Before devoting himself full-time into painting, Jose Johann L. Bitancor has been a seasoned Visualizer/Graphic designer in the Philippines. As a designer, his practice ranged from exhibition designs to Advertising and Promotional materials for several Communications and Marketing Firms.
Upon his migration to the U.S. in 2003, he sought to further increase his knowledge and enrolled at the University of Memphis in 2004, during which he was also granted a scholarship at the Memphis College of Art in 2006. Very recently, his longtime passion for sculpture produced several works in wood. Coupled with relentless experimentation with materials, his works now include textural abstractions based on everyday lifeâ€™s experiences.
A graduate of Fine Arts from Far Eastern University in 1996, Bitancor has exhibited his works in 50th Manila F.A.M.E. International-October 2009, World Trade Center, Manila, Philippines, Fiesta Resort Guam, Tumon Guam-November 12- 14, 2009 and Art in the Park, Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village Makati-Feb. 27, 2010 among others.
He was an active member of the Baler Art Group and 901 Creatives.com based in Memphis Tennessee.
Art in the Park. February 27, 2010. 2pm to 11pm. Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City. The art fair will feature works by Balerian brothers Jeho and Johann Bitancor.
Korea-Philippine Art Exhibit 2010. GSIS Museo ng Sining, Pasay City. Exhibit opening on February 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM. Among the Philippine artists who will have their artworks in the exhibit are Roy Buen and Vincent Christopher Gonzales from Baler.
For the exhibit, the siege of Baler is chosen because of its impact in the life of the people of Baler. A major area of the Bulwagan simulates the Baler church interior where the action took place. A looped version of the documentary film on the siege of Baler entitled Los Ultimos de Filipinos is screened on a set schedule everyday of the exhibit.
The exhibit also presents the community of Ilongot through vintage photographs of this fast vanishing traditions.
A special segment of the exhibit focuses on the various creative ways where Baler is depicted in art. A formal presentation, this section features diverse artworks that portray musings on Baler by artists from the UP College of Fine Arts like Leo Abaya and Denes Dasco. The installative sitework of Junyee uses coco coir and other materials extracted from the coconut tree, thus providing an apt preview of the current state of industries in Baler. (http://www.upd.edu.ph/~updinfo/whatsup/)
Vargas Collects History. “To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth, the University of the Philippines Jorge B. Vargas Museum presents a satellite exhibition that creates a dialogue with Bulwagan ng Dangal’s exhibition on President Manuel L. Quezon and his origins, the humble town of Baler, and explores the history of the collecting practice of Vargas.” Memorabilia Exhibition opens February 23 at the 3F Galleries of The Vargas Museum (http://www.upd.edu.ph/~updinfo/whatsup/)
BUNGA – TAMA ’09, the Tupada Action and Media Art 6th Tupada International Visual Performance Festival, kicks off on December 7, 2009 at the Samba-Likhaan, Quezon City. The annual live art event will commence with a performance from Bumbo Villanueva and an art talk/discussions of art practices by foreign participants. The next day, December 8, TAMA ’09 goes to the Ateneo Art Gallery for a short workshop/symposium, while December 9 brings the event to the Jorge B. Vargas Museum in UP Diliman. Performances by local and international artists will be held right after forums on live art practice for the three consecutive days.
Baler, Aurora hosts this year’s provincial leg from December 10 to 13, with artist talks, video presentations, workshops and performances at the Museo ng Baler and Ermita Park. Yuan Mor ‘O Ocampo, pioneering organizer of live art festival PIPAF, will host the artist discussion. True to Tupada Action and Media Art’s thrust for grassroots art education by siting performance in public space, there will be plenty of indoor, outdoor and even beachside performances for the duration of TAMA ’09. Continue reading BUNGA – The 6th Tupada International Visual Performance Festival→
Narito ang ilang mga larawan kuha sa art exhibit ni Mam Rose Querijero o Tya Rosa na ginanap mula October 10 hanggang 20 sa ilalim ng bahay ni Doña Aurora Quezon sa harapan ng Simbahan ng Baler. Si Tya Rosa ay ang kasalukuyang High School Social Studies Supervisor ng DepEd Aurora at maliban sa pagpipinta siya rin ay isang manunulat, makata, historian, at guro sa kolehiyo.
