Close to Home: A Memory’s Invitation to Find Tenderness in Chaos

In a world that often glorifies order and neatness, Filipino visual artist Tintin Lontoc’s works in Close to Home challenge us to embrace solace amidst the messiness of existence. Their artistic practice is deeply rooted in an exploration of the mundane and a quest to find beauty and warmth in the everyday—a visual pull into the conscious present.

Lontoc elevates the mundane through their quietly bright and illustrative works on canvas, transforming the objects and scenes into vessels of emotional resonance. This vivid introspection was perfected in their three-part series entitled “Patient, Ordinary Things” where the warm and earthy shades that encompass the plant pots, resting cat, and oranges protrude in a patient beckoning. Moreover, their “At the Table” similarly radiate the same humble waiting and discovery, where the trinkets pivot like anecdotal characters in Lontoc’s use of defined chromic planar palettes and illustrative depictions. In its principal outlook the works from their first solo exhibition built both a timeline and a place, with the acrylic paintings on canvas appearing as puzzle pieces of a story and a memory of a consistently adapting abode and gently anchors the viewers to a particular emotion and time.

Much like memories, Lontoc perceives the nuances of the everyday things as reminders—the time that passed, the colors that surround the souvenirs of change, and the comfort of knowing that certain items will never be at the same place for a long time. This exhibition appears as an invitation itself, both to snippets of their idea of home, and to cultivate a mindset for the present through its tiniest intricacies. Close to Home narrates through a domiciliary faux-genre storyline, and reminds us that there is profound tenderness among the disheveled sheets, purring companions, and little variegations of the leaves that all eventually coalesce to a place we can call home.

Notes by Grace Micah Oreiro