Sculpted Fragility: Diaphanous Wire Sculptures by Alab Pagarigan
June 10, 2017
Written by Patrick Kasingsing
Photographed by Ed Simon and Ron Mendoza
A sense of lightness and fragility defines the wire sculptures of Alab Pagarigan. Interconnected modules of wire form human shapes in the act of being solidified. The sculptures appear vulnerable in their skeletal states, as if frozen in mid-completion.
When asked why he chose to pursue this diaphanous direction for his sculptures, Pagarigan cites his love for sketching. He then developed a desire to translate these drawings into three-dimensional forms that are linear, light, transparent and delicate. After years of experimentation, he chose metal wires as the medium to create his three-dimensional sketches.
Coming from an artistically inclined family, Pagarigan knew early on that he wanted to be an artist. While his father’s and brother’s paintings center on exterior realities and social issues, Pagarigan’s works are more introspective. “I intend to capture how people are affected by different situations around them, and how they react,” Pagarigan explains. “Though we may differ in status, we all have emotional experiences, hardships, and vulnerabilities.” His existing body of work depicts subjects that tackle various real life scenarios, like the death of a loved one, the joys of motherhood and the budding of a romantic relationship.
Every Pagarigan sculpture begins as a spontaneous idea or sketch on paper. He then loops and knots wires together to create module-like pieces. He then follows this with live casting, where actual models serve as molds. The different modules are then knotted in place around the mold.
While static, the light and skeletal forms of Pagarigan’s sculptures seem to be on the brink of movement, gradually attaining their corporeal form. It’s a beautiful visual metaphor for the slow, turbulent formation we undergo in life in our quest for self-fulfillment.