SM City Iloilo highlights ‘Himbon: We Hide No More’, a mural and painting exhibition by artists from Himbon, in partnership with SM City Iloilo, with the support of the University of the Philippines Office of Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, Eskenita Gallery, and Boysen. The exhibit is located at the L/GF of SM Northwing, within the SM City Mall.
Here Himbon bares the story behind the exhibit, as elaborated by Prof. Martin Genodepa.
“Laundry washing has become an indispensable human ritual, and a clothesline could blur one’s mindfulness of what can be made public or kept private. In Hiligaynon, the word for clothesline is haláyan, from the root word haláy (to hang). In Tagalog, however, the word hálay means lewdness or indecency. In Hiligaynon, laundry put out in the sun to dry is called hinaláy; in Tagalog hinálay means abused, violated, or raped!
The mural We Hide No More – depicting a clothesline in a provincial setting – oscillates among all the meanings of halay, halayan, and hinalay in Hiligaynon or Tagalog, as distinctly spoken in the two languages.
Laundry put in conspicuous spaces to dry invites scrutiny. The things being hung (and their usually unknown owners) are both examined and assessed: the lighthearted may be amused at such sight, the hoity-toity may sneer in derision and disapproval, and the depraved may ponder impure thoughts and schemes. This mural, then, is another potential trigger for discussions on what constitutes publicity and privacy.
The mural’s rustic setting – a wide field of grass-overrun paddy at midday – starkly contrasts with the surreal and gory images emblazoned on the colorful clothes and towels that hang on the clothesline. This is an apt representation of a beautiful and idyllic agricultural land, very much like those found in Iloilo or anywhere in the Philippines…threatened by contemporary issues made more complex by the COVID 19 pandemic: health and safety apprehensions, socio-economic anxieties, environmental concerns, existential questions, and even spiritual dilemmas.
While clothesline in art is not exactly novel, Himbon artists have made the subject less prosaic by daring to expose their innermost guarded tensions – thereby allowing themselves to become vulnerable to judgment, not wunlike when people see intimate apparel hanging in very public places.”
About Himbon. Himbon Contemporary Ilonggo Artists Group is an art movement that aims to facilitate artistic growth for its members and enrich the local art environment through camaraderie and collaboration creating art events and projects for the community.
Himbon is recognized as one of the broadest art organizations in Iloilo with around 45 individual artmakers from visual artists, sculptors, musicians, writers, poets, and performers. The group is also an association of different ages from young novice and newcomers to art up to award-winning artists and professionals who have established names in the country’s art sector.
Since its formation in 2017, Himbon held monthly exhibitions in various locations, among them were the Molo Mansion, SM City Iloilo, and the Festive Mall of the Megaworld group. It has also initiated various socio-civic projects like art lectures, public art like mural painting, and community clean-up drive. It has likewise supported various fundraisers through art.