Three Exhibits at West Gallery Champion Powerful Works by Five Women Artists

The shows run until March 24.


( West Gallery in Quezon City celebrates Women’s Month with three powerful shows by women artists. Isha Naguiat, Nicole Tee, Pin Calacal, Atsuko Yamagata, and Jel Suarez shed light on themes of home, belongingness, and a profound recognition of the past for the back-to-back-to-back exhibits running until March 24.


Home Making

For the main gallery’s group exhibition, artists Isha Naguiat, Nicole Tee, and Pin Calacal explore differing views on what constitutes a home—which is poles apart from the traditional concepts of motherhood and femininity.


Art by Isha Naguiat




In Naguiat’s three-dimensional installations of a house, such as “Bare Bones” and “Notes on Leaving,” she refers to a home as something emotionally charged. It is defined by the movement of its residents, either staying or leaving but always driven with nostalgia and the hope of returning.


Art by Nicole Tee


In Tee’s interpretation, mundane objects are turned into art pieces to depict homemaking as an act of defining oneself. This is apparent in the artist’s collaboration with her mother in “Mommy and Me,” where they attempt to embroider the exact image but with a different backside pattern—highlighting individuality through their own work.


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Art by Pin Calacal


Hair that's been shed, found objects, and paintings combine to build Calacal’s definition of what a home is. For her, it is through our ability to discard and re-shape fragments of ourselves that we are able to conclude who we are and where we come from—as opposed to having an external and tangible structure to call a home.



Japanese artist Atsuko Yamagata’s latest show, Belongingness, tackles issues of displacement and discovery. Man’s need to find his rightful place in the world is captured in the artist’s large works on paper, displayed in Gallery 4. These creations appear as if they are floating, which writer Dave Lock describes as “a flock of lost spirits in search of a new home.”


Art by Atsuko Yamagata




Perhaps, Yamagata’s motivation in depicting man’s search for belongingness is derived from her interactions with different cultures, resulting in the formation of bonds with various people when one can no longer recognize one’s origin and destination. Nevertheless, man’s search for kinship and affinity also forces upon him certain stereotypes, much like Yamagata’s sculptures encased in glass alluding to spirits captured in longing and despair.


Traces by Which We Remember

Collage artist Jel Suarez emerges with the concept of “involuntary remembering” in her latest show, Traces by Which We Remember. By using similar images in a repetitive manner but in different ways, she simulates the process of “virtual archaeological digging” that exists only through memory. For example, a black-and-white image of a landscape is expanded by pinning the image on a slab of marble with a similar texture, creating the illusion of enlarging the backdrop while shrinking the actual subject. In many ways, this is how we remember the past: Either too little or too much.



Art by Jel Suarez




Suarez remembers a childhood memory that might have triggered her fascination with building monuments through her art: She used to live near a construction site where she would gather stones and stack them together to form a signpost. This fragment of Suarez’s past now only lingers in her memory. It is proof that though we go through life always looking ahead, memories are always ready to resurface and serve a different purpose, exactly when we need them the most.



Home Making, Belongingness, and Traces by Which We Remember run until March 24 at West Gallery, 48 West Avenue, Quezon City. For more information, visit West Gallery's website.


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