Culture

ALT Philippines 2020 Makes a Case for Modern Art

The pieces explored thoughts on what it's like to be human in the age of smartphones.
ALT Philippines 2020 Makes a Case for Modern Art

As history would show, no revolutionary movement in art has ever been made without meeting its fair (or unfair) share of criticisms. When the impressionists first started dabbling with pointillism, apologists of what was considered academic art were quick to chastise the likes of Monet and Degas for their experimental works. And it’s practically the same case with cubism, surrealism, dadaism, and all the other -isms in art history.

Ugly, meaningless, too political, or “not art”—these are the same kinds of feedback that the conceptual pieces of modern art today receive. And yet despite the conservative backlash, the local modern art scene continues to boom, with the likes of Art Fair PH receiving hundreds of visitors from different parts of Asia every year.

Enter ALT Philippines 2020: The Art Show Reframedan event that promised to reimagine and explore the ways in which we view art.

The exhibit featured an extensive selection of paintings, sculptures, and installation pieces unlike those we see at the average museum. They're immersive and engaging in ways that still lifes and portraits from old masters can never be. We took particular notice of the piece made by artist Derek Tumala, who’s known to play with light as his primary medium and whose work often takes cues from science fiction.

Derek Tumala’s “Pure Impermanence” is a 10-channel video in portrait orientation that mirrors how we view images on our mobile phones. According to the artist, it represents the endless cycle of experience and image-making through a network of fleeting connections.

“Take Instagram for example. We keep scrolling and scrolling and we get bombarded with fleeting images that fascinate us, yet we don’t understand. People have their own interpretations of the images we post, just like how we view art,” Tumala said of his work, which he mentioned takes inspiration from the teachings of Buddhism and how it looks at the beauty of the temporary.

Artist Derek Tumala with Smart Communications President Al Panlilio

Tumala’s work was a collaborative project with Smart Communications, the telecom company that served as one of the event’s hosts. “We want our customers to live the life they want, including the kind of life fueled by art," Smart President Al Panlilio said during the launch. “By supporting contemporary Filipino artists and bringing them closer to the community, we are also enabling them to go out of their comfort zones and inspire others to do the same.”

Aside from providing the space for artists to express themselves, Smart also offered its loyal subscribers the chance to score event passes through a Facebook contest.

In keeping with the event's theme, Smart is also gearing up for more experiences that will help its subscribers reimagine their lives and bring them closer to their passions. Moving out of the confines of network and data connection, it's stepping up to provide more opportunities for richer moments through events such as ALT Philippines 2020.

Follow Smart on Facebook to learn more.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Smart.