Restraints on our movement caused by the pandemic’s health and safety responses have led to varying levels of mental health issues.
A group of young minds sought to break free from the chains, so to speak, by unleashing their creativity through “Galaw! Galaw!” an ongoing digital exhibit that reflects the people’s desire to be released from the walls built by Covid-19.
It is a call for movement — for government to speed up on its strategies, and on us, as individuals, to rise up from stupor and move, whether by simple activity or seeking ways to grow within a restrictive situation.
We share a glimpse of this online gallery spearheaded by creative director, photographer and College of St. Benilde (CSB) Digital Filmmaking student Lem Atienza that also features pieces from the “Human Leather” and “Penetration” collections of contemporary fashion designer and CSB Fashion Design and Merchandising alum Kelvin Morales.
“‘Galaw! Galaw!’ is about the craving of human bodies to be released from the walls the lockdown has built,” Atienza tells Daily Tribune. “As a photographer and filmmaker, I’ve always associated candidness and movements in my works. When I collaborated and met with other creatives, we had to flesh out the thematic statement of ‘Having a new beginning for Filipino creatives through art and healing,’ but then, we wondered, how can we have a new beginning if we don’t move or do something? How can we incorporate my creative vision for this project without compromising the diversity of our artistic styles? As student-artists, it feels like the opportunity for us to shine and create art has been taken away by the pandemic. We’ve been stagnant and constrained inside a box.
These thoughts and questions, together with our collective experiences during the lockdown, led us to the conception of Galaw! Galaw!”
The 21-year-old photographer collaborated with student-artists across arts schools in the metro to put up the display: Jheco Lorica of the Far Eastern University (FEU), Ikatlo Olis from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Lorenz Rigonan of the University of the Philippines (UP), Joshua Baldomero of the University of Santo Thomas (UST) and Lem, a third-year digital film student at De La Salle-CSB.
“The overall art-making sessions and production of the photos took us almost two months to finally release,” Atienza said. “The paintings are from Ikatlo Olis (Kumawala Kung Mawala, 2021), a Fine Arts major from TUP, Jheco Lorica (Ahon, 2021), an Architecture student from FEU and Lorenz Rigonan (Blue Washes, 2021), a Fine Arts major from UP. The digital illustrations for the project were also done by Lorenz. Hand-made accessories for the photos were from Joshua Baldomero (owner of CraftStudioPH), a Fine Arts student from UST.”
Because he leans toward the arts and fashion, Atienza also reached out to a fashion designer. “Kelvin Morales is a young, contemporary and experimental Filipino fashion designer who focuses on artistic narratives, peculiar forms and avant-garde designs in clothing. I felt that his current collection, the Human Leather FW2021, was suitable for this project. I reached out to him and he let me shoot pieces from his finished collection. According to his website, the collection stems from his curiosity of the human flesh, pondering, ‘What if the human skin can be used as material for clothing without the judgmental social hiss on cannibalism? What would it look like in the modern day? How would it feel?’”
“Galaw! Galaw!” Atienza adds, is “a visual reminder on how the Filipino creatives and the Philippine government should move during these trying times. Stagnancy and remaining inside the walls are our greatest enemies.”
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