Salubayba plays with the phrase “sala sa Init, sala sa lamig”, a common Filipino saying that conveys ambivalence, unpredictability and indecision. This expression also alludes to the volatile environment of the country, both literally and figuratively: a tropical weather on the one hand, and on the other, a political culture sustained by accommodation and largesse.
Salubayba explores dualities and ironies in Philippine culture and contemporary society brought about by colonial mentality and the desire to create identity. He appropriates vernacular myths and local tradition as framework for historical narratives and as critique of the socio-political climate of the nation. The “Bayan ni Juan” series, inspired by the Filipino bayanihan practice, reflects on how people bear the burden of the current problems of the country and respond to issues of government corruption, cultural disembodiment and personal struggles. In his set of drawings called “Talking Heads”, he probes how people think. Inquiry into relationships is revealed in “Consociation” through the system of connections: on how people relate to each other in the vast network outside the realm of kinship. He further works on social commentary using folklore as metaphor through the wedding banquet of the tikbalang juxtaposed with the manipulated and re-animated videos of the Marcoses.
Don M. Salubayba (b. 1978) graduated at the Philippine High School for the Arts and obtained Fine Arts degree at the University of the Philippines. He received the Thirteen Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2009. He was awarded grants from the Asian Cultural Council to participate in a residency program at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, and at the International Studio, and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York City in 2004-2005, and an Artist Residency at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008. He has had exhibitions in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Vermont, USA and participated in the 2012 Kuandu Biennale. He won the Special Jury Prize Award and Voice Award at the Singapore Short Film Festival held at the Substation Art Center in Singapore for his animation piece, “A Not So Giant Story” in 2006. Don currently teaches at Philippine High School for the Arts and is an active member of Anino Shadowplay Collective.
October 23, 2013
G/F Lobby and West Wing Gallery
Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center
Roxas Avenue, UP Campus
1101 Quezon City, Philippines
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