An urgency persists in remembering. Wrestling with the impositions of the present, one turns to memory to relive and revisit what once was. In response to this yearning, Ambie Abaño’s latest exhibition Galimgim, a Filipino term for nostalgia, is a homage to the forgone.
Triggered by the trifles of every day, she assembles intimate and specific imageries from brief encounters with people and places. Fleeting moments and their sentiments become encased in mundane objects, re-emerging as jewels radiating with stories and meaning. A collection of reminiscences as a woman, particularly a Filipina, Abaño navigates through the vagaries of time and presents a very personal mirror to the transience of our being.
Wooden books, chopping boards, wooden ironing board, batibot chairs, and a repurposed sewing machine are filled with meticulously drawn engravings. Umbrellas, mantones and paper bear woodcut prints of lace and floral patterns. Romantic and delicate designs, illustrations and portraits haunting each object with residues and echoes of the old.
Aside from her objects, her fascination with the rain and stars further indulges the sense of nostalgia. The habitual process of printing on different grounds turns into a meditative experience – a rhythm of breaths and pauses with every line and dot, momentarily immersed with a time long gone.
Memories linger in order to ground the present. Abaño takes the gesture of engraving to immortalize and reconnect with an irrevocable past, a way of alleviating the ache that comes with the fear of forgetting and the undeniable truth of the temporary.
The exhibition opens with an artist reception on 8 August 2014, 6 pm, and will be on view until 29 August 2014.
Tin-aw Art Gallery is located at the Upper Ground Floor of .