Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ponce Suites, the "unconvention" center

the Philippine Eagle guarding the hotel entrance

For Davao artist Kublai Millan, having a family-owned hotel to exhibit his art must be a dream-come-true. Ponce Suites in Davao City showcases the work of its artist-in-residence, from the sidewalk outside the hotel to every nook and cranny of the building. I read about Ponce Suites many years ago so I kind of know what to expect…but when I saw the massive sculptures, my reaction was---whoa!

My flight to Davao left Manila at 4:20 am and touched down a little before 6 am. I had no sleep, stressed from the chaos in the newly opened Terminal 3, tired and hungry, my guards were down---that the riot of colors in the lobby, walls, and hallways overwhelmed me when I entered the hotel. The first thought that came to mind was---Wow, he really let himself go! Artworks are crammed everywhere---even at the ceiling, the interior is definitely one of a kind, I've never seen anything like it. As I stood in front of the framed hair cuttings (presumably the artist’s), I wondered if the interior of the hotel has been an outlet of a mental health issue (hehe). But really, in an age of chaos, I understand how some people embrace the chaos theory.

As much as I’d like to be a minimalist, in reality, I am a clutterist. And walking around the artwork-filled hallways and stairways, I was able to appreciate how good it is to be surrounded by the evidence that you have lived a life, created something; that you have moved around and seen things, that you have collected things along the way, that you have sentiments, sadness and joys that you were able to express. And that’s what Kublai Millan did...he expressed them all in this little hotel. Lucky guy!

Ponce Suites seem to grow on you. The artworks definitely give it a unique appeal. I’m not an art connoisseur or an artist---I just follow my instincts with things that stimulate my senses. And frankly, some artworks on the walls are just a swirling mess of anything to me---but I know that they have a complex shape and order, I just don’t get it (hahaha). Those sculptures and the entire art-covered surfaces, not all of them beautiful by any means, but each are clearly there for a reason.

artworks on the wall

the hallway

at the lobby

poetry and photos of the artist in various state of nudity

the framed hair cuttings (right)

gigantic sculptures outside

this must be the artist---coming out of his shell

hallway outside my door

photographs as wallpaper


SHIELA said...

That is why I love Davao :)

Thanks for the comment last week for my wordless wednesday.

Have a nice day!

nutart said...

is he still alive? He must be quite a character!!---prolific to the point of maddening ;-)! But then, maayos naman ang pag-present ng mga creations niya. I'm sure may mga little elves siya around doing the works for him. That was and is how the Masters propagate their artistry---through art minions. What do you think?

Were you actually rested in such an "intense" place? Welcome back!

Unknown said...

hello, bernadette! he is alive and very active in the art scene all over mindanao. i saw him having coffee one morning and i think he's in his early 30's. ka-tribu mo pala s'ya---he's from UP fine arts din.:D

i peeped into his studio, will post some more of his artworks. hmmmnn probably he has little elves as you say (hehe), his sculptures are whimsical. surprisingly, i slept well even with all the energy...sa kakapasyal ko siguro.:D

thank you, bernadette. take care!

Unknown said...

davao is truly an interesting place. thanks for visiting again, Sheila.

Panaderos said...

Wow. The volume of artworks on display is truly overwhelming. It's like a full scale attack on one's senses. Truly a prolific artist! He must live and breathe art. :)

I guess I have to be there to feel whether they will grow on me or not. But I do love his huge sculptures. They are indeed very impressive.

Shawie said...

wonderful and amazing pieces of art! have a great week!

Sushi said...

Hello, thanks for visiting me the other day. I was just too bussy to return your visit right away but here I am! Very interesting and unique hotel, loaded with works of art and nice statues. Woof!

Unknown said...

thanks for visitng, shawie.

Unknown said...

you're welcome, sushi. i appreciate your visit here.