ARCHITECTURE alumnus Roberto Chabet has made his first attempt at digital installation in the art exhibit,Tabo, which opened at the Lopez Memorial Museum in Pasig City last Nov. 10.

A tribute to the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal, the exhibit was named after the first chapter of El Filibusterismo.

Footage of the Pasig River runs on several TV screens in the exhibit hall, providing the viewer a feel of being on board the steamship Tabo, on whose deck the colorful characters of Rizal’s novel are introduced.

The only human element in the hall is the voice of a man reciting the novel’s first chapter. Chabet’s installation art thereby combines video and audio, enhancing the realism of the experience.

Digital artist Pablo Biglang-awa also showcases his works in D-I-Y Chabet, which consists of three of digitalized figures of Chabet’s sculptures exhibited in the previous years.

Biglang-awa shows how these models were made step-by-step. “Pier and Ocean” consists of digitalized Kendo planks assembled in front of carbon steel. The middle slide, “Sitting, Standing, Lying, Walking,” is made up of rigid-bodied, bean-like structures compressed to disclose the shapes in Chabet’s piece. The shapes then collapse after a few minutes, suggesting dynamics. “Boat” depicts a pinewood timber perpendicular to a metal sheet. Later in the slide, animated pieces of wooden frames are dropped on the floor.

Chabet, widely considered as the father of conceptual art in the Philippines, and Biglang-awa usually stay away from visual art stereotypes and attempt to mix diverse media to come up with intriguing installations, which have received both praise and criticism in the art scene. A.A. Dimatera

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