Monday, February 6, 2012

Small Talk: Conversations of Cities

While in Bangkok, HongKong, Manila or Singapore, take the metro rail to observe the central business district. Where the rail ends, take a cab or walk to marvel over an older city where most homes and little businesses are. Cross side streets, follow the neon lights or bass of electronic players and one would see where people hang out.  Stand in a corner and watch people move to and fro, here and there, everybody moving in all directions or trying to move—traffic.  You need Coke, there it is. You want McDonalds meal, there it is.  How about Starbucks or 7-11? It’s all there. By ignoring scripts, one could barely tell which city is which. Histories aside, language aside and to some extent, quantum aside, one can map out these cities and feel that it is his own, or at least ‘like’ home.  

This feeling of recognition, we loosely attribute to the idea of glocal, wherein local can be located in the global and global is recognized as local. 

I am proposing 3 talking points: Hmm! Oonga! And Teka teka!

Hmm! Is an expression of recognition. It is when you feel or think that there is something there.

Oonga! Is an affirmation that there is something to be realized. That it manifests itself or made manifest regardless of form.

Teka teka! Is taking yield to ponder if there is more to it than hmm! And oonga!

Mideo Cruz, 2011
Project Glocal, the mother ship of, "Small Talk" is a product of these 3 expressions. It is an attempt to place these expressions into actual conversations.

As curator of Project Glocal, I hope to engage my artist in this particular conversation. I wanted them to recognize, affirm and ponder the extent of glocality in their works.

Glocal is not a new concept, it dates back to late 80’s as a socio-economic discourse.  Simplifying an otherwise complicated concept, we choose to focus our energies in representing the local which is globally recognizable and the global which is locally adaptable.

In this particular exhibit I invited those whose work deal with people, places, objects or ideas associated with cities. Why cities?  Because this is where amalgamation of global and local is more obvious.  The a
rtists were given liberty to choose their own ‘peg’; to identify which images they can relate to the doppelganger effect of this glocal phenomenon.  Tang Ling-Nah, Marc Gaba and Ester Yip Lai-Man worked on capturing the infrastructure of cities. Irma Lacorte, Joo Choon Lin, Tang Kwok-hin and Mark Salvatus worked on capturing the people.  Anton del Castillo, Mideo Cruz, Mimi Tecson and Thosapol Boriboon worked on capturing the objects. Implying that for the artists, glocal is a product of lived lives—by the ability of human to adapt while evolving.

While it is so easy to charge this whole glocal phenomenon to the invasion of multinational companies, to the commodification of cities and easier access to information highways, this exhibit encourages the viewers to wonder if there is more to it than reconfiguration of boundaries. With Small Talk, let the conversations of cities begin.  dty