The Finite exhibition at Galerie Stephanie is a continuing journal of Emman Acasio’s meditation on current Philippine environmental issues. As a follow through of his first solo show Stories from Home, the contemporary visual artist recalibrates his iterations of thriving tableaus of flora and fauna by affixing images of the most recent Philippine natural disasters as static and strategic graphic cores. From these, Acasio invites the audience to experience the spatial potential and the artificial realization of the images’ flourishment or decay through Augmented Reality.

Acasio toils on a variety of materials and surfaces for the Finite exhibition, encouraged and expanded by the guidance of one of the popular Environmental Principles that most agencies, conservation groups, and civic organizations have now properly adapted into their practices: Ours is a finite earth. Mostly attributed from writings of radical ecologists and biologists such as Barry Commoner of the United States, the Environmental Principles as texts of instruction reverberate a universality which may also be conversely read and sieved through the anecdotes shared among most world faiths and derived from ancient doctrines: The care of our surroundings and of others is a personal and a transversal obligation.

As a cascade from Stories from Home in creating condensed graphic worlds of Philippine endemic species – rendered as plump and proud inhabitants – Acasio inversely initiates the Finite project by ways and appearances of subtraction. The first encounter is a presentation of realistic images of skulls, flat and otherwise, enthusing the atmosphere of excavated pasts or a previsioned doomsday. Depicted as barren and sullied in the stale setting of a gallery, the skulls become centerpoints for pictorial growth and melisma through experiential and technologically-aided intervention. The mediation of Augmented Reality can be read as a double-edged gesture of unease: We might just be able to experience the natural environment through virtual capability, desensitizing ourselves that this is the only way of encounter, or we can still feel and be enveloped by true nature by salvaging it now.

Emman Acasio (b. 1984) graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design with a major in Advertising. He was a consistent high ranker in the Metrobank Arts and Design Excellence (MADE) Awards in 2014, 2016, and 2017. His two solo shows at Galerie Stephanie were preceded by his participation in group exhibitions in galleries and art institutions in Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Finite opens on 2 March 2018 at 6pm and will run until 17 March 2019 at Galerie Stephanie, located at the 4th Floor, East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong. For inquiries, please email or call 940-5726.

by Randel C. Urbano