Selecter FM Session featuring Merv Espina

2015-05-27_merv03Never mind Mercury retrogading this schizo-weather week, cause Selecter FM session is back ! This time time with independent curator Merv Espina who played rare recordings of pop and dance tunes from the golden era of the late 50s to the 70s from Armenia, Cambodia, Republic of Malay, Cameroon, Thailand, India, Rhodesia, Upper Volta, etc.

Setting up

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trippy music & videos & old film stills


The black & white Filipino movie stills were from Cesar Hernando’s collection.

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The film that  seized the night – the epic film adaptation of one chapter from the Indian epic Mahabharata, this focused mostly on Hanuman the Monkey king.


The Selecter FM session was highlighted by the launch of the Forces At Work catalog, exhibition held at Jorge Vargas Museum in conjunction with  The Japan Foundation Manila.


Travel and art guide books produced by Japan Foundation were also exclusively released that night.


A school supplies donation drive for the children of full time workers of Kadamay, as well fundraising shirt sale for Lon Caacbay of The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine, who recently passed on was also set-up.


Attendees were co-curators & collaborators from the Forces At Work exhibit, such as Ricky Francisco (curator at Fundacion Sanso ), Con Cabrera (visual artist and co-teacher of Merv at Kalayaan College), Alice Sarmiento (freelance writer & editor of Forces at Work catalog, she’s also looking for forever homes of  some kittens she’s currently fostering),  Japan Foundation staff, Sidd Perez (co-founder of independent curating platform Planting Rice, off to Singapore to work at NUS), the husband & wife graphic design team of Bru & Marcus (aka Electrolychee who’s also doing book signing tours of their Biyaheng Langit book), Martha Atienza ( one of this year’s recipient of the CCP 13 Artist Awards), Tengal Drilon (of  WSK  sound artfest, WSK FM, Sabaw Media Kitchen, Bedroom Lab), film maker & visual artists Kiri Dalena , husband & wife film makers Keith Sicat & Sari Dalena, artists Kat Medina & Cos Zicarelli with Nice Buenaventura, Jippy Pascua & John Torres of the film collective Tito & Tita, HK-based artist Arnel Agawin, students of Kalayaan College, and Caliph8 (who will be playing at the next Selecter FM on June 27)

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and Andrew Leavold, the Aussie  Filipino cinephile behind the docu about pint-sized action star Weng Weng in The Search for Weng Weng. He’s currently busy in production for another film docu about Filipina actresses who starred in bold films.


Nicolas Combarro’s Interventions (Opening Night)


As part of the week-long micro festival of photography Foto Semana organized by Thousandfold, Pablo played host to visiting photographer Nicolas Combarro’s exhibit Interventions.

Here he is with Meryll Soriano who has also published a photo book Playground London produced and published by 5 Ports.


The opening was highlighted by an artist talk where Nicolas expounded on his process and impetus for creating his photographs of architectonic tableaus, citing Russian constructivist El Lissitzky as one latent influence, aside from his many travels abroad where he has documented structures (whether  improvised or so planned) abandoned in terrain vague landscapes.

Here he is with Wawi Navarroza, Thousandfold founder and festival director.


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Nicolas with our gallery interns Marvin & Paula from Kalayaan College






Independent curator and film programmer Merv Espina will be playing select music and videos from Asian and African countries that don’t exist anymore !!!!

like: Dahomey, Upper Volta, Rhodesia, plus excerpts from from films and live performances.

A lot of dancin and rockin will ensue.

A donation drive is also set for school supplies for fulltime workers of Kadamay.
Kadamay helped greatly in the Forces at Work exhibit held last year at UP Vargas Museum .

So bring your extra notebooks, notepads, pencils, pens, etc. for this. No school supplies, no party!

Shirts will also be on sale for the benefit of the family of Lon Caacbay (drummer of Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine) who recently passed on.

There’s also going to be a Potluck Party hosted by Run & Learn Guide Magazine.

Le’st party on responsibly!

Petals & The Evergreen (the works)

Petals and The Evergreen is a parallel meditation by Jay Yao and Olivia d’Aboville on the fragile and austere exquisiteness of nature.

Jay Yao posits a series of photos of a coniferous tree he has taken  and the process by which he undertakes them as a form of Haiku, invoking the Japanese idea of negative space or “Ma” : “In haikus, the simplification of words, encourages the viewers to create their own narratives. The reader is forced to create meaning due to the few words within a haiku. As an art form, the camera is the closest tool a person can use to archiving reality, and while a single image is usually seen as documentary evidence, as viewers we can’t help but create our own personal narratives once two or more images are grouped together.

While documentary evidence of the tree is presented to the viewer in a clear visual manner through the photographs, the arrangement of the works within the installation and the space between the works creates further internal dialogue.”

Recycling and up-cycling plays a big part in Olivia’s artistic approach. For her pieces in Petals and The Evergreen, she transformed an existing large scale tapestry of hers into new individual smaller light boxes.

For 3 months, she gathered discarded orchids and lilies from the Manila Peninsula Hotel and carefully dried the thousands of petals. The process was laborious and repetitive, consistent with her usual practice.







Jay Yao (Jose Campos III) was raised with one foot in Vancouver, Canada the other in the Philippines. Yao did his thesis photography exhibit on Canadian-Asian identity at Hampshire College. After college Yao moved to New York to further his skills as a photographer.

Yao has had solo exhibitions at Hiraya Gallery (Manila), Museum Pambata (Manila), Silverlens (Manila), Tixe Artspace (New York), and quite recently in Celestina (Manila). He has been sponsored by the Canadian and Mexican embassy on numerous occasions. His group exhibitions include “New Natives”, Lightbombs (Hong Kong), and “Art Connexions: SYD – MLA – KUL” at the Australian Center of Photography (Sydney).

In 2005, Yao represented the Philippines for the Goethe-Insitut project “Art Connexions: SYD – MLA – KUL.” Yao’s “Homecoming” series was nominated and short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards in 2014.
He currently lives in Manila.

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Olivia d’Aboville is a French-Filipino artist who graduated with honors from ESAA Duperré in Paris in 2009. In her work, she explores the relationship between the organic and the synthetic in both aesthetic expression and in her choice of materials. Her artistic vision is rooted in her rigorous and unconventional approach to textile techniques and her commitment to using recycled or up-cycled materials to address concerns about the environment.

D’Aboville has exhibited in museums, galleries, hotels and festivals in Paris, Lyon, Hong Kong, Manila, NY and Singapore. Her works range from textile jewelry, to sculptures, to lighting designs and installation art.

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