HANDS ON: Touch, Engage, Create

Association of Pinoyprintmakers Annual Exhibition



The Cultural Center of the Philippines


Exhibit duration: 20 June to 11 August 2019
Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino (3F Hallway Gallery)
Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery)
Opening Reception: 20 June, Thursday, 6pm


In printmaking, interaction that make use of the senses other than sight are indicative of the process itself: touch is deployed to ascertain the surface of paper, one checks out the smell if the ink can still be used, one “listens” to how the ink sounds when applying with a brayer, thereby deciding if the thickness of the ink is appropriate enough. During the creative process, interactivity is key. Yet, most of the time, the finished artwork is to be displayed and thus the highlighted sense is that of sight. The supremacy of looking is what is questioned and disrupted in the works of the Association of Pinoyprintmakers’ 2019 exhibition. With the title Hands On: Touch, Engage, Create, the works here tell the viewer that tactility is not just a basic premise of creative generation, but a requirement of its “completion.” The works here are not inert, to just be glanced upon. The participating printmakers have rendered works that ask the viewers to explore further with their touch, with their interaction. The audience is crucial to the process and completes the art work itself. You are no longer just looking at art. You are part of the art. This diminishes the power of looking, the power of the gaze which has been so central in many artworks as objects of ritual (be it cultural or market forces). When art is “holy,” you are not supposed to touch. Art is always appreciated from a distance. This exhibition is to task gaze as secondary. This time, art can be literally brought closer to you.

Jose Santos Ardivilla