Exhibiting Artists: Kiko Escora
Dates: 01 Aug 2002 - 18 Aug 2002
Shift into the neon twilight of smoky bars and seamy lounges. Soothe yourself with the sweet saxophony of jazz, or lose yourself in the numbing nirvana of trance. Slip on your form-fitting threads to impress everyone… and no one in general. Enter the world-weary atmosphere of the habitual clubber and the tiredly trendy; welcome to the café culture of Filipino artist Kiko Escora.
In his charcoal drawings, Kiko presents a slice of life from the old Manilan district of Malate, but the scenarios could be universally derived from any after-hours diversion where people go to see or be seen. His figures hide behind their mask-like, expressionless façades, hungry for meaningful interaction but expecting at best, transient connections. Silent, they tease with their body language and lust with their looks, but don the disguise of aloofness for fear of rejection. They adopt angelic wings but may possess devilish intentions. Discern in their melancholic demeanour, the hurt of the past and the expectation of unfulfillment. Share in the ennui of those that have a little extra cash, a little extra time, but can’t find better things to do with it.
Kiko’s figure configurations intrigue and excite. Mildly reminiscent of compositions from old European masters, his figures stand not alone, but interact with others in animated groupings. His largest drawings (4 x 4 ft) are full of figures tied in implied relationships by a glance, a delicate touch or a meaningful grasp. New for him in this solo exhibition are smaller (2 x 2 ft) figure studies which extend beyond the frame in implied linkage to an unseen person. A girl caresses a guy who looks across the room to another girl who sees him. One guy accosts another holding a cigarette, the object of attention somewhat unwillingly furrowing his brow. The people are lithe, lean, muscular, unafraid to show a little skin to get the attention they want, yet bored, weary, giving an impression of having seeing it all before, yet waiting expectantly for something undefined, unspoken.
For the mute scenes depicted, Kiko’s figures speak volumes in the imaginary connections perceived, and their hopes and fears left unsaid. It is the wish of the artist that his audience will fill in the blanks themselves with their own stories and perceptions, drawing from their own experiences to give voice to the sensual desires portrayed.
Pwee Keng Hock, 17/7/02
Born in 1970 in the Philippines, Kiko Escora is a Thirteen Artist Awardee (2003) of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines and has taken part in various solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and Indonesia. He has also participated in several art fairs in Singapore, Dubai, Miami, New York, Beijing and Hong Kong.