ART comes in all forms. With this is mind, contemporary artist Khriss Bajade (also known as BAKH), through his solo exhibit “Phases,” shows just how versatile the language of art can be through using metal.
Involving imagery layered using metal pieces that were cut and manipulated, these works in mixed media tell his personal “language,” which began back in his years at University of the Philippines Cebu where he took up fine arts. It was a requirement then by their mentor, doctor Dennis Montera, to use other sorts of medium.
“Aside from the subject and technique, what makes you stand out are the materials used. I was looking around and I saw this pile of junk behind the school’s clinic. I experimented with it,” he said, recalling how he liked the texture of the corrosion as a result of the metal degrading.
“Dilapidated metal is something we look at as—after it has served its purpose when it’s discarded—it’s viewed as nothing. I’m giving it another meaning, another purpose.”
Bajade’s professor, Raymund L. Fernandez had a small shop in the campus where Bajade used the oxygen-acetylene torch to shape old metals. From there he gained recognition for his experimental works having won second place in the Annual Exhibit and Joya Awards in 2005, and receiving first place in 2007. Thus began a string of exhibits including this recent one, “Phases,” that ran from June 5 to 18 at contemporary art space Qube Gallery located at Cross Roads, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Cebu City. The exhibit featured 18 of Bajade’s works.
Often he takes inspiration from life events, especially firsthand experiences, to scenes from movies and the beautiful things people do.
According to Bajada, “Phases” could be interpreted in so many ways. The word is pronounced exactly as “faces,” which can be seen in the works but not made traditionally so. For observers, “Phases” could also be about the art itself and where it’s heading as the artist is in constant pursuit of trying to learn something new or making his work better. Last, it could also be a reflection of what the artist went through or is going through, expressed in metal.
Whatever the case, “Phases” takes emotions and expresses them through art, the way Bajade wants to make art. He doesn’t consider himself tied to a certain visual language. He makes art the way he likes it.
“I get bored if I do the same thing over and over again. Like if I were a musician, I can’t be the type of musician who does the same thing again and again.”
More than to show something entirely unique, it’s his intention to depict the versatility of art; how it’s not shown in one way—how you can’t just box it in. “Art is broad. It’s a big world on its own. That’s the first objective,” he said.
His works will be featured in two upcoming group exhibits together with other Cebuano contemporary artists happening in August, one in Metro Manila and the other in Tennessee, United States.