Sunday, May 28, 2017

Abstraction is not just a question of form, but an experimentation of medium. In many instances, the medium defines the form, giving depth and texture to what would ordinarily be a flat surface. The resulting output is a refined juxtaposition of technique, composition, and temperament.

We consider thus the practice of Michael Toms Semana, known as Mischa (b. 1975). His latest exhibition at the Megamall Art Center, entitled ‘Flight,’ allows audiences to examine his abstract expression works that seem to defy the norms of abstraction.

Mischa’s works have a strong emphasis on dynamic, energetic gesture. The works are entirely non-objective and primarily abstract in imagery, along the lines of abstract expressionist artists Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky and Robert Motherwell and in the Philippines, the abstract expressionist movement was headed by National Artist Jose Joya, with artists like Edwin Wilwayco now carrying the torch. Every part of the medium is fully charged and actively engages the viewer.

Mischa, who hails from Batangas, is a strong fixture in the Philippine art scene. A two-time semifinalist at the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Awards, he has also exhibited with fellow abstractionist Sam Penaso at the Kaida Gallery in Quezon City.

The exhibition is a consideration of the landscapes of the sky and the unlimited potential of the universe — the perfect subject for an abstract expressionist. His Destined by the Stars recalls the formation of a small galaxy — maybe even the Milky Way — as a formless mass seems to come together in strokes and stars. Wild Blue Yonder, on the other hand, meditates on the vast distances of space, and the consequent adventure that awaits those who are brave enough to go forth into it.

This exhibition marks a new direction for the artist, as he charts a distinct path in the art scene. Inspiring voyages tempered by introspection, Mischa brings new meaning to abstraction.

Mischa’s Flight is currently on view at the SM Megamall Art Center at the 4F of SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. The exhibition is organized and hosted by Galerie Joaquin, and will run until Monday, June 5, 2017.

For more information, please call (632) 723-9418.

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