Thursday, April 5, 2018

Umbra + Penumbra

Kaida Contemporary presents Pinggot Zulueta's recent works in Umbra+Penumbra this Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 6PM. Zulueta plays on the familiar and the nostalgic as he presents monochromatic abstractions of mixed media, woodworks and assemblages. Found objects from his childhood countryside home make their way into his pieces, creating works that are partly autobiographical while touching on themes of attachment and abandonment, contrasting innocence with maturity, belongingness with alienation. Umbra+Penumbra is on show until May 25. Please come visit!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Ka.thar.sis Exhibition by Pinggot Zulueta
The Saturday Group Gallery, 4th level, East Wing,
Shangri-La Plaza 
9 December 2017, Opening Cocktail  6:00 pm

Purgation and purification – Catharsis, in its original Greek form, denotes a release of emotions. A metaphor coined by Aristotle, pertained to in the Poetics, Katharsis emerged following a comparison on the “tragedy on the mind of a spectator to the effect of a cathartic on the body”. Pinggot Zulueta further expanded on this idea in his latest exhibit, Ka.thar.sis,, through his thoughtful reflections on alienation, solitude and loss of identity.

Ka.thar.sis essentially presents itself a visual dialogue, wherein the artist, in a candid and refreshing manner, shares feelings of vulnerability particular to those who have ventured into new environments. Drawing from his experience moving back to Australia, Zulueta channelled his personal epiphanies on the existential crisis that comes with being far removed from the favoured and familiar, and the disquiet it triggers within one’s soul.

While the collection is distinct in its merit, the show serves as a sequel to his last show, “Incepto”. As the last collection touched upon his internal struggles, Zulueta further expanded on this concept and moved towards a more holistic and philosophical discussion on alienation and identity through the physical vehicle, the face.

Zulueta is no stranger to portraits being a seasoned photographer with a colorful career documenting the evolution of the Philippine art scene, however, in his paintings his approach towards portraits take in a more intimate dimension. Instead of zeroing in on his own representation of himself, he shares his reimagining’s of other people, to further build upon these themes.

In the pieces set to be exhibited, Zulueta shares a fascinating discourse on the capacities of the face. Through the silhouettes of the figure, the seductive chaos of colour and lines alludes to the inner turmoil within the subject. In removing traditional features of the face, he delved into the soul, sometimes in a mood of despondency but always looking at life with equal parts seriousness and absurdity. Furthermore, he elevated the face as a vehicle for communication and a reflection of physical, spiritual and artistic disposition. In ka.thar.sis., Zulueta highlights the duality of the face as he elevates its ability t both reveal and conceal.

In homage to the endless enchantment associated with the face and to further voice out the sophisticated angst within his works, he turned to the words of luminaries such as George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare, Bob Dylan, among other personalities that are similarly reflected on the complexities of life, to title his works, adding another aspect to the thought process within each piece and the ubiquitous quality of such ideas.

Above this, however, it is important to note that remaining true to the original concept of Catharsis, the ultimate aim of this emotional and spiritual purge is towards renewal and restoration. In Zulueta’s decision to bare the most personal and private battles, he serves as a mouthpiece for these universal struggles, highlighting that one must  embrace the dark night of the soul in order to summon rebirth. 
The exhibit runs until  December 30, 2017 at The Saturday Group Gallery 4th level, East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza, EDSA, Mandaluyong City.

Monday, June 12, 2017

About theExhibition

Aligned 2: Imperfect Balance, Abstractions and Assemblages

Opening Reception – 8 November 2016, Tuesday, 6PM

Exhibition runs until November 21, 2016

In Aligned 2:Imperfect Balance, Pinggot Zulueta and Demosthenes Campos explore themes of attachments, junctures, growth and expansion, with abstractions that rework images of mundane objects,reshaping them for visual expressions brought about by personal association and significance.
Zulueta draws from his recent experiences abroad and the memories triggered by going back to his childhood home as he seemingly recreates parts of a new sanctuary made easier for relocation. His pieces may be imagined as movable walls that suit his transient lifestyle as he shuttles between Manila and Sydney after living in Cambodia. Assemblages made with concrete mix, sand, old wood, and found objects are encased under portable recollections that may be flat-packed and shipped, to serve as repositories of one’s history elsewhere.
A fishing basket’s round bamboo cover, hand-made by the artist's father,is transformed into a native dream catcher. An old violin has played its Last Melody and is now embedded with discarded wood into cement and petrified for eternity.The artist’s own jacket is embellished with artificial flowers and a nest of dried twigs, breathed new life as Bird’s Sanctuary, while Keeping Faith bears religious objects such as rosaries and scapulars in coconut husks combined with mud from the earth, worked by man to appeal to the heavens.
An old carved chair back is presented as The King’s Throne as a testimony to power, authority and strength, balanced by the graceful swirls of a piece of crocheted fabric and the hardy, textured weave of a jute sack, bound together by abaca string. Flattened strips of canvas painted black serve as ground, which may be likened to an art practice or nameless vocation receding from one’s vision in reverence. As Zulueta fashions snippets of a past life with found objects,he transforms function and meaning through his calculated compositions, advancing stories that he has introduced in his previous exhibitions.

