“Bukana” is a Filipino term for the opening of a river or other body of water. It is derived from the phrase “buka na.” Already open. Both meanings also aptly describe the latest collection of pen-and-ink works by Rocelie Delfin, conveying remembrances of the artist’s hometown in Lanao del Norte.
Delfin’s imagery seems open and inviting, with depictions of rocks and trees, lakes and leaves, as well as the occasional bird or forest creature hidden among the lines that together form looming mountains and flowing rivers. Yet the artist uses tight, numerous strokes that, together, also convey a dark feeling that this openness may suddenly just snap you up and swallow you in its embrace.
The monochromatic play between ink and paper also reflect the contrast between memories of the natural splendor of the artist’s provincial hometown and the very urban setting of her adoptive metropolis from where you will likely be viewing her works. This is also reflected in the fact that the natural beauty Delfin wishes to capture is in fact found in the dark totality of her close, myriad lines that ripple out to a unified positive imagery.
– JP Agcaoili