This exhibition by Le Giang is on view at 98B space, Manila, the Philippines, as part of Prod/Ponder program in Conscious Realities.
Le Giang’s current practice is based on the humankind’s non-existence and nature’s adaptation based on this absence as depicted in Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us. Fascinated by the idea of a Utopia without the human race, her works probe on nature’s possible modes of adjustment if humanity is suddenly taken out of the picture; what legacy would man leave behind and what species would advance.
For her residency at 98B COLLABoratory, Giang investigated the relationship between nature and man and the connections of raw materials and manmade materials. She also looked into the mystical objects in the Philippines, most especially the natural ones. She was intrigued by how these ancient myths are still prevalent even today. Interestingly, Giang was drawn to these realities: how people exploit raw materials from nature to serve as their protection and personal desires while natural disasters occur constantly in this country.
“Nostalgia is not the opposite of utopia, but, as a form of memory, always implicated, even productive in it.” – Andreas Huyssen, Memories of Utopia
NOSTALGIA FROM NATURE presents the sculptures as artefacts from her encounters in Mount Banahaw. Nuno sa Punso is an object that implores respect for the land from its people. Mutya – the spirit of nature’s light is a coconut shell without germination pores or commonly referred to as “blind coconuts.” This is considered as a valuable amulet or “anting-anting” for its specific location can only be revealed in one’s dreams. The posts are vestiges of a house ruined by a recent storm, found next to Banahaw’s Jesu Salem.
As theorist Ruth Levitas wrote “Representations of future utopias are always simultaneously dependent on the existing cultural resources.” The installations in the First United Building imply a Utopia or more accurately a heteroptopia, where realities are divergent and with no apparent connection, yet implying relics of correlations that have been cast and moulded through time.
98B’s Project and Research Residency is an independent residency program geared towards establishing a creative network. It endeavors to assist and collaborate with artists, gallery and art managers, cultural workers and curators in the course of their research, project, presentation or production. The program aims to build a meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange where an individual can explore his/her practice in a different environment with an uncommon set of resources. The residency is customized to their purposes, needs and requirements.
Le Giang’s residency and exhibition with 98B COLLABoratory is a ‘Prod/Ponder’ project, part of Conscious Realities, initiated and organised by San Art.