Campos, meanwhile, uses acid-bathed metal cuttings, juxtaposing them with fibers secured with tin, textured panels, grassy carpets, and bunches of cut wire that evince hope blossoming and persistent growth overcoming odds amid today's harsh social and political climate.

His Sibol series have wire cables opened up to resemble blooms with fine filaments installed above fleecy white clouds, the stuff of dreams, maybe even products of snow, smoke or a floating hydroponic garden. As artificial materials bring forth and nourish practically indestructible metal and plastic, he creates glimpses of a better and stronger future.

Suburban Life, a verdigris-tinted piece, has more of Campos' wire flowers, sparse yet still showing signs of life despite the confinement simulated by vertical bars. His other mixed media works such as Antigen echo these elements as well, combining them with plastic ties and plush carpet pieces evoking synthetic forests with shifting colors, this time in bloody red. Shrubbery comes not just in the expected shades of green, but in various permutations of hues associated with the different seasons.

With subtle elegance and restraint, the artist's multilayered applications of peeling and textured paints are offset by the painstakingly hand-effloresced metal foliage. One work, Pointing to Success, stands out, however, as it is crafted with just the minimal rendering of an arrow that points onward, with faith bearing the anticipation of better things to come. Compared to the other pieces, it might appear understated and basic, yet it speaks just as loudly with the artist's voice.

For Zulueta and Campos, imperfect balance might seem enough for now as they constantly seek alignment in their art practice by using their skills to manipulate materials to bring light to concepts rarely brought to the fore by other noble professions. In seeking equilibrium between one's duties to family and country, and the sometimes thankless undertaking of the artist's life -- that of bringing beauty and dignity to society with their utmost capacity -- their relentless pursuit of the artist's odyssey to bring balance and harmony through works of art remains to be unceasing.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pinggot Zulueta and Demosthenes Campos

Aligned 2: Imperfect Balance, Abstractions and Assemblaages
Opening Reception – 8 November 2016, Tuesday, 6PM
Exhibition runs until November 21, 2016
Kaida Contemporary presents Aligned 2: Imperfect Balance, Abstractions and Assemblages by Pinggot Zulueta and Demosthenes Campos at the ArtistSpace of the Ayala Museum this November.

With mixed media works and assemblages using old discarded wood, textured fabric, carpet, string, wire cables and a miscellany of found objects, Zulueta and Campos explore themes of attachments, junctures, growth and expansion, with abstractions that rework images of mundane objects, reshaping them for visual expressions brought about by personal association and significance.

As Zulueta draws from his recent experiences abroad and the memories triggered by going back to his childhood home, he seemingly recreates parts of a new sanctuary made easier for relocation. With sand, cement, scrap wood moldings, and even junked items such as an old violin and discarded bamboo cover for a fishing basket, he fashions snippets of a past life, transforming function and meaning. Campos, meanwhile, uses acid-bathed metal cuttings, juxtaposing them with fibers secured with tin, textured panels, grassy carpets, and blooms of wire that evince hope blossoming and persistent growth overcoming odds amidst today's harsh social and political climate.

Aligned 2: Imperfect Balance, Abstractions and Assemblages will launch art the ArtistSpace on the 8th of November, Tuesday, at six o'clock in the evening. The pieces will be on show until November 21, 2016. For more information on the exhibition, please contact Kaida Contemporary at +639279297129 or email

ArtistSpace is at the Ground Level, Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For more information on the ArtistSpace, please contact Lorraine Datuin, gallery coordinator at (02) 759-8288 or email

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

“Thinking is preeminently an art; knowledge and proportions which are the products of thinking, are works of art” (John Dewey, 1929)

Human beings are consciousness in motion. We are essentially embodied beings defined by the layers of memories, emotions, imagined fears and sensory pleasures that we believe make up our existence. Imprisoned by our wild thoughts, we are left with the intelligence to both perceive and create beauty as well anticipate and recognize the grotesque. It is this very duality that Pinggot Zulueta has chosen to explore in his latest works.

