HomeArtFair PH 2020


Manny Garibay and Orley Ypon

February 21-23, 2020


WRITTEN BY: Cristina Antonio-Butuyan 


Kâti – the fall of the tide, a shrinking, an ebbing, a season of restless, uneasy longing, a mingling of doubt and desire that reaches for the unnamed.  

Intuiting the viewer to be at this liminal stage, Emmanuel Garibay and Orley Ypon set out to explore in various directions this bleak landscape of the soul – and to expose the wily malevolence that exploits our pining, forlorn vulnerability.

In “Saan”, Emmanuel Garibay depicts a vague, equivocal search for identity, roots and histories. “Who are we?” and “Where do we come from?” become puny questions sapped of all force by the nonchalance of their invocation – the paintbrush held up in the air, the inclined heads, the side glances, the teacup. “Tawid” continues the narrative of haphazard venturing, as Rizal chooses to ride a carabao on treacherous, murky waters instead of crossing a bridge to safety. 

Often, the restless, uneasy search for meaning is hijacked. Orley Ypon’s “The Pizza Eater” warns against false messiahs, garbed in holy vestments, who play with the hopes and prey on the lives of common folk. Ypon’s other work, “Duck Hunters,” portray all that is coveted as to invite violence and appropriation – innocence, bounty, fidelity, happiness. Garibay’s “Tunguhin” and “Tatay D” boldly names schemers, beguilers and lunatics who have seized the reins of our yearning to lead us toward danger, strife, war. 

The dark portents, arrayed in bright, spectacular colors, perturb. Orley Ypon‘s masterful juxtaposition of the sacred and the banal stirs in the viewer terrible dismay and indignation. Is our outrage sharp enough to cut through ennui and delusion? Emmanuel Garibay’s “Asog” chides us with four eyes: When will we climb atop cemeteries to seek the horizon of our future? When will we let grow the seeds of unrest to reach the heavens and touch the divine? 

Thus speaks the artist as prophet, in these days of ebb and disquiet.