Handshakes, Statements, & Thoughts • Carlo Villafuerte

Jan 8 to Jan 30, 2016 • Video Room

This solo exhibition by Baguio-born visual artist Carlo Villafuerte is comprised of works produced using hand-sewn fabric. Piecing together recollections and impressions of this northern city and the fleeting presences that populate its streets, Villafuerte offers a different view of Baguio as place, destination and home. In his images, the undercurrents of transience, flight and mortality distinctly make his reconfigurations of the local landscape, caught between urban blight and the persistence of nature endangered.

According to the artist, these works are explorations of identity, dwelling on themes and things forgotten or overseen in the past. Villafuerte makes a conscious turn away from the anthropological and the ethnographic in representing the city, allowing his personal mythologies and memories instead to surface.

The fabric narratives are detailed and painstakingly put together. As a visual artist, Villafuerte works with fabric art, reworking used thread, cloth and small objects into new compositions. Textile patterns and hand-sewn lines are not only decorative and structural elements, but also part of the symbols and images that he uses. First producing functional pieces, Villafuerte eventually made works that were featured in group exhibitions at the Victor Oteyza Community Arts Space (VOCAS) in 2010, the 2013 Singapore Biennale, and the 2014 exhibit titled ‘Markets of Resistance’ held in Baguio.

—Lisa Ito