Daniel dela Cruz & Max Balatbat
Oct 11 - Nov 02, 2013
Fabrik and Floren Gallery join forces to present a two man exhibition by leading FILIPINO sculptor Daniel dela Cruz and painter Max Balatbat, entitled DOS MAESTROS. This is the first major collaborative presentation of the two galleries. The exhibition opens on the11th of October through the 2nd of November, 2013 at Floren Gallery at 52 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan.
‘When the heart whispers’ is a series of new works by Daniel dela Cruz who has employed a highly personal language in the creation of his art to express ideas about identity, women and the body. Dela Cruz deliberately treats the subject of beauty not as a purely physical attribute, but also as a process of shaping one’s self. Mixing metals from copper to black chrome, his sculptural forms are fluid and moving, denoting not only the elemental nature of water, air and fire but also the movements of the spirit.
Of his works, the artist writes: “The most solemn promises, the deepest secrets and the most fervent prayers are the ones said in silence. There is power when one quietly breathes words into being and magic when these words emanate from within, unspoken and heard only by the soul. This introspection allows us to examine who we really are, away from the distractions of everyday life which drown, blind and deafen us from asking ourselves: Am I doing what I believe in? Is this who I truly am? Why must it be this way? Sometimes the right question is already the answer. Deep within ourselves, deep within our soul we will find the answers.”
In dialogue with dela Cruz’s works, Max Balatbat brings together a series of new paintings entitled “Balay’ anchored in his previous works. This recent production is a continuing revelation of territories and remembered spaces and their innate energies, stories of obscure lives, homes and the experiences of these people beyond the illicit economy of forbidden amatory pleasures they are associated with.
Infused narratives and reflections of prostitutes are focal in Max Balatbat’s work. More than just creative triggers and subjects, they significantly assume as an aide memoire in his recollection of his past and inward self and in his formation as an artist. These artworks represent his tearless empathy and avowals of his own inspired belief in the goodness and humanity of these tired souls despite the immediate prejudice and contempt that society places upon them.
By using the idiom of ‘balay’ or home as an aphoristic self reflection, Balatbat reconstructs and visualizes his ideas of the collectivity and such interesting relationships among these lowly lives. As he contemplates on such sense of place and the interior drama of these spaces, he is also reminded of a ‘hawla’ (cage) that has references to the expression ‘mga kalapating mababa ang lipad’ which literally means doves that fly low, an old fashion Filipino term for prostitutes and thus, how their homes can be such cages and prisons of a vicious cycle of desperation. Through his paintings, Balatbat informs us of an understanding of his artistic muses and the consistent creative personality that emanates from these subjects as well as his zeal for aesthetic refinement.
About the Artists
Renowned Filipino sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz took up sculpture when he turned 40, after a successful career in industrial design. With the freedom to explore his philosophy and craft, Daniel chose women and motherhood as his main themes. He developed techniques to work with his favorite material –brass – accented with other metals. All pieces are hand hammered, carved, welded and sculpted – no casts are made, and hence every piece is individual and unique. Daniel has held sold-out exhibitions in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Max Balatbat studied Architecture at the Far Eastern University in Manila in 1995. In 1997, he decided to take Fine Arts instead at the University of the East in Caloocan. He completed his degree in Fine Arts with a major in Advertising and was awarded as one of UE’s Exemplary Performance in Visual Arts. Balatbat has garnered major awards locally and internationally and has participated in several major international solo and group exhibitions in Vienna, London, Florence, Essen, The Hague, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul, Manila and Beijing.