MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Multi-media artist Rocky Cajigan is the third recipient of the 2020 Agents of Change portfolio launched by Giorgio Guglielmino and Hugo Bunzl with the artistic collaboration of Angel Velasco Shaw.
The portfolio features 10 local prominent artists who have used their art to highlight the pandemic and the country’s response to it. Each sale of the portfolio adds to the pool of funds that would allow a special jury to award a financial prize to a limited number of artists. The purpose of the project is to provide financial aid to Filipino artists whose lives have been affected by the health crisis and pursue their creative works in their studios.
With the sale of additional copies, it became possible to award a third artist with a P300,000 prize. Cajigan is the third recipient after Issay Rodriguez and Czar Kristoff.
Cajigan has built a name for himself in both the local and global art scene with his distinctive multi-media installations and assemblages. In every artwork he does, he explores material culture with indigeneity to craft one-on-a-kind pieces reflective of the Philippine indigenous culture.
The artist says that his work largely focuses on identity questions and the transitioning of, and decolonization in, indigenous cultures. Cajigan uses his own personal experience for his art, himself born in the Mountain Province in 1988.
He has made it both his mission and passion to constantly question who the Filipino is.
“We have to take apart what our culture is, and which part is truly ours and which have been imposed on us by others,” he says. “There are experiential difficulties in continuing colonial habits with indigenous communities.”
Since 2011, Cajigan has been part of AX(iS) Art Project, a non-profit artist collective focused on programming events that study access to contemporary art in communities in the Cordillera Region. In his capacity, he has managed several projects with the non-profit, including an art festival in 2011 in Baguio City, a collaborative project in 2014 for Markets of Resistance, a cultural research program in the Cordillera Region, and an art book about the region.
Currently, Cajigan is focused on experimenting with material cultures and their processes of creation and what new meanings can become of them when presented in galleries and museums or are in the process of “museumification.”
The 2020 Agents of Change art portfolio awards young local artists who have been selected by a special jury. The idea is to be able to give artists a financial basis to continue their work in this period of generalized difficulties.
It is hoped that with further sales, more prizes can be awarded to deserving artists.
For more information or inquiries on how to support the 2020 portfolio project, email email@example.com or call 09175366856 and look for Ailene Co at The Drawing Room.