Jared Yokte: Art In the Era of the One Percent



(Last of Three parts)

Some 60 illustrations representing Hayop are situated as walls in a frame by frame presentation greets the viewer. A recurring scene for Yokte who has lived in vibrant cultural cities of Davao, Vigan and now based in Tarlac. An allegory of the archrivals dogs and cats, Yokte often witnesses the fight between them. How the dog would and could defeat the cat as many ways as to skin it. How the dog always wins not by the show of force but by outsmarting it. Done in firm impressionist inkblots these sketches documents for Yokte certain outdoor behavior and inherent character of each domestic creature. Only artists like Yokte can see beauty in the ordinary squabble as such. Painters Ang Kiukok, Danny Dalena, and Onib Olmedo have immortalized daily occurrence as such dogs and cats before him.

In his book Art Power (2009) art critic Boris Groys presents that art either as commodity in the art market or as a political tool for the realization of a vision for the people. Much of what are is produced today is for the galleries and commission-based auction. Not many are producing artworks for the maturity of our consciousness, or expressions of our dreams and aspirations.

Yokte applies his realist language to an installation work Those Leading a happy Life and Those Fighting a Battle to Survive Have Many Things in Common, some 120 figurines are cast in resin. In whatever situation or class you are in life, everyone is fighting their own some kind of battle. As humans we are expected to be kinder than necessary. Showing how humanity can be configured added to the visual impact of the multitude in the curation is commendable.    

Groys defines new Realism as reality as the sum of necessitates and constraints that do not allow us to do what we would like to do or to live as we would like to live. Art manifests what is often lacking in society. Compared to other community of artists who practiced outside Manila like Angono, Bulacan, Iloilo, and Cebu, to be an artist in Tarlac is doubly discriminated by the lack of government support for the arts and the need for private initiatives for legitimate arts paces to showcase art.

Bukal is a kind of revenge against all these mundane circumstances surrounding these artists. Herrera, Ramos and Yokte are stating their artistic claim to survive for other fellow Tarlac artists and the belief that there is such a person. As Bukal presents what is lacking or not normally found in the current contemporary art scene, their art may not match your décor in your living room. They disturb your peace and enable you to appreciate art on a higher social context.

So the next time you come to Tarlac you will stay a little longer. 

No comments: