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ILOILO-BASED contemporary artist Allain Hablo’s works in steel are the focus of “Sacred Journey” — his third exhibition with Salcedo Private View which is ongoing until June 10.
Although he began his career as a figurative painter, Mr. Hablo began incorporating hardware into his practice over the past decade.
The exhibition’s 16 works are made using large stainless-steel sheets. Mr. Hablo uses everything from simple charcoal to welding techniques with industrial tools to cut and manipulate the material.
“Sinusunog ko sa uling. ’Yung pagkasunog depende sa amount ng uling at amount ng fire (I burn it on charcoal. The finish depends on the amount of charcoal and fire),” Mr. Hablo told BusinessWorld during the exhibition’s launch on May 28.
“The nature of stainless steel is ’pag nakaramdam ng heat bumabaluktot siya (The nature of stainless steel is that when it is exposed to heat, it distorts).”
Mr. Hablo also heats the sheets with a blowtorch, and then strikes the surface with a bolo (a jungle knife) for added texture. After one sheet is finished, he screws it on wood.
Comparing it to his previous body of work which included painting and the Japanese kintsugi method of repairing broken objects, he described that this series having made him brave while working on it.
“For a change…I see to it na everytime ‘pag may show ako na ibang style, at ibang medium to keep it interesting (For a change… I see to it that when I have a show, I present a different style and medium to keep it interesting),” Mr. Hablo said.
Mr. Hablo began in the art scene as a finalist at the Shell National Student Arts Competition (NSAC) in 1991. From there, he raised his artistic profile by taking part in and winning several major art competitions such as the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) Juror’s Choice award, the Metrobank Young Painters Annual Art Competition, and the Philippine Art Awards (PAA). He also received the prestigious Freeman Fellowship Award for an Asian Artist given by the Vermont Studio Center, USA.
“Sacred Journey” by Allain Hablo can be viewed until June 10 at Salcedo Auctions, NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Ave., Makati City. Follow @salcedoauctions on Instagram and Facebook for more updates. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman