Dishing out aggressive art

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Monday, August 4, 2014

TUSLOD BUWA: A Cebuano phrase that literally means “dip in bubbles.” It is a genius culinary creation. The street food has become a favorite.

But long before this local delicacy existed, in the form of pig brains fried in oil, and became a cool dish, a discreet following of a group carrying the eponymous name had already existed, which was “hit by the taste” of the proverbial dip.

And just like tuslob buwa in its growing fame, the group “Tuslob Buwa” got bigger in time. Why, their progress as an art unit was polished by gradual development; it evolved since 2005—the year the original tuslob buwa started to fry downtown, in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City, to be exact.


Tuslob Buwa, viewed as a private joke among the members, is composed of Evan Gejec, Lucilo “Jojo” Sagayno and Ritchie Quijano; different artists with different perspectives, ideas, directions and purposes. Different strokes for different folks.

Somehow, in their exclusivity, the trio survived in the industry, thanks to their unwavering strengths—camaraderie and constant evolution, art wise.

Last June 10, they did it again; launched a non-mainstream exhibit spurred by the conviction of narrating the group’s tradition in a nutshell.

“Womb To Tomb,” the title of the art exhibit says it all.

While this is happening, a bunch of curious and not-so-curious heads are probably dunking puso into a wok of pan-fried pig brains, cholesterol and all, in a saturated bluish corner in the metro. The taste is exceptional.

Tuslob Buwa surfaces as exceptional also. It breaks the status quo; punches art in the face. It is angry art at its finest. A dash of cynicism springs out from the “Womb To Tomb” exhibit, but it’s maybe because the creators are infatuated with their art without flinching.

A total of 25 contemporary pieces sends off the message. Gejec brings into the canvas his orientation with wooden sculptures through 10 entries inspired by the solidity of three dimensional graphics.

Sagayno bleeds with abstraction with his 10 acrylic-based items clinging on the walls without inhibitions.

Meanwhile, Quijano demonstrates a contemporary interpretation of Saint Michael the Archangel via five angsty outputs depicting weapons in pen and ink.

These are individual takes of today’s art without boundaries and as how Gejec puts it, explanation depends on the viewers.

“Our paintings are not easy to market. We don’t mount a fare to impress, really. That’s how we have been since day one. Let’s put it this way: Be good to your art and art will be good to you. Be an artist, not a businessman,” was Quijano’s view.

“Don’t think of competition. Every artist’s rival is his own self,” Sagayno added.

Perhaps, just like tuslob buwa, only it’s not something edible, “Womb To Tomb” is a display of unformulated, non-conservative local art, defying the deafening dictates of the norms. Exhibit runs until Aug. 10 at Canvas Bistro Bar in Ayala Center Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 05, 2014.


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