I went on an artist’s studio visit at K— and I—‘s place in a sleepy suburb in Novaliches. Their studio and living space is a two-storey apartment they shared with another artist, J—. On the narrow pathway in front of the unit, they had potted plants and vegetables.

We talked about their upcoming work, in between the lines, which they will be showing at Venice, Italy on May 2017. I met them sometime in 2015. I— said that they hadn’t been as close as they are now and listening to them speak, having seen their work spaces, and the kind of work they do, I sort of feel like they are “work soulmates”. The optimist in me says there is such a thing. K— and I— have this harmonious contrast, what I’d describe as a distinction in the resemblances in their process and artworks.

For in between the lines, at least, they are both working on what are generally considered ‘domestic forms’. K—‘s knits take on the form of stationery and office supplies. I— creates cloth books, the images retained and the texts reduced into lines as embroidered pieces. There is an innate tranquility in their works and I can’t help but be reminded of the sleepy afternoons I spent as a child. And the works themselves are a recollection and reliving of certain moments in their own childhood, of things learned and things that had to be negotiated.

This initial examination of in between the lines inexorably led me to relate to my ideas of art (and artist) and its relationship to space, specifically urban space.

Malate, Manila
Diliman, Quezon City


I think of threads and somehow find myself relating them to the eskinita or side street, of how they exist in between main thoroughfares. They are transitory spaces, but unlike the overpass or train station, there is warmth and familiarity; they stitch the brighter and louder main roads and connect one place to another. There are also feelings of anxiety and anticipation. Yet there is also gratitude at a fortuitous encounter.

The evening after the visit, I was able to make a friend in an eskinita.