Art/Style/Travel Diaries

My thoughts on ‘Canned Thoughts’

‘I take the labels of these everyday items and use them to convey humor, cleverness, and inspiration’

Carlo Tanseco turning the canvas into canned thoughts

Delata: Malinis Na Kalooban – 19 x 32 x 7.5 inches/Acrylic on 3D Can Shaped Canvas

Canned Thoughts runs at Art Cube Gallery, OPVI Center, 2295 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City,  from May 5 to June 1, 2024.

In my exhibition titled Canned Thoughts, I draw inspiration from the ubiquitous presence of canned goods across the Philippines. From the smallest homes to the grandest estates, these canned items are a familiar sight, bridging gaps in society as they fill the shelves of local stores and supermarkets. When Filipinos venture abroad, they often carry these cans with them, a tangible connection to their roots.

During the pandemic, canned goods took on an even greater significance. As lockdowns forced us to stay indoors, stocking up on these essentials became vital for survival. Canned goods became lifelines, sustaining us through uncertain times. Moreover, they served as the ayuda provided by both government and non-government entities, offering much-needed aid to the population during periods of hardship.  In Canned Thoughts, I underscore the profound impact of these everyday items beyond mere sustenance. They transcend their nutritional value, becoming nourishment for the mind and soul through the artistic transformations I impart upon them. Each piece carries messages that resonate deeply, offering solace and inspiration amidst the challenges we face.

‘Delata: Same But Different ‘– 24 x 28.5 x 6.25 inches/Acrylic on 3D Can Shaped Canvas

‘Delata: Pursigido At Mahusay’ – 30.5 x 19 x 7 inches/Acrylic on 3D Can Shaped Canvas

I take the labels of these everyday items and use them to convey humor, cleverness, and inspiration. Following the Pop Art tradition, I playfully change the names and designs on the cans, inviting viewers to see them in a new light. As visitors explore my exhibition, they encounter these altered cans displayed on the walls, each one offering a fresh perspective.

These sculptural canvases are presented as larger-than-life installations, blurring the lines between paintings and sculptures. As viewers engage with these oversized artworks, they are enveloped in the immersive experience, further emphasizing the cultural significance of these commonplace objects. Some pieces are reproduced as giclee prints, echoing the repetitive nature of store shelves and reinforcing their status as cultural touchstones.

‘Delata: Tunay Na Ligaya’ – 30.5 x 19 x 7 inches/Acrylic on 3D Can Shaped Canvas

Delata: Ang Araw Mo – 30.5 x 19 x 7 inches/Acrylic on 3D Can Shaped Canvas

Whether it’s a witty remark or a heartfelt reflection on the Filipino experience, Canned Thoughts encourages people to rethink the significance of these ordinary objects.

Beyond the gallery space, I construct a makeshift store installation, evoking the communal spirit of Filipino culture. Filled with colorful snacks and candies, this interactive setup invites visitors to partake of the whimsical atmosphere while contemplating the deeper meaning behind my creations.

Carlo Tanseco in his studio with finished works ready for exhibit at Art Cube

Amid the playful aesthetics, Canned Thoughts prompts reflection on the complexities of contemporary Filipino identity. It celebrates not only the practicality of canned goods but also the resilience, resourcefulness, and optimism inherent in Filipino culture. Through humor, culture, and the mundane aspects of daily life, my exhibition encourages audiences to find beauty and meaning in the ordinary, fostering a deeper appreciation for the symbols that unite us and the stories that define us.

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