In Excess: An Exuberance of Philippine Art

Participating Artists:
Victor Balanon
Annie Cabigting
Imelda Cajipe-Endaya
Charlie Co
Louie Cordero
Marina Cruz
Leslie de Chavez
Geraldine Javier
Mark Justiniani
Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
Maria Jeona Zoleta

Gajah Gallery Singapore
23 September – 22 October 2023

Gajah Gallery Singapore is delighted to present In Excess, its first group show featuring contemporary artists based in the Philippines. Curated by Joyce Toh, this exhibition revels in “excess” – in its manifold meanings and multitude of connotations – and teases out the tensions of its negative and positive implications.

To exceed is to surpass expectations or limitations. Yet excess also conjures up greed, gluttony and glut – the afflictions of a contemporary world caught up in consumption, ornamentation, and the grandiose. Though an art of excess need not be one of chaos.

In the art of the Philippines, the aesthetic of excess cuts across generations, artistic movements and stratas of society. The modern artist Vicente Manansala’s iconic Jeepney (1951) evoked excess through the crowded chaos of Manila’s streets in the years following the Second World War; the Cultural Center of the Philippines, built to project a front of progress for the nation, came to exemplify the extravagant constructions of an “edifice complex”. In superlative words and grammar like “sobra” and “napaka”, it points to an adding on and a multiplication: that life lived is one that is always pushing at the edges.

Aristotle postulated that “nature abhors a vacuum”. And while nature may not care for nothingness, it is perhaps a more human impulse to push for more, to go beyond, to have the cup runneth over.

It is never enough to ‘be enough’; full can still be a state of insufficiency. Excess: it’s too much. Or, maybe, it’s not enough.



More is More
A Conversation about “Excess” and the Art of the Philippines

Annie Cabigting, Charlie Co, Leslie de Chavez, Mark Justiniani, & Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
Moderated by Joyce Toh

Gajah Gallery Singapore
23 September 2023, 11am

Join eminent Philippine contemporary artists Annie Cabigting, Charlie Co, Leslie de Chavez, Mark Justiniani, and Christina Quisumbing Ramilo in a critical conversation on the multiple dimensions of “excess”, as it relates to their art practices. The panel is moderated by curator Joyce Toh.

We live in a world redolent in excess, from personal consumption, to the glut of imagery in media, or the misuse of power by authoritarian figures. Yet excess can also be seen as celebratory – embracing the largeness of life – especially after the austerity of a pandemic. Contemporary art too, is now in a moment of “maximalism”. Yet this aesthetic has a long and historical trajectory in the art of the Philippines, epitomized in the Tagalog word “sobra”. It’s not enough to be ‘enough’.

Gajah Gallery
39 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, #03-04, Singapore 089065
+65 6737 4202

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 11 am - 7pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 12 nn - 6 pm