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Sunday, November 16, 2008

KAMUSMUSAN




KAMUSMUSAN
Norlie Meimban



Kamusmusan, Norlie Meimban’s sixth solo exhibition, opens at the WhiteBox Studio on November 21, 2008, Friday, at 6 PM.

Reminiscent of childhood games and reverie-misted adult remembrances, Meimban’s figurative paintings showcase children at vigorous play and in unguarded moments, gazing pensively with hopeful eyes or mischievously imagining cartoon characters. Drawing on his extensive experience in animation, the artist combines his impressionistic style with brisk brushstrokes of anatomy in action, most likely inspired by the early motion studies of Edveard Muybridge and Marcel Duchamp.

In Luksong Baka and Pitik Bulag, children painted in grayscale are combined with dynamic depictions of their playmates reduced to lines of continuous movement like those rendered in animation’s cel drawings. With one participant to the game fleshed out in black and white seemingly from fading memories, and the other rendered in bare lines that suggest action yet also imply invisibility, the viewer will pause to think—are there two individuals playing in each framed scenario, or is one a manufactured fantasy of the other?

It is also this predilection to flights of fancy and imagination that reverberate in Meimban’s other works, as in Happy Thought where a boy thinks up his own playmates in the image of cartoon characters familiar to any child who has ever set his eyes on early morning TV or mass merchandised kiddie products, or the hopeful look in the eyes of a little girl in Musmus whom we might surmise to be waiting for the arrival of someone special, like her father, with pasalubong or any treat from the store, no less.

As Meimban combines a sense of playful abandon with the timeless appeal of nostalgia, he brings forth a selection of images from our own Kamusmusan, our own childhood, when life was simpler, imaginations were untamed, colors were brighter, friends were closer, open spaces were wider and dreams were more likely to come true. The artist integrates concepts from his intensive understanding of animation into current art practice, merging movement, transformation and the combination of figures with surrounding space bounded by the canvas’ edges.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Norlie Meimban has participated in numerous local and international exhibitions, mounting collaborative efforts with FourArtGroup and Kulay Art Group which he leads as president. Kamusmusan is on exhibit until December 4, 2008. WhiteBox Studio is located at the Cubao Expo, Quezon City . For inquiries and other details of the exhibition, please contact the gallery at Mobile : 09279119528 and tel : (632) 4373839.


Kaye O’Yek

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