BY FIEL ESTRELLA

Interior design firm and furniture brand Space Encounters has distinguished itself with an out-of-the-box and colorful approach to creating pieces and accents. From their perspective, furniture can be fun, creative, and an art form in its own right, manifested in the many homes and commercial establishments—Yes Please!, Hole in the Wall, Nono’s, and Mesa, to name a few—designed by the firm.

The recently opened Space Encounters Gallery appears to be a step in a direction that’s somehow fresh and unexpected, yet feels natural and right. Launched last October, it is described as an “organic offshoot” from the Space Encounters brand.

 

 

The concept, located in what had been intended as an extended showroom for Space Encounters, was inspired by the brand’s latest collection “The New Romantics,” featuring classical pieces and mid-century modern elements. As a result, the gallery has a charming and warm industrial look to it. Furniture, vintage paraphernalia, and works of art line the space, standing out against concrete walls and wooden floors.

 

 

The space works well as a study in playful juxtaposition, making art accessible, fun, and bold—for instance, a miniature astronaut can be found voyaging on an antique altar from Bohol. Its latest exhibit features Melbourne “Burn” Aquino’s XIth Florence Biennale entry, Oligarchy, which has made its way back to the Philippines. Following the Biennale’s theme of “eARTh: Creativity & Sustainability,” which focuses on using art to promote sustainability and create environmental awareness, Aquino’s piece calls on the viewer to examine how the misuse of power can affect Mother Nature in serious ways. Pop culture and chaos are made to coexist in a roundabout cause-and-effect image.

 

 

Oligarchy, above, joins Aquino’s other works in his solo exhibit Porn-O-Graphic, which revolves around personal reactions and reflections regarding sociopolitical issues.

 

 

A wonderful mishmash space of different styles and textures, the Space Encounters Gallery breathes life into the way art is traditionally seen and displayed. It celebrates Filipino artistry, innovative ideas, and creativity—and the coming together of creators and purveyors through such platforms. The best part is, everyone is more than welcome to jump in. Fiel Estrella

“Oligarchy” and the rest of Burn Aquino’s works are on display until January 26. The Space Encounters Gallery is located at Unit 7D, Padilla Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig. spaceencounters.net.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF SPACE ENCOUNTERS

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