Thursday, April 2, 2009

THE BIG IDEA ] A great alternative to your next party's ice sculpture

Today in New York's Tyler Rollins Fine Art gallery, the Manila-based photographer Tom Epperson opens his first US solo exhibition billed 12 Below. It's a series of stunning images that involves different objects, from the legendary pilikmata ng kambing (you put it in the thing before you stick it...oh you know the drill, and that makes you legendary) to the iconic jolens of our childhood (toy marbles, not the Jolina doll), trapped in blocks of ice. It's both nostalgia and fear of a possible devastating future. The inspiration for the photographs was a documentary about the possibility of another Ice Age. What would happen if it were to occur in a few years? What objects would the next civilization find?

“I decided to focus my story on one family," Epperson explains in his artist's statement, "a Filipino family, and some of their most treasured belongings, most of which existed elsewhere, while some were uniquely inherent in the Philippines.” Frozen for Tom's camera include a fan old ladies bring to church (shown with rosary), a bag of daing, sampaguita flowers, the balisong, and a Pacquiao shirt.

12 Below is part of the gallery's continuing focus on Southeast Asian contemporary art. The painter Ronald Ventura will be showing his new works at Tyler Rollins in September.

Tom's frozen delights. Clockwise from top left: sampaguita lei, Pacquiao shirt and pilikmata ng kambing.


  1. surprised, i like the photos. but would like to see pilik mata ng kambing DEMo on how to use.

  2. Actually, I'm just guessing. My remembrance is from the night of Kris Aquino's televised confession of her battle royale with then-boyfriend Joey Marquez. My friend James and I decided to vigil in front of Cory's house in Times Street. While Jo-anne Maglipon was getting the scoop inside for Yes!, we were at the gate talking to one of their boys, a long lanky fortysomething man who spoke to us couple of badings about bolitas and the pilikmata ng kambing. I was, of course, kind of turned on. We didn't really care about Kris anymore, despite the fact that James and I were the only two vigil-ants on that street.

  3. Was that wax on top of the Manny Pacquiao shirt? It kind of remind me of Joseph Beuys' work. The only difference was that the works of Beuys were a lot more evocative, emotional, and less in-your-face.

  4. Medyo nadala nga ng concept, walang layers, its almost too easy. Which apparently is not good enough for your sensibilities Mr San Jose. I put it here because I thought it made pretty nice images.

    Keep replying. I like learning from snobs. Haha.

  5. There was no wax used at all. All of the objects were frozen in water no photoshop manipulation whatsoever.

  6. Hey dude, thanks for clearing that up.