June 18, 2024

Beauty Arts

The Arts Authority

Carlos Quijon Jr. on Imelda Cajipe Endaya

Carlos Quijon Jr. on Imelda Cajipe Endaya

Imelda Cajipe Endaya is a feminist pioneer. Her inventive exercise is inflected by group organizing she assisted to found KASIBULAN, a feminist arts business concentrated on “crafts that are the common area of women,” in 1987, and Pananaw, an important arts journal very first published in 1997. Her get the job done is dependent on a keen appreciation of social difficulties and postcolonial politics as recognized as a result of the lens of womanhood. Curated by Lara Acuin and Con Cabrera, the the latest retrospective at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, “Imelda Cajipe Endaya: Refusal and Hope,” offered the kaleidoscopic array of the artist’s oeuvre—from early prints (chine collé, embossed, and image transfer), to textile operates, to substantial-scale oil paintings incorporating products this kind of as sawali: strips of bamboo woven to generate architectural fixtures in the Philippine tropics. When Cajipe Endaya narrates historic and artwork-historic activities, she prioritizes the encounter of womanhood. For illustration, in the initially room of the gallery, the web-site-unique set up Kapatiran ng mga Lakambining Maybahay Redux (Sisterhood of Nurturing Chieftains Redux), 2022, was an altar to the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of Filipino groundbreaking figures. The altar, adorned with kitchen area ornaments, showcases icons of saints with indigenous tattoos.

If craft is the “domain of gals,” Cajipe Endaya employs it to hassle the discourse of mastery typically accorded male practitioners in artwork background. “Conversations on the Spoliarium and Women’s Perform,” 2004, consisted of collages of silk-display prints of Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, 1884, one of the finest-known operates of Philippine colonial painting. The prints had been placed facet by aspect with visuals of females artists, artworks by girls, uncovered textiles and styles, and other motifs that derail the classical macho mood of Luna’s painting. Luna is an excellent intertext in this get the job done. A single of the most vital Filipino painters, he is also notorious for the 1892 murder of his wife and mom-in-legislation in a in good shape of jealousy.

In the 9-element oil portray, May well bukas pa, inay (There Is Even now Tomorrow, Mom), 1982, a girl dried her eyes against a publish-nuclear-war landscape. Several figures—including the child clinging to her—resemble miasmic clouds, appearing to soften or blow absent. Leafless tree limbs punctuate the central panel, exactly where the deep-blue sky is tinged with noxious ochers. These themes ended up expressed even extra overtly in the tempera-on-paper performs Protest vs. Bataan Nuclear Plant 1 and 2, 1984. These clearly show a girl carrying a baby though flexing her fist, which is inscribed Female Electrical power CAN Quit THE NUCLEAR PLANT. (Conceived in response to the 1973 oil crisis in the Philippines, the Bataan Nuclear Electric power Plant was a single of Ferdinand Marcos’s significant tasks throughout his dictatorship it was left unfinished owing to security fears and corruption.)

In the set up The Spouse Is a DH, 1995, Cajipe Endaya allowed a glimpse into the everyday living of a Filipina domestic helper (DH), a migrant woman laborer who will work as a maid or nanny abroad. The get the job done is the artist’s response to the tragic fate of domestic helpers, like Flor Contemplacion, who was executed in Singapore in 1995, and Sarah Balabagan, who that very same yr was convicted of murdering an employer who had tried using to rape her in the United Arab Emirates. Cajipe Endaya offers an open up suitcase with limbs attached—a hand holding a cleansing cloth, a fist against a piece of regular Filipiniana scarf, a foot on a coconut husk utilised to polish floors. “Imelda Cajipe Endaya: Refusal and Hope” showcased an critical Filipina artist who has regularly engaged with the urgencies of her time and refused the conventions of wonderful art in favor of an art of political potency.