When fantasy & nostalgia meet, wistful exchanges happen. Galerie Stephanie present the works of Aldy Aguirre, Alver de Ocampo, Emman Acasio, Genavee Lazaro and Joar Songcuya in a fanciful intersection of dreams and memory.

“Whimsical” is how gallerists and collectors often call a branch of contemporary art which became more prevalent in the early 1990s and has taken a foothold in the local art scene.  The first wave of artists often focused on characters inspired by Japanese manga and anime, localized of course and adapted to local issues and tastes.  Since then, the term has evolved to characterize other artworks, such as the sfumato landscapes of Aldy Aguirre, Alver de Ocampo, and Joar Songcuya; or the hyperrealist chimeras of Emman Acasio; or even take on new mediums such as the ceramic works of Genavee Lazaro. 

Wistful Exchanges brings together their works as the five artists use the lens of fantasy, at first glance, to seemingly escape reality, but at closer reading, connect us with our own nostalgic memories, hopes, and dreams – elements which make us truly alive.

Aldy Aguirre is a freelance artist and illustrator whose published works have been awarded in ecognized locally by the Philippine Board on Books for the Young People and National Book Development Board; and abroad by ILUSTRARTE in Castelo Branco, Portugal and Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations.  He works mostly in watercolor and gouache and has been exhibiting with various local and international galleries since 2010.  His works are wispy and dreamlike, and often combine childhood elements with clouds.

Alver de Ocampo primarily works using charcoal and does portraits and other commissioned works through his own online enterprise.  His paintings often deal with soft, patterned landscapes with a narrative element of flight.

Joar Songcuya is a Marine Engineer and a self-taught artist who has traveled to 85 countries in his decade at sea. His art is a documentation of his life at sea using subjects such as marine landscape, boats, depicted with a combination of naif and impressionistic techniques, and waves, made more alive with sfumato.  He has had three solo exhibitions, and has been a featured artist of the 2020 Viva Excon Visayan Biennale. 

Emman Acasio is a full-time painter whose realist works compound plants, coral, and animal, particularly endangered endemic Philippine fauna, and has exhibited consistently on environmental themes like deforestation, marine pollution, and climate change.  His works often are purely of nature, devoid of human elements, providing an Edenic outlook to raw nature; highlighting the responsibility of humanity as stewards of creation. 

Genavee Lazaro is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman who majored in sculpture. Although based in Laguna, she continues to participate in various group exhibits like those in Eskinita Art Gallery, Kaida Contemporary, Boston Gallery and in Galerie Stephanie.  Her works for this exhibit feature cacti of the Lophophora genus, personified and in a state of immersion in the universe at large, probably alluding to the heighted states of awareness, or mystical trip, often presumably induced by peyote cactus used by some shamanic cultures of South America.

curated by Ricky Francisco