A series of skyscapes is presented in Renz Baluyot’s “Awaiting”. The artist remembers Amado V. Hernandez’s “Isang Dipang Langit”, a poem written while Hernandez was imprisoned for his revolutionary writings. The poet writes, “And tomorrow, in this very place, I will see an arm’s length piece of the sky with no more tears, the golden sun of victory will shine.” In this time of uncertainty and grief, Baluyot’s “Awaiting” expresses how things are held together with the situation at hand: beneath these blue skies and golden rays of the sun are lives awaiting redemption.
Primarily working with themes on urban decay, Baluyot yields to the glorious scenes of the skies as seen from the few places he had access with like his home, studio, and the neighbouring areas; the pandemic had left the artist to be more focused in observing the transformation of these surroundings. Perhaps, we are able to view the same scenarios above us where there is only one sky.
Renz Baluyot (b. 1989, Saudi Arabia) graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, major in Painting. Through visual arts, he explores socio-political narratives that center on urban decay and studies how much of the disintegration (physical or otherwise) in urban cities are actual effects of imposed oppressive political and economic power. In portraying these issues, Baluyot examines the people’s reception to these subtle but punitive atrocities.
Baluyot recently won the Juror’s Choice Award of Merit at the 25th Philippine Art Awards (2020). He has completed artist residencies in Japan and the United States. He was one of the participating artists at the first Manila Biennale (2018) and has exhibited two one-person exhibitions at the UP Vargas Museum. Baluyot’s works have been exhibited in international stages in the United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
curated by Gwen Bautista