Tuesday, 25 May 2021

FLUX

EJ CABANGON

EJ CABANGON

19 Jun 2021

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25 May 2021

Exhibition Data:

About the Event:

FLUX & THE GREAT FORCE
Rebecca Grin
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word ‘flux’ as a flowing of fluid from the body or a continuous movement or passing by such as a stream. It also connotes change or a fluctuation. In metallurgy, a flux (derived from Latin fluxus meaning “flow”) is a chemical cleaning, or purifying agent. Reminiscent of such movement and connotation are the abducted series of new works by EJ Cabangon, a creative sequence the artist has continued to create and re-work in the last three years. Unwilling to accept the confines of space allocated to the mature audience, EJ Cabangon is known to share and depict early experiences of children and their undeniable recollection of toy characters. Wether they are heroes or villains in the stories they belong, we inevetiably attach an affinity to the personality that appear frequently in our games of play. When we play with characters like Huckleberry, Betty Boop and Yoda, and others - in all forms and shapes, as toddlers, we form relationships with such characters as we immerse ourselves in a dream of play, suffused with something our imagination holds close to our childhood memory, which remain in our pyche, in our élan vitale. In FLUX, familiar characters emerge, evoking memories such as the 1970’s cult movie Star Wars, that also hints at the beginning of the story of artificial intelligence as it unfolds before our very eyes, where robotic monsters and human-like machines cohabitate with us in our world. Fifty years hence, we observe a phenomena with more of our children confining themselves in rooms ablaze with computers and its blinding light, colours, jarring music and deafening sounds emanating from that same black mirror – but with more sophisticated digital games, social media and entertainment which have now seized our urban youth’s childhood by the neck. It has aggrandized, intensified, and amplified all experiences, where the real world and all that is natural is no longer a winning preference for our lifestyle. EJ Cabangon’s truth in FLUX is a sublime movement that catches a glimpse of what he perceives, alluding to the smelting of mores, scruples and ideals, specifically tackling and challenging yet another phenomenon: that is, the role of technology in the 21st century. Art indeed has a strange way of rearing its funny little head amidst universal confusion and pandemonium. The current pandemic is said to hold many a realization and we all find our own truth, as we burrow our heads in fear of a contagion. Cabangon interminably chooses to conceive a similitude of humanity’s dilemma, and very much relevant to the current world pandemic. Are we in fact undergoing a purifying juncture as we are forced in hiding, only to yearn for our freedom to claim back our real world in all of its natural beauty? Or do we choose to allow the ebb of our humanness to disappear into the callous world of artificial intelligence and destruction? As the world turns virtual, indeed, it begs the question - will we allow the cybernetic beings melt away our reality to exist as better human beings, or will we remain absolute and true, as technology encourages us to evolve into a different 21st century species? Perhaps it also hints at a paradox of complexity encouraging the freedom of our younger mind-frame, unfettered by collective thinking – the innate joy in behaving in one’s chosen own, and developing conscious democracies for greater space and cultures away from the detrimental vacuum of pervasive technology? FLUX invites viewers through the gateway of art, with the aim of a revelation, an understanding of what has transpired and can transpire – and perhaps, pave a way to a better tomorrow. With a seemingly lighthearted subject, EJ Cabangon is inclined to thrust such models from our childhood allowing us to deliberate on his works, as it flows away, and dissapears. Then again, it might be a fortuitous offer, a glimmer of hope, as he tickles our consciousness as it thaws and purifies itself, encouraging us to re- appear in all its natural splendour as we revert to the version of our true selves once again.