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Art Underground Manila

"Niwa" by Red Salonga is a profound exploration of serenity, weaving together themes of meditation, labor, and tranquility. Stemming from the personal longing for the presence of his grandfather and beloved dog Kumo, Salonga and his artworks delve into the cathartic journey and attainment of quietude. Niwa, the Japanese term for "pure place", and Kumo, for "cloud," imbue the artwork with layers of contemplation as the artist portrays the subjects' heads as ethereal clouds. This dual imagery encapsulates a delicate balance - the freedom from earthly burdens evoked by serene clouds and the melancholy of solitude.
At the heart of the exhibition is the metaphorical act of cultivating a garden, symbolizing both a meditative practice and a coping mechanism. The meticulous care given to shaping perfect ellipses mirrors the pursuit of equilibrium and the embrace of life's imperfections, echoing the essence of the "wabi-sabi" philosophy. This ancient Japanese concept celebrates the beauty unveiled in impermanence and imperfection, resonating deeply with Salonga's minimalist aesthetic.
Salonga and his artworks invite the viewers to discover solace in the simplicity of mindful labor and the acceptance of life's fleeting nature. It stands as a testament to human resilience, depicting how one can nurture inner peace amidst life's inevitable trials and tribulations, a profound reflection on the enduring quest for harmony and composure in an ever-changing world.

Write-up by Deseree Mapandi

June 7, 2024
May 25, 2024

Red Salonga


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