Exploring raw human expressions » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle



By Terence Repelente

Images by Pinggot Zulueta

MAKING A NAME Enzo kicks off his artistic career with an exhibit that explores raw facial expressions and human interconnection

For someone who’s just beginning to build his name in the industry, Enzo Razon has already established himself with a good and promising start. Straight out of college, his debut solo exhibit, “Fur On Fire and the Cildren of the Corn,” was a testament to his quirky entrance to the flourishing Philippine art scene.

“It feels nice that there are other people looking at the works,” Enzo said. “Since I’ve been interested about doing something like this for a long time, it feels good that there’s a more solidified platform now.”

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, the 23-year-old Emerson College (Boston, MA) graduate said he wanted to see if he could present something that had aspects of photography, drawing, and painting in a single exhibit. “I also want to incorporate the walls of the space. Those are the reasons why I wanted a small, kind of popup venue and setup.”

The three-day pop-up exhibit at the Open Space Manila Gallery in Makati showed Enzo’s collection of black and white portraits, detailed drawings, and abstract paintings. But for Enzo, the most notable part of the show isn’t the ones on frame or display but the walls. Yes! The highlight was the walls. “I absolutely love painting the walls. I had never done anything like that before,” he said. “Having the ladder and all the supplies, working like that was a highlight for me.”

FACES “Untitled,” black and white portraits in grid form

FACES “Untitled,” black and white portraits in grid form


“Not a Stephen King reference,” Enzo quickly disclaimed. “Though that misconception is inevitable because it is The Children of the Corn after all.” But Enzo would like to sway away from the book or the author. “My show has more to do with the way people look, their raw expressions and emotions,” he said. “I’m trying to get out an idea of interconnection between all of us, all the people in the world.” Hence, the concept of using corn bits, which alludes to everyone, being connected in one single cob.

Enzo explained how the concept came about. “The inspiration behind this exhibit was kind of like an evolution-organic process. I knew that I wanted to present in a visual platform that wasn’t social media, that wasn’t just my friends seeing it, that was outside of school,” he said. “I wanted to make an official launching platform for my work. The idea slowly just evolved from there.”

According to him, it started out as him wanting to just exhibit photographs, “then I started to realize that maybe there’s a connection between photography, my paintings, and my drawings.”

For him, the entire exhibition began as a concept, which developed slow and organic with a then transformed from the initial idea of wanting to show something in a more organized way to a full exhibit with different mediums.

“We have the ability as functioning humans in an interconnected society to look at different people, to imagine ourselves as them, and therefore empathize with their way of life,” he said. According to him, his art are lived experiences. “They aren’t from the place of pity, or ignorance, or naivety—it’s just genuine curiosity or imagination of the people around me.”

In his photographs, Enzo wanted to present the human facial expression in its most purest or architectural form. “It’s removing degrees of unnatural frameworks in order to isolate that so it’s in black and white, which is not natural, everyone is looking in the same direction, also not natural, and it’s in a grid-like kind of rigid composition because I wanted to isolate the aspects of face,” he said.

Ultimately, Enzo wanted to show what it is about art and projections to the outside world that, according to him, allows other people to, an extent, “live vicariously.”

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