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The Twelve


Galeria Paloma is pleased to present ‘The Twelve,’ a collaborative cryptoart limited-edition piece by the 12 artists in the roster of ‘1/1,’ the gallery’s exhibition in conjunction with Crypto Art Week Asia. The artworks in ‘1/1’ are currently listed via the NFT platform, and the exhibition will be mounted in Power Plant Mall on 30 September to 4 October 2022 in partnership with Samsung The Frame.


The 12 artists are Sevi Agregado, Jopet Arias, Luis Buenaventura, Isaiah Cacnio, Carlos, AJ Dimarucot, Holy Blood, Raymond Lauchengco, Sheila Ledesma, Cris Magsino, Win Magsino, and Wyn-Lyn Tan.


The collaboration is an adaptation of ‘exquisite corpse,’ a parlour game invented by the Surrealists where players would take turns writing a string of words, following either syntax rules or by using the last few words of the previous writer’s contribution as reference, culminating in a collaborative narrative or text.


In ‘The Twelve,’ however, it was towards a digital collage and there was more transparency: each artist had access to the latest version of the collaboration and had the freedom to add their personal stamp to the piece. It started with a painting by Carlos and ended with Jopet Arias’ trademark infusion of layered augmented reality (AR), which can be viewed via the Artivive app.


‘We thought it would be a fascinating, crypto-community way to have the artists interact with each other before the show,’ says gallery director Mia Rocha-Lauchengco. ‘It wasn’t created to be sold, and the copyright is owned solely by the artists involved.’ However, if any holder decides to sell, the artists each receive equal royalties.


‘There was no premeditated sequence. We wanted to let chaos determine the outcome, in a way–which is in line with the ethos of the Surrealist game. Each artist only had 24 hours to work on them before having to pass it on to the next. The one thing we knew at the start, however, was that we wanted Jopet Arias for the last part, for the AR take on the piece,’ continues Rocha-Lauchengco.


The work started with a painting of a music room by Carlos; next, photographer & sculptor Raymond Lauchengco added the core floral image from his photograph ‘Wildflower’.. Sheila Ledesma added her surrealist ‘lip/eye’ collages–an avatar she uses in her online accounts. Noted crypto artist Luis Buenaventura then added the machine/humanoid corpse over the entire image, entitling it at that point a tongue-in-cheek ‘The Murders in Rue Morgue,’ after the Edgar Allan Poe short story widely considered one of the first modern detective stories. Buenaventura shares, ‘It’s hard to make jokes like that because you’re never quite sure what kind of audience you’re presenting to. The murderer was an ape…so it was also a reference to Bored Apes and the like.’


NCCA Ani ng Dangal awardee, photographer Win Magsino, added a boatman from his sold-out ‘Magical Guilin’ series to float on the piano lid; internationally award-winning photographer Cris Magsino added a backdrop of a man leaning against a building facade to the image, framing the image in an urban landscape.


Holy Blood added a Holy Ghost figure, which is the theme of his collection for ‘1/1’ called ‘Holy Foil’, the text on the man’s paper bag, and sealed edges of foil blister packs which inspired visuals in his collection and which frames the entire image. After him, Sevi added his beloved, colorful animals, which give a playful ‘Where’s Waldo?’ aspect to the work. ‘It’s another lighthearted aspect of the work to determine who added what, and where,’ Rocha-Lauchengco adds.


Singaporean artist Wyn-Lyn Tan added her signature landscape discs, a still from her generative NFT pieces; celebrated graphic artist AJ Dimarucot added a colorful truck to the foreground; IJ Cacnio added a flower from his hand-drawn cryptoart piece from his work for the show; and finally, Jopet Arias added sketched, animated elements and an overlay of augmented reality.


‘At this point, a title was impossible to come up with. Ultimately, we decided to title it separately from the content of the piece, and we directors just named it in honor of the 12 artists who created it,’ says Rocha-Lauchengco. ‘The art had taken on a larger life than what we intended, which is what we know artists do. As gallery directors, we never tell the artists what to do and trust them wholly, and we are always amazed–but never surprised–when we are presented with their final pieces for an exhibition. It was the same with this collaborative NFT–we knew the work was going on an extraordinary journey in their hands.


‘This will be a tradition we will hold on to in Galeria Paloma,’ continues Rocha-Lauchengco. ‘The practice truly epitomizes the sense of collaboration and community–and individuality–unique to the space.’


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