Art always tells a story, and it is some kind of personal discourse with the viewer.
This has been my way of appreciating art for many years. Knowing Kigao Rosimo from the years of the Baguio Arts Festival circa 1980 as a young man, the most memorable exchange was on the meaning of his name, lice. He was already some kind of sculptor and installation artist then. This exhibit is unique because it speaks of a journey in his battle with cancer using his art form, sculpture incorporated with mixed media.
The signature image is that of Russa Marianna which is inspired by the Philippine deer and the myths of this deity as one who nurtures. Although at first glance, this strikes you as a painful experience, the calm in the demeanor of the female image and the birds in flight in the backdrop gives one a feeling of resolution and reassurance. The nails used to give a finish to the hair has its own contribution to the message of the elements. Knowing the model used in the mold also adds some interesting fact to the piece.
“Exhortation of My Multitude” shows a man supported by many other figures. In essence, this shows how many come together in these times of crises. The center of attention is the seeming introspectionof the one who rises above the situation. In the write up by Kawayan de Guia in “The Wondering Kigao,” he noted that activated charcoal was what Rosimo took to overcome the cyst that was killing him and what killed his doctor. This powdered form of activated charcoal mixed with water is taken internally several times a day to cleanse the internal organs that process the toxins in the system. This bit of information helps one see this with a deeper essence.
The “Bulul in Waiting”shows the deep desire for replenishment of the power and wealth from ancestors or deities. It is this piece that shows the conjured spirits and saints that the artist called upon for the healing of the stage four cancer that was eating him inside. This is mounted on a piece of pine wood that is almost the shape of an animal head and body in flight. Although the Bulul is generally a rice god, this implies the prosperity and strength which would have been lost.
“Sta. Filomena O Ang Paglisan ng mga Langaylangayan” is about the patron saint for the healing of cancer. The departure of the swallows on one hand means that there is cleansing through the intercession of saints. The image of the female shows that mythological elements create a phenomenon of caring. The release of the energy is shown in the direction of the nails emanating from within upwards. This effect adds to the expression. There is also the inclusion of the lizard which implies determination and regeneration.
“Ari ti Gayaman” shows a champion. Ari is the equivalent of king and this shows the victor over the circumstances. The direction of the nails also depict growth. The repetition of the deer horns show the nurturing deity, and the centipedes mean good luck and healing. In this piece, Rosimo expresses his disposition of confidence and faith that all things can be achieved in life.
The “Wings of Desire” is connected to the “Blue Funk Goddess” in the sense that when there is healing, everything takes on a new meaning and a new drive. Likewise, it could also be the initial longing to conquer the seemingly impossible obstacles of being.
“Blue Funk Goddess”is perhaps the restoration of the libido. The fervor and earnestness for life returns because of the new lease for existence.
One looks at art in my ways. The best way to confront it is by searching the emotions that they invoke at the moment. Allow the works to talk to you because of some memories in the past that these rouse. When colors make your feel happy, this is intended, when the visual image saddens you, this is also intended. The “Re-emergence of Deities” is Rosimo’s story in a series of mixed media renderings. Of note is the use of nails in this series that endows the feeling of victory.