The Anatomy of Healing | Allain Hablo
Allain Hablo’s “The Anatomy of Healing” at Renaissance
by Cid Reyes
Broken clouds pour rain
Broken soil sets as fields
Broken seeds give life to new plants
So when you feel you are broken, be rest assured that God is planning to utilize you for something good.
So goes a familiar Christian homily. This viewpoint finds its parallel in a Japanese philosophy called kintsugi, which means “golden joinery.” Kintsugi is “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.” Breakage and repair, therefore, are viewed as an integral part of the object’s history, with no need to disguise its new reality.
In Allain Hablo’s solo exhibition at Renaissance Gallery, the audience – deeply rooted in the tradition of erasing any trace of blemish, flaw, defect, disfigurement, and defilement - participates vicariously in the experience and acceptance of kintsugi. Titled “The Anatomy of Healing,” the theme is not only topical, it is also meaningful and sensitively significant, as it adverts to the present-day pandemic which has without question devastated the entire humanity. In all aspects of distress and distraught, from the physical to the psychical, the Covid-19 scourge has bright us to material and financial ruin. Indeed, all mankind has been brought down to its knees, left to gather the broken pieces of our lives.
In Hablo’s minimalist canvases evoking a universal terrain and symbolic surface marred by seemingly calligraphic broken lines, the artist has wrought a geography of cicatrix, the scar of a healed wound. The fissures all over the pictorial skin have been imbued with glistening gold, with its subtle scintillation seducing the eye. This stark progression of broken lines is by turns a metaphoric intimation and acceptance of a fate that has befallen and besieged mankind. Indubitably, the pandemic is now a part of humanity’s history – and it is undisguisable.
The message of Allain Hablo’s show is direct and undisguised, but consoling: In our brokenness, we are made whole.