by JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN
Images by PINGGOT ZULUETA
In an attempt to explain the origin of our existence, scientists throughout the years have come up with different theories such as the Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution. Unfortunately, instead of shedding light, these have caused a conflict between science and religion, between creationists and evolutionists. Through the power of art, Gig de Pio wants to put an end to it.
“The Big Bang Theory could have been ‘Let There Be Light’ as God declared, and there was this big explosion,” he says. “Little by little, these things clustered together, the stars, our earth, everything.”
His message is clearly reflected in his abstract works. For the past three years, Gig zealously worked to finish his 40 abstract paintings that are now displayed at Rustan’s Makati for an exhibit called “Flourishing: A Celebration of Creativity.”
“My work is about these things. God created everything. There’s [a] series of evolution that is part of His creation. That’s why everything happened at the same time,” he says.
Fascinated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics ever since he was in college at the University of the Philippines, where he took his degree in Fine Arts, this is not the first time Gig used art to share his philosophy. “Flourishing” is the continuation of his last show titled “Entropy/Gestalt.”
“In my last show, I declared that there is no more conflict between creationists and evolutionists, science and religion, and that the Big Bang Theory was indeed God declaring ‘Let There Be Light,” he says. “[Now], it’s time for my ‘Entropy/Gestalt’ to expand and be known to the world.”
Strong colors, textures, and patterns are prominent in his works, which are images that show his views of the universe. “The key here is how to extend your life, how to extend the order because the tendency is to break down,” he says. “The name of the game is how to extend the life of your system, taking in the energy from the outside to retain or maintain the order of the system.”
This belief was also present while he was working on his pieces. Gig said that during those three years, he went through a “collective consciousness” process. “I plugged myself into the biosphere where thought processes of all living things are gathered and stored,” he says. “While connected, the whole thought of the beings past and present becomes mine. An accident is random but when a second one crosses the same spot, the area becomes an incident, a third one or more will make it an event. My subject matter is the inside of the event. Multiple chance encounters give birth to this event that, when ‘breathed light,’ becomes a person! The breather then is me, the creator.”
Gig, who’s also an established portrait artist, shares that among his mentors—the likes of National Artists Napoleon Abueva, his professor for sculpture, and Vincente Manansala—it was José Joya who inspired him to venture into abstractionism.
“In the late ‘60s to early ‘70s when I was in high school in Cebu, I was mastering figure drawing and portraiture when the abstractionist Dean José Joya exhibited at the USIS Library,” he recalls. “I was amazed at the power of his abstract paintings. There was nothing in nature that I could refer to as his subject matter and yet his works captivated me. It strongly boggled my mind. What was their magic? My young mind marveled at his works and thought there must be a spirit in each one that was trying to reach to me. Through his lectures after the show, I realized that there were two primitive classifications of abstraction: the objective and the non-objective. His was the latter, like mine now.”