Pinggot Zulueta will be showcasing a series of portraits on paper and canvas, in "INCEPTO: Ink Drawings" on March 10-24, 2016 at the Art Cube Gallery, Glorietta Makati.  The title is Latin in origin, which means to “begin, undertake or attempt.” It serves as a fitting moniker to signal the audiences’ entry into the thoughts residing deep within the artist’s soul.

In what can be considered his most personal collection to date, Pinggot Zulueta unveils raw visual products shaped by the innermost workings of his mind. As a widely prolific visual artist, his latest collection offers a peek into his intimate musings on the internal struggles of man.

Showcasing manic ink figures in jet black, the subject of the pieces conforms to and are characterized by the artists own emotional struggles and pains. Zulueta chooses to delve into the most haunting aspects of the human psyche scrutinizing his own personal challenges as part of his philosophical contemplations. Serving as an autobiographical account, the collection is rooted in the period of depression and loneliness the artist experienced during his solitary days.

Gleaned from the visual ideas that emerged in his dreams during these times, a slew of revelations came upon the artist who embraced these figures from his subconscious and launched it into the temporal world. The result are images that speak of the primal and internal fears that plague all of mankind, with his contemplations on the universal derelict state of existence imbibing the works with a powerful energy and a strong impact.

More than a visual catharsis, Zulueta gives a voice to the anxiety experienced by many people in the shadows. Yet through these very figures, Zulueta offers a hope for redemption as it also serves as a celebration of people’s capacity to transcend these thoughts as he himself had done by asserting his passion for his artwork. It is an ode to human sensibility, for all the faults it may present, and the infinite potential that lies within.

In the end these figures do not represent the demons of man, but rather man’s ability to stand in the face of it with a battlecry, “Incepto ne desistam” (May I not shrink from my purpose!)“We are artists of our own lives, and however we make of it will determine the kind of masterpiece that we are working on.”- Pinggot Zulueta

INCEPTO: Ink Drawings" will be on display from March 10-24, 2016 at the Art Cube Gallery, Glorietta Makati

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Artists and their ateliers featured in book

By Amierielle Anne A. Bulan and Ma.Czarina A. Fernandez

A NEW coffee-table book on Philippine art by former Varsitarian artist and photographer documents through beautiful photography and informative text the ateliers or work studios of 75 of the country’s foremost artists, what critics have described as a very helpful “archival” project to record the creative process that goes into masterpieces of the visual arts.

“Filipino Artists in their Studios” is published by the Manila Bulletin and conceptualized and photographed by visual artist-photojournalist Jose Vinluan “Pinggot” Zulueta, a BS Fine Arts in Advertising Arts graduate of the old UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts.

“Our goal is to give a glimpse of the artists’ lives, not just a usual profile presentation of them with their artworks,” Zulueta told the Varsitarian during the book launch last Oct. 30 at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel.

The 324-page book is not only a compilation of photographs by Zulueta that originally appeared in the C’est La Vie or lifestyle section of the Bulletin. It is also accompanied by insightful texts and captions written by writers and journalists such as Paul Zafaralla, Barbara Dacanay, Dennis Ladaw, and Isabel de Leon.

“Usually, the audience see just the artwork alone, mounted or framed in an exhibit,” said CJ Tañedo, one of the artists featured in the book. “But once they get to see the studio, they can see the artists in a new light, and they can see his work habits and the natural setting in which he works.”

Tañedo, a winner of the Metrobank art awards back in the late 1990’s, himself is a Thomasian.
De Leon, a News staffer of the Varsitarian during her student days and now the news editor of the Bulletin and a former Malacanang assistant press secretary, compared an artist’s studio to a bedroom which is “not accessible to anyone.”

“We were very humbled when they allowed us to enter their spaces,” De Leon said. “Not everyone can be granted the opportunity to enter an artist’s sacred space.”

Art enthusiasts like Silvana Diaz, who owns Galleria Duemila, the country’s longest running gallery, said the book gives new perspective on Philippine art.

“He [Zulueta] brings the client and the public who are not well versed in art into an intimacy and place where they see the artist in their environment. When you don’t have art education or study art history, you may penetrate into their intimate life this way,” Diaz said.

25 alumni artists
Among the 75 artists featured in the book, 25 are notable Thomasian alumni mostly products of the old College of Architecture and Design. Sculptor Ramon Orlina, National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz, the late abstractionist Romulo Olazo and father of Philippine conceptual art Roberto Chabet are featured along with Antonio Austria, Manuel Baldemor, Gabriel Barredo, Andres Barrioquinto, Salvador Ching, Fil Delacruz, Danny Dalena, Mideo Cruz, Igan D’Bayan, Edgar Doctor, Alfredo Esquillo Jr., Raul Isidro, Prudencio Lamarroza, Julie Lluch, Sofronio Y Mendoza, Mario Parial, Mario de Rivera, Jose Tence Ruiz, CJ Tanedo, Ronald Ventura, and Juvenal Sansó.

