Janette Toral

Reflecting on Dance, Sound Art, and Manga at Zero In Art Festival

In Home on September 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

I was at Zero In: Open Call launch at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium. The event features a collection of art in its different forms – visual arts, culinary arts, film and fashion, sound, and dance.

Arrived a bit early and already took photos as the event guest starts coming in.

When I first arrived at the event, I was not sure what to expect as the place look rather simple and not much art work was exhibited. However, as I stayed on, things began to unfold that includes:

1. There was a QR code sticked to some of the benches encouraging visitors to scan it and be able to listen to sound art and view the Lopez Museum website.


2. Mercedes Lopez Vargas of Lopez Museum gave an inspiring welcome message. The beautiful interior of SM Mall of Asia provides a great backdrop as we listened to Vargas. It gave a feeling that we should get ready to be swept off our feet as the art festival begins.

3. The Escola De Samba performance raised the adrenalin for the event signaling the start of the art festival. The live dance from Nyoko Maka and Batang Ramon Obusan provided a different dimension as well to the performance as I haven’t seen such style before.

4. E.X.I.S.T or experimental in sound art showcased what Reverb will be like as benches and plant frames that are made of steel (or was it aluminum) served as sound transmitters. 

5. There was also a piano performance depicting one of the Manga Realities featured stories.

6. A Freedom Wall was also unveiled where visitors can do their share of painting. The Crafty Critters Munch Up tablet game is also on-exhibit allowing kids to play around with it.

I think the organizers of Zero In deserves all the commendation for putting up this great art festival that intends to make us reflect about our culture – greatly influenced neighboring countries. 

Exploring dance as a subject for children earlier on teaches the importance of discipline and team effort in coming up with performances. It is also about letting go and allow your body move with the rhythm.

I have only learned about Sound Art a few years back from Jing Garcia. Listening to it more made me realize that it is like telling a story that has its high and lows – taking the listener to an audio-visual ride or in this case – sensory – as touch was also used to give a feel as to what “sound” is like. For me sound art, with the right material, can help you let go and clear your mind or in another perspective, life is also complicated as the sounds that we hear around us – including its simplest form.

I think Zero In this year has a youthful touch that our present generation can appreciate. It reminds us of how enjoyable dance was and is for the young. How manga stories provide entertainment and explore stories not tackled by traditional movies.

The Crafty Critters Munch Up Game food-theme makes it interesting as well for the kids. I think if this one had a Facebook Game counterpart, that would have taken it to a totally different level.

For parents, it is a reminder that we need to understand all these new art forms as they become more accessible and part of our Internet-connected lifestyle.

I have to make time to visit Bahay Tsinoy to appreciate their Con Cabrera art installation as part of this year’s theme. Felt a sense of disconnect but hope that will change soon after seeing it.

You can have the Zero In experience at SM Mall of Asia (up to September 24), Ayala Museum (until October 2), Museo Pambata (until October 6), Bahay Tsinoy (until October 10), Ateneo Art Gallery, and Lopez Museum (until April 3, 2012). 


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