Mindworks 38: Examining the absurd through performance, experimental art

The UP Cebu community donned absurd get-ups for Crazy Day, watched live performances that tackled social issues, and marveled at the immersive art installations and murals around campus as Mindworks makes a triumphant return for its 38th year taking on the theme “Boang Boangon Ang Boang.”

Art talks, an art history quiz, merch and garage sales, zine exhibition, and a performance night were among the activities held throughout the celebration of Mindworks 38 from Feb. 26 to March 2, 2024.

Organized by the Fine Arts Student Organization (FASO) led by the 4th year Studio Arts majors, the annual performance and experimental art show was timed to coincide with the celebration of the National Arts Month and the UP Cebu Art and Culture Festival.

Explaining the theme, organizers said the seemingly nonsensical phrase “Boang Boangon Ang Boang” is actually a call to introspect and unpack the concept of boang. Here, the word “boang” does not denote a figure but points rather to the absurd, to that senseless experience or situation beyond rationality. 

“Our present world is oversaturated with so much absurdity; we have created a bizarre culture that evades truth, glorifies violence, and amplifies discord. We have become so accustomed to the ridiculous that we mistake it for normalcy. The theme, then, urges people to interrogate this deceptive facade, unveil the boang for what it is, and break free from it,” they added.

Gathering of young creatives

Mindworks, this year, also gathered young creatives from across Cebu to mingle and fraternize during the Cebu Art Students Meet-up on the last day of the week-long event. The activities for the day included printmaking workshop sessions, hand-build pottery sessions, and live nude drawing sessions.

On March 1 and 2, local artists showcased and sold artworks and artistic wares during the art garage and merch sales. They displayed stickers, pins, accessories, art prints, and other merchandise from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Joya Gallery.

The “Boang Boangon ang Boang Zine Exhibition” at the Joya Gallery featuring UP Cebu and guest artists was also opened on on March 1 and will run up to March 12. 

Recognizing the role of art in national progress, FASO said the vision behind Mindworks is to provide a safe space for creative minds to explore new ideas and engage in free intellectual exchange. 

Organizers capped the event with a series of thought-providing art performances during the Performance Art Night on March 2, which was followed by the Mindworks Diskoral: Boang-boangon na Bayle starting at 9 p.m. Students danced the night away to a medley of retro classics. (Photos provided by Mindworks 2024 documentation team: Isabella Salas, Margarette Alquiza, Keir Lorenz, Zhamia Meca, Nilette Pabuaya, Beah Singh, Java Jove, Erwyn Yu Jr.)

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