The High Art of Recycling: Recyclables by Ronald Ventura
Two years ago, Taatu started talking about saving and greening the planet earth. I was quite impressed that her school started inculcating this consciousness that early (she was in nursery at that time - never too early to start I would say!). Every now and then, she would talk about recycling and making use of throw-away objects - which she does in her own little way, like making use of old boxes and papers and creating what-nots from them, though many times in the process, she would generate more recyclables, leaving behind a mound of mess in the drawing room! (She happily claims she belongs to the messy team in the house, while I, on the other hand, belong to the clean-up brigade).
When I told her that I'd be going to an exhibit of artworks from recycled items, she excitedly said she would go along. So off we went on a wet Saturday afternoon to Ronald Ventura's Recyclables at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. We managed to catch the latter part of the opening day's walk-through and followed the throng of Ventura fans around, and listened in to the short Q&A with the artist himself. I couldn't catch much of what he said - he was very soft-spoken (and looking shy, and doesn't seem to have the quirkiness quite common among artists of his caliber! In a way, it was quite refreshing to see an acclaimed artist looking like an everyday person, at least that day!). While the artist himself spoke softly, his art, however, did much of the talking - and delivered the message on the need to recycle loud and clear.
Ventura is a leading artist not just in Philippines but throughout South East Asia. One of his artworks apparently sold off for a million dollars - a record for a contemporary artist! No less than the New York Times featured Ventura in an article last year:
Here's a sampler of the exhibit:
|The biggest draw in the collection, partly made of cast paper - sold at SGD $175,000!|
|The artist used these scraps as molds|
|Is that a bird? a cloud? a brocolli? Taatu's favorite among those on exhibit :-)|
|Part of the 'Into the Woods' series|
|It's true now, more than ever|
We don't need to look far back in time to be reminded of the impact of global warming (New York is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy). Everywhere and at ever closer intervals, we hear news about 'natural' catastrophes. We never know for sure how 'natural' these things are. But what's for sure is that man wittingly or unwittingly contribute to these ever more frequent disturbances that our generation is facing, globally. It is more than about time to start doing something that can help slow down (hopefully!) the impact of the worsening climate. Recycling I think is the easiest and more sustainable way of doing one's share. And of course I am sooo grateful to Taatu's school for helping to ingrain environmental consciousness early on. Now, if only the school could also teach the art of tidying up so that I won't forever be on the clean-up team, I'd be on brocolli cloud 9!
The show is on at the scenic Singapore Tyler Print Institute (41 Robertson Quay) until Dec 15. STPI is overlooking the Singapore river and the colorful bridge painted by another famous Pinoy artist (Pacita Abad, may she rest in peace). I wanted to take a picture of the bridge, but it was raining at that time. Well, that leaves me one reason to go back to Robertson Walk sometime soon, doesn't it?