July 15th, 2011 – August 12th, 2011
“When We Were Kids” was group art show visually exploring children at play, power and poverty, Filipino artists Minette Mangahas, Christopher De Leon, and James Garcia, each created a series of work that vividly exposed the struggles that exist for third world and working class children in the Philippines and in the U.S.
“I grew up in Manila surrounded by waves of working children. They sold garlands of fragrant sampaguita flowers through the car window. They went door-to-door collecting newspaper for the paper-making factories. They sold sweets– ‘taho!’–duck eggs, nuts, and baskets in hand carts they pushed and pulled around city. And in between the hard work, they played. This series is about their play and those moments when they feel free.” Minette Lee Mangahas, artist, shares. In, “When We Were Kids“, Mangahas used minimum gestures to convey entire stories. Her intimate calligraphic ink and pencil drawings capture movement and emotion at moments of sheer rapture and destitution, a tribute to over 200 million child laborers around the world.
Christopher De Leon provided an honest series of work that transmitted feelings of nostalgia by tapping into his own childhood, revisiting his own memories in each painting. De Leon illustrated the familiar more universal moments of youthful imagination that are often interrupted by the realities of the world around us.
James Garcia blended abstract backgrounds and symbolic imagery in envisioning more playful, lucid environments for the urban Filipino youth that live the muted, depressed day to day of poverty. He told a story about these children that yearn for a more carefree and simpler life in a less hectic rural, provincial setting perhaps where island mythology and bigger than life gods play freely with them.
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