Have you ever heard about the news that went viral about a new Disneyland being built in Pampanga? We were probably just as excited as you were to finally get to experience the greatest theme park of all time in our very own backyard. But when the news turned out false, excitement turned to despair for everyone who had looked forward to this fairy tale come true. This was Guerrero Habulan’s inspiration for his seventh one-man show entitled “Dinseytopia” on display at Bencab Museum.
But Disneytopia isn’t about how Disneyland Pampanga should have happened. Guerrero Habulan’s message is quite the contrary. Marble-like faces are juxtaposed on Filipino bodies as a representation of colonial mentality – how we as a nation have subjected ourselves to Western traditions, and in turn erased our own cultural identities.
Disneytopia – a play on the words, ‘dystopia’ and ‘Disney’. Guerrero Habulan’s theme is as striking as his artistic execution. Seamlessly combining different art styles such as realism, surrealism, geometric abstraction and even pop art, to create paintings that look like print collages – perhaps a symbolism in itself for how Western culture takes the spotlight and how our own culture fades into unsaturated grays.
We could go on and on about the many symbolisms in his paintings, like how society is turning into robots and how we’re deconstructing and reconstructing ourselves with new cultural identities. As a Social Realist, Guerrero Habulan’s work definitely brings out a reaction, encouraging us to look deeper into his art and draw out our own meanings from them.
Guerrero Habulan is a Fine Arts graduate of University of the Philippines Diliman, having joined and won different painting competitions. He has also gained international renown, exhibiting outside the Philippines.
He, along with his troop of artistic friends, exhibit their works around the Philippines. But this is his first time to exhibit in Baguio City.
Guerrero Habulan’s Disneytopia will be on display until December 4, 2016 at the Bencab Museum. Check it out while you can! It’s an artistic treat that you wouldn’t want to miss.