both an elegy to memories and a longing for closure. Taking a chill stance is Labarento’s orange people, going with the flow and ebb of daily life. Lastly, Millares illuminates the path of optimism through his two structured paintings in green, each a gentle reminder to conquer and overcome.

The five collaborate on an interactive installation: an object inspired by the ark of the covenant – a symbol of divine presence and protection – together with a video that when experienced together, immerses the viewer in the richness of human experiences through multicolored forms and shapes. This is a sacred and precious creation that is a metaphor for the diversity and harmony of the artists.

Overall, we are presented with a multifaceted, yet singular exhibition, with elements that flow into each other and create endless moments through color. Kaleidoscopia, seeing through the artist’s lens – this is both a dream and a call to action – to see beyond limitations, and to push forward in the direction that art moves.

Lxx, July 2023

Rey Labarento (b.1995) captures the unpretentious gestures, mundane daily routines, and serene beauty of Valencia, Negros Oriental, through his easily recognizable depictions of its people and scenery. Utilizing a diverse range of materials, including paper, and terracotta, his signature embellishment of outlining thread highlights relatable scenes that elevate the everyday. Labarento has exhibited locally in Dumaguete City — with his first solo exhibition at Shelter — as well as domestically in Iloilo City, and Cebu City in the Visayas, and in Makati City in Luzon. He also was part of Mugna Gallery’s presentation at Visayas Art Fair 2022. He lives and works in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Portia Nemeño (b.1993) has always been drawn to the world of visual art. With a skillset ranging from the traditional to the digital, she continuously studies the beauty of human anatomy. Highlighting the female form with intricately designed linework, she constantly looks for ways to instill depth and evoke elegance in her body of work. A self-taught artist, Nemeño was born in Mindanao, but is now based in Bacong, Negros Oriental. Together with like-minded artists from Negros, she founded Art Moves PH.

Samnathis (b.1995) channels creativity through the primal language of signs and symbols. From his exposure to sacred mysteries and divine forms from his days as an altar boy, to his own discoveries and realizations of the power of iconography, he has become a seeker of meaning, a collector of signs, and a weaver of connections. Harnessing a power that liberates or enslaves, that reveals and obscures, he creates art that expresses wonder and reverence towards the mysteries that unlock the secrets of life and the universe. Samnathis was born and raised in Dumaguete, where he practices art full time.

Sandy Dupio (b.1996) also known as setsunachiii, draws inspiration from nature, emotion, and personal experiences — while utilizing vibrant colors and a blend of various influences. After leaving her job as a librarian in Manila, she found herself back in her element, rekindling her passion for the arts. Embracing the opportunity, she transitioned into remote, freelance work to allow her to explore her artistic pursuits in traditional and digital media. A self-taught artist, Dupio lives and works in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Jude Millares (b.1996) is a painter who invites viewers to reflect on their experiences by connecting with his art on a deeper level. After exploring his own life and personal journeys, he transcended from making works that had no real meaning into those that tell compelling stories, straddling colorful abstract compositions and emotional figurative works. His recent solo exhibition “Journals,” illustrates this evolution, showcasing the artist’s inner world where each piece tells a unique story, and shared with viewers to be one with his journey. Millares lives and works in Dumaguete City.

As colors come together in the visible spectrum, we see various shades and hues that give image and identity to everything from nature to objects, and countless in-betweens.

In order to visualize this, let’s take a look at the kaleidoscope: an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (originally glass, but nowadays plastic material), found at the end of mirror plates, the shifting of which provides endless patterns and images. We can liken people to the kaleidoscope, and the light that passes through it, as life itself. Although fundamentally the same, we all experience life differently, and it in turn makes each of us unique and valuable as humans.

Given this proposition, five artists who are part of Art Moves PH: Rey Labarento, Portia Nemeño, Samnathis, Sandy Dupio, and Jude Millares come together as individual kaleidoscopes, showcasing unique talents, techniques, and approaches to artmaking. Each one represents a color, not only as a visual cue, but also for all that it stands for, such as emotions, and a personal view of the world.

Nemeño challenges red: fiery through love, anger and passion. With her depictions of women and nature, she harnesses this color like a sword of truth. On the other end, Samnathis taps comfort through warm yellows that float a fluffy cloud in the middle. Surrounded by his sigils and signs, he builds a bridge between life and evolution. With three round canvases prominent with blues, Dupio recalls the process of grief and sorrow. Traversing the sea and the sky are animal companions who have moved on to the spiritual realm, and the works are both an elegy to memories and a longing for closure. Taking a chill stance is Labarento’s orange people, going with the flow and ebb of daily life. Lastly, Millares illuminates the path of optimism through his two structured paintings in green, each a gentle reminder to conquer and overcome.

The five collaborate on an interactive installation: an object inspired by the ark of the covenant – a symbol of divine presence and protection – together with a video that when experienced together, immerses the viewer in the richness of human experiences through multicolored forms and shapes. This is a sacred and precious creation that is a metaphor for the diversity and harmony of the artists.

Overall, we are presented with a multifaceted, yet singular exhibition, with elements that flow into each other and create endless moments through color. Kaleidoscopia, seeing through the artist’s lens – this is both a dream and a call to action – to see beyond limitations, and to push forward in the direction that art moves.

Lxx, July 2023

Rey Labarento (b.1995) captures the unpretentious gestures, mundane daily routines, and serene beauty of Valencia, Negros Oriental, through his easily recognizable depictions of its people and scenery. Utilizing a diverse range of materials, including paper, and terracotta, his signature embellishment of outlining thread highlights relatable scenes that elevate the everyday. Labarento has exhibited locally in Dumaguete City — with his first solo exhibition at Shelter — as well as domestically in Iloilo City, and Cebu City in the Visayas, and in Makati City in Luzon. He also was part of Mugna Gallery’s presentation at Visayas Art Fair 2022. He lives and works in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Portia Nemeño (b.1993) has always been drawn to the world of visual art. With a skillset ranging from the traditional to the digital, she continuously studies the beauty of human anatomy. Highlighting the female form with intricately designed linework, she constantly looks for ways to instill depth and evoke elegance in her body of work. A self-taught artist, Nemeño was born in Mindanao, but is now based in Bacong, Negros Oriental. Together with like-minded artists from Negros, she founded Art Moves PH.

Samnathis (b.1995) channels creativity through the primal language of signs and symbols. From his exposure to sacred mysteries and divine forms from his days as an altar boy, to his own discoveries and realizations of the power of iconography, he has become a seeker of meaning, a collector of signs, and a weaver of connections. Harnessing a power that liberates or enslaves, that reveals and obscures, he creates art that expresses wonder and reverence towards the mysteries that unlock the secrets of life and the universe. Samnathis was born and raised in Dumaguete, where he practices art full time.

Sandy Dupio (b.1996) also known as setsunachiii, draws inspiration from nature, emotion, and personal experiences — while utilizing vibrant colors and a blend of various influences. After leaving her job as a librarian in Manila, she found herself back in her element, rekindling her passion for the arts. Embracing the opportunity, she transitioned into remote, freelance work to allow her to explore her artistic pursuits in traditional and digital media. A self-taught artist, Dupio lives and works in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Jude Millares (b.1996) is a painter who invites viewers to reflect on their experiences by connecting with his art on a deeper level. After exploring his own life and personal journeys, he transcended from making works that had no real meaning into those that tell compelling stories, straddling colorful abstract compositions and emotional figurative works. His recent solo exhibition “Journals,” illustrates this evolution, showcasing the artist’s inner world where each piece tells a unique story, and shared with viewers to be one with his journey. Millares lives and works in Dumaguete City.

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