Clairvoyant / 2010 / oil on paper / 60x45 cm


The Test

After an interlude of several years, Troy Ignacio’s third solo exhibition marks his official reintroduction into the Manila art scene. In Kahig, meaning ‘to scratch’, Ignacio endeavors to cover more socially-concerned ideas while engaging in a more figurative practice that employs his usual smoky technique.

Kahig is the artist’s reaction to people’s immediate acquiescence of media, trends and norms. The accretion of an unquestioning attitude, Ignacio posits, veils people’s vision and casts them into a shadowy colorless existence. The artist asks of us to scratch onto this state of haziness, to challenge surface values, to arrive at a more lucid position. His images, while literal, comment on apathy, illusory romanticizations and obdurate assertions to remain in the realm of self-involved ambiguity.

To precisely denote the meaning behind each piece would be adversative in an exhibition which criticizes the spoon-fed, wherein the artist negates the idea that direct consumption could equate into clarity of mind. As such, it becomes a test for whomever brings one of these works into his or her private realm and for the works themselves—shall it be a mere decoration, an accessory blurred amongst other accessories, an accent that ironically is ultimately meant to be numbed, to blend in? Or shall it act as a visual cue—an aide memoire that scratches upon its owner at every glance, one that possibly demands ‘question!’, ‘speculate!’, ‘think!’?

It is a challenge not uncommon to any work of art that goes beyond its surface appearance although certainly it is one of particular relevance to socially-concerned themes. As Ignacio reenters the art scene, like every artist, he tests himself. Kahig signals a latest vestige, a signage as he moves, interrogates and evolves.

By: Clarissa Chikiamco