December 8, 2022

BenCab Museum marked its 12th anniversary on Feb.13 with the opening of Raffy T. Napay’s solo exhibition, Cocoon; a collection of large-scale works that embody the artist’s favored material of multi-colored threads.
The exhibition has two themes: the process of building a better version of self and the notion of family and the sanctuary it offers.
The first series, composed of nine works, presents an abstract sensibility, in which the stitches constellate into pockets of shapes and forms, but never developing into discernible image.
For Napay, the pandemic, which has “stripped us of our certainties and bearing,” has given people the opportunity to delve into their inner reserves, generate what can potentially propel their dreams, and discard those that no longer serve one’s growth.
The second series, swaddled in rich red, is a veritable family portrait. A work, with a swirling line that suggests the shape of the womb, is the mother, who gives life to a child. Another work, which has a figure silhouetted in a much deeper red than the background, is the father contemplative of his new responsibilities. The third work, which features a star made out of gold threads, represents the birth and illuminating presence of a child.
While Napay has departed from his usual themes of presenting the natural world for a freer interpretation of an inner life, the artist still maintains his deep link to the concept of the family as a life-giver, which has become more emphasized as the lockdown has brought family members together more consistently under one roof. It is Napay’s own version of a cocoon, which he brings to a fecund blossoming in art. – Press release