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Anima Art Space

October 7 - November 4, 2023

casting off the shroud

The enduring question of whether the mind and body exist separately or share a profound connection has sparked endless ruminations. When we reflect on embodiment, we might trail the questions of how the body and mind correlate, the body's role in shaping our perception and experiences, and how embodiment influences our comprehension of identity, consciousness, and humanity. Our connection with our own bodies is thus intimate and intricate: we tend to trust what our senses convey as reality, and indeed, our first-hand bodily experiences significantly mold our experience of the world.


However, there is a question that arises: Is perception an immediate and unfiltered encounter, or is it influenced by the body's sensory mechanisms? In the present world state, political power frequently manifests through the regulation and manipulation of various facets of human life, giving rise to complex questions surrounding self-determination, and finding the balance between the well-being of the collective and the personal freedoms of individuals. This dynamic extends to how power structures inevitably influence the way mental health issues are portrayed and the responses that society and politics offer when faced with mental health crises.

Lucian's bold and emotive creations delve into the propulsions of these biopolitical anxieties, embodying the manner in which state authority and influence mold our physicality, perceptions, and determinations. With feverish brushwork, frenzied resin applications, and Frankensteinian manipulations of the human form, the artist offers an arresting and contemplative exploration of humanity's predicament in the face of unavoidable and systemic existential crises. Lucian's subjects reveal the profound inception of the individual, igniting a powerful psychological and corporeal exchange between the observer, the observed, and their sameness: the conscious act of “casting off the shroud” evokes the artist’s autonomous decision of discarding protective layers of emotional and conceptual armors, which have been molded by the violent conditioning and programming of external authority. As these layers are shed, often painfully, a sacred vulnerability and primal purity are finally laid bare.  (John Alexis Balaguer)

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Lucian Arcos (b.2002 Manila, Philippines) is a Rizal-based contemporary artist. A self-taught visual artist, Lucian explores the inescapable aspects of socio-political and existential conditions in his bold and emotionally-charged creations. He is a versatile artist who immerses himself in a range of experimental practices, often employing resin in his paintings, mixed-media collages, and sculptures to capture the essence of disorder in the contemporary world. His artworks frequently carry allegorical or symbolic elements, with subjects like the archetypal human, conveying an urgent message that addresses biopolitical themes, illustrating how state authority and influence shape our physicality, thoughts, and existence. Through his exhibitions, projects, and published works, Lucian is cementing himself as a dynamic and introspective artist who consistently challenges societal norms and perceptions.

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