College of Fine Arts

Theses and dissertations submitted to the College of Fine Arts

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Abot Kaya? – An everyday question that echoes in the mind of a struggling individual as we continue to experience the impacts of inflation in the country whereas living has somewhat become a matter of survival.

As an artist with knowledge and experience in selling general merchandise to people in our small town through our family’s small sari-sari store business, my work seeks to relate with the audience by sharing the common struggles in consuming and surviving on a limited number of commodities in the face of current inflation. This thesis explores the process of visualizing the effects of inflation through the lens of recognizable Filipino images, experiences, and storefront characteristics found in local neighborhood stores. By altering the usual scale of various products and popular subjects that are visually incorporated and recognizable within the local neighborhood stores.

This thesis investigates how the manipulation of scale and proportion within these visual subjects contribute to storytelling, enhance comprehension of underlying concepts, and highlight social, economic, and cultural disparities through a thorough analysis of visual representations found in local stores.

Since sari-sari stores are known to serve the purpose of providing basic necessities in staple amounts, the process of miniaturizing the usual size of a product underlines the declining worth and quantity of commodities that people are currently receiving by reducing the customary size of the products. Producing multiple copies of miniature items also acts as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of the struggle. The act of making art involves the laborious task of meticulously replicating familiar objects on a smaller scale, which captures the recurrence of these experiences.

Through this thesis, the artist highlights the repetitive nature of this crisis, depicting the experiences and narratives that individuals endure as they navigate the impacts of inflation. This imaginative depiction in the form of a wall-bound mixed media work encourages viewers to consider their own experiences with inflation and the never-ending cycle of coping with its
impacts. This thesis seeks to spark conversations, arouse awareness and empathy, and shed light on this pressing matter we experience.

My thesis aims to express my fears as a bigender artist in relation to coming out of the closet and sharing my identity to my family. The goals of this thesis is to successfully portray myself as bigender through the use of paintings, as well as to help queer individuals feel visible and seen through a visual narrative that they can relate to. The final output is a wooden closet with paintings; one of which would be visual representations of my hesitation in coming out, painted on the doors, while the other painting will be inside the closet, upon being opened by the viewer, showing my identity as bigender. Inside the closet are clothes and accessories that I wear in my everyday life in order to show that clothing is not gendered.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a type of noncommunicable disease (NCD), often known as a type of chronic illness, which is a long-term condition caused by a combination of physiological, genetic, behavioral, and environmental variables. According to a report from the World Health Organization, as of 2021, NCDs claim the lives of 41 million individuals each year. Parkinson's disease causes the patient's body to make involuntary motions. Tremors, stiffness, and slowness are common symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) is yet unknown. The hunt for a cure for the PD condition is still ongoing and unsolved. The disease affects a small fraction of the population, which is why there are limited equipment and assistance gadgets available on the market. This research intends to develop an alternate method of reducing the effects of the condition and restoring some stability to the patient, mostly for the use of writing and sketching, rather than relying on the constant intake of pharmaceuticals, improving their quality of life. Through a case study approach, this research was able to see the depleting quality of life of a Parkinson’s disease patient. By using gyroscopic mechanism and accessible materials, the researcher was able to develop and design JYROS—an assistive device that can be attached to a writing tool and stabilizes during the use of a Parkinson’s disease patient, making them able to gain some stability to draw and write neatly.

The thesis investigates space through installation, resulting in the creation of a personal symbolic space for solitary respite, represented by a walk-through spiral. It is inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenological contemplation of ambivalent experiences reconciled in a cycle through poetic imagination. This is rooted in Carl Jung’s belief that communication with the unconscious, through engagement with archetypal images in art, is necessary for psychic equilibrium — the foundation of art therapy practice.
Copper, gauze, and salt manufactured for everyday functions were assembled to construct an abstracted snail shell, recalling ancient associations of these materials with healing. The snail shell housed a walk-through spiral pathway leading to a center punctum. The gauze-walled path narrowed towards the center to represent going inward towards self, concealed by layers from the outside. Walking outwards from the center in the opposite direction led back to the outside to complete the cycle.
Citing theories of space production and spatial relationships as context, the artist located an ephemeral space for the personal and intimate within the outdoor environment. By responding to natural forces guided by intuitive processes as the methods of making, personal response was expressed through the treatment of materials and form.
By using archetypal symbols and ancient materials rife with personal meaning, Umbilicus embodied the artist’s process of inner healing.