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Ayala Tower One Fountain Area

Doktor Karayom

SARILING SULOK

Doktor Karayom, the artist name of Russel Trinidad, is known as someone who operates outside of established norms, preferring the

About the Artist

Doktor Karayom, the artist name of Russel Trinidad, is known as someone who operates outside of established norms, preferring the indefatigable expanse of walls over canvas, exposing the unsaid through his signature red blood pigment, deftly playing with scale and proportion, from the miniaturized to the gargantuan. His murals explore everyday monsters as well as the horrors of the body, and how these serve as metaphors for what terrorizes and ills society. Doktor Karayom speaks a language of art that is primal, visceral, and untamed with wild compulsions.

These features extend to his recent work, Sariling Sulok, an installation composed of shrine-like configurations that serve as altars into the unconscious. Similar to a retablo, each of the works has swinging doors, revealing a hectic accumulation of sculptural human figures and symbols, clumped together like tumorous cells. Titled “Hardin ng Pag-iisa,” “Apoy ng Pagtataka,” “Langit ng Ligaya,” “Tubig ng Pagkilala,” and “Harot ng Liwanag” the works plot the stages of an individual’s experience of the pandemic through the four archetypal elements as well as the Biblical symbolism of light. 

With a chair provided, the viewer is meant to sit across the shrines and, through sympathetic magic, re-enter the psychical zones opened up by the pandemic, from the terror of isolation to the uplift of alleviation. Unlocking inchoate emotions, the miniature sculptures smeared with the representative colors of the elements seek to exorcise inner demons so that the viewer may experience, in an act of recognition or acceptance, a clarifying jolt of catharsis.  

These new works by Doktor Karayom affirm the line that runs between art and the interior world of man, as exemplified by the former’s centrality in rituals, ceremonies, and other spiritual activities, bridging the invisible and visible. By crystallizing something that is total and abstract, such as the concept of God, art allows us to confront it in human terms. Sariling Sulok reckons with the upheavals that the pandemic has brought, reckoning with its damage as well as its redemption.

 

Words by Carlomar Daoana


Artworks

Doktor Karayom
Doktor Karayom
Doktor Karayom
Doktor Karayom
Doktor Karayom
Doktor Karayom


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