I remember traversing the Halsema Highway aboard a Dangwa Transit bus, and it felt like a journey to another world. This happened many years ago, but to this day, when I think about that trip from Baguio to Sagada, I mostly remember being jostled through hairpin bends and bounced up and down to the clucking of chickens–not exactly conducive to sleeping off excesses from the night before.
But I do also remember the most awesome views, and stopping by market towns with plump pink-cheeked children bundled up in colorful swaths of tribal cloth. The pit stops felt as exotic and alien as would Ulan Bator, a jolt of wonder to my Manila-bred sensibilities.
At MO Space, Kawayan de Guia recreates the iconic red and yellow Dangwa Transit bus to introduce the next AX(i)S Art Project. Early last year, he spearheaded an arts festival in his native Baguio, and one of the highlights had been a tent put together by various artists from ukay-ukay forays. This tent is now the material used for this simulated bus. The images on the windows and projected inside are all scenes from the February 2011 festival.
The next phase for AX(i)S Art Project will involve creating work along the road from Baguio to Sagada. Set to launch next month, the artist collective envisions the stops of Halsema Highway as venues for art. So, while Dangwa Transit buses no longer ply this route, travelers will have even more to enjoy than the Mt. Province’s dramatic panoramas and slices of culture.
Also on view, at the gallery’s Project Room, AX(is ) Mali Art Project, drawings from the collective’s younger members.
Halsema AX(i)S Art Project runs from 20 October to 18 November 2012 at MO Space, 3F, MOs Design Bldg, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Phone (632)856-2748 or visit www.mo-space.net