Michelle Hollanes Lua is a sculptor, musician, a multimedia and a scavenger artist. Her work focuses on social issues, realms and women empowerment. As a salvage artist, Ms. Lua’s takes the discarded remains of the past and transforms them into art that tells a story of the past, present and future. The purpose of Ms. Lua’s work is to show that objects considered garbage by most re-envisioned into objects of interest, desire and beauty.
“If there is not enough for what we want or have, there must be a million of unwanted graces somewhere. My artworks are off the throw away-culture that the world ship to the periphery, my country. We are all living human beings consuming that could result destruction. Somehow, intend to reciprocate the action, give back to life, and recycle.” ~said Michelle Hollanes Lua
The knowledge that the items used in Ms. Lua’s art, if they were not saved by her would be sitting in a trash bin is what drives her to create unique pieces. It can be broken shoes, belts and bags. Fiber glass cast, epoxy, metal beads, garbage’s from throw away culture. As you see in her sculpture titled “Broke Bag Mountain.”
There is one common link in all works of salvage art – each one is a type of visual remix so that everyone would think out of the box about the context of materials.
Contemporary artists like Ms. Lua salvage materials for many reasons to make statements about consumer societies. To create works that speaks to their resourcefulness as an artist. Embracing sustainability or, to inspire others to practice creative re-use. And to add interest to their creations by incorporating materials that have a back story. Lua’s salvage materials in her art because they all have a story behind them.
Ms. Lua’s sculpture depicts women in a variety of roles and situations. Her sculptures are representations of women as objects of subjugation. Works magnifies the psychological and emotional aspects of an urban women’s life as nurturers, caregivers, and providers of hope. In a world teeming with discord, violence and unjustified welfare, her mixed media world, thoughts become as visible as reality and the evolutionary metamorphosis is both comical and brutal.
“I am after stories inside those bags. If you have a shoe, you have a story. From squeaky-clean and shiny to scuffed and soiled, I want them all. These branded things are my representation against women trafficking and a statement of women empowerment.” ~said Michelle Hollanes Lua
Ms. Lua’s “Retokada” deals with the loss of physical beauty as aging sets in. It shows a woman clothed in intricate metal pulling up her breasts. To signify an attempt to recapture lost youth.
Ms. Lua holds a Bachelor of Arts in English majoring in Philippine folklore at Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology. Another one of her passion is filming. She loves to explore not only what is in the cities but submerging herself with the locals on the streets. Recently, she had been up in the mountains of Bukidnon, Mindanao to document folkloric materials and seek to understand a large number of material traditions.
Last January 2015, Ms. Lua participated in “Storm’s Wake” artists speak and film showing – a film collaboration between Ms. Lua, Jericho Vamenta and Boyet De Mesa held at UP Vargas Museum. Who spoke about their experience in creating art related to disaster and disaster response. The film “Remembering Sendong” aims to be a catalyst for action.
Michelle was part of Siete Pesos. A group featured in the Singapore Biennale 2013 for their work involving the motorela. A vehicle used in Cagayan de Oro that features in their group’s efforts after Typhoon Sendong.
Recently, Ms. Lua par take in “Garden of Fernal Delights: The book. A Dreams and Divinities Project for 2015-2016.” Were 110 artists around the world, from all the rebel contemporary styles: outsider, visionary, low brow, pop surrealism, magic realism, and fantastic art participated in. Was part of the “Imago Mundi: Philippine Collection Map of The New Art” in Venice Biennale. ArtistTtalk “Forces at work” at the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum. To name a few selected exhibits and engagements.
As a self-taught artist, her works are trials and errors and experiments and more on art processes. She has participated in group exhibitions overseas and in many parts of the Philippines. She is also one of the women in Mindanao who exhibited in Rome and Brussels.
“Art for me is not only for the elite. It must be for all. It is quest for the artistic revolution. I want a balance of the purest and simplest and the higher notion of art. Not to lose this aesthetics with its concept. Though art does not need to be beautiful all the time; yet, I enslave my works into decoration in my own likeness. That I can connect immediately to people in all walks of life. And still hold on to my issues.” ~said Michelle Hollanes Lua
Interested in having a piece of salvage art custom built into a wonderful piece of sculpture, please contact the artist via:
Images supplied by the artist.