Ruiz, who was part of the creative team behind the Philippine Pavilion in this year’s Venice Biennale, recalled the time when the book was still an idea.

“Why don’t I make a more active documentation of what’s happening in our art scene?” was the question asked by Zulueta to Ruiz back in 2008.

According to Ruiz, Zulueta was given the go-signal by the Manila Bulletin to start the project, and from there started a weekly feature in the newspaper that puts the spotlight on a local artist and his or her works.

“He would bring a young writer, and he himself was the photographer. Little did we all realize that that would be a book seven years later. It was all a happy accident,” Ruiz said in an interview.

The book has long been awaited by artists and art enthusiasts. Isidro, an abstractionist and a former fine arts dean of the Philippine Women’s University, said that the publication was “overwhelming.”

“Although there were books published before, this is different as it takes on a personal and intimate relationship with the artist,” Isidro said.

Meanwhile, veteran watercolorist Edgar Doctor said that this book is a breakthrough in the Philippine art scene because it gives recognition to local artists.

“It’s always the art more than the artist, and now the Filipino artist is given recognition,” Doctor said.
“Filipino Artists in their Studios” is available in leading bookstores nationwide.

The Varsitarian I 11/27/2015 I 7:23


Thursday, December 10, 2015

More Thomasians featured in 'Papelismo'

By Ma. Czarina A. Fernandez

THE PAPER as a premier medium in Philippine art was the focal point of Papelismo 6, a group exhibit at the Nova Gallery, Makati City.

Thomasians Thomas Daquioag, Pinggot Zulueta, Benjie Cabrera and Melvin Culaba were among a dozen artists who explored the creative possibilities of paper as an art medium.

Daquioag, a Painting alumnus of UST, shows social realism in “The Heir” and “The Heir 2,” which portray a child on the floor and a woman sitting on a couch.

His other featured work, a watercolor on arches or air-dried paper titled “ABAKADA Series” features a family making their way through a flood.

“Working on paper as compared to other mediums presents a more difficult challenge,” Daquioag said. “Paper requires a degree of perfection that you don’t necessarily employ in other mediums.”
Meanwhile, Pinggot Zulueta’s black-on-white-ink-on-paper works, reflect his life as an illustrator and newspaper cartoonist back in the 1980s.

Zulueta’s “Talking to Basquiat,” “Knowing Francis Bacon” and “Dialogue with George Condo” are explorations of faces and portraits using the forms and shapes of artists like Picasso and Condo.

“I borrowed art styles from renowned artists and incorporated them with my own style,” Zulueta said. “It’s like a conversation of art between my style and the style of others.”

Zulueta also expressed his preference for paper as a medium since he is known for sketches and illustrations.
“With paper,” he said, “art is boundless. You can sketch, cut, fold, or literally do anything that doesn’t limit your art.”

Meanwhile, engraving artist Cabrera’s works titled “Unexpected Visitor,” “Garden Delight” and “Erratic Self-Reflection” deal with themes of creation, preservation and destruction.

“My works in this edition of Papelismo tell the story of evolution where spectators can see the process of life growing and decaying,” Cabrera said.

Despite using engraving in most of his works, Cabrera does not mind using other mediums such as paper, which to him is special if not superior to other mediums.
Culaba’s charcoal-on-paper works delve on religious themes. “Patakam sa kung ano ang kinain… bago kumain” depicts the Crucifix mounted on a wall, among various framed religious icons like the Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus.

Culaba’s “Patatawarin po” shows a capped face, resembling the figure of Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant reformation, flanked by a horde of demon-like creatures in the background, in what seems chaos and hellfire.
Renato Habulan, the exhibit curator, told the Varsitarian that he wants to change the mindset of people who think of paper as a second-class artwork.

“We want to challenge the market, that paper is as durable as canvas,” Habulan said.

Ali Alejandro, director of Nova gallery and also a practicing artist, emphasized how paper is a staple in the art scene and how it will always hold a purpose despite arising forms of new mediums.

“Working on paper is a one-act job which requires perfection because committing one mistake will mean you have to start all over again,” Alejandro said.

The group has expanded to 12 artists for this year’s show from the initial five in their 2012 exhibit originally titled PapelMismo.

Posted on 11/27/2015 - 07:18 The Varsitarian