MUSINGS with the Muses




The Cultural Center of the Philippines with support from Avellana Art Gallery


Opening reception: 3 July, Friday, 6pm
Artist talk: 14 July, Tuesday, 3pm

Exhibit duration: 3 to 23 July 2015 

Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery) and Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery)




In 2014, Jesus Lloren was selected as featured designer for the Red Charity Gala. For this collection, he chose to explore a path that brings together fashion and art. His distinct minimalism and impeccable tailoring become catalysts for forty new designs to emulate a concept, motif, or style with a Filipino artist. The resulting collection may be eclectic as it reflects the phenomenon of “complex multifariousness” characteristic of contemporary art. Still, they are bound by Lloren’s signature style.  

Lloren’s proposition for each dress in relation to an artwork varies. One approach involves translating formal elements of line, light, color, and texture into the language of fashion.  For example, layers of translucent fabric achieve the effect of Fernando Amorsolo’s shimmering light, Romulo Olazo’s diaphanous patterns, Vicente Manansala’s transparent cubism, and Sanso’s mysterious landscapes. Silhouettes of the dress simulate the sinuous lines of Botong Francisco or the ragged scavenger that is BenCab’s Sabel.Another approach employs recreating pictorial motifs, patterns, or compositions inspired by specific works.  Alfonso Ossorio’s surreal assemblages are recalled in a tailored dress with heavily beaded embellishments. The linear compositions of Lee Aguinaldo and Arturo Luz compliment Lloren’s structured forms. Feminine draped forms are accented with the abstract expressionist lines of Fernando Zobel and Jose Joya, Nena Saguil’s Landscapes of the Mind, and H.R. Ocampo’s biomorphic patterns.  

Entitled Musings with the Muses, the collection is a tribute to Philippine visual art, yet it remains to be Lloren’s authentic statement. Each dress bears his mastery of structure, balance, and restraint – the designer’s style, that differentiating and impalpable quality that is distinctly his own.
Access is a series of photographs by Jo Ann Bitagcol which was directly inspired by and literally created with Jesus “Jojie” Lloren’s piece Pananaw. The series showcases Bitagcol’s eye for shape, movement, and color through a wall installation of over a hundred images. Shot along Roxas Blvd., the photographs that make up Access were generated in one go and were printed raw and without any digital editing.
The layers that make up Pananaw are simulated by the rows of blues, whites, and browns, and the interplay of light and shadow within them. The cut-outs play with the viewer’s sense of space and perspective while the photos are hung as if being dried inside a dark room. Bitagcol hints at location and subject matter while also teasing her audience with glimpses of thread, lining, a piece of cloud, or a portion of a hand.
Access creates a circle around the process of both Lloren and Bitagcol. The two-dimensional paintings that sparked that inspiration for the series of garments that make upMusings with the Muses are given further life by the photographs in Access. The cycle of inspiration is continued by going back to the flat dimension of images, but this time with a certain lightness and with a renewed perspective. 
Photos are by Francisco Cabuena and Noeny Gatarin