“That’s the beauty of our downfalls and our struggles. We pause. We rest. We hear. We realize. We see clearly beyond the limits of our sight.”
Thirty-three framed mixed media works comprised the second solo exhibit of visual artist Kristine Lim at Manila Hotel. Many of the pieces for the show, called “Soar,” has the Philippine Eagle as the main image.
Ironically, Lim’s inspiration for the series came at a low point in her life.
“I felt my life was in a series of falling-of-the-cliff kind of circumstances, when falling seemed like to never end,” she says. “That’s the beauty of our downfalls and our struggles. We pause. We rest. We hear. We realize. We see clearly beyond the limits of our sight.”
In her moments of falling, she says she was “soaring the highest because I knew God was above, beneath, and surrounding me… sweeping me up and gliding me on His wings, His presence assured me that no matter what, I am safe and free.”
In her works, Lim uses a technique of combining a textured ground with layers of transparent metallic bronze and gold colored glazes over the graphite pentimenti, or under drawings. She then occasionally adds details like straight gold lines, reminiscent of her graphic design practice, and small, shaped mirrors that serve as illumination and reflection.
Picking the powerful, critically-endangered animal, of course, reinforces the show’s theme. The bird is a reminder of both how blessed we are with natural resources, and how we need rightful stewardship in keeping the balance.
As a symbol, it is emblematic of both the potential of Filipinos as a people, and the complicated societal imbalances we face because of our colonial baggage in all aspects of culture, politics, and economy. In its solitary appearance in all the works, the artist seems to also imply the need to be in our own space, to reflect, and to have an honest appraisal and reckoning with ourselves.
To see the solitary eagle soaring in the vast immensity of sky which Lim often leaves bare in her works, we are reminded that it is not by the eagle’s efforts that it glides across the sky, but by the invisible updrafts of air that support it and lift it up. In the mysteries of life, we know by heart that what we cannot see is as important as what we can, and oftentimes, even more so.
The show, Lim points out, is not just her story or personal reflection. “It’s everyone’s story that presents who our Creator truly is that we can only discern when we allow ourselves to,” she explains. “‘Soar’ depicts His immeasurable power and might. ‘Soar’ embodies His perfect love that envelopes us.”
Presented by Art Lounge Manila, the exhibition is located at the lobby lounge of The Manila Hotel. The show will run from October 1 to 30, 2021. Proceeds of the Closing Auction will go to Malasakit Para Sa Bayan Foundation Inc.
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