Renz Baluyot, a Filipino artist, graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts major in Painting. His works focuses more about the concept of time and how history is a main instrument of change in the local urban setting.
His latest exhibition, By Sword and Fire was held at UP Vargas Museum. By Sword and Fire is a line borrowed from National Artist Nick Joaquin’s play “A Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino.” Here; he was inspired by his artist residence in Japan, it gives a view on World War II and how relationships between the Japanese and the Filipinos were formed through history. It gives a setting that narrates the field between the past and the present. Gathering a collection of his works together with paintings, photographs, and original memorabilia. With this, he aims for us to recognize and honor our country’s past and the struggles of our ancestors and to our heroes who have offered their lives to bring us the freedom we are experiencing today.
In Baluyot’s fifth exhibition, Headlines, he brought recognition about the extrajudicial killings happening in Metro Manila that became a global media interest to the Philippines due to the war on drugs campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. In a subtle way, Baluyot exposes the problem of the current regime in solving the drug problem in the country. He used rust as subject and material in his works to symbolize the degradation in the Philippine society - little by little falling into despair. Without fear yet subtle, he intends of introducing urban decay to the audience with an unstopping determination to reiterate the obvious.