BEDKO: Art and COVID

Highly acclaimed visual artist, Edbon Sevilleno, shocks the public with his out of this world creative concept for his show at the opening of DASUN, a group exhibition at the Art District in Mandalagan, Bacolod City. This exhibition is also in celebration of the 30th year of Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference or VIVA ExCon, the Visayas-wide biennale which started in 1990.

Bed of Dreams

These past few months of quarantine, Maestro Edbon, had kept snapshots on his phone (and in his head) of his daughters lying in their bedrooms while browsing through their smartphones. An image or habit that has become a norm in the time of quarantine, hence the inspiration for the show’s title: BEDKO.

From that imagery, it dawned on him that when one is in isolation, the mind of a human being never wants to be isolated or restrained. It craves to imagine, it continues to create, it wants to communicate. It wants to travel to places. Places and universes even the physical body couldn’t wander about.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the hardest and city borders were controlled, we paused, some stopped, and some unfortunately succumbed to the virus. It shocked humanity. It brought changes, very drastic changes in our jobs, our plans, our ongoing activities—our dreams. No matter what manner of coping one did, it is important that we have reacted; and, whether we reacted well or not, here’s hoping that one did what one had to do.

The Assemblage

At the centre of Edbon Sevilleno’s The Black Room / Studio 57, is the exhibit’s star, the “bed of dreams” (or bed of ideas, howsoever you want to interpret it). Surrounding the bed are different works from past to present: The Obreros Series, Collages and Montages, Kalye Art Series, and new works and installations conceived during the quarantine period.

Crazy Poor Asians

The “Obreros: Mga Balatyagun para sa Mamumugon” is featured in commemoration of its first launch on May 1, 2010 (Labor Day). A brilliant way to revisit the show from ten years ago which paid tribute to the farmers and their everyday struggles. After over a decade, let us ask ourselves what has changed in the plight of our farmers? Are they still living in poverty while the hacienderos have become crazier and richer?

Lagaw-lagaw, Pinta-pinta

Edbon Sevilleno is known for his Kalye Art. He is always inspired in the exploration of the everyday life on the streets or kalye, be it at the Bacolod Public Plaza, Binondo St. in Manila, or some spice market in the Emirates. Included in this series are paintings of houses from the ’30s and how different they look at the present time. It’s interesting to know that the wooden framings used in these paintings are remnants from the same subjects/houses.

The new installations are inspired by the coronavirus quarantine protocols. Liquor bans, lockdowns and police/military visibility on checkpoints, border controls, are all evident on these works. What’s exciting is the artist’s 57-page coffee table book that is still in progress. It’s called, “Riit”, which can be translated as something eerie or spooky.

Visit Edbon Sevilleno’s BEDKO: Sadto|Subong|Kag Dasun Exhibition at The Black Room / Studio 57, Art District, Mandalagan, Bacolod City. The exhibit runs from November 6, 2020 – January 6, 2021.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdbonSevillenoArt

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