Sino-Filipino: Three Visions




Ang Kiukok, Lao Lianben, Charlie Co

In its traditional definition, Vision is about the power of seeing the unknown or the future. It is in the realm of imagination that artists partake of freely, while discerning which aspect of what they see should be presented to the public. For here lies the responsibility of the visionary… that the realities and truths they present hold some meaning for the majority.

As artist-visionaries, Ang Kiukok, Lao Lianben and Charlie Co’s visions are totally in-sync with the present times. Spanning three generations, these artists present starkly different visions which, in an intriguing manner, reflect three viewpoints of seeing and approaching the changes in our speed-filled, cathartically changing world. All three artists paint from the eye of imagination. Though highly subjective and caught in their own worlds, they traverse a universal and timeless theme of man’s personal search and journey from struggle to transcendence vis-à-vis his relationship to the world.

Ang Kiukok in his paintings contains pain, loneliness, and despair. He chronicles and freezes a part of the exterior world that mirrors the internal. Ang’s angst speaks of the human spirit caught in the cathartic implosion of energies, into the destructive pathos of the dark night of the soul. Charlie Co brings a more personal and subjective iconography to this exhibition. He points a finger backward into the subconscious, as though to tell us, that all we despair about and see happening in the world today stems from our own dislocation from our spirits and souls. On the opposite trajectory is Lao Lianben creating the counterbalance. Against Ang and Co’s extremely violent, figurative iconographies, his abstract minimalist works bridge the space of both the spiritual process and the inner self. Lao’s paintings transport us to another dimension, away from the noise and angry energies of the exterior world. In Lao’s silence, Ang’s screaming is healed, and Co’s salvation found.

Together, they present our varied states of being and awareness. Their works challenge us to see other aspects of realities that can affirm our fears, raise our hopes and move us towards our own inner awareness of a collective unconscious rife with archetypal images, versus peace and transcendence.


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