The Cultural Center of the Philippines  


Opening reception : 4 November, Wednesday, 6pm
Art in Science, Science in Art - An Open Forum : 11 November, 2pm at the MKP Hall


Exhibit duration: 4 to 22 November 2015
Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery)



Posthumanism is an idealistic narrative of an alternative future where man triumphs over the limitations of biology through technology. It is a lens that can be used to analyze a future dominated by artificial life. In a posthuman future, the contrasts between the natural and artificial will diminish. More sophisticated forms of human enhancement may be achieved by tampering with biology and natural processes, invariably considered by critics as playing god.


Artist Yan Abeledo uses discarded tools from biotechnology laboratories to explore how content is created in the mind of the viewer through materiality. The art process for the pieces in the exhibit Man Made is modeled after the tissue culture practice—loosely appropriated and re-contextualized for art production: a“scaffold” that dictates the final shape of the grown tissue is designed (construction of base shape), it is covered with specialized nutritive substances that facilitates the adherence of the tissue (layering of microcrystalline wax), cells are seeded to form building blocks (attachment of micropipette tips), these cells then multiply and cover the surface of the scaffold (formation of sculptures), and once fully formed the grown organ can then be transplanted to a host (gallery installation). This expands the art historical frame of appropriation while venturing into science as a theme in contemporary art.


Abeledo’s artworks are created through a slow process of accumulation—closely following the natural process of biological development. This facet is accentuated through audience participation as they aid the “growth” of the installation. In the process, contaminations and mutations may occur, but such is the chaotic nature of life, even in the confines and control of a “scientific laboratory”.


Man Made exposes the increasing impact of biotechnology on human life by highlighting the boundaries between natural forms with artificial origins—mimicking human organs through the use of the same materials utilized in the study of life at the molecular level. (Yan Abeledo)