Photo by Yuen Sin
The placid demeanor of student art showcase “Collect Your Thoughts,” billed as an exhibition “based on collective experiences, memories & thoughts,” hid the starkly resonant and distinct voices behind the work of University of California, Santa Barbara art students Pat Pumhiran, Alicia Crismali, Amy Funahashi, and Christin Nolasco.
Featuring a mix of film and digital photography, as well as prints and installations, the week-long exhibition held its closing reception at Building 479 on Jan. 31.
Viewing the photography work of fourth-year fine art major Pat Pumhiran was an engaging exercise in perspective. The “Sky Drop” series features close-ups of objects framed against the sky, lending a strong sense of dynamism to the photographs. Pat manipulated the images by refracting them into symmetrical mirror-images that transformed the quotidian into the intriguing: in a piece titled “Levitation 2,” tree branches from the Southern Californian landscape that UCSB students are so accustomed to were replicated and turned into sharp geometric patterns and vector shapes.
This theme continued to run through other media that he worked with, such as the installation “A Lamp Bowl,” whereby two bowls placed against each other in a symmetrical shape of an hourglass suddenly took on the appearance of a lamp.
The technique of repetition was also prominent in the photography of Amy Funahashi and Alicia Crismali. Funahashi depicted the exteriors of large bungalows in a suburban district in a succession of photograph prints. The aesthetics of the soft color vignettes were pleasing to the eye, yet after a prolonged period the images started to become disquieting and defamiliarising. As exhibition visitor and fourth-year art studio major Eddie Aispuro commented, “Amy’s use of repetition through photographs of desired middle class homes made me think about the architecture of the American dream.” He further added, “I liked the use of color throughout [the exhibition].”
On the other hand, the repetition in Crismali’s series of lomography prints that depicted the lush Californian landscape as well as photographs of laughing girls in the sun conveyed a strong sense of movement through the gradual variations in the photographs.
The exhibition also featured “Two-Faced” by Christin Nolasco, an installation consisting of prints of faces mounted on a wall and folded across the middle, which aesthetically conveyed the sense of fragmentation that comes with identity in a polished manner.
On his work, Pumhiran said, “This is a really important event for me since it is the very first exhibit that I put on myself. It’s a challenge for me to come up with interesting concepts. As much as I like taking pictures of people, I want to develop my own style and create images that will be pleasing to the eyes of the viewers.”
Through its introspective depictions of everyday objects and issues that surround students today, “Collect Your Thoughts” commendably came across as a hugely relatable and sincere effort on the part of the artists in the midst of the student community.