The Power of Paper Takes the Spotlight at This Altro Mondo Exhibit

( It's one of those things you don't really think about, but probably can't live without. It comes in different forms and plays different functions: as money, tickets, books, newspapers, documents, the ever-indispensable tissue. Paper still plays a big role in each of our lives even in this digital age, and it's the inspiration behind Altro Mondo Creative Space’s latest exhibition, Paper Weight, which runs until August 12.

Paper Weight digs deep into how the exhibiting artists regard paper in their personal stories and experiences. It’s also tackled within the Filipino context, specifically on the connotative meaning of papel, which also translates to "role" or "part." The exhibit is a response to how society designates roles on individuals, creating a visual discourse on the power of paper.

"White Collar/Blue Collar I" by Gwen Bautista

"Claims" by Gwen Bautista

This can be seen in Gwen Bautista’s "White Collar/Blue Collar I" and "Claims," a couple of installations that reflect on her hurdles after filing an illegal dismissal case against her previous employer. She presents the settlement document as a framed piece with a few details stained with ink. These blotted-out parts, including the artist’s complete name, were transferred to molded pieces of plaster—material susceptible to breakingin an attempt to depict the everyman's fragile working conditions. 

"We’ve Got It All For You" by Roman Soleño

Details of "We've Got It All For You"
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In a commentary on capitalist consumerism and its negative effects on the environment, Roman Soleño uses recycled paperbags in a series of dioramas titled "We’ve Got It All For You." These are combined with seemingly mundane found objects, such as kids’ toys, a toothbrush, a mosquito coil, and other depictions of mass production, illustrating how dependent we are on material things. 

"Of Face Value" by Kat Grow

"Of Face Value," another interesting installation, shows a row of bottles containing stained tissue papers. This piece by Kat Grow explores how people put so much importance on objects, such as used tissue papers that she collected from her studio. Worth and worthlessness are further explored with labels of different denominations pasted on the small bottles.

Paper Weight also features the works of Faye Abantao, Krys Balmaceda, Abbey Batocabe, Mariano Batocabe, Pin Calacal, Raymond Carlos, Lui Gonzales, Efren Madlangsakay Jr., Miguel Puyat, Pam Quinto, and Chicco Ramos.

Paper Weight, along with Body of Evidence, Panglantaw, Remembering in Solace, and Renderings, runs until August 12 at 1159 Don Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City. For more information, visit Altro Mondo's website.

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