Galleria Duemila proudly presents Inima III Revisited by Baguio-based artist Leonardo Aguinaldo. The show takes its name from inima Ilocano for hand-pressed. There is a kind of resurgent activism shown in intricate narratives in striking black and white woodcut and linocut compositions, which seemingly resemble tattoos—these are pieces that portray the insurgence of imposed industrialization in the Cordilleras, other works showcase disdain over the erosion of moral values, and some focus on the slow fleeting pleasures of life in the highlands—struggling to endure the invasiveness of globalization. His work has always highlighted the resistance between progress and its casualties, a situation that is echoed with much universality in developing countries.
In Inima III Revisited, most prints are multipart and at least three meters tall; the sheer size intensifies the sensitivity of his laborious process with such pride and tenderness comparable to tribesmen tattoo. The charm of Leonardo’s shtick is the duality of it all—Igorot and Filipino, intricate and perplexing, and folk and contemporary. With years of mastering woodcut printing Aguinaldo is able to forge a distinct social realist imagery, which sees him merging pagan and religious subjects in multiple vistas.
Much of Aguinaldo’s process engages in artisanal acts as he carves, etches, and incises his subjects into the plywood—repetitively with hollow cavities—leaving portions that carry ink level with the plywood, he then delicately presses the paper manually against the woodcut with a makeshift apparatus.
An accomplished artist Aguinaldo’s work has been exhibited at the Busan Biennale in 2002, Yokohama International Open Air Exhibition in Japan, 13th Asian Art Exhibition in Malaysia, Singapore Biennale in 2013, and recently at the “Markets of Resistance” trade and barter exhibitions in 2014 (Baguio) and 2015 (PWU). Among his many accolades such as CCP’s 13 Artist Award in 2003, he was also the Grand Prize winner of the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards in 2004.