Joven Mansit (b. 1984)

High School Student, 1914


signed and dated 2007 (lower right)
oil on canvas
36” x 27” (91 cm x 69 cm)


PHP 500,000

WRITEUP

Visual artist Joven Mansit’s works are often inspired by a critical and novel critique of rationality and the ideals of the Enlightenment. While this temperament against the ideal brought about by the Enlightenment period started during the 1930s with the rise of fascism and fall of any viable alternative to a flawed democracy, the Philippines experienced this critical shift during the 1990s, around a hundred years after proclaiming its Independence. After almost a century of self-governance, Filipino and Philippine society began to question whether or not the ideals set about by our founding heroes were realized or even worth pursuing at all. Filipino artists have thus veered away from utilizing and representing the traditional Filipiniana images often attributed to the likes of Amorsolo, Hidalgo, and Luna. But, Mansit revives this sentiment by twisting this ideal in order to identify the historical roots of our present condition. Mansit utilizes and synthesizes the aesthetics of turn-of-the-century postcards, daguerreotype photographs, and old newspapers, with new and surreal insertions in order to map new modes of meaning. Mansit acknowledges the failure of rampant idealism but recognizes the reconnection of our current predicament with our historical contexts.