Jeho Bitancor’s “unBOUNDed” Will be on view until September 18, 2009 at blanc Makati. blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. For more information, please call or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.blanc.ph, www.blancartspace.multiply.com
by Jeho Bitancor
How does space as a phenomenon translate to embodied articulations of personal and social significance?
Referencing my condition as a migrant, I had to grapple with this problematic and contemplate on other questions whether the space to locate our bodies constricting or liberating or both? If so, how does it manifest? Is it of our own choosing and creation, or is it imposed and inherited?
My inquiry was triggered by the tension I had to negotiate as a transient body constantly relocating itself, from the “periphery” to the “center”, and from the west coast to Midwest to east coast in barely two years. This would mean adapting to new circumstances and unfamiliar grounds. Or better yet, enduring/enjoying shifting working conditions; from a huge garage space in California, to a freezing open patio in Memphis, to a claustrophobic basement apartment in Jersey City, and finally to a decent studio space in the suburbs of Central New Jersey.
It is while working in a spare space in Jersey City measuring less than 7 X 5 ft in floor area that I have come to question the nature of my existence. Does the space I occupy define me or is it in defining myself that I inhabited it? Similarly, is the decision to be â€œinâ€ the space and adhere to the condition it entails a result of my own volition alone or a product of inherited values historically ingrained within my psyche? It can be both in my case for there are a number of reasons that may be politically in/correct or even romantic. It can be the notion of growing artistically/ intellectually and recognizing my battle as a post-colonial subject, while at the same time grazing at my enemyâ€™s pasture for which I am not yet guilty of.
For this exhibition, I have focused on subjects that are apparently social in context and navigating through issues that affect me. For me, there is no dividing line clearly delineating the personal to societal. I believe that personal experiences transcend to if not a direct result of the workings of society.
Age-old issues of vulnerability, conformity, dislocation, bondage, greed, identity and struggle are presented in various reconfigurations and re-contextualization. Utilizing as a device objects that contain figures or figures that resemble objects, the works allude to feelings of entrapment, enclosure and imprisonment. Others served as shelter and recluse, echoing the duality and manifold definition of inhabiting and identifying with a space.
Street art or art on the street? As part of the celebration of Baler 400 and the Baler Fiesta 2009, the Baler Artists Community aka BAC and the Dimalangat Artists Community, are having an art exhibit on the street of Baler. The paintings can be seen along San Luis Street, in front of the Post Office and PAGASA. It started on August 13 and will run until August 19. You’re all invited to walk by. If you can’t, just browse these pictures:
Baler, a quaint town in the heart of Aurora, will open its doors to the nation for the celebration of its town fiesta, culminated by a zarzuela titled Baler ng Puso Ko on Aug. 12-15 at the Baler Sports Complex, with the gala performance to be staged on the last day.
The zarzuela, featuring the libretto of Isagani Cruz and the original music composition of Lutgardo Labad, is a creative merging of fact and fiction.
In his playwrightâ€™s notes, Mr. Cruz refers to Baler ng Puso Ko as a work of speculative theater, which is to theater what speculative fiction is to literature. “[This] is my attempt to create an alternate history, with mythological characters changing what we know to be true. In a magical realist country like the Philippines, history is merely a pale imitation of literature,” he said.
I was at the rehearsal last night at the Baler Sports Complex and from the few numbers I have seen, I believe it would be quite an experience for the local audience. This is the first time that a play like this would be staged in Aurora so don’t miss it. There are also local talents in the cast. Balerian Metz Espinosa is also with the production team. The play will have four stagings starting tonight up to Saturday, August 15.