Contemporary visual artist Zean Cabangis is often touted as the vanguard of the current movement of Filipino abstraction. Trained as a painter under the University of the Philippines Fine Arts program, Cabangis adopted the use of a combination of acrylic and emulsion transfer in order to chart previously unfounded horizons in the realm of abstraction. The use of transfer technique allows him to reproduce multiple photographic images and create a sensation of accumulated layers. The subject matter of his work consists of reconstructed memories, objects and scenes from everyday life, even film scenes as well. It presents to us the structural basis undergirding his type of abstraction: an imposition and superimposition not only of shapes and forms but of media. Here, we are shown the juxtaposition of photographic emulsion transfer and the freehand application of acrylic, which create some kind of scaffold through which other elements intersect: paint drips, lines, and grids.
Cabangis was born in 1985 in Tayabas, Quezon. After completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Cabangis became an artist-in-residence at the prestigious Southeast Asia Art Group Exchange Program in Tenggara, Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2011. He was then given the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Award in 2015.