Part of this year's Art Fair Philippines is the Artist-in-Residency program where different sites across the country open up their spaces to artists to collaborate, explore, research, or create work with their outputs exhibited in at the fair.
One of the sites this year is the Manila Observatory, a scientific research institution established in 1865 by the Jesuit mission in the Philippines. This year they chose Derek Tumala a visual artist that works with the moving image, emerging technologies and industrial materials. Tumala often uses the ambiguity of experience and knowledge in his practice to explore personal politics, interconnectedness, cosmic and scientific thinking.
His work, Chasing the Center is a portal, a constellation of thoughts, research, imageries and found connections on how the weather is a crucial part of our history, culture and society. Tumala’s residency at the Manila Observatory happened on November 2021, January to February 2022.
"I came up with this project from fragments of what I learned and what I was interested in doing during this residency. It's called Chasing the Center, which actually came from the idea of chasing the eye of the storm or the center of the cyclone. The residency is about how I can actually create art and awareness about climate change. I think that typhoons are very important. It's actually part of our culture, living in the Philippines. It's something that happens all the time. It's part of our lives. I think what most people don't get is [that] typhoons will be there, they will be stronger, and it's going to happen all the time. I think for me, it's really important to focus on that and try to make sense on how I can actually present the science part of it and the art part of it and try to connect those together," he tells SPOT.ph in an interview.
View his work at www.chasingthe.center (best experienced on a desktop browser)