Since late January the Yuchengco Museum has exhibited a prelude to the 30th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution via a conceptual art installation by Roberto M.A. Robles.
Entitled “Here is How the Transition into the Mambo Beat Looks Like 2016,” the stark white plaster of paris and wood installation has been a focal point for visitors at the museum lobby.
Whether through painting, mixed media, sculpture, or art installation, art making is Robles’ way of expressing his own sentiments and personal relationship with the fight for democracy. As such the artist alludes to events and symbols of Martial Law in the 1970s and the People Power Revolution of 1986 through his latest endeavour.
One part of the installation, “The Running Fence,” for example, was sparked by Robles’s memory of the Marcos years, when fence after fence was erected on the Manila streets he knew as a boy.
Asked why the installation bears such a long name, Robles says that it refers to an exhibit of the same title mounted three decades ago in 1986. In a Dadaist act, he randomly chose the phrase from a book.
“This new one still moves to the beat of mambo music towards emancipation,” he adds. “The repetition of various elements in the installation, like the structure of mambo music, follows our ups and downs towards nationalism.”
Moreover, the artist says his intention is “to express the struggle of each Filipino to uphold, to remove the fence of ignorance, and to set the spirit free.”
Roberto Marcelo Afable Robles pursued fine arts at the University of the East in the Philippines and sculpture at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. In 1986, he won the Grand Prize for Mixed Media in the Art Association of the Philippines Open Art Competition. An accomplished artist, his work has been exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, the 17th Asian International Art Exhibition at the Daejeon Municipal Museum of Art in South Korea, Jiyu Group Exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum in Japan, and at the Beaux Art L’art dans le Monde Pont Alexandre III in Paris, France.
His oeuvre has been surveyed in a retrospective show at the Ateneo Art Gallery in 2011.
Since 1995 Robles has been represented by Galleria Duemila, whose efforts made it possible for the artist to exhibit his latest installation at Yuchengco Museum.
“Here is How the Transition into the Mambo Beat Looks Like 2016” is on its last three days of viewing at the museum lobby. Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza corner Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues, Makati City.