(SPOT.ph) If you could go back in time and change something about your life, what would it be? Would it be that day you chose your course or your university, or both? Would it be that moment you said "no" to the love of your life? Would it be that morning you slept in instead of going to class? We've seen it in movies, we've read about it in books, and—most of all—we've learned it in real life: Our decisions, no matter how small, have a huge effect on what we eventually become.
"When I think about what's happening now, whatever it is, I constantly think 'How did we get here? Bakit tayo ganito?' You have to go back to history to be able to answer your questions. Or sometimes, you have more questions, so you look back," says Liv Vinluan about her interest in creating works of art that are inspired by past events. As one of the featured artists for Art Fair Philippines 2019 from February 22 to 24 at The Link in Makati City, she intends to display a 10-meter roll of vellum paper that’s joined at the edges, then held up by stilts and suspended by strings to make it appear like it’s floating.
Putting together a never-ending story
It may be a bit hard to imagine right now, but that’s because Vinluan plans to make the work more about the experience—encouraging you to really go there and see for yourself what it’s all about.
"It's a long, long, long endless kind of work. I was thinking about an unraveling. And I find it poetic that when you wound up something, it unravels in the end."
"It all started with the form, actually. It's a long, long, long endless kind of work. I was thinking about an unraveling. And I find it poetic that when you wound up something, it unravels in the end," she explains about the inspiration behind her work in an interview with SPOT.ph. As in her previous works, "Swan Song Part One" (2016, West Gallery) and "Tenebrae" (2016, Finale Art File), she plays around with the capacity of paper to be folded, pleated, or rolled to create a three-dimensional effect. But her work for the fair, titled "Nung Gambalain 'Yung Sayawan," is a completely different story.
For one thing, it will be five times the size of her past projects. Besides that, it revolves around a theme that’s more abstract than narrative-driven. "Cariño Brutal" (2015, Finale Art File), for example, was a long roll of paper with vignettes that you could follow from left to right—depicting a cause-and-effect chain of events, but also a simultaneous story. "For that, it was a specific narrative," the artist recalls. There's a woman free-falling into a marsh filled with crocodiles. There's a couple about to bathe in a pond as a friar looks out from behind the trees. There's an Archangel waging a war against Lucifer.
"The thing about those works was there was always a beginning, there was always an end. You know where it started, you know where it ends. For ["Nung Gambalain 'Yung Sayawan"], I wanted something that is endless, then [I'd] let it join together as one whole. It's very [aligned] with history because it repeats itself. The way it's installed is [an allusion] to how history repeats itself; we make the same mistakes over and over again," Vinluan explains.