Escolta has historically been a site for many firsts. One of which was being a portal for delivery of ice from Wentham Lake in Boston during the turn of the century. This fueled commerce and brought up other previously unheard of possibilities, such as the first ice cream parlor in the Philippines. The construction of the Crystal Arcade in the 1930s was the culmination of such firsts for the people of Manila. 

Crystal Opus is an ode to the shimmering memory of the Crystal Arcade in Escolta, an architectural masterpiece by Andres Luna de San Pedro. The ephemeral nature of ice and the intangibility of light are used as a prism to project, reflect or distort both the frustrations and joys of turning vision into physical reality. 

Ultimately a triumph of memory over regret, Crystal Opus is also a tribute to the city, its continuing story and the spirits that live on. The work brings a solid monument into the realm of fluidity and constant change, as a way of questioning whether the failure of permanence in an impermanent world is really a failure at all.

words by Jp Agcaoili

Crystal Opus Detail View, Kitty Kaburo, Project Esc  98B Collaboratory 2015

Crystal Opus Detail View, Kitty Kaburo, Project Esc  98B Collaboratory 2015

Crystal Opus Installation View, Kitty Kaburo, Project ESC 98B Collaboratory 2015

Kitty Kaburo (b. 1987) is a Filipino artist of Korean descent. She works with various mediums, incorporating each of their peculiar properties to simulate the transformation and effects of time, the elements and human activity on miniaturized landscapes, urban settings and interior spaces. She graduated from the University of Philippines College of Fine Arts in 2015, receiving an Outstanding Thesis award. Her works have been exhibited in various galleries around Metro Manila.

Crystal Opus Installation View, Kitty Kaburo, Project ESC  98B Collaboratory 2015

Crystal Opus Installation View, Kitty Kaburo, Project ESC  98B Collaboratory 2015

ESC Projects deal with spatial negotiations, transformations and interventions. It revolves around particular locations, contexts and renditions—whether as flights of the imagination or discharges of the creative spirit. ESCape artists are given the freedom to conceive and visualize new landscapes. To ESCape is to create a 1 day project, 1 day show, 1 day exhibition. It is a new model which evolved from the parallel events we have initiated in the 98B Saturday Market X Future Market @ ESCOLTA. It is an experimental platform for creatives.

Crystal Opus Installation View, Kitty Kaburo, Project ESC  98B Collaboratory 2015

Crystal Opus Installation View, Kitty Kaburo, Project ESC  98B Collaboratory 2015