Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

8/21/2008

Filling the Space

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Text by: Catherine Jao
Photos by: Carren Jao

The blanc compound located in the Shaw area seems emblematic of the Philippine alternative art scene today. It is found alongside the stream of everyday life, yet somehow away from it as well. Reached only through a narrow, almost unnoticeable passageway, one wouldn’t think to find a wide-open space just beyond that is at once serene yet vibrant.

The cool evening air served only to heighten the sense of serenity as one catches sight of the compound. One can’t help but breathe in deeply, as if to take in the atmosphere that lay just a few steps away. The gallery itself glowed warmly though its slatted gates; its welcoming air made more palpable through the caretaker who welcomed us into the gallery.

True to its name, blanc is a veritable blank canvas; white walls and minimalist surroundings serve to emphasize the featured artist’s work, rather than detract from it. “There is really nothing but space in blanc, but with the creations of our artists, the space becomes whole and complete,” says gallery owner Jay Amante. Indeed, the outrageous and compellingly grotesque works of Louie Cordero and Mariano Ching in Deathscream were shown to the best effect through well-placed frames, shelves, and lights.

In an adjacent area, blanc also serves as a home for artists through their Artists in Residence (AIR) program. What at first seems like a wall is actually two white panels, which pivot open to reveal the entranceway to the residence area. The luxury of having so much space thus fulfills Jay’s dream for “a more committed space where artists can stay and create, create and create, [where artists would have the freedom] to think of nothing else but their art.”

It is fitting then that their logo is that of a circle – simple, white, and plain. It is full of potential but essentially empty, needing the creations and creativity of the artists to complete it. This at once open and secluded area invites us to come in deeper, to take a longer look and reflect just awhile longer on what is laid out before us. And as we return to our bustling lives, we find that we are more than when we came in.

Visit the blanc compound:

Address: 359 Shaw Boulevard Interior, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City (map available at the website)

Directions: On Shaw Blvd. coming from Shangri-La, drives towards 9 de Pebrero. Right after the stoplight at 9 de Pebrero and Shaw, look to your right; watch out for a small eskinita right before the Shell Station. Your car won't look like it will fit, but it will. Big trucks are a different story.

(blanc Makati: 2E Crown Tower 107 H.V. dela Costa St. Salcedo Village, Makati City)

Telephone number: 752-0032; 0920-9276436

Website: www.blanc.ph

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